The Seiko Prospex Monster Deep Blue 3rd-Gen 200M Automatic Ref. SZSC003 is straight up one of the most talks about polarizing dive watches ever. On one half that indulges in their quality and packs with value, while on the other hand, some find it over the top aggressive on its design. But with the nickname “Monster,” designated to be unsympathetic in all ways, it sets the standard of its very own iconic traits.
Third Generation Monster in Deep Blue Ref. SZSC003
Today, the Monster Deep Blue Ref. SZSC003 is the third generation of the Monster line, falling into Seiko’s Prospex collection, which is built to very high standards to be used by professionals.
First off, the main improvement will be in the movement upgrade. The SZSC003 boast the most desirable automatic movement among its precursors that uses the 7S26 caliber launched in 1996 and the 4R36 that are used on many base models currently. The 6R15 operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 23 jewels with a power reserve of 50 hours through a Spron 510 mainspring.
Third Generation with JDM movement, 6R15
The 200m water resistant Monster stainless steel case embodies the beautiful craftsmanship and bold lines. Measuring 42mm case without the crown, which is 1 mm smaller than the first generation, and has a thickness of 12.5mm, with a lug width of 20mm.
The Monster Deep Blue Ref. SZSC003 being the third iteration of the Monster collection, in design manner, it is highly rated as the most balanced among the other two.
Starting from its case, it mainly has fine satin brush finishing, giving it a serious tool watch look, and unique grooves on the sides only seen on the Monster series, which helps one to have a more comfortable grip on the bezel. Further, the SZSC003 features a semi-shroud design on the top and bottom of the case, keeping the refined bezel protected when not in use.
Iconic case design, water resistant to 200m
The other Monster’s trait will be the bezel. It is a one piece of steel that concave slightly with prominent engraved black markers on it (same goes to all the Monster model). It rotates buttery smooth into 120 positions has zero free play in a clockwise direction. What's more, the details done on the bezel grooves are so unique that you do not see on other Seiko watches. To finish things up, the screw down crown at four o'clock flanged by its crown guard has knurling around it for better grip and easy usage during time-adjustment.
Moving on to the back of the watch, the screw down case back allows 200m water resistant and is also brushed, featuring the recognizable tsunami emblem that is a staple on the other Seiko divers. Oh, please don’t forget about the lug holes, allowing swapping of straps with ease.
Deep Blue Dial with Applied Markers
Now, let’s talk about the dial details. Gone are those shark tooth-looking hour markers found on the 2nd generation like the SRP307/309. The SZSC003 features a matte blue dial, with applied block markers with silver trims, and its signature trapezoid 12-hour markers at the top. The impeccable hour markers and hands are both generously coated with Seiko's LumiBrite allowing it to glow brightly in the dark for hours.
Further, the Hardlex crystal now has a magnifying cyclop at the 3 o’clock date position, which we have never seen on any other generations.
Therefore. all these have enhanced the Deep Blue Monster feels a notch higher than other serious dive watches in the same price point.
Seiko's LumiBrite Luminous
The design of the steel bracelet stays true to all its generations, and compliments the watch beautifully, having it brushed mainly, with polished sides and slightly at mid-portion, giving the Deep Blue Monster a serious tool watch look and feel.
All in all, for more than a decade, the Monster is still one of the best bangs for buck Seiko professional dive watch, that looks unapologetic in design. The Prospex MonsterDeep Blue Ref. SZSC003 is durable and legible, with a proven robust automatic movement, excellent casework, and featuring a unique overall design.