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The Seiko Prospex Monster Blue Vintage 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY033 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.
|Seiko Prospex Monster Blue Vintage 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY033|
Today, the Monster Blue Vintage Ref. SBDY033 is the latest 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 SBDY033 boasts the much desirable automatic movement among its precursors that uses the 7S26 caliber launched in 1996- upgraded to the 4R36 caliber that are used on many base models currently. The 4R36 operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 24 jewels with a power reserve of 41 hours with the ability to hack and wind during time adjustment. What’s more, the day/date display can be set individually, with a choice of Kanji or English language for the day display (once set, it will be fixed to that chosen language).
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 13mm, with a lug width of 20mm.
|4R36 JDM movement|
The Monster Blue Vintage Ref. SBDY033 being the latest iteration of the Monster collection, in design manner, it’s highly rated as the most balanced among the other previous versions.
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 SBDY035 a semi-shroud design on the top and bottom of the case, keeping the refined bezel protected when not in use.
The other Monster’s trait will be the bezel. It is done in black fully and concaves slightly with prominent engraved white markers on it. It rotates buttery smooth into 120 positions has zero free play in an anti-clockwise direction. What’s more, the details done on the bezel grooves are so unique that you do not see on other Seiko watches, and further gives the watch a two-tone built. 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.
|Iconic case design, water resistant to 200m|
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.
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 SBDY033 features a deep sunburst blue-ish dial that dances with different lightings (similar to the Sumo Blue Coral SBDC069), and is paired with applied vintage color markers which is something new from Seiko, with silver trims and it’s 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.
|Sunburst Blue Dial with Applied Markers|
Further, the Hardlex crystal now has a magnifying cyclops at the 3 o’clock day/date position, which we have never seen on any other generations.
Therefore. all these have enhanced the Monster feels a notch higher than other serious dive watches in the same price point.
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 proper tool watch look and feel.
|Seiko's LumiBrite Luminous|
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 Monster Blue Vintage Ref. SBDY033 is durable and legible, with a proven robust automatic movement, excellent casework, and featuring a unique overall design.