Last week we took a look at the new Orient Mako USA, Orient’s reimagining of one of their most popular entry-level divers. At $225, the Mako USA—which comes updated with some higher-end specs—offers some serious bang-for-your-buck value. The comments section for that review understandably brought up comparisons to the SKX007, Seiko’s flagship diver and probably the most iconic affordable dive watch currently on the market. So it got us thinking, does the new and improved Mako rival the venerable SKX007?

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that it’s not exactly a fair comparison. After all, the SKX007 is considerably cheaper, readily available for approximately $160 (the made in Japan version is considerably more) on either a rubber or a stainless steel bracelet. But if you take into account that an aftermarket bracelet with solid end links tacks on another $60, give or take, then the two watches line up in terms of monetary value. So, for the fun of it, let’s compare these two excellent dive watches and see each one stacks up.
Case

As we noted in our review, the case of the SKX007 is unique to Seiko and represents a natural progression of a design lineage going back several models, among them the 62MAS, the 6105, the 6306/9, and finally the 7002. Coming in at approximately 42.5mm wide with a lug-to-lug length of 46mm, the case is well proportioned and it wears a bit smaller than its dimensions might suggest given the shorter lugs. The case on the Mako USA is similarly sized at 41.5mm with a lug-to-lug length of 47mm. The Mako wears about the same and looks balanced on the wrist. Both cases are 13mm thick (13.25mm for the SKX007, to be exact), and neither sits too high off the wrist. Both cases feature a mix of polished and brushed surfaces without any sharp transitions. They’re also both water resistant up to 200m, but the SXK007 has the distinction of being ISO-rated.

The biggest visual and structural difference between the two cases is the positioning of the crowns (between 3 and 4 o’clock on the SXK007 and at the traditional 3 o’clock on the Mako) and the addition of a pusher at 2 o’clock on the Mako. The pusher configures the date function, so it’s more of a necessity to get full functionality out of the movement (more on this later). The crown action on the Mako is decidedly better than that of the SKX007, which is known for being relatively underwhelming.
Both watches have 120-click bezels, though one might argue that the bezel on the Mako USA is better built. Each click feels solid and sure on the Mako and there is absolutely no back play. It hits the standard of what we’ve come to expect from a well-built diver for under $1000. Before I compare the bezel on the SKX007, I should say that the construction on it is by no means bad. In fact, the bezel on the SKX007 is relatively well executed. However, it does have a sort of alternating hard click/soft click as you rotate it, giving it that low-resistance feel one normally finds on lower-end dive watches. That said, I personally prefer the bezel on the SKX007, as the Mako bezel is a bit too stiff for my liking. I also prefer Seiko’s two-tiered groove pattern that allows for a sure grip, as well as the inclusion of a shielded lume pip. Ultimately, I’d argue that both bezels are well done at their respective price points, and that any preference with regard to action will come from the individual.

One of the biggest selling points of the Mako USA is the updated sapphire crystal. The SKX007 is equipped with Hardlex, Seiko’s proprietary mineral crystal that, according to Seiko, is supposed to better handle scratches. Between the two, sapphire has the advantage of being far more scratch-resistant. In the case of the Mako, the crystal also sits a little lower in the case/bezel, so it is less likely to get banged up from daily wear. In the case of the SKX007, the use of Hardlex adds to the legibility of the dial, whereas the sapphire crystal detracts from it on the Mako due to lack of AR.
Dial and Hands

Aesthetically, the two dials are incredibly different. The SKX007 boasts a no-nonsense tool diver look. It’s highly legible with big bold white markers packed in with Seiko’s incredible lume and laid against a black base. The hours and minutes hands are classic Seiko, with a sword shaped hours hand and a stylized arrow for the minutes. There is no extraneous text or branding, just the logo under 12 o’clock and the water resistance rating above 6. The look is a bit spartan, but it’s also highly effective.

In contrast, the Mako USA dial redesign is definitely a dressier take on a dive watch. The markers are steel bordered, as is the calendar aperture. The Orient logo and crest are also more ornate than Seiko’s logo, and add further credence to dress diver assessment. That said, it’s an incredibly attractive design, one that is well matched to the handset and to the overall aesthetic of the watch. The lume quality has also been improved from the classic model.
One area where the Mako fails to compare to the SKX007 is the day/date wheel. In our review of the Mako, we discussed some of the alignment and kerning issues with the day wheel, most evident on “FRI.” The Seiko has no such problems.

Movements

Comparing the two movements is actually interesting because they’re both essentially older Seiko movements (Orient is a subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corporation), so the architecture and specs are quite similar.* Seiko’s 7s26 movement is a beloved industry workhorse. It’s also one of the simplest automatic systems around, built around 4 primary moving parts. It features a quickset day/date display, automatic bi-directional winding (via Seiko’s patented Magic Lever system), 21 jewels, a beat rate of 21,600 bph, and it doesn’t hack or handwind. In terms of accuracy however, the range is quite large, with the 7s26 rated at approximately -20 to +40 seconds per day. Based on reports, the 7s26 seems to run the gamut out of the box. That said, the movement can be adjusted to achieve greater accuracy.
The post Side-By-Side: Seiko SKX007 + Orient Mako USA appeared first on worn&wound.



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