Sometimes even the most casual of comments can lead to ownership of an amazing watch. In the case of this newest watch in the collezioni di un uomo morto, the Seiko Blue Limited Edition Baby Tuna, my good friend and WF colleague, mrneddles (AKA Doc McNeedles), had owned the watch a matter of a couple weeks when I told him how much I liked the looks of it, and asked him how well things were going with it. I recall that he gave it consistently high marks, and I thanked him, both for his time and the good info.
Not long after that, I get a note from Neds, telling me that the Blue Tuna was going to have to be a “catch-and-release” for him, as he’d just made a trip to New York and had paid a call on the good offices of the Rolex Company’s HQ in the Big Apple. Turns out that the little visit to Rolex ended with Neds’ purchase of an incredible Rolex diver, dubbed the “Hulk,” for its green sunray dial and green ceramic bezel. WOOF!, I recall thinking at the time. A brief time later, and he was asking me if I might be interested in purchasing the blue tuna, along with a few accessories. “I bought it new from Amazon for $300, also have $140 worth of un-installed Yobokies parts (a stainless steel shroud and a domed sapphire crystal) to go with it. If you are interested let me have a reasonable offer and I will ship it out to you.”
And the rest was sort of histoi’, as I made what I hoped was a generous offer to my friend who knew I’d been wanting the watch, and whom he knew was edging ever closer to buying one for himself on feeBay or at one of the dying breed of ‘brick and mortar” places that would, in the fullness of time, probably wind up going down and staying down in the ever-treacherous seas that made up the difficult environment in which paper books and – in an odd sort of alliance that might have been difficult to imagine back in the days before Borders made that last majestic deep dive from which no one could have survived, let alone re-surface and remain a functioning, profitable business – electronic tomes and music and film media kept things moving along, fiscal year after fiscal year, and everyone wondered when “the Inevitable” was going to come along and put them out of their long-endured, almost self-fulfilling misery and pain.
So, in the end, Doc McNeedles accepted my offer,and it wasn’t too long after that that this amazing watch arrived at Rancho de los Muertos…
Truly an exceptionally beautiful watch, wouldn’t you say? All of that amazing blue, especially the way the dark blue bezel fades into the lighter color that makes up the overall color of the watch and strap. It’s just that type of color continuity that the vast majority of watchmakers wish they could accomplish in their ‘mono-color’ efforts.
“Okay, Mort,” I just can almost hear some Snidely Whiplash asking, “If it’s so doggoned beautiful, why would you – or anyone else, for that matter – change anything about it?” Indeed, a rather snide query, but a good one nonetheless. And the answer? Hmmm…I dunno…how’s about “Because I can?” Or, in a more truthful vein, how about, “Because Doc McNeedles bought the stuff to make it possible?” I guess you could say that there’s some truth to both answers, but ultimately, it came down to me wanting to see for myself how these enhancements would benefit the whole picture of an already amazing watch.
Not ready, huh?
So what do I talk about?
I dunno…how about my amazing lume capability?
Hmmm… Lume? I guess so… Heck, why not?
The lume is beautifully executed. It has an initial brightness level that stays at that magnitude for just over two minutes, then remains easily readable for five and-a-half to six minutes before fading into illegibility. In other words, there’s only so much you can do with Super Luminova (which still sounds like the name of a Russian tennis star to me), but Seiko definitely hit the high marks where required. Here’s Mort’s lume shot:
I find this ‘turquoisey’ shade to be quite attractive and, in an odd way, quite interesting. Interesting? Well, yeah, interesting definitely describes it., don’t you think? Here are a couple of Seiko’s ‘loomies’:
Quite a difference, all things considered. My watch sees a shade of turquoise, and theirs picks a beautiful shade of blue. So who’s right, and who’s wrong? Color is indeed a subjective thing, but I never thought that this subjectivity could be applied to cameras. Ultimately, this isn’t a show-stopper, but again, I do find it interesting.
Now then, how about those aforementioned ‘equipment changes?’ Let’s start with the switch from synthetic rubber strap to top-of-the-line leather… with amazingly beautiful blue stitching!
The Leather Strap
Nice, huh? Just look at that color match between the strap’s stitching and the coloring of the iconic “Tuna Can shroud.”
Quite a match, huh? It’s amazing when that happens … oh, wait…
The Stainless Steel Replacement Shroud
The stainless steel vs. blue synthetic rubber shroud… Okay, maybe that’s pushing it a bit. After all, what could possibly look better than blue on blue…? Well, maybe this:
Blue on blue? Or stainless on blue…? Well, my Jeweler liked the blue better – for the color match, mainly. Even he had to admit that the blue rubber shroud felt a bit on the ‘cheesy’ side. If it was meant to protect the case and bezel, that blue, ‘rubbery’ material didn’t exactly inspire a whole lot of confidence in its ability to do so.
Besides, the closer you get…
… the better it looks …
… and the more this great-looking watch takes on a personality of its own.
It is, after all of these changes, a one-of-a-kind watch. Oh, sure, someone might someday put all of those same changes in place, but even so, it’s still unique enough to retain its one-of-kind feel. The myriad looks it gets from passers-by reaffirm this uniqueness over and over again.
The Rest of the Story
So, just what is the rest of the story? No, it’s not one of those vaguely-irritating weekly soliloquies (“The RRRRRRest of the Story”) by the late radio personality, Paul Harvey. Nor is it the closing chapter of a serialized novel by one of my favorite writers, John Steven Anderson. In most cases, the ‘rest of the story’ is pretty much the usual sub-topics you find in any well-written watch review, to include ‘wearability’ (what most folks would call ‘comfort’), ‘fit and finish,’ and ‘accuracy,’ to name a few. I usually summarize it in table format, and sometimes refer to it as ‘The Usual Yadda-Yadda,’ or something similar. However, in the case of this particular watch, it’s more a photo essay than anything else, so I’ll save the ‘Usual Yadda-Yadda’ for another watch and another time.
So that leaves us with some heretofore unseen pictures that cover areas heretofore unmentioned. It’s pretty cool when that happens…or not. Anyhow, here are the rrrrrrest of the pictures…
As almost everyone who’s owned a Seiko watch knows, the typical caseback has pretty much the same elements – a center medallion of various sizes, details and hues, surrounded by what I refer to as the “info circle,” which normally has “Stainless Steel,” “Water Resistant,” “Sapphire Crystal,” etc, as well as any special info (such as “Limited Edition,” which appears on this watch) that Seiko wishes to highlight – so the above photos should look pretty familiar. An added detail in the above photos is the base of the shroud, which gives the bottom of the case an additional quarter-inch width per side, and roughly one ounce of additional weight to the watch as a whole.
And that’s pretty much it, as far as the pictures go. I will say that this watch is amazingly comfortable, especially since being switched over to the leather strap. The 4R36 movement operates smoothly and quietly, with just a little bit of ‘wobble’ to let you know it’s there. Bottom line, it feels as good on the wrist as it looks in the pictures, and it’s certainly got all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a Limited Edition from the good folks at Seiko. And that’s about as much detail as I want to provide; any more, this will no longer be a mere ‘photo essay.’
In closing, I’d like to thank my friend, Doc Neddles, for allowing me the opportunity to not only acquire this watch, but also for the chance to bring his vision of the end product to fruition. Regretfully, I couldn’t provide before and after pictures of the upgraded sapphire crystal, but I don’t have ready access to a scanning electron microscope, and the hourly rate to ‘borrow’ one costs more than the watch. Sorry ‘bout that, Doc…
As always, many thanks for stopping by.