6R15 Mechanical – SARB045

Recently, a couple of early and popular 6R15 models from the Spirit line were discontinued and some people are rushing to buy them because they were much lower in price compared to the current models.

This time round, I had the opportunity to look at the blue dialed SARB045, one of the more expensive 6R15 models to find out what makes it cost more.

Here are the discontinued models that were priced at less than JPY40,000 inclusive of tax.

Below are four of the current 6R15 dress watch models that are priced above JPY50,000 (tax included)  including the Alpinist. It can be seen that the SARB045 and SARB039 are the higher priced models among them.

I have seen the SARB039 in-person but have yet to take a closer look to find out the reasons behind its pricing.

As for the SARB045, below are some areas that I believe contributed to its pricing.

Hour markers
The hour markers of this watch are shaped like chocolate bars. The 12 o’clock marker is made up of three bars while the rest of the markers are made of two bars. These hour markers are certainly more beefy than those on the other models.

If you take a closer look, you will find that the hour markers have got textured surface. I guess it probably cost a bit more to make them.

Case design and finishing
This is another area that was given more attention. The case design of this watch is slightly more sophisticated than most 6R15 models. It has more surfaces and probably requires more man hours to work on and not to mention its outstanding case finishing which one would notice the moment he picks up the watch.

The other parts of the watch including the hands, bracelet, crown and caseback are pretty much the same quality as the other models (except the Alpinist that has screw-in crown and solid caseback).

Overall, the SARB045 has a little more attention to details to justify its price.

Final thought
I own or have owned some of the models mentioned in this post and in my opinion, all of them are priced according to their built quality. I believe Seiko will continue to make improvement to future 6R15 models and up their prices in a slow and steady manner. These affordable “hack and handwind” watches will eventually cost more so grab the older models while they are still available.

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Seiko SARB045 featured in this post is provided by:

K2 Watch Company
845 Geylang Road, Tanjong Katong Complex
#03-K1. Singapore 400845
Tel: 6746 0270

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26 thoughts on “6R15 Mechanical – SARB045

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the review of this model. It is very unique in it’s design and stands out well. I agree that the build quality has improved tremendously, hence the increased price over the outgoing models.

    The similarities of the hour markers to Kit-Kat is so disturbing! I think I’ll have a break and have a kit-kat now. . .

    Best regards,

    Ian

    • Hi Ian,

      The unique design is matched by some unique colors too. Besides the blue SARB045, I also like the color of the SARB025.

      SARB025

      Best regards,
      Thomas
      Thomas

  2. The SARB series looks sensational. Unlike cheaper watches, they look amazing even close up, as these pics show.

    Worth every $, and I’ll definitely add one (probably the SARB021) before Seiko stops production.

    Nice article.

  3. Thomas,

    I enjoyed this review, especially the bit about the chocolate bars and the pic. That made me smile. Also liked the macro shot of the texture on the indices. Good work (as usual)!

    Regards,

    Bryan

    • Thanks, Bryan.
      Besides chocolate bars, the indices also remind me of gold bars. After comparing the two, I think the Kit-Kat chocolate bar is closer.

      Goldbars

      Best regards,
      Thomas

  4. Thomas,
    The gold bar resemblance also occurred to me. But Kit Kat chocolate image is better. The good feeling–a high, if you will–of munching on a Kit Kat is like, well, like wearing your favorite Seiko on your wrist.

    • Hi KC,

      Wearing my favorite watch definitely feels better than munching Kit-Kat bars but nothing beats having a few pieces of those gold bars in the safe :)

      Best regards,
      Thomas

    • Hi Nicholas,

      You can get it from seiyajapan.com or higuchi-inc.com. If you prefer to buy locally, please check with Big Time (bigtime@singnet.com.sg).

      Best regards,
      Thomas

  5. I own both, the blue dial Seiko SARB045 featured in this article and the black dial SARB033 (Oyster bracelet) and successor of the Seiko Spirit SCVS001.

    The SARB045 does feel more substantial than the 033 in nearly every aspect of the equation. As Yeoman pointed out, the case finishing is more detailed, brushed sides, crown guards and more complex interaction between finely applied polished surfaces and brushed ones. The bracelet (Some say it feels as good as the Marine Master 300m diver) is definitely much higher quality and more substantial feeling than the Oyster bracelet found in the SARB033.

    By the way, the price difference between the SARB033 and this SARB045 is about USD $125.

    I love both of these watches. They convey classic Japanese dress watch design cues that will prove to offer a timeless style to the wearer. Also these dress SARB watches remind me quite a bit of their higher priced distant cousins from the Grand Seiko mechanical range. As a matter of fact, my SARB033 can easily be mistaken from a distance to a Grand Seiko or an Omega Aquaterra.

    People don’t yet realize the huge value these 6r15 SARB watches truly represent. These are some of the best sub USD$1,000 Seikos to come out of the Japan domestic market.

    Grab a couple before they are gone or the prices increase further.

    • Hi Mini,

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the SARB dress watches.
      Hope that Seiko will continue to make them at affordable prices.

      Best regards,
      Thomas

    • I believe the two movements will look similar if you by them side by side. However, the 6R15 movement comes with hack and handwind whereas the 4R15 does not.

    • Hi ‘Hack’ means the second hand will stop when you pull the crown out to the time setting position. Handwind means you can wind the watch manually eben though the 6R15 is a automatic movement.

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  9. What a beautifull Seiko , looks like a Grand Seiko in fact & the build quality is of high standard . Its literally indentical to my SARB023J , colours of dials the only differnce it would seem .
    These JDM- SARB’s , are incredible value for $$ vs quality ratio . IMO they will be highly sort after collectables , in the future .

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