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These are now readily available on the usual platforms, and even if at $25.57 the saving is not big compared to "official" SII suppliers, I wanted to check it out anyway. It arrived fairly quickly in a month. I'm posting large size pictures in case anyone wants to check on any finishing detail. Too bad I didn't got the cute Chinese day disk <_<

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The first obvious question, is this a genuine item? My thinking is that somehow, it is. Even if Seiko claims that SII branded mov't are made in Japan, I would be very surprised if they weren't actually manufacturing in other Far East countries as well. The look and feel is the same as the other I've handled, however at this time I don't have another for a detailed comparison, neither the inclination to take take it dully apart to inspect lubrication and other small details. So I'm limiting this article to simple instrument verification. Below it's how it arrived. I have seen many brand new Seiko watches in similar show.

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After a bit of regulation at the Etachron pin I couldn't do better than this, respectively dial up and crown down. Again, that is not any different from specification and typical performances.

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That looks surprisingly much the same as a 'genuine' one.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover they are in fact the same factories manufacturing Seiko's movements for them, (albeit with less rigorous qc perhaps?). Seiko's own movements carry immensely in regulation and I've had a few new with noticeable beat error, I'll bet that if you stripped cleaned and oiled that it would improve dramatically, maybe just try cleaning and re oiling the balance jewels to see what difference if any?

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46 minutes ago, clockboy said:

I am sure many of branded watch items are now produced in the far east. For $25.57 why bother to service just replace. 

The first victim of these prices could be Seiko itself. They sell watches with the above mov't costing easily $400 or even $800 when touted as "limited edition", which makes collectors drool. And they charge I guess around $150 to service in their official centers. Just replace the rotor with the Seiko branded one and you're done, there are no other differences.
I wonder however what's the business sense of selling so cheap a distinguished quality product, where's the profit?
Good for buyers and to popularize mechanical watches, but I doubt it can be good for the company.

Edited by jdm

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5 hours ago, AndyHull said:

What strikes me is that the suppliers are not shouting "Genuine Sekio" on their web pages, so perhaps these *are* clones.

They should not say Seiko. The maker name is SII (Seiko Instruments International), which just as the model number is kept different as they are intended for OEMs. And the SII logo on rotor is well visible in pictures

Quote

If so, they are remarkably good ones, but by the same token, so are some of the fake watches on the market these days. 
These two links do add weight to these being clones.

What I find remarkable is that they are able to retail and deliver a SS case and solid links bracelet for a little above $50. Their margin must be very, very small.
As I said the AliX price is not much higher than more established channels e.g. $36.80 http://www.startimesupply.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=NH35
One would get the "Chinese" price for a sized order directly from Hong Kong.

 

Edited by jdm

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