Seiko SNK809 vs Citizen BM8180

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Citizen on the left Seiko on the right

 

Differences

Seiko SNK 809

Citizen Bm8180

Movement Automatic (7S26C) Eco-Drive Quartz
Type Field Field
Price $59.34 $123.75
Case Diameter 37 mm 37.2 mm
Case Thickness 11 mm 9.5 mm

 

Although both watches are beautiful and respected in the horology community and have vast overlaps in aesthetics and function. There remain key differences that make each watch worth contemplating over.

 

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First off the movements:

The Seiko SNK 809 supports an automatic movement (for the more enthusiast they probably already know it’s the 7S26C). An automatic movement basically means you power the watch by wearing it and if you don’t wear it for more than 40 hours the watch stops moving.   

However, there is no need to worry as you can simply pick it back up and shake it, in order to get it moving again. For more information general information on the Seiko SNK809 you can click this Amazon link, it would give you more general details like the glass material and roundness points that I will not get to cover in this article. 

The Citizen Bm8180 supports an Eco-Drive powered quartz watch. It takes energy from artificial lights and sunlight and converts that energy to charge a battery located in the watches belly. The watch has a capacity of around 6 months but if you wear it daily then it should be able to charge it within a day. The key difference is that you almost never have to interact with the watch, unlike automatics which require you to adjust the times if not worn for more than 2 days in a row. So in a ways, you can save time by taking advantage of the quartz movement. Also, it’s much more accurate than automatics due to its superior technology.

 

Maintenance:

Seiko:  Don’t worry about maintenance costs because you will probably lose the watch or throw it out once it starts dysfunctioning since it will most likely be cheaper to purchase a new one. That is the truth behind this humble workhorse watch. It will never reach the heights of being an heirloom piece however it still performs its jobs dutifully like most of the humanity.

 

Citizen: The only maintenance this watch need is the initial setup and maybe once every 2 months where you change the date to match with the 30 – 31 days on the calendar thing. Other than that the watch will literally practically run on its own. As long as the sun rises then this watch will work like the rest of the world around us.  

 

Case and Size:

Seiko: The case at 37mm diameter and 11mm thickness with 18mm lug width, stainless steel with a brushed finish. This watch was designed with the person with smaller wrists in mind. And the brushed stainless steel offers durability while minimizing the glare and flashiness of the watch. In a ways, it adds more humbleness and efficiency like the Japanese craftsmanship behind the watch. While the 18mm lug widths provide a very good platform for strap swaps to give the watch more versatility and POP if one desires.

 

Citizen: Similarly with the Citizen Bm8180 you have a 37.2 mm diameter, 9mm thickness, and 18mm lug/band width. However, the Citizen has a polished steel look that gives the watch a shine when the light hits it at the right angle. I also suspect that this polished metal look will show wear and tear faster than the Seiko’s brushed metal look.

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Price:

Seiko: The price comes to an extremely affordable $59.34 (USD) on Amazon, sometimes it will drop to the below 55 area if one waits patiently. The price level makes this watch an excellent candidate for a gateway automatic for novice collectors or just someone looking for an automatic better.

 

Citizen: The price of a Citizen Bm8180 comes to a $123.75 on Amazon (prices may vary from season to season), although it costs more than Seiko, it is still a fairly inexpensive option for a watch that will keep you on time for years to come.

 

Personal Experience:

The reasons that lead me to buy the Seiko SNK809 were;

  1. I was a broke college student obsessed with automatic movements and wanted to stand out from the sea of flashy “fashion” watches.
  2. I have relatively really small wrist so things like the Seiko Orange Monster and Omega Speed Master just looks plain wrong to me. (Simple rule of thumb if the watch hangs over the side of your wrist it’s too big).
  3. No Battery Changes!
  4. The glass back was cool and an added bonus, (good for small talk among colleague and girls at the bar).

All was good until one faithful day I was rushing to work, so I shoved my trusty Seiko into my front pocket and walked out the door. While half sprinting towards the nearby subway station, I made a fatal error in trying to put my watch on. Lo and behold it slipped and smacked down onto the concrete floor 4 feet below. And the second hand ceased to stop working no matter how many more times I shook it. So, I’m guessing the durability isn’t that high on this watch but maybe it’s not meant to be dropped on concrete.

Hence my second watch the Citizen Bm8180, chosen for its simpler and hopefully sturdier quartz movement, that and not having to adjust the time and date every Monday morning. So far excellent for pick up and forget type of watch, although I do miss the ever so smooth sweeping hands of the Seiko SNK 809.

 

Full Disclosure:

If you have to literally decide on picking either one, I would literally flip a coin as either one is very well respected in the community and very high-quality products.

 

 

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