Over the last couple of years, Seiko has realized how extremely popular their TUNA can watches has become among watch enthusiast. No wonder they decided to fill every price segment of the market with this famous shrouded diver’s watch. Today, we will be doing the unboxing and a hands-on review of their latest affordable Tuna, Seiko Solar SBDN028.
Seiko SBDN028 is a part of the limited edition series of affordable Solar Tunas, which has been announced in May 2016. Other watches in the series are SBDN021, SBDN023, SBDN025, SBDN026, SBDN029. All of the watches are limited to 3000 pieces, with SBDN029 being to only one limited to just 400 pieces.
I decided to preorder SBDN028 from Higuchi because is a well known Seiko dealer who has proven to be very reliable. The watch cost $385 with EMS shipping included. The package was really well secured with a nice and thick cardboard box. Inside the package there was the watch box containing the Tuna itself as well as a nice origami card promoting 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Thank you Higuchi-san! The watch is shipped in a black cardboard box with Prospex logo. Iniside you will find a lot of paperwork including user manual, warranty booklet, as well as a short leaflet describing Seiko Diver’s watches history.
Seiko Solar Tuna SBDN028 comes on a black silicone strap. The strap has a wave pattern to it and it’s really soft; however, I don’t find it to be the best combo for this black/gold Tuna. As a result, I almost immediately decided to put it on a black nato strap with a golden hardware. Now we are talking!
This new line of Seiko Tunas is slightly smaller than regular 300m quartz Tunas. They are also noticeable lighter due to the fact the shroud is made of high quality matte plastic instead of a stainless steel. The watch is 45.85mm in diameter and just 12.1mm high, which makes it a great alternative for Tuna lovers who happen to have smaller wrists. For my 7,5 inch wrist the SBDN028 wears rather on the small side. It doesn’t look silly but I prefer the size of my SBBN015 quartz Tuna.
I decided to go with SBDN028 because for me it’s the most appealing colour scheme of the new series. It reminds me of original golden Tunas from 1970’s and 1980’s. The case on this one is made of stainless steel and has a black DLC coating on it. The bezel, screws on the shroud and the crown have golden DLC coating and I must admit it looks really nice. I just love these golden accents, they make the watch pop.
You will find “naked” stainless steel just on the caseback. The caseback reveals an interesting information that the watch was cased in China with only the movement being produced in Japan. I don’t mind that the watch was assambled in China as long as Seiko production standards are met. Speaking of which, the watch is really well made. Everything fits nicely together, there is even no famous misalignment issue of a chapter ring.
The watch is powered by Seiko V147 solar movement, which means that you don’t have to change battery at all, as it is powered by the solar energy. It’s really convenient solution and I wish Seiko released a higher end Tuna which solar movement as well.
Is SBDN028 worth the asking price of $385? I’m not really sure to be honest. Yes it’s a Tuna, yes it’s well made but it feels more like $200 watch to me. I think that Seiko pushed their marketing a little bit too much with this series by making it a limited edition. However, to give my final verdict I have to spend more time with this watch so subscribe to Lug2Lug and get ready for in-depth review in the upcoming weeks!