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The Atlas and Map Meter series of watches have a unique design of their own that some may not appreciate because it doesn’t resemble the 6105’s, 6309’s or the Marinemaster that they are familiar with. I don’t blame them because the Map Meter watch is not a dive watch and should not be perceived as one. Some sellers on eBay call it ‘dive watch’ which is inappropriate and misleading. I must admit I had that misperception before but now I realized it is a ‘land’ watch. Maybe it wasn’t very clear on the Atlas but the Map Meter is clearly a ‘land watch’. It has a compass bezel for finding direction and a map meter for measuring distances on maps. Sure, it has a water resistance rating of 200m but so does the Prospex Landmasters. Therefore, when I look at the SKZ Map Meter watch, I look at it from a ‘land watch’ perspective. I won’t compare it with any Seiko diver at all. I think Seiko has opened up a new category of Seiko 5 with the Atlas and Map Meter. Instead of ‘Map Meter’, I am very tempted to call it ‘Seiko 5 Landmaster’ although I wouldn’t entrust my life to it.
I have the following guesses as to why the plastic part is used:
– to help reduce the weight since it is quite a heavy watch.
– for extra shock protection
– purely from a design standpoint to add some character to the watch
– to reduce manufacturing cost since steel is getting more expensive 🙂
As you can see in the pictures below, the caseback is surrounded by a plastic ring. The crown guards on both sides are joined by the plastic ring and this whole thing is actually a one-piece plastic instead of three separate pieces.
I hope it can last as long as the watch….
Warranty card and hang tags.
Watch came with nylon bund strap that is backed by leather on the underside for water resistance. Upon removing the strap, I discovered that it uses 22mm spring bars of normal thickness as opposed to the thicker ones used by the Seiko divers. For me, it means there are more strap options for the watch. In fact, I have changed the nylon band to a Kevlar style strap that I bought previously from globalwatchband.com.
The screw-in crown is knurled and is signed with the ‘5’ logo. The circumference of the bezel is also knurled just like the other SKZ’s. And being a compass bezel, it rotates smoothly in both directions. Unlike the dive watch bezel, the compass bezel does not ratchet nor click when it rotates.
The caseback is nicely done with a combination of brushed and polished surfaces. Instead of the usual "Stainless Steel", this one is inscribed with "St Steel + Plastics". At 41mm diameter, this has got to be the biggest Seiko caseback I have seen so far. It reaches all the way to the circumference of the watch case as you can see in the picture below.
The lume on the lumibrite hands is pretty bright but I can’t say the same for the markers. They have pretty weak lume.
I went with the orange version because the color of the dial and that of the stainless steel bezel offer better color contrast against the black plastic guards.
Please click on any thumb to see a larger image