Seiko SSC081 solar chronograph watch struts the WW2 fighter pilot look – review

Seiko SSC081P1 solar chronograph watch cuts the WW2 fighter pilot look

With its matte black face, compass markings and big luminous numbers, Seiko’s SSC081 solar chronograph looks like it was inspired by the flight deck of a WW2 Lancaster bomber.

Seiko SSC081 solar chronograph watch cuts the WW2 fighter pilot look

The look may be retro, but it’s a watch that’s bang up to date, powered by light and packing a chronograph, alarm and compass indicator in a stylish package.

Available in several flavours with different coloured hands and straps, the Seiko SSC081 we looked at comes with a smart brown leather strap, fixed stainless steel bezel, black dial with bright, luminous hands and index hour markers, and the date displayed in a small cut out window.

The luminous hands proved to be very bright indeed, and kept their ‘charge’ for some time,  so there was no problem reading the time in the dead of night.

Seiko SSC081 solar chronograph watch cuts the WW2 fighter pilot look - review

The compass scale rotates 360 degrees and is moved by a recessed knob at the top  left of the watch.

There’s not an actual compass on board though, with the dial only there for reference.

Seiko SSC081 solar chronograph watch cuts the WW2 fighter pilot look - review

Covered in non-reflective, scratch resistant Hardlex crystal, the chronograph has a diameter of 41 mm with a case thickness of 13 mm, so it’s not too big on the wrist and the weight is about right too.

With its advertised water resistance to 100 meters/330 feet, the Seiko should be fine for casual swimming, but deep sea divers may want to look elsewhere.

Seiko SSC081 solar chronograph watch cuts the WW2 fighter pilot look - review

Verdict:

Retailing around the £240 mark, we think this is a lovely watch for the price.

It looks fantastic, is well built and feels like it should last a very long time – and we like the retro lines too.

As well as the model above with its white hands, there’s also cheaper versions with green/white handsa moody blue one and a lively orange one too.

Update: I’m selling this watch on eBay now (sale ends on the 18th March 2013)

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