By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
Two years ago, in February 2012, I decided to get the Seiko SNM035 “Land Monster” via Amazon. I got attracted by the twin crown at the 2 and 4 o’clock positions as well as the map function on an internal bezel.
I got to say that I am not a serious amateur diver, but many of us can appreciate a highly functional instrument like the Seiko SNM035 Land Monster. This watch looks more like a tool than a fashion accessory, and to me, that’s its appeal.
The first thing you would notice is its size. Nicknamed the Land Monster, its 45 mm wide watch face makes it standout on anyone’s wrist. Coupled with the 15 mm thick case, this watch tends to create a very strong impression. Unfortunately, the size does limit its use from formal events. It would be very difficult for the watch to easily slip under the cuffs. Compared to the more famous Seiko SKX779 Black Monster with dimensions of just 42 mm by 14 mm, the SNM035 is the bigger brother. Although the Land Monster’s dimensions provide easy readouts and allows it to have more features compared to the more famous Black Monster, the inability to be wearable in all occasions, namely with formal wear, is a disadvantage against it. Although one cannot blame it since it is designed for diving anyway, it could have shared the limelight with its more illustrious brother if the dimensions have been made slightly smaller.
The Seiko SNM035 has a very bold looking unidirectional rotating bezel with 60-minute scale and luminous marker at the 12 o’clock position. The first twenty minutes worth of markers are painted orange (the rest are black) for additional referencing. Do note that the markers and the Arabic numbering are etched into the metal and painted over. Even if the paint deteriorates over time, one can still see the markers and numberings.
The main markers on the dial as well the over-sized hands allows a copious amount of Lumibrite paint, a special luminous chemical made by Seiko to be put on it. This ensure that one can see the dial even in darken conditions (subject to the luminous paint being sufficiently charges by an external light source).
The seconds hand is coloured differently, i.e. in orange to match a part of the bezel. Meanwhile, a date window is located at the 4 o’clock position and replaces the marker at that position. Personally, I would have preferred a stand-alone date window while maintaining a lumed marker at the 4 o’clock position. This would make the watch dial look more consistent and complete.
A unique function of this watch is the 360-degree compass scale on the dial flange which is fully rotatable for setting bearings and solar navigation, made adjustable by the crown at the 4 o’clock position (the crown at 2 o’clock adjusts date and time). By following a simple set of rules and having the sun available, one can more-or-less accurately get a compass bearing. Below is manual on how to use it.
Meor Amri Meor Ayob – Contributing Editor
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!) on his own free time.
His blogs on the same subject are: Watch Collection Hobby & My Horological Photos