Falling under the ‘below $300’ entry-level dive watches category, both the Seiko SKX007 and Orient Black Mako are remarkable timepieces. So let’s go through features and specifications to assess how closely related or vastly different they are.
Here’s a short video comparison review of the Seiko SKX007 & Orient Black Mako:
Although the SKX007 and Black Mako both have a case diameter of 40 mm, when placed side by side the former looks slightly thicker, thanks to its prominent bezel. The case thickness for both is 13 mm, common for automatic dive watches, and the bracelets of both watches are 22 mm. Hence, there’s no prominent difference in size between the SKX007 and Black Mako.
Based on their looks, the SKX007 and Black Mako can easily be categorized as sporty and dressy, respectively.
Unlike its name, the Black Mako actually has matte dark grey dial similar to that of SKX007. The Seiko dive watch has geometrical hour markers, with the arrow-tipped minute hand being its most striking feature which tips it in the sporty watch category. The Orient watch has Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 positions, all having chromed outlines, including the hour and minute hands and day/date window.
Although both dive watches have a mineral crystal dial window, that of the SKX007 rests slightly lower than the bezel which protects it from scratches. On the contrary, the glass on the Black Mako is set to be 1 mm higher than its beveled bezel, which gives the watch a dressier and formal look. However, the same feature makes the glass more prone to damage.
The SKX007’s bezel is easier to turn at first, but after a few times of using, the Black Mako’s bezel is just as smooth . One screw-down crown sits at the 4’o clock position on the SKX007, while the Black Mako has a screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock position along with a pusher at the 2 o’clock.
The jubilee style bracelet of the SKX007 did not receive many favorable reviews as users commented that it looks of an inferior quality as compared to the rest of the watch. Similar is the case with the Black Mako bracelet – although it has a president style triple-link bracelet that is brushed in the middle and polished on either side, it still doesn’t look compatible with the watch.
Just as all Seiko SKXxxx movements are known for their reliability and durability, the SKX007 is also powered the brand’s popular caliber, the 7S26, which runs off around 10 -15 seconds/day. For the Black Mako, Orient has placed its in-house movement, the 46943 caliber, at its heart with 21 jewels and a frequency of just 6 beats/second. When it comes to quality and reliability, both movements are at par with each other.
The LumiBrite technology used by Seiko is the brand’s quintessence, as its bright lume offers superior legibility for over 3 hours after a quick 10 minutes charge. However, lume is not the strongest points for Orient. The Black Mako has luminous hands and hour marks which are visible in complete darkness, but the lume is no match against the intensity and longevity of the SKX007 Lumibrite.
Both dive watches are water resistant to a depth of 200 meters. But what gives the SKX007 an upper hand over the Black Mako is its ISO 6425 certification. An ISO certification for Seiko watches makes them more reliable and trustworthy as dive watches for scuba diving because they have added features and more standardized than Orient timepieces. On the downside, acquiring the certification slightly increases the cost of the SKX007.
If you are looking for a sporty looking day-watch that is all about usability and readability, go for the SKX007, as its raised bezel, dial aesthetics, and specifications make it an athletic timepiece. Otherwise, if it’s an elegant and formal looking dive watch you’re after, which will easily slip under the cuff of you dress shirt, pick the Black Mako. The SKX007 is more reliable when it comes to a waterproof watch for scuba diving, but the Black Mako is more elegant and stylish, with a little sacrifice on functionality.