Another Chinese bargain watch – the Sea-Gull M177S.
First impressions are good – it comes in a decent box, with a manual entirely in Mandarin. But manuals are for wimps, right?
The Sea-Gull M177S - great no-frills look
I love the look of this watch. It’s quite understated, the dial and hands are of great standard, and the watch case is nicely finished. A very happy unboxing indeed!
Talking of boxes – here it is! All nicely done, and let’s not forget this is a £ 80 watch. I got mine off eBay. I wouldn’t be too unhappy getting a £ 500 watch in a case like that. The auto-winder works well and doesn’t make an unpleasant noise, and the watch ticks happily at 21,600 bph / 6 bps. It has the ST-1612-3 movement, which is made by Sea-Gull themselves. Sea-Gull has a very similar model with 8 bps, the 816.351, which comes with a metal strap, but looks almost identical, but you will have to fork out £ 360 or so for that – it uses the ST2130 movement. I have it as my everyday watch, and I love it. Another review for another day….
Onwards and upwards, let’s take our watch apart and see what it is made of!
The glass back allows a look onto the nicely finished movement
From the back, it looks just as nice. You can see the M177S etched into the glass, and the glass back allowing a view of the balance wheel and cock. The back is held in place with 4 screws, which are easily removed.
With the back removed, you can see the rubber seal and a plastic ring holding the movement in place. Yes, I would have preferred metal, but think of the price of the watch ... Functionally, nothing wrong with the plastic. It holds the movement firmly in place and does its job.
I remove the auto winder assembly before taking the movement out of the case. I like the brush pattern on the bridges
With the movement taken out of the case, it's time to remove the hands. The piece of paper with a slit cut into it protects the dial - it would be a shame to scratch it
The aluminium watch face has a holding ring at the back that has two pins
The date ring
Having removed the screw that holds the balance cock, I prise it lose with the help of a screwdriver
Balance cock with balance and hairspring
Now it's time to wind the main spring down. I re-insert the winding shaft, turn it slightly until the click lifts, and insert a piece of sharpened pegwood to lift the click
The third & fourth wheel bridge removed, you can see the escapement wheel. The strip running across the barrel is the click
A close-up of the finish of the bridge. Quite impressive for the money!
All wheels bar the centre wheel removed - this required taking off the cannon pinion from the other side first
This is the arbor that drives the second hand - it goes right through the centre wheel. The rough surface at the bottom end is ok - the second hand has to hold on to that just by friction. The pinion end looks well executed
Close-up of the pallets - one of my very few hairs on the right for size comparison
The escapement wheel under the microscope with the focus on the pinion
The movement is turned around and the date wheel is removed
The date mechanism is now visible
And here is the movement taken apart
The spring for the date wheel click is inserted through a slit in the cover after assembly of the date mechanism - you can see it in on top of the plate ready to be put into place. On my first attempt, it flicked right out and I spent 20 minutes looking for it. It's rather small, but I finally found it
I turn the watch until the date changes, and then mount the hands at 12:00
The movement goes back into the case, the plastic ring is put back and the winding pin is put back into place
And the watch is ticking again happily
All in all, another great Chinese watch considering the price. You have to compare this with an £ 80 watch and not with a Rolex.
I like this one better than the Parnis watches – it is also a little bit more expensive, and has a very nice dial and case.
If I have one point of criticism to make, it’s the noisy auto-winder…
Let’s see how it performs when hooked up to the timegrapher.
You can’t call that shabby for the price of the watch! You can regulate this baby to give you a real live performance of +/- 6s/day or so.
Otherwise a great watch, full marks!