The Seiko SSC-031 is one of my all-time favorite watches. I probably grab it more often than others lately because it’s big, bold, and colorful with a faded Pepsi bezel and deep blue dial. It’s a super tough ISO-certified dive watch rated to 200 meters and it has the added functionality of a chronograph to go along with the standard dive bezel, both of which I use frequently. It’s extremely comfortable on a NATO strap, plus it’s solar powered.
And that’s the hangup for a lot of people — it’s not an automatic. I don’t mind that. It’s not a requirement for every watch I wear. Every time I pick it up, the time is right. There’s no battery to replace, so no reason to open the case and disturb the factory gaskets. It’s the perfect watch for the Apocalypse, not that I’m preparing for that . . .
I do find I wear this watch for several days at a time, rather than one or two, like I do with most of my other watches. I think it’s a perfect casual/sports watch for daily wear, though probably a bit over the top for everyday wear in an office setting.
This Pepsi Seiko comes on a great looking rubber strap with the expanding wetsuit ridges that Seiko straps are famous for. Unfortunately, it’s a bit stiff for my liking, but it’s extremely comfortable on the black and grey James Bond-style NATO strap. Except the two strips of nylon between the caseback and my wrist make the watch sit pretty high on the wrist, making it appear even bigger than it is.
With a case diameter of 43.5mm, it’s on the edge of being too big for my wrists already, plus the current trend in watches in on the smaller side. The Maratac Large Pilot Watch is the only watch I own and wear that is bigger than this. The Large Pilot’s 46mm case is oversized to mimic the primary timekeeper of an early aviator, with his huge watch strapped to the outside wrist of the flight suit for easy visibility.
So, with the goal of reducing the apparent size and actual height of the watch, while maintaining the comfort and water resistance of the NATO strap, I am in search of a new 20mm 2-piece strap to give new life to one of my favorite watches.
While I appreciate the black and grey strap, it’s time to try a new look. I’ve tried it on a red strap that didn’t match the bezel’s red, but it sort of looked thrown together.
Rather than compete with the color of the watch itself, a neutral black, which echos the original black rubber strap, is the direction I want to go.
Clockwork Synergy is a popular brand among Reddit regulars in r/Watches, ships for free on Amazon and has 4.5 stars from 48 reviewers. I’m going to start there and will update this post as necessary.
The Clockwork Synergy black nylon 2-piece strap did the trick! The back of the watch is flush with my skin while the nylon straps are comfortable and hug my wrist. It’s still a pretty thick watch at 14.5mm, but it’s no longer bouncing around on top of another 2.3mm of nylon strap. This watch is ready for anything.