Seiko’s entry-level sub-brand has recently revealed a series of youth-oriented, sporty timepieces equipped with XXL-sized crown covers. The new Alba by Seiko Canteen AXHK21X was among them.
Everyone has got to have a Plan B.
Any business that plans to survive for another decade ought to have a sub-brand or two in order to grab prospective customers while they are still young and poor, make them loyal offering a quality product and good service, and, when they finish the college, offer them a choice of more expensive models created by the mother brand.
And when the same customers grow older and more reach and run head-on into their middle-life crisis, the mother brand has to offer them another, much more expensive sub-brand that will, again, offer them a choice of luxury goods that will be adequate to their new status.
That’s called diversification.
Just like other major international corporations, Seiko uses this approach, too. Besides the affordable Seiko models, they also sell the ultra-expensive, hand-built Credor watches.
For the financially challenged, but young and energetic they offer their cheap, but reliable and well-built Alba watches.
This Alba by Seiko Canteen AXHK21X, for example, is powered by the Seiko in-house Caliber VX42 quartz movement. Widely used by Seiko and some minor brands both in Asia and in Europe, it has a reputation of an accurate and reliable gadget (for a movement that costs around $10 apiece.)
The movement is hidden inside a bulky, rugged-looking case. Not very large, it is still very wide thanks to its canteen-style setting crown totaling whole 47 millimeters from side to side.
The crown is very big (well, that’s why it is called Canteen anyways,) but since it is mounted at 9 o’clock, it won’t hurt the back of your hand. However, for the very same reason, operating this watch without getting it off the wrist may prove difficult.
As you can see in the photos, the AXHK21X offers a high-contrast, easily-readable black and orange dial that mates perfectly with the black PVD-coated body.
Since any sporty timekeeper is supposed to have something stamped on its bezel, Alba’s designers decided to equip it with a secondary set of Arabic numerals in a military-style 24-hour format. Another set of numerals, in 05-minute increments, is printed in the same orange color on the dial’s flange.
The only thing that somewhat diminishes the usability of the dial is the small date aperture placed right below the 4 o’clock hour markers. It is just too small to be easily readable.
Alas, the dial is protected from dust and moisture not with a sapphire crystal, but with a simple mineral glass. Well, that’s what you get when you buy an affordable watch.
Photos: Alba by Seiko
Alba by Seiko Canteen AXHK21X specification
Movement: Quartz, caliber Seiko VX42, Made in Japan
Movement decoration: Standard finish
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: A couple of years
Case: Stainless steel, black PVD
Size: 47.00 mm (including the canteen-type crown)
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Dial: Black, double-layered
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Stainless steel black PVD bracelet
Back: Solid, screwed-in