I know that majority of you are probably tired of all the divers in the microbrand world and just wish microbrands would start making more classic watches and maybe even some cool complications like moonphase, day and date etc. But this one was just too good to not review! The specifications you get for the price. The Akio is actually a British brand as I’ve read on the internet and the watch is named by the famous Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura who wore the famous Seiko 6105 on which this one is based on. Uemura actually wore this in 1978 and he was the first man ever to reach the North Pole solo.
The watch came in a very similar plastic container box as the LMT diver. The case is black and I actually really like these cases as they are waterproof, can fit two watches and they are secured there even when you drop the box so it makes it a great travel box for your watches also. Inside there are the papers for the watch (instructions and warranty). And they also thre in the FKM rubber strap on which I will talk about later as it is MEGA GOOD, so keep reading and find out why! The first impressions of the watch were semi good, I was quite dissapointed about the bracelet actually, but there was also a good side, the case is a whole different thing. I have to mention that when I received this watch I put it on the rubber strap as it just wore better and in winter periods I tend to not use bracelets, as it get’s quite cold here in Latvia.
The case of the Uemura is made of 316L stainless steel. The machine work is pretty good on the case. I really like this classic Seiko shape with the crown at 4 o’clock and with that big masculine case with 44mm width which on paper seems a lot, but in reality it wears a lot smaller due to the shape of the case. The case is 13,6mm in thickness, from lug to lug it measures at 47mm and the lug width is 20mm. The finishing on the case is pretty good with brushed top and bottom and polished sides. At 4 o’clock we have signed screw-in crown. The action on it is pretty good. On top we have a 120 uni-directional bezel with ceramic bezel insert woth BGW9 lume which is quite surprising to see at this point and on top of the dial we also have a sapphire crystal with blue AR coating which was another great suprise. The bezel action surprisingly is really good, very close to how the Seiko bezel feels and it is nice to see that it alligns with the hour markers perfectly. The solid screw in caseback is polished with Akio logo machined in the middle.
The dial isn’t so different from the dial you see on the Seiko 6105 from exception of the Akio logo at 12 o’clock. The dial is matte black with polished rectangular hour markers and the marker at 12 is in this trapezoid shape. The lume on the markers is C3 luminova. The polished hour and minute hands are rectamguler with C3 luminova in the middle. The second’s hand is stick shaped with red and white dots at the end which is a detail I always liked on the 6105. At 6 o’clock we have the text “Automatic, Water 200m resist” which we also can see on the Seiko 6105 with small differences. The lume is pretty good, it lasts about 2-3hours which is plenty enough.
The movement that is inside the watch is Japan made Seiko NH35, which is running at +9 to +11 seconds a day, at least for me. On the website it says that you can regulate it to +1 seconds a day which isn’t actually true as, yes you can regulate it to run at that time, but in one position, on the wrist it will maybe +5 seconds a day. This movement is pretty popular in the microbrand world as 50% of watches that are coming out have this movement inside them. It has proven it’s reliability and easiness to service within many years. You just can’t go wrong with Japan made movements from Seiko. It is an automatic 24 jewel movement with 41-hour power reserve,beating away with 21,600 BPH and it also has hacking and hand-winding. Despite Seiko NH35 beeing a pretty good movement I would preffer a Miyota 9000s series movement better as it is just so much closer to the Swiss movements in quality and finishing, but at this price point I can’t complain at all!
The bracelet was a bit of a let down, as some Aliexpress special like San Martin etc. features much better bracelet. But here the problems were the stamped clasp, sharp and unfinished edges of the links, also you can see the pins through the bracelet links which means that it also is poorly machined. The finishing is ok, but it has some flat spots that you can see really clearly. But Akio also gives a second strap for free called the FKM rubber strap (Just simply add an FKM strap to your basket & this will be automatically reduced from the total.). And WOW! The strap is really good, I could even declare it as the best rubber strap I have ever tested! The rubber is really high quality and it is really well finished. Also it is super supple and wrap the wrist super comfortable. The underside is ribbed and I guess that is one of the keys why it is so comfortable. I chose the orange colour, but there are also 5 other colours (blue, black, red, green and brown), so there is choice for everybody to like! The strap features quick release spring bars and the buckle is a round style one that usually can be found on zulu straps which is actually pretty good. The buckle is polished. And the most amazing thing is that the strap is just 25£ and I have to say, if the strap would cost 200£ I still would buy it and declare it the best rubber strap ever! I have tested many watches on rubber straps starting from affordable and finishing with high end like Patek Nautilus or AP Royal Oak Offshore and nothing compares to this strap, so well done Akio!
Overall the watch is pretty good with exception of the bracelet. But as Akio gives you one of those amazing FKM rubber straps for free, it kind of levels it out and you can just put this watch on the FKM rubber strap. Anycase the watch features a hacking and hand-winding movement from Seiko, sapphire crystal, really good bezel with ceramic insert and all that for just 145£ (around 199$) which is just a steal in my opinion! Also if you aren’t interested in buying a watch, I highly suggest getting those straps, they are amazing!
- Dimensions: 44mm width x 13.6mm height x 47mm lug to lug
- Weight: 169g
- Water resistance rating: 20ATM / 200m
- Movement: Seiko NH35
- Accuracy: +9 to +11 sec/day
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 1 year