What makes a good watch? That may seem like an odd question to ask at this point of the SKX’s life cycle: the watch has a cult following, has been featured in cinema and has even been elevated to the highest status of ‘rumoured to be discontinued’. Soon enough, stock will start running dry and the price will begin to climb closer to that $400 range (Flightmaster anyone?).
But really, what makes a good watch? There’s something that happens when value meets performance and design. An icon is created. It’s almost like a hit song. The artist writing out lyrics in barely legible cursive, never once considering the potential impact the song might have. It’s just the right combination of simple chords and a memorable refrain. And I think that perfectly describes the Seiko SKX.
It’s not trying to be anything, other than what it was actually designed to be: an entry level automatic dive watch. But that aspect, being entry level, actually contributes to the most endearing elements of the watch. The hollow end links and stretch in its stock jubilee bracelet, makes for a comfortable and rather enjoyable wearing experience. Take the dial for instance. Aside from the hands, nothing else is framed in chrome or stainless steel. What was initially used as a cost saving technique, created a somewhat vintage feel, reminiscent of early 70s and 80s Submariners.
But at the heart of the watch, the engine, sits the legendary 7S26. It’s not a high beat movement at only 21,600bph. It doesn’t have hacking and it doesn’t hand wind, in other words, the movement lacks features that are present in some of the more generic and affordable Japanese movements available today, however what it lacks in features it makes up for in performance. The 7S26 is a workhorse. It’s been said to last 15 plus years without a service – and that goes for many of the Seiko movements, even the Seiko Bullhead, one of their first attempts at a fully automatic watch.
An interesting and notable point, is the wrist presence of the watch. At 42.5mm in diameter, one could pass it off as being too big, however considering the short lug to lug width of 46mm, even a smaller wrist like mine at 6.25” can pull it off with room to spare.
Indeed, all of these factors contribute to the success of the great 007 and 009. For this reason, the watch can be seen residing in watch boxes filled with haute horology and high-end luxury pieces. It’s an enthusiasts watch, truly. And one that can be had for a fraction of the price of its high-end equivalents.
Model / Reference: SXK009K2
Case size (not including crown): 42.5mm
Lug to lug: 46mm
Lug width: 22mm
Caliber: 7S26 Automatic, self-winding, 21,600bph
Strap / Bracelet: 22mm Seiko Jubilee Bracelet, hollow end links, branded fold over clasp