Seiko needs no introduction. And by now, you’ve heard of their achievements and impressive heritage. For me the most notable has to be the determination of Kintaro Hattori (Seiko founder), who rebuilt the Seikosha factory after a devastating earthquake in 1923, only to release the first Seiko branded wristwatch a year later.
I love what Seiko stand for. They’re a brand with many ‘firsts’, with the release of horological innovations over and over throughout the last circa 100 years (quartz, kinetic, GPS solar which uses GPS to sync to atomic time, spring drive and more, with many in house techniques like the magic lever system to efficiently wind the mainspring). So it’s truly amazing when you can pick up an automatic Seiko 5 for $150 and a reminder that enjoying horology doesn’t need to cost thousands.
The watch in question today is the Seiko 5, reference SNXS77k. Lets take a look at the specifications below.
Case size: 38mm
Lug width: 19mm
Movement: Self-winding In-house Seiko Caliber 7s26, 21 jewels, 21600 vph, 40 hour power reserve
Water Resistance Rating: 100m
Case back: See-through hardlex
Bracelet: Stainless steel three link bracelet, Seiko branded folding clasp, hollow end links
Crown: Push / pull
When first unboxing the watch, the most stand out feature has to be that blue sunburst dial. It’s a deep almost electric blue, which plays with the light ever so slightly. The indices, logo and date window frame are all applied, with the minute track & the word ‘Automatic’ printed in white on the dial. The day is available in both English and Japanese and the case is finished completely in high polish, with a lovely and subtle cushion shape.
Wearing the Seiko 5 is incredibly comfortable. It’s classically sized and at times you don’t even know you’re wearing it. I’ve paired mine with a navy blue leather strap, but it looks great on fabric or stainless steel.
Looking at the current state of Seiko’s line up, it’s clear that they are in the transition of going up market. Take a look at the starting price of the latest Presage & SKX Reissue releases as an example. Both lines are amazing and offer great value when compared to the current market, however nothing comes close to the value of these old Seiko 5s. Sadly I’m not sure how much longer these awesome bang per buck models will be around for. We’ve seen some variations like the grey dial reference SNXS79k, start pushing over $250 due to scarcity. So if you’re in the market for one of these awesome and affordable Seiko 5’s, now’s the time to buy.
In closing I couldn’t recommend these enough. For the long time collector to those just starting out, this is a great piece to add to the collection and definitely one that will take you by surprise.