Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Gray Dial Watch – $206.25 w/ VIP ($275)
Note: Above link goes to Macys, which is an authorized retailer. So you’ll get a factory warranty. Code VIP expires October 4th 2021. These (and other color variations) can also be found on Amazon for less via Gray Market dealers, but you won’t get a factory warranty through them. So buy at your own risk there.
Gonna talk about 3 different lines of watches here, so, hang with me.
In a perfect world:
- The iconic Seiko 007/009 dive watches would still be in production
- The 007’s dive-style replacements, the Seiko 5KX, wouldn’t have shoved them out of the way
- … AND these new(ish) Seiko 5 Sports watches would still be hitting the market, giving the non-diver “sports” line a much needed refresh.
Simple. Sport influenced. Automatic.
Got all that? Because while the 5KX Divers are more than fine in their own right, they’re not worth the cost of sunsetting a decades upon decades legend like the 007/009. Yet to switch focus back to the watch reviewed in this post, it represents a line of no-rotating-dive-bezel Sports-style watches which are, frankly, the definition of well executed simplicity.
40mm in diameter. Wears great.
Clocking in at a sporty but not enormous 40mm, it has a nice wrist presence but should look proportional on most wrists. The lack of a rotating dive bezel gives them a more subtle, almost field-watch like look. Sides of the case are polished but the top facing areas are brushed, which keeps any unnecessary glare and gleam down. Flash + a sports watch can sometimes look weird. Glinting and glistening probably shouldn’t be in it’s repertoire.
Hardlex crystal. Crown at 4 o’clock. 11.5 mm thick.
Under the Seiko-proprietary hardlex crystal, the hands, indices, and font are probably the best you’ll find under $300. There’s real shape to the indices, giving off a rounded effect like the fender on a 60s era sports car. The brand logo, “5”/ “S” badge, and Automatic script are all well balanced and thought out. The syringe hour hand and arrow minutes hand are different enough but play well together, and the small-circle counter balance on the seconds hand looks great as it spins around the sunburst dial. TL;DR: They nailed it.
Stock NATO strap is good. Not amazing, but good!
The crown at 4 o’clock is your access point to the hacking and hand-wind capable 4R36 automatic movement. Power reserve is around 40 hours when fully wound. The exhibition caseback is also a nice surprise at this price point. And while the crown doesn’t screw down (which would have been appreciated) the 100m water resistance is just fine for a sports style watch.
Hacking and hand-winding automatic movement. Exhibition caseback is a pleasant surprise.
The stock nylon strap is good. Not amazing, but better than a lot of other stock straps. It’s flexible enough, wears comfortable on the wrist, and the brushed hardware to match the top-sides of the case is the right choice. I could see cheaper watches going with polished hardware on the strap. That woulda clashed when you looked down on the thing to tell the time. Brushed is the way to go. Also, an engraved SEIKO on the buckle helps keep it from looking forgotten. Would buying an aftermarket Crown & Buckle Supreme NATO be an improvement? Yes it would. But it’s not a necessary post-purchase.
These new Seiko 5 Sports-Style watches don’t look cheap. They don’t feel cheap. And all of the little details add up to an impressive package, especially considering the reasonable price. Wait for sales and promos and you can get one for $200 – $250 through authorized dealers like Macy’s.
These are keepers.