Are Seiko watches good? If you ask us, it’s a resounding YES. But maybe you’re wondering, “What’s so great about Seiko?” In this article, we’re profiling the Seiko Brand and featuring 5 models worth your attention.
What is Seiko?
Seiko is a Japanese watchmaking company based in Tokyo. Its name comes from the Japanese word for ‘exquisite’, ‘minute’ or ‘success’ and whichever of those translations you choose to go with is accurate for this brand.
It is quite possibly the most recognizable Japanese brand of watches in the world and it is credited with creating the first quartz watch in the world. An invention that created a seismic shift in the world of horology.
Seiko produces a wide range of affordable and barely-affordable watches in ranges that include sports, divers, and dress watches.
In 2017 their most expensive and luxurious collection, the Grand Seiko, separated from the main collections and became a brand in its own right with the intention of competing with the luxury watch brands of Europe.
If this brief introduction to Seiko has already whetted your appetite for a wider collection, be sure to check out the 15 Best Seiko Watches for 2020. If you’d like to know more and see our select group of recommendations, stay with us.
Are Seiko Watches Good?
In a nutshell, yes.
A lot of watch aficionados tend to be wary of more modern brands that fall into the now-viral fashion of ‘affordable luxury’, and rightly so.
Frankly, many of these brands substitute aesthetics for quality, while a brand with a strong history of watchmaking knows that those are two sides of the same coin in this world. You simply cannot skimp on one and hope to charm people with the other.
When it comes to Seiko, however, they have a deliciously rich and long history of impressing the world with technological innovation and style.
A Short History of Seiko
If you take a look at Seiko’s ‘Our Heritage’ page, you are greeted with a timeline that stretches from 1881 and has three filters to use: Events, Milestone Models, World’s First.
This should go some way towards showing you that Seiko is not your average high-street watch brand.
Since 1881, Seiko has produced no fewer than 16 unique ‘World’s First’ watches, from the world’s first quartz watch in 1969 to the first solar-powered watch that uses GPS to ensure time, day and date accuracy wherever it is in the world.
In recent times, Seiko’s devotion to accuracy has made it the official timekeeper of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), a title it has been awarded many times since its first foray into the professional sports world at the 18th Olympiad in Tokyo in 1964.
Today, with ambassadors like tennis legend Novak Djokovic, Seiko continues to cement its place in every aspect of the watchmaking world.
Take a look at our top five picks from the Seiko brand.
The Seiko 5 Series … Any of them!
“Wait a moment, you said you were going to recommend specific watches, not a whole series!”
That’s right Monsieur Internet, I did, but when it comes to the Seiko 5 series, the differences between each piece are minimal and wholly subjective. So, I’ll just leave this line here and, when it comes to choosing just one, I’ll let you make your own mind up.
Arguably one of the best price-value ratios in the watchmaking world, the Seiko 5 is a lightweight beater with an automatic movement and a day-date window all from around $80!
The differences between the models in the collection appear to be defined by color alone. This means you can personalize your purchase while not having to question whether you’ve made the right choice from the collection.
And how could you make the wrong choice?
No matter which color you go for, the dials are all crystal-clear and astonishingly functional without being dull. Whether you’re looking to get your first Seiko or fiftieth, the SNK line is a must.
Details of the Seiko 5 line:
|Band Material Type||Fabric|
Seiko 5 Sports SRPE63
The first Seiko 5 Sports appeared in 1963 and by 1964 Seiko was already the Official Timer of the 18th Olympiad in Tokyo.
This robust sports watch gets its name from the 5 ‘key attributes’ every piece in the collection has: automatic movement, day-date display at the three o’clock position, water resistance, a recessed crown at the four o’clock position, a durable case and band.
Typical to the Seiko 5 line, the ever-present five characteristics are present here: Day/Date function, water resistance, recessed crown, durable case (but this model has no bracelet), and automatic winding. But the best feature of this watch is the wearability.
It’s good to have this foundation because the collection is absolutely enormous.
The Seiko 5 Sports collection is broken down into 5 ‘series’ or ‘styles’: Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street, and Sense.
As difficult as it is to choose, we’ve gone with the Sports SRPE63. Blending the collection’s sporting tradition with a cool simplicity, this piece will look as stylish next to a golf glove as it will beneath a shirt sleeve.
Not to mention, it’ll also stand up to a beating! Better yet, it never needs a battery change and its automatic movement has a power reserve of 41 hours! So if you’re looking for an inexpensive beater with a hell of a tradition, look no further.
Details of the 5 Sports SRPE63:
|Band Material Type||Nylon|
If like me, the story of a brand is the deal-breaker for a watch then the Prospex line could very well be for you.
In 1965, Seiko designed a watch to be used by the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition and this became Japan’s first-ever diver’s watch.
True to Seiko’s technological drive, this watch was superseded in 1975 by a piece with a titanium and ceramic case, which could reach depths of up to 650m and 1000m respectively.
The Prospex SRPD11 is the everyday man’s scion to Seiko’s diving legacy. Waterproof to a depth of 200m, the SRPD11 has a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a push-button release with an extender.
Unsurprisingly for a diver’s watch, this extra security makes it a beast on the wrist but, if you have a wider wrist, then this is a must-have.
The matte-black case and band illuminate its gorgeous two-tone dial that brings to mind the cascading colors of the ocean depths. There’s also a metallic grey option that would blend in beautifully with any outfit, leaving only you knowing the legacy on your wrist.
Details of the Prospex SRPD11:
|Movement||Automatic (with manual winding capacity)|
|Band Material Type||Stainless Steel|
Seiko 5 SNZG13
If, as much as you admire the fun Seiko 5 and the robust Prospex, you just can’t bring yourself to wear them at work then here’s a great option for you. The SNZG13 is part of the 5 Sports line but you would never know it.
The clean lines of the case make it blend in as any old ‘business’ watch and the stainless steel band keeps up the ruse. The distinct lack of flashiness on the exterior, makes the SNZG13 the perfect piece for the shy watch-lover.
However, that doesn’t mean this watch is any slouch!
The dial barely scrapes the 42mm mark while still containing a day-date window, chunky fencepost hands, and a bloody-javelin-tipped second hand. All of which is powered by an outstanding automatic movement so you can wave goodbye to buying new batteries.
What’s more, each of the twelve Roman numerals is supported by another, smaller number denoting that hour’s time in both 12-hour and 24-hour verbiage.
So, there’s no mental arithmetic necessary to account for that infuriating boss who always insists on meeting at ‘1400 hours’.
Details of the Seiko 5 SNZG13:
|Band Material Type||Stainless Steel|
Seiko has such technologically impressive timepieces that it’s often easy to get bogged down in the details and forget the aesthetics. In other words, they were clearly conscious of this when they introduced the world to the Presage line.
Moreover, this collection boasts the same mechanical expertise but with a focus on Japanese design. The result? An eclectic array of watches for all tastes and occasions.
We’ve decided to go with the SPB045. This is a traditional automatic watch but imitates some of the greatest European brands while maintaining that Japanese grace.
The stainless steel case perfectly frames the white enamel dial and the deep blue hands — reminiscent of the best of Longines or Glashütte — stand out elegantly as they tap the elongated Roman numerals all through the day.
The crescent moon on the tail of the second hand adds just a touch of style that compliments the sleek numerals on the second dial and the 40-hour power reserve dial.
This isn’t just any Seiko watch, it gives you the sense that it’s part of Japanese aristocracy. Although that rank may have to be reserved for our next watch.
Details of the Presage SPB045:
|Band Material Type||Crocodile Leather|
A Bonus Pick! The Seiko Astron SSHO77
As I mentioned above, Seiko were the first to introduce a Solar watch with a GPS system capable of ensuring the most accurate time-keeping even when you move between time zones.
The newest version of the Seiko Astron is the 5X series and it has some pretty impressive specifications.
Slight touches of colour blaze resoundingly from the matte case and band but what’s inside is the real star of the show. From one charge of the solar dial the watch can last for 6 months but you’ll never need its two-year power reserve since it charges even with dim, electronic lights too.
Out of this vast collection, we’ve decided to go with the SSH077 mostly because of its exquisite dial, which is made to look like the star-scattered night sky as it’s only visible far away from city lights.
Slight touches of color blaze resoundingly from the matte case and band but what’s inside is the real star of the show. From one charge of the solar dial, the watch can last for 6 months but you’ll never need its two-year power reserve since it charges even with dim, electronic lights too.
On top of that, it sends a radio signal to satellites twice a day to make sure that the time, day, and date are never out of sync no matter where in the world you are.
Details of the Astron SSHO77:
|Band Material Type||Canvas|
Our Top Five Picks from Seiko: What’s Your Favorite?
So, to the question: “Are Seiko watches good?” Oh yes.
Now that you’re familiar with the brand, its history, and the highlights of its collections, hopefully we’ve convinced you that Seiko is a wristwatch brand with your consideration.
Which of our above picks stands out to you?