There are a myriad of Seiko 5 models out there. This Seiko 5 review focuses on the SNK803 with the beige dial.
If you read the piece I wrote on 5 Reasons Why I Love My Seiko 5 then you already know how I feel about it. Now it’s time to break it down and see what makes the Seiko 5 such a highly regarded watch. Here are my thoughts.
If you want to watch the Seiko 5 review, hit the play button on the video directly below.
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First the name.
WHY IS IT CALLED THE SEIKO 5?
You’ll find a few other variations online, but these are the most commonly ones I found in my research.
Seiko 5 stands for the 5 elements deemed worthy on a mainstream watch at the time of the original Seiko 5’s release in 1963.
The Five in Seiko 5
- Day/Date complication
- Water resistant
- Recessed crown at 4 o’clock
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SEIKO 5 STYLE & AESTHETIC
The Seiko 5 is a military-inspired timepiece, and in my opinion, the SNK803 model’s cream color is the most versatile of them all. It pairs beautifully with all kinds of watch strap colors, especially olive, navy and brown. For the material, you can go canvas, leather or even suede, take your pick.
The Seiko 5 wears extremely well. It’s a perfect size and silhouette for smaller wrist sizes. The SNK803 leans casual due to it being a field watch with the military-inspired aesthetic.
The reason for the Seiko 5’s popularity is because of its classic design that stood the test of time. It was highly regarded 55 years ago. And I can see the Seiko 5 being just as esteemed 55 years from now and beyond.
SNK803 FEATURES & SPECS
The Seiko 5 SNK803 features a non-hacking movement which means that the second hand continues to move after pulling the crown, and so you can’t stop the watch from functioning. Whereas a hacking movement would stop the second hand upon pulling the crown, allowing for an exact time setting.
In addition to the non-hacking movement, the SNK803 has a non hand-winding movement. A hand-wound or manual movement requires winding of the crown in order for the watch to function. In the case of the Seiko 5, you simply shake the watch to get the movement going.
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this Seiko 5 Review— then you’ll probably like this Hamilton Khaki Field Review too.
The watch has 21 jewels. Since mechanical watches have lots of moving parts, it’s these jewels that help to reduce friction on the bearings and other pivotal points which in turn helps for the watch to last longer.
OTHER SEIKO 5 FEATURES
- 37mm dial
- 10mm case height/thickness
- 43mm lug to lug
- 18mm lug width
- 30 meter water resistance
- Day/date complication w/Spanish
- Glow in the dark lume
There’s approximately a ±30 seconds time loss or gain which means that the watch either loses or gains 30 seconds a day compared to a more accurate battery powered quartz watch. In my opinion, 30 seconds isn’t that bad at all. Additionally, The Seiko 5 SNK803 has a power reserve of roughly 40 hours which is plenty.
Lastly, the watch is customizable, as evidenced by the many people who mod their Seiko 5 watches with different dials, hands, etc.
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this Seiko 5 SNK803 Review — then you’ll probably like this article Vincero Watches Review too.
WATCH QUALITY & CONSTRUCTION
The Seiko 5 is made in Japan, equipped with a Seiko caliber 7S26C Movement, which is Seiko’s own Malaysian factory made movement. The 7S26C movement was first introduced to the market in 1996.
It’s got a display back which I feel is a nice touch, because being able to see the movement in action is something special, especially if you never owned a mechanical before. When I first got it I would just watch and listen to the movement. There’s something about the ticking that a quartz or digital watch can’t measure up to.
The glass is hardlex crystal (Seiko’s proprietary type) which isn’t as scratch resistant as sapphire, but it is more impact resistant and it’s more scratch resistant than mineral quartz or acrylic glass.
As for the bezel, it’s a bead blasted matte finish that matches the accents on the cream colored canvas watch strap.
SEIKO 5 REVIEW: A FEW NEGATIVES
- First, the watch strap is not that good. I think the beige strap paired with the beige dial looks pretty bland. I don’t know how Amazon expects for the watch to sell with the current photo it’s using.
- Secondly, crown manipulation can be a bit difficult, especially if you have larger fingers.
- Third, the date changes really slowly. It takes till around 3-4 am for the date to fully change to the next day.
- Fourth, there’s no anti-reflective coating on the hardlex glass, which isn’t all that bad actually.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
As I mentioned in my previous video on why I love my Seiko 5, the price is a reason to love this time piece. It’s super affordable, and I’d say one of the best bang for your buck watches out there.
What you want to know is that this watch is a workhorse automatic that you can find for just over $100 anytime. It fluctuates anywhere from $60-$120. This makes it a perfect entry level automatic watch.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Seiko 5 is the chosen one when it comes to entry level mechanical watches. Not only is it affordable, durable and stylish—it’s from a brand that’s got a heritage unlike any other.
Enthusiasts and collectors alike always say that you can’t go wrong with a Seiko 5. And through my experience with the watch, I’d have to agree.
After 5+ years of wear now, the Seiko 5 SNK is still one of my favorite casual watches to wear year-round.
And that wraps things up on this Seiko 5 review. Catch you on the next one!
Which of these Seiko 5 watches are your favorite?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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