The Seiko 5 collection is world famous for its robust automatic watches and great value for money. Important features include practical day-date displays and waterproof cases, making these watches perfect for everyday wear.
The mechanical watches in the Seiko 5 collection have been enchanting watch lovers around the globe since the early 1960s. It is one of the best-selling automatic watch lines worldwide and has always been aimed at sporty watch enthusiasts who are young at heart.
The day-date display that is found on nearly every Seiko 5 watch has become characteristic of the collection. Seiko fits it all on one display window at 3 o'clock, guaranteeing readability. Their proprietary Hardlex glass protects the display. Hardlex glass is a typical feature of most Seiko watches. The material is more scratch resistant than conventional mineral glass, but not as hard as sapphire glass. The sports watch series Seiko 5 Sports also has bright, luminous hands and markings and is reminiscent of diving and pilot watches. In-house Diashock protection and an extremely resilient mainspring give this caliber its robustness. The highly efficient Magic Lever System found in numerous Seiko watches helps to rapidly power the movement.
Fans of vintage watches will find the Sportsmatic 5 from the 1960s especially interesting. This wristwatch is the cornerstone to the Seiko 5's current success. The watch features all of the collection's most iconic features. Sportsmatic 5 watches in top condition are relatively rare and cost around 1,000 euros, placing them among other affordable vintage watches. A historic highlight is the 5 Sports Speedtimer, which was debuted by Seiko in the middle of 1969. It was the first automatic chronograph to be sold in the world. Although the Zenith El Primero was already debuted in early 1969, it wasn't available for purchase until fall of the same year. The Seiko watch was also the first automatic chronograph in space, even if unofficially. The American astronaut William Reid Pogue took his personal watch to the Skylab space station in 1973. The Speedtimer is even rarer than the Sportsmatic 5, making models from 1969 almost impossible to find. Versions from the 1970s can be bought in fair condition for about 1,000 euros and in top condition for around 1,400 euros.
The women's and men's watches from the Seiko 5 series are some of the most affordable, high-quality automatic watches available on the market today. Current sports watches like the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Map Meter cost less than 400 euros new. They also come with a day-date display, are waterproof to 200 m (20 bar), and have a bidirectional bezel with a compass. Some of the more elegant Seiko 5 watches can be found for less than 100 euros. Many models are also suited for men and women due to their reasonable size of 37 mm. Watches made for women are markedly smaller at 24 or 26 mm and are also more feminine. You can buy a gold-colored Seiko 5 for women – reference number SYMC18K1, for example – for 160 euros.
|5 Sports Automatic Map Meter, Ref. SKZ231||360 euros||7s36|
|5 Sports, Ref. SRP605K2||250 euros||4R36|
|5 Sports, Ref. SNZF15K1||200 euros||7S36|
|5 Sports, Ref. SRP513K1||170 euros||4R36|
|5 Sports, Ref. SNZG13K1||130 euros||7S36|
|5, Ref. SNXS77||100 euros||7S26|
|5 Sports, Ref. SNK809||90 euros||7S26|
The majority of the watches in the Seiko 5 series have a modest, elegant design. The metal bracelets and LumiBrite luminous hands and hour markers give the watches a hint of sportiness. As is typical of these models, the date and day displays are located in a window at the 3 o'clock position. The model with reference number SNXS77 is especially sought after. This stainless steel watch is an ideal unisex watch, with a diameter of 37 mm and thickness of 12 mm. The timepiece also features a shiny blue dial that looks especially elegant. Its curved case brings to mind models from the 1970s or 80s, giving it a retro flair. If you want to make your SNXS77 even more elegant, you can replace the stainless steel bracelet with a classic leather strap. The swap is usually simple to do in just a few minutes.
The automatic caliber 7S26 ticks away inside the Seiko 5 Ref. SNXS77. The caliber has been produced on a large scale and is known as a workhorse among movements. It's robust, reliable, low-maintenance, and durable. Of course, you can't expect the highest performance in terms of accuracy. According to Seiko, the caliber 7S26 deviates a maximum of +25 or -15 seconds a day. The balance frequency is 21,600 vibrations per hour (A/h) and the movement has a power reserve of over 41 hours. If the hands stop moving, you can get them going again with a simple shake. The 7S26 can't be wound manually. The central second hand reacts quickly, and it doesn't take long before the watch is fully charged thanks to the Magic Lever system. You can buy the SNXS77 for around 100 euros.
If you're a lover of gold watches, you may be interested in the Seiko 5 with reference number SNXL72. The design of this wristwatch closely matches that of the SNXS77, though the stainless steel case and bracelet are gold plated. Combined with the gold-colored dial, the SNXL72 appears especially regal. In addition, it gives off a proper 80s vibe, making it quite trendy. Both models are technically identical, though the SNXL72 is a little more expensive.
There is a wide array of automatic watches with designs inspired by diving watches in the Seiko 5 Sports collection. These include, among others, the models with reference numbers SRP605K2, SNZF15K1, and SNZF17K1, all of which have unidirectional rotating bezels. The bright luminous hands and hour markings are also reminiscent of professional diving watches. Since these timepieces are only waterproof to 100 m (10 bar), they are only suitable for swimming and not for diving. Those looking for an automatic diving watch should take a closer look at the Seiko Automatic Diver's with reference number SKX007K2, which is waterproof to 200 m (20 bar). With a stainless steel jubilee bracelet, these watches cost around 250 euros. You can buy a Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SNZF15K1 in mint condition with a red and blue Pepsi bezel for around 200 euros. The version with the classic black bezel can be found under reference number SNZF17K1 and has a similar price.
The Seiko 5 with reference number SRP605K2 comes across a bit sportier due to its ridged bezel, synthetic urethane armband, and large, luminous hands. With a case diameter of 44 mm, this men's watch is 2 mm larger than the SNZF17K1 and SNZF15K1. Inside the 44 mm model, you will find the automatic caliber 4R36 with a day-date display. As opposed to the 7S26, the 4R36 has a seconds stop and manual winding option. This means you don't have to move the watch to get the hands going again, and thanks to the seconds stop, you can set it to the exact second. You should be prepared to spend 250 euros on this watch.
The so-called Seiko 5 Military is one of Seiko's highly sought-after watches. The design of this automatic watch brings to mind pilot's watches worn by military pilots in years gone by. An example of this is the IWC Mark 11, which was introduced in 1948 and worn by Royal Air Force pilots into the 1980s. This IWC watch is the benchmark for the design of pilot's watches and is highly coveted by collectors. Thus, seeing prices around 8,000 euros is not uncommon.
The Seiko 5 Sports with the reference number SNZG13K1 is much more affordable. Its dial design makes it unmistakably a watch for pilots. You can't help but immediately notice the triangular marking at 12 o'clock and the brightly glowing LumiBrite hands and hour markings. Reading the time is even easier with Arabic numerals. A special feature of this Seiko 5 Sports is the 24-hour markings written in smaller font next to every digit — 13 next to 1, 14 next to 2, etc. Only the 3 and 15 are missing, as this is where the day and date displays are located.
The 41-mm stainless steel case is 12 mm thick and has a predominantly brushed finished. The reverse side and the edge of the transparent back are polished. This watch is driven by the automatic caliber 7S36. A stainless steel three-piece bracelet displays the reference number SNZG13K1 on the wrist side. If you prefer textile bands, you should look for the reference number SNZG15K1. Both watches cost approximately 130 euros. Even more affordable is the Seiko 5 Military with the reference number SNK809. This timepiece has a case diameter of 36 mm, a black textile strap, and is run by the caliber 7S26. You can purchase this watch for around 90 euros. The model with reference number SRP513K1 is also reminiscent of military pilot's watches. Seiko uses the somewhat higher-quality automatic caliber 4R36 with a seconds stop and manual winding to power this watch. This brings the price up to around 170 euros.