The Seiko 5 Sports collection features numerous sports watches with automatic movements, exceptional workmanship, and very affordable prices. Thanks to their water-resistant cases, they are the perfect watch for everyday wear.
Since their introduction in the early 1960s, the wristwatches from the Seiko 5 Sports collection have impressed with their robust movements, high-quality workmanship, and fantastic value for money. Today the prices remain in the low hundreds, even though each model is equipped with an automatic manufacture caliber. A typical feature of these mechanical watches is the day-date display at 3 o'clock. The designs are sporty and range from that of pilot's watches to military watches all the way to diving watches. Thanks to a water resistance of up to 100 m (10 bar) and a rotatable bezel with a minutes scale, many models are suitable for swimming or snorkeling. The Seiko 5 Sports Military ref. SNK809 and the Seiko 5 Sports Diver ref. SNZF17 are especially popular.
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Water resistance||Features|
|SNZF17||200 euros||100 m (10 bar)||Uni-directional bezel|
|SRPA89||200 euros||100 m (10 bar)||Oval case, retro design|
|SRPB15||200 euros||100 m (10 bar)||Oval case, retro design|
|SRP513||150 euros||100 m (10 bar)||Pilot's watch design, stop-second mechanism, manual winding option|
|SNZG15||140 euros||100 m (10 bar)||Pilot's watch design|
|SNK809||80 euros||30 m (3 bar)||Pilot's watch design|
You can purchase watches in the Seiko 5 Sports collection for less than 150 euros. Examples with the reference number SNZG15 are available for around 140 euros and have a design inspired by classic pilot's watches. The version with a stainless steel bracelet only costs about 10 euros more and has the reference number SNZG13. The workhorse caliber 7S36 ticks away inside these automatic watches. It includes a day-date display, as is typical of this series, and a power reserve of 41 hours. The 41-mm case is water resistant up to 100 m (10 bar) and has a transparent case back that allows you to watch the movement at work.
The popular Seiko 5 Sports Diver also sits in the 150-euro price range and has a design reminiscent of a diving watch. Since these models are "only" water resistant up to 100 m (10 bar), they are fit for snorkeling but not for proper diving. If you would like to call an affordable diving watch your own, take a look at the Seiko Prospex collection. This line's professional diving timepieces are somewhat more expensive but are also water resistant up to 200 m (20 bar). You can buy the beloved Seiko 5 Sports Diver ref. SNZF17 with a black dial and bezel in mint condition for as little as 200 euros. If you prefer the Pepsi version with a blue and red dial, be on the lookout for the reference number SNZF15. In terms of price, there is no difference between the two.
Classic pilot's watches from manufacturers like IWC or Breitling have a large fan community, making them quite trendy. With the Seiko 5 Military, the Japanese manufacturer proves that automatic watches with a pilot's watch design can cost less than a hundred euros. The best example of this is the reference number SNK809, which is available for 80 euros with a textile strap. The caliber 7S26 with a day-date display runs inside this 37-mm stainless steel watch. However, the case is only waterproof up to 30 m (3 bar), so it's better to take it off when swimming.
The SRP513 is significantly more water resistant and can be used for a dip in the sea. The design of the stencil numerals resembles the Breitling Avenger Hurricane and gives an especially military feel. The wide hour and minute hands are generously covered in a particularly luminous material so as to guarantee the highest legibility, even in darkness. Thanks to the automatic caliber 4R36, the SRP513 first runs out of steam after 41 hours. It can also be set to the exact second due to its stop-seconds mechanism. What's more, the 4R36 has the option of being wound manually, so you don't have to shake it to get it going. Neither the caliber 7S26 nor the 7S36 has a stop-seconds mechanism or the manual winding option. This high-quality movement brings the price for the SRP513 up to at least 150 euros.
Watches inspired by vintage designs have been fashionable for quite a while. The Seiko 5 Sports collection also takes advantage of this retro-watch trend. This includes watches with oval cases, such as the SRPB15 and the SRPA89. They bring to mind historic watches from the 1970s. For one of these models, set aside at least 200 euros.
Prices for a Seiko Sportsmatic 5 from the 60s or 70s start at 500 euros and go up to 1,300 euros for pieces in fine condition. The Sportsmatic 5 is the original model and is the cornerstone of the success of the Seiko 5 Sports line and Seiko 5. By buying a modern retro watch, you can save hundreds of euros as compared to Seiko vintage watches. That being said, collecting old watches with a history has its own charm.