Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic Review

Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic ReviewScore 88% Score 88%

On January 12, 2014 I had My First Experience With the Seiko 5 SNK809, and It Would Go On to Redefine How I Assessed Affordable Automatics

Updated August 19, 2016 – I’m excited to revisit this watch because the SNK809 really shaped my perspective. It was the first affordable automatic watch I reviewed that was made by a major brand in the watch world, and it was also the first that taught me that an inexpensive automatic didn’t need to look or feel cheap.

I decided to buy another one and spend some time with it. I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years and I was curious to see how I’d feel about the SNK809 now.

My opinion of the SNK809 remains true today to what it was when I originally reviewed it two and a half years ago: the Seiko 5 SNK809 is one of the best values in the world of watches today. Let’s check it out.

> Click here to see real customer reviews, specs and prices on Amazon <

SEIKO 5 SNK809 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Model Number

SNK809

MSRP

$185

Case Diameter

37mm

Movement

Automatic, Seiko 7S26

Complications

Day/date display

Power Reserve

Approximately 40 hours

Water Resistance

30m / 99ft

Crystal Material

Hardlex

Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic

The SNK809 is not what I’d call a looker. I find it attractive, and I’ll get to why in a bit, but in comparison to some other affordables (and including some of Seiko’s own affordables like the Recraft), the SNK809 isn’t leading in the looks department.

Like the much-loved Timex Weekender, the SNK809 is flat and simple. Hour markers are small white bumps (loaded with lume), with printed minute and Arabic 5 minute markers. It’s simple, not minimal, and I like it. This gives the dial a very flat appearance; aside from the barely-perceptible height of the hour markers, only the Seiko 5 logo and the hands themselves have any depth.

Flat isn’t bad, and in fact, it’s one of the reasons I like this watch. It’s so simple and versatile that it’s easy to wear up or down. Change out the strap – which is easy thanks to its 18mm lugs – and you can turn the SNK809 into just about anything. One thing it won’t ever be is formal, so if you’re looking for something dressy you may want to pass on this one.

> Click here to see real customer reviews, specs and prices on Amazon <

Seiko 5 SNK809 Crown

The crown rests at 4 o’clock instead of 3 o’clock (where it’s found on 99% of watches), and I quite like the small difference this makes. As one review notes, the crown at 4 o’clock doesn’t dig into your wrist when bending your wrist up and down like it would if it was at 3 o’clock. I also like how this small change breaks up the shape I’m used to seeing on a watch case.

The top of the case and lugs have a pewter-grey finish, which shimmers in light but doesn’t go so far as to be reflective. Turn the SNK809 over, and the polished underside showcases the undecorated but still beautiful 7S26 automatic movement. The 7S26 is actually the base movement for the 6R15 used inside the excellent Alpinist, and when I reviewed the Alpinist I mentioned that I was disappointed Seiko chose not to show off the movement. For the mechanical lovers out there, you can get your fix with the SNK.

Where I feel the SNK809 gets let down is the black canvas strap, which is durable but not exactly attractive. At least the clasp (engraved with Seiko’s name) and hardware are done in the same pewter-grey finish as the case. In my opinion, the SNK809 looks okay as-is and looks great with a nice leather NATO (I’ve got a few on order and will post an update with a few mix and match shots).

Overall, the SNK809 isn’t what I’d call pretty, but it’s attractive and versatile. Grab a few straps and you’ve got a great daily wearer.

> Click here to see real customer reviews, specs and prices on Amazon <

Seiko 5 SNK809 Build Quality

My experience with Seiko watches in general has been positive, and the SNK809 echoes those experiences. It doesn’t feel premium or upscale, but it does feel solidly built. Its build gives a sense of reliability, which millions and millions of units sold has demonstrated the SNK809 is chalk full of. If it does ever break, just about any watchmaker will be able to service it fairly inexpensively.

Crystal, Case, & Dial

Hardlex is a material exclusive to Seiko (and its subsidiaries). It’s supposed to be more durable than a standard mineral crystal, and my experiences with Hardlex on a variety of watches has been positive overall. I’ve yet to see a wear mark on the face of a hardlex crystal, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen; sapphire is scratch “proof”, hardlex is resistant. Regardless, its use is perfectly appropriate for the price.

The mat finish on the case looks great and has the added benefit of acting as a safeguard against scratches. Where a polished case loves to showcase every scratch and mark, the mat finish here actively suppresses those things. Of course the case will still get scratched as you wear it, but it won’t be as visually obvious- a big plus for a watch many tout as the best daily wearer available.

ALSO READ  Barton Watch Bands Nato Strap Review

The dial, in its simplistic glory, is as close to perfect as I think you’ll find on a watch priced in the $50 – $100 range.

Strap & Clasp

The black canvas strap is made well; there are no errant fibers or frays that may damage it, and the holes for the clasp to connect through are reinforced with some kind of leather or vinyl. The big plus to the strap is that, while it’s certainly not the highlight of the watch visually, it’s durable and strong.

You’re not going to rip or tear it unless you’ve got help from something sharp. The canvas feels strong but not thick, and it’s comfortable enough to wear.

The hardware is finished like the case, and the buckle is engraved with Seiko’s branding. It’s a standard affair and not memorable, but it does its job as intended and won’t cause any problems.

Seiko 7S26 Automatic Movement Inside SNK809

Seiko 5 SNK809 Wrist Shot

About Seiko’s 7S26 Automatic Movement

The 7S26 automatic movement is a basic but durable movement. The movement beats at 21,600bph and has 21 jewels; it lacks many features found on even slightly more upscale watches, such as hacking and hand winding, but it makes up for those omissions with its reliability and affordability. It goes without saying that finding an automatic for $100 or less from a brand like Seiko isn’t a common occurrence in the watch world.

Standard deviation is -20/+40 seconds per day, meaning that the SNK809 can be out by as much as minute per day. I didn’t properly assess the accuracy in my original review, so I can’t compare the two SNK’s I’ve had against each other, but I did test this one using toolwatch.io (have I said how much I love that site?) and found it to be +34 seconds per day. That’s a lot, yes, but can be regulated (if desired) and is within spec.

In terms of reliability, both the SNK809’s I’ve tested have been great. Scour the internet- you won’t find many posts of problems despite Seiko selling millions of these.

How to Set the SNK809

  • To set the time, pull the crown to its furthest position (3). Turn clockwise to set the time. Note that the day/date display will automatically rollover at midnight.
  • To set the day and date, pull the crown to its middle position (2). Turn clockwise to set the date, turn counter-clockwise to set the day.

Read the movement user manual.

The Seiko 5 is an Important Watch With a Great History

I’m not going to get into the complete history of the Seiko 5 here, but I thought I’d speak to a little bit about what makes the Seiko 5 an important series of watches. In 1963 Seiko sought out to create a watch that had five key attributes: automatic winding, day/date displayed in a single window, adequate water resistance, a recessed crown at 4 o’clock, and a durable case/strap.

During the evolution of the Seiko 5 brand and product cycle two important “firsts” were accomplished:

  1. First affordable combination of the five elements listed above
  2. First automatic chronograph, introduced in 1969 (the Seiko ‘5 Sports’ Speedtimer)

When you wear a Seiko 5 you are wearing a notable piece of modern horological history. Modern 5’s typically use the Seiko 7S26 movement (which made it’s first appearance in 1996), which has proven itself to be an economical and reliable movement. It is tried, tested, and proven, and it’s also probably the best automatics you can buy at the price points they are found at.

Where to Buy

The SNK809 Offers Great Value for Your Money. It’s Also a Great Watch.

When the only complaint you can make about a watch is the strap, it’s really hard not to write a review that doesn’t just sound like 1,000 words of praise. The reality is that the SNK809 deserves the praise; it’s earned its place as one of the best watches you can buy for under $100, if not the best watch you can buy for under $100. It’s regularly found on Amazon for under $70.

Since I started WYCA in 2013 I have personally reviewed nearly 70 watches, with the SNK809 being one of the first, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s a purchase you can make with confidence and feel good about; it will last for a long time, giving you years of wear, and is made of all the stuff that makes a watch great.

It’s not just the automatic movement that gives the SNK809 its value. Other factors, like the excellent nighttime visibility, or the day/date complications, add value of their own. So too does the Hardlex crystal and exhibition caseback.

The only caveat to the value is the size: you’re getting a 37mm case. That’s fine for most people, and makes it a unisex size, but if you’ve got bigger arms/wrists, you may find 37mm to be a bit small. Stepping up to a larger 42mm size adds about $35 to the price (check out the SNZG15 for the same-but-larger version of the SNK809). Even at $110 for the SNZG15 variant of the Seiko 5, it’s still good value.

I recommend the Seiko 5 in any flavor; everyone needs at least one in their watch box.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Seiko 5 SNK809
Author Rating
4

Seiko 5 SNK809 Review Conclusion

88%

My thoughts It's hard not to appreciate what Seiko offers in the 5 series. The SNK809 is a good looking, basic automatic watch that offers little frills... and has a diminutive price point to match. Whenever anyone starts getting into watches, the most popular recommendation for a first automatic is - by far - a Seiko 5. Buy a couple of complimentary straps and you can wear it just about anywhere, anytime. This is such a great watch.

Aesthetics & Design
75%
Build Quality
90%
Movement Accuracy & Reliability
90%
Value for Money
100%

About The Author

If it ticks or tocks, I want it on my wrist. I'm a fan of all things that keep good time, and I can't resist a great looking watch. WYCA is my way of appreciating the engineering and artistry that goes into affordable watches. My favorite watch is my Jazzmaster Auto Chrono, and the watch I wear the most is my Weekender Chronograph. I currently have 33 watches in my collection.

119 Comments

  1. Ben

    At this price point, a no-nonsense watch with a legible and great dial layout!

    Reply
  2. Hardip Jandiala

    Great review!!!

    Reply
  3. Justin

    Thanks for the review as I am currently looking at entering the world of automatic watches and it looks like this is a good way to go. The nylon strap definitely needs an upgrade though from my point of view. Last thing, I definitely appreciate the comments on how it would look on smaller wrist sizes since I have a smaller wrist.

    Reply
    • Jon

      Enjoyed this review. Have never owned a Seiko (yet) This “5” just might be the one. I agree with others re the band, but at this price point, another band isn’t a big deal. I own several automatics that cost more but this would be fun to wear & include in my rotation. I would have to say my only concern would be the durability of the Seiko crystal (not familiar). I like the styling, although middle of the road in terms of character. Bang for the buck seems enormous!
      Discovered this site 4 months ago & really enjoy. I visit often. Cheers.

      Reply
  4. Matt

    Good review. I like it. Simple.

    Reply
  5. Brendan Harris

    I quite like Seiko’s actually. Like Shelton said in a thread at one point, they are really only enjoyed by true Horologists because of the custom in house movements they make (not saying this one is). Everyone else thinks they are junk. I am surprised how cheap this actually was to be honest.

    Keep up the reviews!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Yes it’s funny how people don’t like them, but watch enthusiasts do. I’d like a Seiko Kinetic… *drool*

      Reply
      • Ben

        Cameron, the Kinetic is great. You can’t go wrong. I’ve had one for years and the accuracy is dead-on–the best of all my quartz watches.
        The only down side is that it must be worn regularly and power reserve kept above a certain minimum in order to preserve the capacitor life. The next one on my list is a Pepsi 200m Kinetic Diver. Awesome watch with wrist presence!

        Reply
  6. Leo K

    Thanks for the review Cameron, I love Seiko and this is definitely next on my list for a daily automatic.

    Reply
  7. Jeff

    Not at all an earth-shattering design, but simple and clean.

    Reply
  8. S Phreak

    Great review, I fully agree with your conclusion on the Seiko 5. I am a huge fan of these watches simply because they are purpose built with reliability, comfort and value in mind. You really can’t go wrong with a Seiko!

    Reply
  9. Baldpacker

    My first “fashion” watch was a Seiko given to me by my Grandma for High School Graduation. It’s amazing to see how much sites like Amazon can bring down the cost of these entry level watches now compared to then. Good looking what and well written review!

    Reply
  10. Mirwaiss

    I’ve always wondered why the time is set at 10:10 on watches.
    Is this standard when taking photos of watches?

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Yes, 10:10 is the time to take watches… lol

      It typically keeps the hands out of the way of any logos/branding, etc. It just presents the watch as best it can I suppose.

      Reply
  11. ExtraSlow

    No nonsense is right. Some of the higher-end watches go well overboard with the styling. This is the kind of watch you can wear every day regardless of if you are changing the oil in your car, going to a business meeting, or just hanging around with teh family. Nice review Cam, it’s obvious you are a fan.

    Reply
    • ExtraSlow

      I should also add that I really like the functional and clean look of having day and date in the same window. I usually know what day of the week it is, but if I’ve been short of sleep or something, it never hurts to have a reminder there. I never know the date, so that is a must-have feature for me.

      Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Day/date complications are my favourite. It’s a nice way to spruce up a watch, and I use it a bit more than I’m proud to admit… lol

      Reply
  12. S

    Very good value at that price point. Beautiful all occasions watch. Well written article. Great job!

    Reply
  13. Rizwan

    Excellent review. This Seiko 5 appears to be an excellent entry level automatic watch. I have a couple of automatics myself, but they are of a dressier variety, and therefore not appropriate in all situations. This would be a great everyday watch, especially as pointed out if the strap is change. However, I think the nylon strap gives it some durability, since you are aren’t worried about the band scratching on anything.

    Reply
  14. JaffX

    Nice review. The watch looks nice and simple for a great price. Unfortunately the nylon strap doesn’t look nice..

    Reply
  15. James Lee

    Seiko has been one of my favorites of all time. I have a vintage Bell-matic myself which I got for my graduation. Fell in love with Seiko ever since.
    I am going to check on Amazon for Seiko very soon.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Please click through one of my amazon links! lol

      (I kid, I kid)

      Reply
  16. ken

    great review. Nice to see an entry level automatic at that price point, looks dressy enough for an everyday watch, classy enough to wear out for a dinner or something as well.

    Reply
  17. Steve

    Nice review, and great website!
    I have a decent collection of mid-range watches, but no Seikos at the moment, even though I’ve always liked Seiko watches, and this one looks nice (give or take the strap)

    Reply
  18. Justin N

    Thanks for the write up and great review. Like most others, I am typically in the market for fair priced time pieces, thanks to your thread I now have a place that can give me an honest review.

    Like the other Justin mentioned before, thanks for talking about the wrist size of the owner. I also am unlucky to have tiny wrists and really appreciate you bringing that point up. It’s something other reviewers should do. Great website, it’s now been added to “favorites”

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Don’t consider yourself unlucky! There are tons of watches designed for smaller wrists I wish I could wear 🙁

      Reply
  19. Dave

    I’ve never owned an automatic watch in my life before, but I’m really considering getting the Seiko 5 to try it out. Movement seems decent for the pricepoint, and I can’t think of a better first automatic watch to get. Last thing I want to do is spend $1k or something on an auto and realize I dislike it.

    Reply
  20. H

    Great review! Really nice watch, looks simple yet still classy.

    Reply
  21. Jonn

    Ok, so here’s the thing. I actually almost bought the watch until I saw the amazon pic with the watch on an actual arm. They should have found a hand model with a slimmer wrist. I really like the design, but because I have a 8-9″ wrist I can not buy this watch. Maybe someone could point me to a review that is of similar price point and quality but has a larger face?

    Well written review though, I read the entire thing. I will bookmark this page.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Look for watches in the 41 – 46 mm range for your wrist size. I don’t have anything on this site I’ve reviewed at that size/price, but you can find them easily enough on Amazon 🙂

      Reply
  22. Brian

    Great watch. Almost seems like the antithesis of much of the modern day bling.

    Whats your opinion on seiko hardlex?

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      I’m not sure how I feel about Hardlex yet. I also have a Hardlex crystal on the Seiko SSB039 (review here: http://www.watchesyoucanafford.com/seiko-ssb039-review/). The SSB039 has held up well with no marks on the face (I wear it once a week usually).

      For the price it seems like a good solution. It wouldn’t prevent me from buying a watch, that’s for sure!

      Reply
      • Lionel

        Thanks for the info, I’m a sapphire junkie after seeing cheap watches get horribly scratched over time, its good to know that Seiko’s propietary Hardlex can keep up with some punishing. That was the single bullet point keeping me away of them.

        Reply
        • Ned

          In my experience, Hardlex definitely holds up to some good punishment. It may be a little less scratch-resistant than sapphire, not that any of my Seikos have scratches, but it is slightly less prone to shattering than sapphire. As you probably know, Seiko uses Hardlex on their higher-end Prospex models as well.

          Reply
          • Cameron Martel

            It seems like a good solution. It wouldn’t prevent me from acquiring a Seiko. 🙂

            I think maybe I’ll do a sapphire vs. hardlex comparison. Any interest in something like that?

  23. Sam

    good review
    At 50, the price is right. However, that is a hideous band!!!!

    Reply
  24. Joon

    First watch was a Seiko ~13 years ago. I love it and it still works great.

    Reply
  25. Sam

    When I got into the world of watches I was actually given a Seiko, I was told buy a cheap watch first to see how you like it, and how it addresses you. Find A style you like. I found the review very entertaining and knowledgeable. You hit it bang on with the pros and the cons. I can’t wait to read what else you guys post up!

    Reply
  26. ricky

    very nice watch for $50 – $90 it looks like a an awesome deal. my friend has the same watch and has nothing but good thinks to say about, good review. only think is wish it had a leather strap, but that can be purchased any time.

    Reply
  27. Erik

    Thanks for the writeup, great site!

    Reply
  28. Manny

    Good review but not a big fan of the nylon strap. It looks great with a leather strap (imho). Have always loved seiko watches and this is a great watch for the value.

    Reply
  29. allan

    Great review, I think I definitely fall into the category of loving the watch but not the strap.
    This would be very easy to change though.
    At this price point i find this watch a very valuable contender for my next purchase.

    Reply
  30. Amear

    Love your reviews! just getting into the watch scene! keep up the good work!

    Reply
  31. Scott

    Another good review!

    I was surprised lately to find that Seiko had a following and, even more surprised that they made automatics.

    Now that I have an automatic, I don’t wear my other two watches because it’s so cool. If you don’t yet own an automatic, you should!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Seiko is one of the few manufacturers that can build a complete watch movement from start to finish without having to source parts from external providers. 🙂

      Reply
  32. Jason

    Hmm I don’t own any Seiko’s yet.

    Reply
  33. OC

    I stopped wearing watches after the first few years smartphones came out, but I had a Seiko 5 before (and thinking of getting a watch again as a novelty cosmetic item soon – so this website is a good resource for me), as said in your article, it’s an ‘a-b’ watch that holds true to the 5 essentials of a Seiko 5 series: date/time/automatic/water-shock resistant.

    Reply
  34. M Dwyer (@Mburked)

    Like it, you did not mention the interesting numbering on the face (minutes are marked larger than hours, more prominent). Is the crown screw-down? Hard to tell from here….

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Crown is not screw down. I didn’t mention the numbers on the face because that’s a cosmetic thing, some people like it and others don’t. I personally didn’t have an opinion one way or the other.

      Reply
  35. MGordon

    Love the face of this watch!

    Reply
  36. Axel

    I like that it’s simple and smaller in diameter; not a big fan of the current trend of the big pieces that seem to “consume” the entire wrist. Agree with replacing the nylon band for something a little classier.

    Reply
  37. Tim

    Still not sure what to think about this one – for the price, the quality is there. I think Seiko still has a cheapy average joe feeling to the brand. I personally don’t think I would buy it, unless it was on for a great deal. and like you said the strap is pretty brutal. I think it would look good with a black leather strap though!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      You can find replacement straps pretty easily online for $10 – $100 (or more) depending on the quality/manufacturer/etc.

      Reply
  38. Johnny Fong

    Great looking watch for that price point, it looks more expensive than it really is. I have a Seiko Kinetic Auto Relay Titanium that I daily wear for the last 5 years and love every minute of it.

    Reply
  39. Mark

    Great review – well written and informative. As someone just looking to get into watches, I had no idea you could get an automatic watch at that price point. I especially like the exposed movement.

    Reply
  40. Daniel

    Awesome review!

    Reply
  41. Ryan

    I just Finished the Review and I really enjoyed the read, Its nice to see reviews for watches that you can wear everyday and not be worried about damaging them. Like the conclusion and the faults section so you know what your getting into I will be looking to pick one of these up for my collection

    Reply
  42. Duane

    Fantastic review. I’ve been thinking about getting into watches and am going to start checking your website out often. It is intimidating to select watches, but I think your reviews will help me. Thanks!

    Reply
  43. Jack

    Wow that is a nice watch for less than $100!! Hopefully I can win a free one 😉

    Reply
  44. Aaron Stewart

    Great looking watch, and I love the clear back. Contrary to the style of giant watches right now it’s nice to see something that is better suited to someone on the skinny side like myself.

    Reply
  45. Ricardo

    Looks good. Wish they would have used a leather strap instead.

    Reply
  46. Terry

    Not a bad looking watch at all.

    Good Value

    Reply
  47. Tina

    I’ve been looking at watches for the boyfriend, and this review was quite informative!

    Reply
  48. Andrew

    The thing that surprises me the most is that automatics can be had for this price. I previously assumed they all cost a lot more. Thanks for the review, can’t say I would have given this watch too much attention if I saw it in a display but now that I know more about it it’s definitely more appealing.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      You can find a lot of Chinese-powered automatics is the $100 range. 🙂

      Reply
      • Lionel

        Yep, but this one comes from a well known brand with a proven and realiable movement, at this price point if you want to have your first automatic is a no-brainer.

        And if you want to go bigger and better, the SEIKO SNZ series is still incredibly good value, with the same aesthetics.

        Reply
      • Ned

        Not to mention some offerings from Orient, another vertically-integrated Japanese manufacturer, which also gives great value.

        Reply
  49. Andrew

    As someone with small wrists/hands, it’s tough finding watches that don’t look humongous on my arm. It seems that too many watchmakers try to cram so many dials onto the watch face, that they have to be big.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      How big are your wrists?

      Reply
      • Andrew

        Approximately 6 inches

        Reply
  50. ben gerwing

    First review I have read as I just saw your beyond.ca thread and wanted to check it out!
    Very nice job and It was nice to learn a few things about seiko, a company I had never given much thought to until today. As for the watch, it looks like a great piece for the money, love the back window, I love seeing the inner workings of anything. Very cool

    Reply
  51. Aj

    Interesting review, first time to this site and I have always been into watches so its nice to see a website dedicated to more affordable watches

    Reply
  52. Brian

    Definitely a more casual look, as you said, but I love the canvas strap. Thanks for the review!

    Reply
  53. Lionel

    Thank you for the review, it was very helpful. I finally gave up buying a Hamilton H70595593 after reading it, and I’m in love with that watch right now :D, but a Seiko 5 will be my next purchase.

    For me the Seiko 5 is the perfect summer watch, you can get something like this http://goo.gl/kR9YUz and play switching different straps with colorful spring/summer outfits. I may even try something more premium like this http://goo.gl/PWpQIg 🙂

    Reply
  54. Steven S

    Good review. Looks like a really good watch at the price point.

    Reply
  55. Big Daddy GEE

    Yo yo yo, that review was aiiiiiiight. I guess. No big deal that Seiko gun’ turn heads when you walken down tha steeet.

    Straight up cred.

    Reply
  56. Chris L

    great review. I am just getting into the joy of watches and this site has some great reviews!

    Reply
  57. Eric Y

    Great review on this watch. Very versatile design for everyday wear too!
    Will be checking back to this site more often for watches I could potentially buy, great concept.

    Reply
  58. Chris

    Nice, I’ve never really looked at Seiko before but after this review I may have to look into it. I’ve always meant to check out Grand Seiko too!

    Reply
  59. Ryan

    This looks like a good option for smaller wrist people like me for an everyday watch. At the price point i would not be scared to use it in active type situations where i would otherwise be too scared to use a more expensive watch.

    Reply
  60. Travis

    Great looking watch! Would look better on my wrist 🙂

    Reply
  61. Brian

    Great review, I never knew Seiko’s were that intricate!

    Reply
  62. Mike Dalton

    At that price, it can’t be beat. Great review!!!

    Reply
  63. Matthew Wong

    Awesome review, the watch looks great at that price point. I actually don’t mind the nylon band, but from your review it seems to be a bit cheap and would be a good option to replace it.

    Reply
  64. Karol

    I loved the explanation of the reason for the 5 in the name of the watch. Overall this was a great honest review showing the good, the bad and the ugly about the watch. Although personally I thought the watch was rather nice. I liked the reverse display of the hours and the minutes, with the focus on the outer ring with the minutes/seconds numbers on it.

    Reply
  65. Neal

    Love the overall aesthetics of this, and the back in particular. Seems like seiko delivers great value again in this.

    Reply
  66. Melissa

    NICE WATCH!

    haha. Looking forward to more reviews Cam! More ladies watches please!

    Reply
  67. Sunny

    I think I like the 37 mm size as a throwback, goes with the retro WWII circa themed dial (especially the green). To the oversized trend I say: are you wearing the time for yourself to see or for other people to catch it off your wrist without asking you?

    Reply
  68. Jackie

    Very simple watch design where practicality override the need for excessive bling… I also like the larger display and the minutes over the hour concept. I would like to see the clasp shown in the review as well as it is part of the aesthetics and quality.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Excellent suggestion and a complete oversight on my part. I shall rectify this tomorrow 🙂

      Reply
  69. Kevin Wilhelm

    I appreciate the in-depth and well thought out review of this watch. You leave little to the imagination and for the amateur watch wearer, this site allows me to begin to appreciate the intricacies of a watch. For this one in particular, I love the manual power. Very cool.

    Reply
  70. Paul Robson

    Like most of Cameron’s reviews, this is excellent. I have only recently discovered this fantastic website, which has offered accurate, objective, well-written reviews on many watches I’ve been considering buying. I’m currently wearing a Seiko 7T92-0KK0, given to me as a present by a group of friends with fantastic taste. This Seiko 5 is a classic piece of horological history. That’s coming from someone who only just learned what that word meant! Even I can recognize a classic, especially with help from in-depth and readable reviews like this.

    Reply
  71. Bobby

    Nice lookin’ piece and i kinda like the strap , i got my current watch based on the review you made on Hamilton Khaki Field and i love it , so i’ll come back for more reviews on a future purchase .

    Reply
  72. Gaurav

    Excellent review! I was surprised you put in so much work to review a watch at this pricepoint. I (very) recently decided to upgrade my own $95 ESQ watch and I’ve been looking at Citizen Eco Drives in the $250 range. I thought I should do my research and learn a bit about watches before plunking down the $250 on a watch that I’d know nothing about except for how it looked. I’ve been trying to learn and read up about features horologists value and I haven’t run across a site that’s reviewed a watch like this one has. I’d never have looked at a watch like this and appreciated it’s seeming bland-ness unless I knew about the history and the market it was trying to reach. I’ll certainly understand the person wearing it a little better next time I see one.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Thanks for the kind words Gaurav 🙂

      Citizen Eco-Drive’s are excellent (I have two reviewed here). For many people they’re the ideal watch: they have cool “insides” and they never require a battery replacement. Which ones did you have in mind?

      Reply
  73. JamesP

    I like the Seiko SNK809 because it is relatively inexpensive, has an interesting design, and looks to be a daily beater for me.

    Reply
  74. ExtraSlow

    Thanks to the contest on watchesyoucanafford.com, I am now the owner of a Seiko 5 automatic watch. Specifically the SNK809 model. This is my first automatic timepiece, so consider this review as coming from the newbie point of view. I’ve been wearing this daily now for about a week.

    The excellent photos Cam posted show the look of this watch very well. It’s fairly plain, but handsome to my eye. A black fabric strap, matte silver finish on the case, and black face with white numerals. The 37mm case is pretty small. I’m not a fan of the current fashion of having huge wrist-clocks strapped to your arm, but I think most men will agree this baby could use a few more mm.

    I will admit I’m not crazy about the strap. It’s nicely finished with no lose threads, but I’m really used to a metal strap. After a while I’m sure I’ll change out the strap.

    There’s not a lot I can say about this watch that wasn’t covered in the extensive original review. However, so far I’ve found this a handsome and easy to love watch that I can see getting a lot of wear from me. Thanks Cam and watchesyoucanafford.com for running this contest!

    Reply
  75. SeikoFan

    Well, I’ve had this watch for almost three weeks now. From what I have read about automatics, it is well within acceptable limits of accuracy. Over 17 days, it has only lost one minute, meaning that it only loses about 3 seconds a day. (60 seconds/17 days = 3.5 seconds per day) I was originally worried it would lose more based on the review here, but I am very pleased with the timekeeping ability of this watch.

    I know some people hate the canvas band, but I happen to like it for it’s utilitarian durability. I have worn this watch every day as long as I have had it and so far, to the naked eye, not a single scratch!

    I would go so far as to say this is a watch that is impossible to hate. The again, that may be a biased statement because I know I love it! The price is right, quality is right, and the look is right. What more could one ask for in a watch?

    Reply
  76. edsahara

    This has been my every day watch for almost a year. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of all of them, but mine keeps perfect time. I have no complaints.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      It’s hard to find fault with the SNK809!

      Reply
  77. Jonathan

    Seems like a great watch. Unfortunately, i must have gotten it from the wrong place. I bought one over a year ago from thewatchery.com as a gift for my dad but immediately experienced issues. Within a week the watch completely stopped working. Due to some issues with the return policy i was then stuck with a 70 dollar paperweight. Even with this bad experience, i still believe seiko watches are a great choice. I would only recommend that people purchase them form another source so they can avoid the same situation.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      I’m sorry to hear that Jonathan! That must have been very frustrating 🙁

      Reply
  78. charly

    Just unpacked and strapped one on! It is my first Automatic and I’m very happy. I went full utility style with the green face and strap. I have a slender wrist, so I actually like that it is small yet rugged looking!

    Reply
  79. aarem

    Sorry to join in so late, but can this watch be opened for adjusting the time movement.

    Reply
  80. Nexus 8675309

    Great watch. I went with the steel band which adds a flare of class to the watch. Keeps great time and looks great. I’m not a fan of big bling watches, prefer a subdued look.

    Reply
  81. David

    Great review. I’ve had my Seiko 5 for a couple years and absolutely love it. I chose the watch due to the price ($90) on Amazon and because I really wanted a real automatic watch and figured it would be a good start. Although a little small, it is heavy, bulletproof, and keeps great time. One other cool feature I love is that on the Day/Date window, Mon through Friday are written in black, but Sat is bright blue (supercool), and Sun is written in red (perhaps a warning that another work week looms ahead). Slick. If you’re on the fence with the Seiko 5, just do it. You won’t be disappointed.

    Reply
  82. Robert Donat

    Seiko pieces are my favorite choice when it comes to diver’s watches.Their craftsmanship is so admirable, Seiko is among the few brands that can offer a high-quality watch at an affordable price. This Seiko 5 is simple designed but eye-catching in its own way. I love the 7s26 caliber, too, so reliable

    Reply
  83. Don

    The Crown at the 4 oclock position was a very desirable feature for me. no stem/crown marks on my wrist. this is one of the great fatures of the 5 (five series).

    Reply
  84. shea

    I have two of these, green one with nylon strap and black with steel band. I suppose the one with steel bracelet is not that widely available. Both are quite recent acquisitions. Years ago I used to have a standard seiko 5, if memory serves me right I think these two are lighter than other Fives.

    Reply
  85. Michael Hall

    Great review for a very deserving timepiece.

    As a relative neophyte into watch-collecting, research (including this review,) led me to make this my first automatic, and I completely concur with everything you’ve said here. It’s spartan, but still good-looking with a very legible military watch-style face. My accuracy seems to be coming in at around 15 or so seconds a day, perfectly acceptable in an inexpensive automatic. Some things I’ve read suggest this movement is somewhat related to the one in the Seiko Monster dive watch (which may be my next purchase…)

    It’s become my daily workhorse beater, but still looks good enough to wear anywhere so long as you aren’t dressing up too much, especially after a band-swap (black leather right now, might try distressed brown leather at some point too.) The face is small, and probably too small if you have really beefy wrists/arms as you’ve said, but it looks fine on my 8″-ish wrist. Really can’t say enough good things about the 5. And for under $60 on Amazon, this is one that should be in everyone’s collection, for sure.

    Thanks again for the excellent and very helpful reviews. I’m enjoying the site a great deal.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Great choice in a first auto, Michael!

      The Seiko Monster can be found with either a 4R36 auto (which is based on the 7S26 in the Seiko 5) or the 7S26 itself. Great watches, I think you’ll like it!

      Reply
      • Michael Hall

        Thanks for the reply! Today I received my second generation Black Monster (SRP307) with the 4R36 movement- I liked the addition of hand-winding and hacking capability. I love the fact that it’s a serious dive watch that isn’t trying to be a Rolex Submariner, and that it has a good deal of wrist presence without being obnoxious and overbearing. Really, I’m all around in love with it.

        Reply
  86. Rob

    Call me crazy but I’d like to mod one of these into a Rolex Milgauss from the 70’s

    Reply

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