- 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
- SEIKO 5 SNK809 Technical Specifications
- Seiko 5 SNK809 Aesthetics & Design
- WYCA Recommends Amazon
- Seiko 5 SNK809 Build Quality
- The Seiko 5 is an Important Watch With a Great History
- About Seiko’s 7S26 Automatic Movement
- The SNK809 Offers Great Value for Your Money. It’s Also a Great Watch.
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.
SEIKO 5 SNK809 Technical Specifications
- Model Number: SNK809
- MSRP: $185
- Case Diameter: 37mm
- Alternate Models: Tons of versions & colors available
- Movement: Automatic, Seiko 7S26
- Complications: Day/date display
- Power Reserve: Approximately 40 hours
- Water Resistance: 30m / 99ft
- Crystal Material: Hardlex
Seiko 5 SNK809 Aesthetics & Design
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.
WYCA Recommends Amazon
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You should know that if you click on ads that WYCA receives an approximate 4% commission on the sale of the watch you buy. This does not change the price that you pay…
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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.
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.
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.
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:
- First affordable combination of the five elements listed above
- 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.
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.
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.
133 thoughts on “Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic Review”
At this price point, a no-nonsense watch with a legible and great dial layout!
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.
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.
Good review. I like it. Simple.
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!
Yes it’s funny how people don’t like them, but watch enthusiasts do. I’d like a Seiko Kinetic… *drool*
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!
You talking about one of these? http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-SEIKO-MENS-KINETIC-BLACK-DIVERS-STAINLESS-STEEL-BLACK-DIAL-DW200M-SKA371P1-/111260717726
At $200 it’s very reasonable!
Precisely! And yes, extremely affordable, and from a trustworthy ebay seller too. The Pepsi version is the one that gets me drooling! Now if you get your hands on one and give us a review, what a treat it would be…
Thanks for the review Cameron, I love Seiko and this is definitely next on my list for a daily automatic.
Not at all an earth-shattering design, but simple and clean.
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!
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!
I’ve always wondered why the time is set at 10:10 on watches.
Is this standard when taking photos of watches?
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.
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.
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.
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
Very good value at that price point. Beautiful all occasions watch. Well written article. Great job!
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.
Nice review. The watch looks nice and simple for a great price. Unfortunately the nylon strap doesn’t look nice..
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.
Please click through one of my amazon links! lol
(I kid, I kid)
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.
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)
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”
Don’t consider yourself unlucky! There are tons of watches designed for smaller wrists I wish I could wear 🙁
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.
Great review! Really nice watch, looks simple yet still classy.
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.
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 🙂
Great watch. Almost seems like the antithesis of much of the modern day bling.
Whats your opinion on seiko hardlex?
I’m not sure how I feel about Hardlex yet. I also have a Hardlex crystal on the Seiko SSB039 (review here: https://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!
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.
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.
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?
At 50, the price is right. However, that is a hideous band!!!!
First watch was a Seiko ~13 years ago. I love it and it still works great.
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!
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.
Thanks for the writeup, great site!
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.
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.
Love your reviews! just getting into the watch scene! keep up the good work!
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!
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. 🙂
Hmm I don’t own any Seiko’s yet.
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.
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….
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.
Love the face of this watch!
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.
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!
You can find replacement straps pretty easily online for $10 – $100 (or more) depending on the quality/manufacturer/etc.
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.
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.
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
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!
Wow that is a nice watch for less than $100!! Hopefully I can win a free one 😉
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.
Looks good. Wish they would have used a leather strap instead.
Not a bad looking watch at all.
I’ve been looking at watches for the boyfriend, and this review was quite informative!
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.
You can find a lot of Chinese-powered automatics is the $100 range. 🙂
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.
Not to mention some offerings from Orient, another vertically-integrated Japanese manufacturer, which also gives great value.
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.
How big are your wrists?
Approximately 6 inches
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
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
Definitely a more casual look, as you said, but I love the canvas strap. Thanks for the review!
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 🙂
Good review. Looks like a really good watch at the price point.
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.
great review. I am just getting into the joy of watches and this site has some great reviews!
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.
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!
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.
Great looking watch! Would look better on my wrist 🙂
Great review, I never knew Seiko’s were that intricate!
At that price, it can’t be beat. Great review!!!
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.
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.
Love the overall aesthetics of this, and the back in particular. Seems like seiko delivers great value again in this.
haha. Looking forward to more reviews Cam! More ladies watches please!
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?
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.
Excellent suggestion and a complete oversight on my part. I shall rectify this tomorrow 🙂
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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?
I like the Seiko SNK809 because it is relatively inexpensive, has an interesting design, and looks to be a daily beater for me.
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!
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?
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.
It’s hard to find fault with the SNK809!
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.
I’m sorry to hear that Jonathan! That must have been very frustrating 🙁
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!
Sorry to join in so late, but can this watch be opened for adjusting the time movement.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
Obligatory wrist shot picture required. For science.
Call me crazy but I’d like to mod one of these into a Rolex Milgauss from the 70’s
I’d love to see that!
Loved the review, just purchased my SNK809 (green) and excitedly waiting for delivery now!
You mentioned that you were going to post a review of various straps for the watch. Have you managed to do a review yet?
Argh not yet! Working on it I swear!
I was hoping to get some recommendations, looking for good quality 18mm NATO leather straps. Do you know a trusty company that’s UK based?
I’m a fan of Barton straps, but they’re USA based.
I just bought one. The nylon strap looksa alright for a sport watch. The crystal doesn’t reflect the ambient light which is great. Congrats, very honest review.
I must have had an atypical experience with mine. I got one a couple years back and it was OK for several and then started keeping inaccurate time – like not just a few seconds but 10-20 minutes per day lost. At that point a watch is pretty much useless as a timepiece.
You could get it serviced, but that would likely run somewhere between $50 and $100.
It’s just so nice to see that, having a much lower (IOW affordable) pricing point would allow many people into mechanical watches. This is so exciting as many people (including me) have stopped carrying watches for so many years due to the availability of so many sources.
When comparing the SNK809 with the SNZG15, aside from the size, it is also notable to mention that the SNZG15 is rated with a water resistance of 100m compared to the SNK809’s 30m.
Fantastic review Cam! its such a clean watch and I wouldn’t mind snagging one too for a nice everyday basher.
This is a great first watch for a child, as it is suitable for small wrists, relatively cheap, very tough, has a display back to show the springs and gears (in this age of microprocessors) and, perhaps most importantly, has a dial design very conducive to teaching analog time-telling (the hour hand follows its own 12 hour track at the tip, while the minute and second hands have a legible 60 pip scale. My boy’s first watch was/is a blue variant of this one…worked out great.
Ahh, the SNK807? A fine choice for a watch. I’m glad your son enjoys the watch- he is lucky 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Dan!
Hey, Thanks For Your Valuable Review. I have gifted This Watch To My Brother and He is extremely happy.
Those who would prefer a leather strap on this watch have a point, but so has the previous poster who sees clearly that a utilitarian strap. Is entirely in keeping with a simple, everday watch.