Seiko Kinetic SKA553 Review

Seiko Kinetic SKA553 ReviewScore 72% Score 72%

About Seiko

Seiko was founded in 1881 and produced its first watch in 1924. It is one of the largest watch manufacturers on the planet and is the parent company of many sub-brands, the most popular being Grand Seiko, Pulsar, and Orient.

It is our opinion that Seiko is a reputable manufacturer and we generally have high-praise for their watches.

HOW WE REVIEW WATCHES

Our reviews are based on our first-hand experience with the watch. All photos and media are created by us (unless otherwise credited). Learn more about how we review watches and also click here to see real customer reviews, specs and prices on Amazon.

Review Summary

This is a watch that combines some of the best elements of an automatic movement with the timekeeping accuracy and reliability of a quartz movement. Once charged, the SKA553’s kinetic movement keeps a six month power reserve. If this watch will be a daily wearer, I recommend it wholeheartedly; if this watch will be part of a larger collection, perhaps consider whether or not you want a kinetic movement at all…

Seiko Kinetic SKA553 Technical Specifications

Model Number

SKA553

MSRP

$375

Case Diameter

42mm

Alternate Models

Lots available on Amazon

Movement

5M62 Kinetic

Complications

Date display, power reserve indicator

Battery Life

6 months/indefinite

Water Resistance

100m/330ft

Crystal Material

Hardlex

Operating the Watch

The Seiko Kinetic SKA553 operates like most watches with a date display and is manipulated primarily via the crown. The button above the crown activates the power reserve indicator. Read more about the movement for more information.

Read the complete user manual here.

How To set the time:

  • Pull crown to the furthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time.

How To set the date:

  • Pull the crown to the middle position (position 2) and turn clockwise to set the date.

Seiko Kinetic SKA553 Aesthetics & Design

The SKA553 is a handsome, if not youthful, watch. It’s dark face is emboldened by its multi-layered appearance, thanks to a sunken inner dial where the hands, date display, and power reserve indicators rest. The two-tier effect makes the watch seem much thicker than it really is.

The upper ring of the dial is reserved only for the hour markers. Confusingly, only the 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 o’clock markers have lume. Subsequently, at night only they and the hour/minute hands are visible.

The movement is completely void of decoration. It appears oddly familiar to an automatic, but as soon as you move the watch the clicking noise the movement makes marks it immediately as anything but a mechanical. Still, it’s great to see an electric movement paying homage to part of what makes a mechanical movement so wonderful.

With the stainless steel bracelet, dark dial, and bold hour markers, the SKA553 certainly isn’t much in the way of subtle. It’s large enough to be worn comfortably by most men, and its styling is inoffensive and fairly univeral- the SKA553 will work with most outfits.

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

Seiko Kinetic SKA553 Build Quality

Seiko is known for building watches that are good quality and that have higher than average levels of fit and finish. The SKA553 is no exception to those standards, with tight tolerances evident throughout its build. I didn’t see much in the way of imperfections when viewing it using my 90mm macro lens.

Crystal, Case, and Dial

Hardlex is Seiko’s proprietary mineral crystal material. Seiko claims it offers improved scratch resistance compared to a standard mineral crystal. I haven’t been able to test this properly to determine if this is actually true or not, but I have plenty of anecdotal experience with Hardlex and have no problems to report from either of the three watches in my collection that sport a Hardlex crystal.

The stainless steel case looks as if it’s a two-piece, with the black top-half rimmed with a thin red ring, and the polished steel bottom half kept fairly plain. Neither showed any wear despite my vigorous testing (heh, read more).

Strap and Clasp

The stainless steel bracelet isn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever worn, but it is also far from the least, either.. For most people I suspect it will do the job just fine. The tolerances between the links are tight enough that no arm hairs decided to get pinched, and the overall quality of build is definitely reflective of the price of the watch.

ALSO READ  Revisiting the Seiko SNK809

The clasp is an integrated deployment clasp, and again, it is good quality. Once closed it feels tight and secure.

Movement

To the untrained eye, the 5M62 kinetic movement looks very similar to an automatic movement. It uses a pendulum to turn an impeller – reaching speeds as high as 100,000 rpm – which in turn charges a rechargeable lithium battery. Seiko calls the battery a “power cell”, and the power cell is what drives the movement.

It feels very different on your wrist than an auto does, though I don’t say that in a negative way. It’s just different. There’s markedly more resistance when the pendulum spins, and the motion itself is louder than most autos.

The movement has a function built in that informs you when its power reserves are low- when its power reserve is under 24 hours, the seconds hand begins to tick in two-second intervals.  Charging the movement by moving your wrist will eventually get it back to the regular one-second interval.

It also has a power reserve indicator, though not in the traditional sense. Instead of a complication visible on the dial, you activate the power reserve display by pressing the button above the crown when the second hand is at the 12 o’clock position. When the button is pressed, the second hand will skip forward to one of the hour markers within the red half-circle:

  • 5 seconds indicates between 1 and 7 days
  • 10 seconds indicates between 7 days and 1 month
  • 20 seconds indicates approximately 1 month, and 30 seconds indicates between 4 and 6 months.

My Experience Charging the 5M62’s Power Cell

Seiko says that you need to do approximately 450 wrist swings (hammering, basically) to build up a two-day charge. So, I threw on Netflix and sat there swinging. And swinging. And swinging…

After an hour of straight swinging the movement still ticked along in two-second intervals, so I decided to perhaps try something a bit more natural by going for a three kilometer jog on the treadmill. The manual says that a 720m walk should charge the watch enough for two days (and thus stop ticking in two-second intervals), so my logic was that by going for a 3,000m jog I’d surely charge the watch. Combined with the who-knows-how-many wrist swings I’d done prior, I figured I was pretty likely to get enough charge.

But, hilariously, I was wrong. It still ticked in two-second intervals.

Determined, I went for a second jog on the treadmill. This time, I walked/jogged for 45 minutes straight and made a point of moving my arms when I walked. I looked like I was trying to power walk, but that’s okay, as the cause was worth any amount of treadmilling.

After 45 minutes I checked the Seiko, which miraculously had managed to avoid being scratched or dinged despite the jogs. I was disappointed to see it still ticking in two second intervals.

Still determined, I started swinging the watch back and forth quite vigorously. After a couple of minutes of this, finally, it started ticking in one-second intervals. A wave of relief washed over me as I felt better knowing that the watch wouldn’t die for at least 24 hours. The power cell is punishing, however- my relief was short lived, as mere minutes after going back to its regular interval the seconds hand started double-ticking again.

More determined than ever, I shook my wrist violently to charge the power cell. After nearly 20 minutes of constant shaking the battery finally relented, and the power indicator informed me I had accrued at least a week’s worth of power.

Victory, at last.

Value for Money

With an MSRP of $375, the Seiko Kinetic SKA553 has stiff competition from the likes of Hamilton, Tissot, and other entry-level Swiss watch brands. At the $400 price range you’re likely to find entry-level automatics as well as mid-end quartz movements. In other words, there’s a lot of choice for $400.

However, I’ve never seen the SKA553 sell for more than $175 on Amazon. In fact, it’s $139 right now. Priced under $175, and the SKA553 becomes a real gem.

For under $200 you’re getting a kinetic movement, which generates power similarly to how an automatic does: by the natural movement of your arm. You also get an improved Hardlex crystal and good build quality, too.

If I found this watch for sale for anything under $200 I’d have no problems recommending it as good value.

Where to Buy

Photo Gallery

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Seiko Kinetic SKA553
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray

Seiko Kinetic SKA553 Review Conclusion

72%

My thoughts I really like the kinetic movement, especially the six month power reserve. However, if you've already got a few automatics in your collection, I question if the SKA553 would be a good mix given how frustrating the 5M62 kinetic movement can be to charge.

AESTHETICS & DESIGN
70%
BUILD QUALITY
80%
MOVEMENT ACCURACY & RELIABILITY
65%
VALUE FOR MONEY
75%

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.

105 Comments

  1. Justin N.

    Another great review. I have been wanting a kinetic watch for a long time, I just haven’t got around to getting one. Looking forward to more reviews.

    Reply
  2. Karan

    I quite like this one actually. Probably one of the few Seiko’s I like the look of. Thanks for the review Cam.

    Reply
  3. Mike Dalton

    I don’t know what it is, but there’s something very appealing about that watch!?! Great review as always!

    Reply
  4. sam huo

    Really like the look of this watch. Thanks for the great review!
    I have so many watches, it’s hard to commit to wearing this one every week, not sure if I want to add it to my collection.

    Reply
  5. Duane

    I love the looks of this watch! Great review!

    Reply
  6. Vincent W.

    Wow, this is a really good looking watch, love the black face with the red accents. I’ve never had a kinetic watch before, so maybe I’ll check this one out. The price is definitely attractive.

    Reply
  7. Chatham Fricker

    Love this watch. The face really stands out with a nice color scheme. Hope to win this one!

    Reply
  8. Arif

    Very sharp looking timepiece. Contrast of the face makes it uber clean. I only wish I knew how to tell time on a non divi face haha…

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      One must learn to walk before they can run 😛 lol

      Reply
  9. O|C

    Solid watch for that price point, great review!

    Reply
  10. Dan Engbers

    What a great review. Nowadays with the internet I research the heck out of anything I buy and honestly, after reading this review, I don’t think I’d look elsewhere when researching my next watch purchase. Your explanation of the kinetic movement makes me feel comfortable in considering it in a purchase.

    I like the looks of this watch as well, it seems like it would be a great day to day piece.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Thanks for the great feedback Dan!

      Reply
  11. slick2404

    Nice review, and solid pictures!

    Reply
  12. Lionel

    Nice watch, the design has a lot of personality. I always wondered how the Kinetic charging worked, it’s good to know it, I’ll keep that in mind if I buy one for a present or for myself.

    Altough I prefer Citizen’s solution with Eco-Drive, because I can forget the watch for months as long as it has some light, I’m concerned with what will happen to Eco-Drive and Kinetic watches in the long run. Anyone has any first hand experience with them for around 10 years or more?

    Reply
    • Cary

      Lionel – I bought a Lorus Kinetic (cheap brand from Seiko) about 14 years ago and I have only just started to experience problems with the battery. It now runs for only 3-4 days when I stop wearing it, whereas it would go for a month and more during the first five years. I like it a lot so am now hunting down a replacement battery. Mine had the original ‘capacitor’ style of battery, which is supposed to be inferior to the new batteries that Seiko now use. Some people had problems with lifespan on the old capacitors but mine was pretty good. New batteries are said to hold more power and last longer.

      Like the review model my Lorus has an exhibition window on the back. If you look really closely you can see the tiny cog that is driven by the big pendulum cog (one of the reasons I bought it).

      Reply
  13. Ryan

    Very cool, I remember when the kinetic charging came out but didn’t realize it was still around. I wonder if that’s what people are doing when I see them shaking their wrists while standing in the elevator. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Jason L.

    Hmm I’d love to see that 2 second jump thing…

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      I’ll see if it does it before I ship it off to the winner. If so, I’ll make a quick vid and throw it on youtube 🙂

      Reply
  15. Geo Thompson

    Another informed insightful, review. Great job, keep ’em coming.

    Reply
  16. Johnny B Goode

    Like many men, I have more wrist watches than I need. But in a way that only collectors of such things can understand, there is always room for one more. In this instance, the most recent “one more” is this incredibly stunning and innovative Seiko Kinetic SKA553. First, the technology, then, the design and appearance: A truly handsome and perfectly functional wrist watch. I have never had Seiko Kinetic watch and I would be happy to win this SKA553. I’ve would be proud to wear it. Thank You Sir for this adorable review! 😉

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Glad you enjoyed Johnny 🙂

      Reply
  17. joel hwang

    great review!

    Reply
  18. Shaun

    Great looking watch from Seiko. I’ve got a couple of Seiko’s at home, my Kenetic is 14 years old and still going strong, although it has been replaced with a Citizen Eco-Drive. The only issue that I have is the hardlex crystal which I gave a good beating too over the years. Its scratched up but otherwise works fine.

    Reply
  19. Paul B

    Cam,

    Great review and a sharp looking watch. Couple questions/comments.
    How much more noticeable than an auto is it? or is it just a matter of adjusting to it like the first auto anyone gets?
    and the noise? continuously noticeable or just periodic.. WIll I notice this sitting at my desk and have it drive me bonkers? haha

    Also, small spelling error after the charging debacle. I think it’s supposed to read “Victory, at last”

    I do wish the red accents where a little more reserved.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Hey Paul, thanks for the heads up with the typo 🙂

      The noise/motion resistance is substantially more noticable than a standard auto, but it’s not obnoxious. Once you’ve worn it for a few minutes you forget it’s even there. Very similar to an auto in that way. You won’t notice the noise unless you have it pretty close to your ear.

      Reply
      • Paul

        That’s good to know. Thanks, your reviews are quite helpful. I’ve been lurking for a while from beyond.ca

        Reply
  20. S

    Good looking watch. Looks much more expensive than it is. Might go get myself one!

    Reply
  21. Adam C.

    I agree with S, the watch definately appears more expensive than it actually is. I still wear a 20 year old Seiko given to me by my father and it’s still ticking along.
    Thanks for the review Cam!

    Reply
  22. Tom Donnelly

    I have to disagree on the styling. I think this is a fantastic looking watch. It isn’t super complicated looking. I would definitely wear this watch.

    Reply
  23. Trevor M

    Sounds like a very nice watch, really handsome for its price range.

    Reply
  24. Derrick

    Good looking watch and a good price. Will be on my list for my next watch purchase. Thanks for the review!

    Reply
  25. Mrsingh

    Good review and sharp looking watch!

    Reply
  26. Lenny K

    Great review, the charging part was pretty funny. Based on this, I’ve decided that my next watch will be a Seiko SKA series, although I prefer the color scheme of the SKA555.

    Reply
  27. Max Y

    Great looking watch. A simple face that grabs attention. Pretty cool technology, too. Glad to hear from one of the comments that these can last for a very long time.

    Reply
  28. Steven Szabo

    Another interesting watch from Seiko…good on you for bringing the more affordable watches to light.

    Reply
  29. Jed Natividad

    I saw this watch when I was looking for a Seiko 5 on Amazon. I wasn’t really looking for a kinetic but after reading your review I think I’ll give it a shot, as mentioned in your review it’ll probably be a daily watch for me. Thanks for the review!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      I’d love to hear your feedback about it once you’ve got it!

      Reply
  30. Darren D

    Very nice looking watch, good find to find it on sale at such a good price.

    Reply
  31. Jordan

    Great review Cam,

    I like that this watch has a sleek face that isn’t cluttered, the hands and numbers seem to be large enough to make checking the time simple compared to some of the other watches you’ve reviewed. Also, i’d argue that the red accents don’t seem overdone at all (at least from what I can see in your pictures), I like the appearance a lot. The charging issues seem odd though. Hopefully it won’t be much of a problem after repetitive use.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      It’s been good so far. I’ve been wearing it once or twice per week and it’s been telling me I have between one week and one months worth of charge.

      Reply
  32. M Dwyer (@Mburked)

    Very interesting, I was surprised to see the rotor and an exhibition caseback, kinda cool.
    I’m wondering about your designation of the Kinetic as NOT quartz… isn’t the movement still charging a powercell which sends electronic pulses through a quartz crystal?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      I don’t view it is a quartz because it’s not a traditional battery-powered watch. Seiko is also quick to talk about how it isn’t a quartz, but perhaps we’re just splitting hairs. Maybe we can roll with something like this: automatic technology, quartz accuracy.

      Reply
  33. Andrew

    Wow I can’t believe how long it took you to charge it up. Sounds like more hassle than it’s worth! Haha. I’ve never owned a kinetic watch, but they always intrigued me. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      lol it was an experience for sure, but I love exercise so it’s all good.

      It’s important to remember that it now has charge for a month, and it’d be charged more if I wore it more regularly. However, since I’m giving it away shortly I try to avoid wearing it to ensure I don’t damage it/scratch it/etc.

      Reply
  34. Paisley

    That charging bit sounds like a real pain in the ass……what happens if the power cell dies due to lack of frequent use and subsequent diminished capacity? Does the price point of the watch make it a throw-away?

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      If the power cell dies I imagine you could have it serviced, though I’d tend to opt for a replacement at the $115 – $150 price tag.

      Reply
    • Cary

      My cheap old Lorus Kinetic could be put on a shelf and run for a month or more when new before stopping. When you want to use it again just give it a few shakes, set the time and you’re good to go. I never had an expeience like Cameron’s with difficult charging. It’s 14 years old now and the battery is about done and needs replacing. Seiko’s new batteries for the Kinetics are supposed to run for longer and last longer too.
      I think you could be fairly confident that any Seiko / Lorus Kinetic will have a good long life before the battery needs replacing.

      Reply
  35. Adam B

    An interesting watch from Seiko – I quite like the design, in a casual or even semi-business sense but agree with you that it’s not really something that would suit formal situations.
    When I first started reading the review, I was a fan of their concept for checking the power reserve and the ‘notification’ for when power was running low, but reading further the logic behind the increments doesn’t sit well with me – I guess you’d get used to it eventually though.
    At $150 though, I think it’s probably a pretty good watch to add to the collection, certainly if you don’t already own a kinetic variant.
    Thanks for the review, keep them coming! 🙂

    Reply
  36. Andrew

    Interesting watch overall, seems like the sort of watch the would sort of wade back and forth if i were to have more than 2-3 watches due to it’s battery life cycle. The kinetic movement itself seems reliable even though the amount of shaking required to get out of the 24 hour cycle seems a bit much. Considering how this is sort of an automatic watch with a longer lasting battery charge it seems like an interesting way to go about Seiko’s kinetic watches.
    All in all great review, I look forward to the next few watches you continue to review!

    Reply
  37. Gabe

    Great Review! Looks like a nice, solid automatic to add to my collection at a good price.

    I’m into the red accents.

    Reply
  38. David D

    Watch looks great, love the color contrast. Not sure about how I feel about how the charging works, but darn it looks good.

    Reply
  39. Derrick

    It’s a nice looking watch and the red accents make it look sharp. The blue is equally as appealing. I own a Seiko SCC017 and the low power indicator works the same as described for this watch. First time I saw that, I thought the watch was defective!

    But anyone who owns more than a couple kinetic/automatic movements should have a watch winder anyways 😉

    Reply
  40. cory

    Posted in the wrong section! Great looking watch, good review! I don’t have a Seiko kinetic and I’ve never used one, hopefully I could add this one to my collection of seikos!

    Reply
  41. Don Viray

    Great color scheme and pretty rock solid design. Had seiko’s before and they are very well made!

    Reply
  42. Jayson

    Wow this page seems to be getting more and more popular. Awesome to see.

    Nice looking watch and very detailed review.

    Reply
  43. rohbaert

    Thanks for this review.
    I really like the aesthetics on this watch. I was already considering a Seiko 5, but I find this one looks even better. My Swatch Sunscratch has a similar low power indicator, although there the seconds hand jumps in 5 second intervals. But the much longer power reserve on this one compared to an automatic or solar is of course an advantage.

    Reply
  44. Brad

    I recently picked up a Seiko 5 based on your review but I think this one looks better with the larger face. Love the reviews, keep up the good work!

    Reply
  45. Jakob

    I love the contrast the red colour gives to the watch, so it’s not as plain looking as other watches i’ve looked at. It annoys me that many great looking watches are bigger than 42 mm, as this size generally overpowers my wrist, but i really like this one!

    Reply
  46. RichN

    Great review! The watch looks amazing, I’d like to thank you for clearing up the differences between a Kinetic and Automatic, I never knew that they were actually different.

    I’ve been considering getting a Seiko 5, but I like how this Kinetic looks much better and is bigger as well.

    Reply
  47. Mike Dalton

    Just $119 on Amazon. Might have to consider purchasing if I’m not the lucky recipient of this one. Of course I’ll have the impossible task of explaining to my wife why I need to buy ANOTHER watch! Thanks!

    Reply
  48. Ryan Wetteskind

    Great, review very detailed. I realy like the face design of this watch.

    Reply
  49. Vincent M

    Thank you for the insightful review. I was directed to this site from a friend. I’m looking at building a watch collection and this looks like a great piece to start off with. Looking forward to your reviews in the future!

    Reply
  50. Dominic

    I too never have used a kinetic watch before so this was review was a good read. Good price too!

    Reply
  51. Max Finnerty

    Most of my watches are automatics and I’ve never really thought about a kinetic watch. After this review, I’d be willing to get a cheap one just to try out because of the neat factor. I Like the way this watch has a different sporty dress look than other watches and the red highlights.

    Reply
  52. Melvingtx

    Another great review Cameron.

    After reading your review, I bought the watch for my father. I present it him this weekend. He absolutely loved it as he ahs always wanted a Seiko. At 185 CAD you can’t go wrong. Also, the color scheme is great. The read and black combo looks great. The fit on my dads fit is perfect. I’m a bit worried about the Kinetic Movement as my father will only wear it on the weekends but i’ll post again if he has any issues.

    Reply
  53. James

    Instantly added to my amazon wishlist. This face is amazing, and the band looks great too. Then, with such a great movement behind it…It may be first on my wishlist now.

    Reply
  54. B?

    I really like the design of this watch as well as all the recent Seiko watch, especially the way the dial details stand out, would love to try this on my wrist!

    Reply
  55. Eric Y

    This is quite an attractive watch in my opinion. Also great read on the kinetic movement of this watch. I’ve only ever owned battery operated watches and would love to explore something different like this one for my next watch!

    Reply
  56. Duck-man Vo

    Nice review. I always thought the kinetic movement was to replace the battery in a quartz movement.Nice to know that it’s a little bit different. The watch has a nice sporty retro look to it.

    Reply
  57. Richard

    Nice review. I have a Hamilton auto in my collection and after reading this I now want to try the Kinetic and this Seiko is one looker.

    Reply
  58. Rookie101

    Great review,the addition of the trials in getting it charged were great to know about. For myself that wouldn’t wear the watch on a regular basis it lets me know,that perhaps this watch and I would not get along!

    Reply
  59. Mike

    Good review. Looking for a decent but affordable watch

    Reply
  60. ksatt69

    interesting watch

    Reply
  61. ksatt69

    cam im looking for a good inexpensive moon phase watch,also your thoughts on invicta watches

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      I don’t have any direct experience with Invicta so I can’t comment. What I’ve read about the brand online hasn’t been fantastic, though.

      Are you looking for an actual moonphase complication, or a day/night cycle complication?

      Reply
  62. brian

    Where is a good place to buy Seiko in Calgary? I got my first Seiko watch back in Hong Kong almost 8 years ago and I wouldn’t mind looking at new watches:D

    Reply
  63. Terence

    Thank you for the review, Cam! I have several watches, including a few entry-level autos and a few Seikos, but no Kinetic as yet. I have enjoyed the Citezen Eco-Drive, and I am curious about how the two compare. I have been considering the Seiko 5, as well, which is what brought me to this review. This watch is definitely one I will consider for my collection, but I worry that the color scheme might limit its use. Thanks again!

    Reply
  64. Seán C

    I have only recently, and quite suddenly for some reason, developed an interest in watches. Reading reviews like this one has opened my eyes to a whole new world to which I was previously ignorant to in terms of the amazing detail and mechanics that can go into an automatic watch! I have yet to buy my first automatic watch and am only looking at vintage pieces at the moment but, from reading things like this I’m quickly learning the things to look out for so thank you! Watches – they’re bloody great!

    Reply
  65. SN

    Thanks for the review. I hadn’t realized what a kinetic movement was.

    On a side note – a lot of the links are broken – even the feedback link on the about page where I would have sent you a note about broken links. Specifically I was looking under the 101 guide and trying to get to the buying guide and the where to buy. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Heh yea, the buying guide isn’t done yet. I left the links there to remind me to do it but I’ve been quite busy lately (new job, got married a few weeks ago, etc.)

      Thanks for the reminder though. I need to get on it!

      Reply
  66. Geikou Lin

    Lesson learned, just shake the watch around instead of running on the treadmill? Makes for a great ‘sports’ watch though…lol. Interesting info about Seiko’s kinetic!

    Reply
  67. Paul Adams

    Hi Cam,

    I stumbled across your review (Thanks Bing) when I was trying to find out some more inforamtion about this watch, which I have purchased through Amazon UK. Yours is without doubt the most detailed review I have read about this watch, so much so that it gives me the chance to explain to other purchasers on Amazon, who have written poor reviews, that they may need to up their “shaking” to get the watch started, as it seems a few have left bad reviews purely because they haven’t put in a little effort in getting the charge started.

    Anyway, thanks again and good luck with your site.

    Regards,

    Paul UK

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Somebody actually binged my site? Incredible!

      I’d love to hear how the SKA553 treats you Paul. Chime in here later for a follow up 🙂

      Cheers!

      Cam

      Reply
      • Paul Adams

        No problem Cam,

        Seriously, you’ve given a great review – very detailed with “real life” information rather than just a copied/pasted spec sheet. So thanks for that.

        I have a little card through the door telling me I missed the postie today, so I’ll be heading to the sorting office in the morning to hopefully pick up my Seiko. I’ll drop a line later and let you know my thoughts.

        Thanks again.

        Paul

        Reply
  68. Paul Adams

    Hi Cameron,
    Well, I managed to get my Seiko. Initial impressions are really favourable. I love the nice, uncluttered dial and the red accents, which I was a little bit unsure of, are actually neat and unobtrusive. The lume is reasonable and *just* covers a movie, which is good enough for me, though I do wish the numbers had been lumed. Never mind. I like the bracelet and I’m pleased the links are slightly rounded to give a little more of an “organic” look. I did pair it up with a black Nato strap with black hardware and it looks good, albeit I had ordered a 20mm Nato (Amazon UK said it was a 20mm bracelet) whereas the gap at the lugs is 22mm so I think I will order another wider one and the 20mm has been relegated to another of my watches.

    I had real trouble getting the watch charged up – as did you – wow, the instruction booklet is a little off isn’t it? I ended up swinging it around all over the place for a couple of days or so and even this morning I have been shaking it in my hand during my drive and walk to work – luckily it is very early when I go to work so no funny looks as there was nobody around. Anyway, as a result, the guage now registers 10 seconds so I will keep doing the same until I achieve full charge. I have eight watches now and wear three or four regularly, two auto’s, a Citizen EcoDrive and this one. I’m sure it will fit in well with my watch rotation.

    Anyway, all in all a great little watch – I’m pleased with my purchase.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Great feedback, thanks for this Paul!

      I’d be interested to see how it looks with a nato strap on it 🙂

      Reply
  69. Paul Adams

    Hi Cam. I’ve tried to provide a link to a pic of my Seiko with a Zulu strap but it hasn’t sent. Do you have an email address I can send the link to? Paul

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      You’ve got mail 🙂

      Reply
      • Paul Adams

        As do you Cam….. A couple of pics included.

        Thanks

        Reply
  70. Antonio Sajko

    I was always a seiko fan and this one didn’t disappoint !

    Reply
  71. Connor L

    Very cool

    Reply
  72. Josh Hurst

    I have a ton of respect for Seiko’s prowess as a watch maker. Based on the bang for your buck, Seiko Kinetics are on a very short list of watches I’d recommend to my friends who aren’t interested in dropping big money on a timepiece.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Certainly not a bad recommendation 🙂

      Reply
  73. Mike Moir

    I love Seiko but I’m not overly impressed with this watch. It looks cheap and plastic like. The best part about this watch is the back and that’s not saying much. Out of the Seiko line-up I have the SARB033 and SARX015 on my wish list.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Looks are certainly subjective. I liked how it looks on the wrist: athletic, youthful. The build quality is better than you expect for a ~$150 watch. I really like the two you mentioned, but at $500 each they are in a different league compared to the SKA553. 🙂

      Reply
  74. Kenny Stewart

    Great looking watch! One question though, probably a rather obvious answer though. But, would I need to violently shake the watch when I first get it?

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      The kinetic movement can be a pain to charge 🙁 But once it’s charged you’ve got at least a few weeks worth of power 🙂

      Reply
  75. vidar

    I think this is the best looking seiko watch i’ve seen. Can someone else recommend a watch to me, kinetic ofc?

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      What kind of recommendation are you looking for? Sport watch? Dress? etc…

      Reply
  76. Grant DeShon

    Very cool looking watch. Very good review of the kinetic movement also. I never knew how it worked. That is a fascinating movement! I’ve been looking at seiko 5 automatics because I like the idea of a mechanical movement, and now this has been added to the list because it’s almost the best of both worlds. Very good review!

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Thank you for the kind words 🙂

      If you purchase through the link on our site to Amazon.com we will earn $1.44 in commission. It isn’t much, but it’s how we fund our contests 🙂

      Reply
  77. Andy Fair

    first time coming across the website as I wanted to read the review on the Hamilton open heart watch, very informative, and then saw this. I am new to watch collecting, but now have about 5 wrist watches, 2 from 1945 (both ww2 rolex’s handed to me out of my grandfathers estate) and numerous pocket watches from the 1900’s to 1940’s. As I learn more and more about the modern movements, I find myself drawn to more and more reviews. I found this very informative, both as an education to the style of the new movements, as well as pro’s and cons. I love the watch dial on this and the colors as it seems to attract attention to the accents. Thank you and look forward to reading more, this is now on my book mark list to read daily and see what’s new and what’s exciting. Thank you very much, keep up the amazing work.

    Reply
    • Cameron Martel

      Thanks!

      We have a new review going live next week 🙂

      Reply
  78. Steve Buchholz

    I just bought this watch on ebay and only paid $95 (brand new) before shipping……this is my 10th seiko and first kinetic power. I love the watch and it feels like the most solid well built watch I have owned and I have many watches….the only thing close in my collection is a very nice citizen I own…….definitely worth the purchase….and the fact it is scarlet and silver and black makes it oh so nice for all Buckeye fans out there…..Go Bucks!

    Reply
  79. Dan

    I am late to the party on this review but wanted to share some thoughts. First, I have some pretty expensive watches in my collection, Rolex, Tudor, Longines, Omega and Baume et Mercier to name a few. I also worked at a profession pretty demanding on watches. My daily wear was an early Kenetic that had the 48 hour reserve, that I bought for $325.00 back in 1993. That watch went day in and day out for over twenty years with no servicing. I still have it in 2017 and will hand it down to my son soon as his first watch. I’m damn sure none of my mechanical Swiss watches could do that. My Rolex takes servicing every 5 years to the tune of $800.00 each time and has had its crystal replaced once. Watch snobs can bloviate all they want, but Sieko is as much entitled to respect as they are when most Swiss brands don’t even make their own in house movements anymore and when you factor the value proposition Seiko takes it hands down so to speak. I’m giving my first Kentetic to my teenager because I just got the reviewed watch to wear daily for the next twenty years at the cost of $100.00. My Omega Seamaster pro is a tank, with an in house movement it is arguably worth it’s asking price but the rest are sold with same marketing hype of exclusivity that BMW uses to sell its half as good as a Toyota cars to car snobs. Unless you can afford a true luxury brand just to show off, ignore fashion brands and stay with Seiko and Citizen and Bulova Precisionist watches and just enjoy the value you got for so few $$$’s. Finally, hats off for a really fine review on a website I just discovered but is now on my homescreen!

    Reply

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