A lot more than 50 years right after its introduction, Seiko has stunned the watch globe with an update of its venerable five Series. This overhaul represents a substantial upgrade of an activewear icon that debuted all the way back in 1963.
Per a business press release, the quantity five in the watch line’s name was selected to signify the 5 crucial attributes of each and every timepiece: “an automatic movement, a day-date show at the three o’clock position, water resistance, a recessed crown at the 4 o’clock position, and a case and bracelet constructed for durability.”
Even though there have been alterations more than the years, Seiko’s fundamental recipe has remained the exact same due to the fact James Bond (an additional watch icon) debuted on American screens.
Let’s take a appear at the newest generation of Seiko 5s, set to hit retailers in October.
The Seiko five Lineup
Initial impressions matter, and Seiko nailed it right here. The lineup has “no fewer than 27 unique executions, each and every in 1 of 5 designs: Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street, and Sense. All have new dials with 3-dimensional hour markers, and the collection embraces a wide variety of straps and bracelets from steel mesh to silicone/leather hybrids.”
In other words, there’s some thing for just about any urban or outside pursuit. Except maybe scuba diving, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Initial, let’s go back to the fundamental design and style.
Notice something familiar about the case? If you squint, you’d swear you had been seeking at the newest model of 1 of Seiko’s other icons, the SKX. That unique model has been a darling of the mechanical globe due to the fact its release in 1996.
But I’m acquiring ahead of myself. Let’s move on to the specs.
Seiko five: The Specs
With a diameter of 42.five mm and a lug-to-lug span of 46 mm, the 5’s new footprint is identical to that of the SKX. The brand admits this readily, stating that its new design and style “is primarily based on 1 of Seiko’s most loved sports watches … Each and every creation in the new collection shares an updated version of this celebrated case and all have the exact same arrow-shaped minute hands, distinctive hour markers, and 1-way rotating bezel.”
But there are a handful of variations worth highlighting.
Let’s get started with the great news. Though each the SKX and the prior five Sports models lacked the potential to hack (i.e., quit the second hand even though setting the watch), the updated 24-jewel Caliber 4R36 automatic movement enables customers to halt the sweeping second hand, enabling for precise time-setting. This has been a shortfall due to the fact Kennedy closed Cuba, and I’m pleased to see it rectified right here. Also added is the potential to hand-wind the 41-hour energy reserve, in addition to the charge you get from the automatic’s weighted rotor.
But for these two methods forward, there is an unfortunate step back. Though the SKX was lauded for its 20m (20-bar) depth rating, the new five Sports are slated for 100 m (10 bars). Most of this can be attributed to the deletion of the screwdown crown. This nonetheless tends to make it a viable choice for activities such as swimming and snorkeling, but it requires away 1 of the additional endearing attributes of its predecessor.
Quite a few of the other elements stay the exact same. All watches come with Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex crystal, a stainless steel case, and its regular accuracy rating of +45 to -35 seconds per day. Thankfully, most customers of the Caliber 4R36 report a significantly gentler timing variance.
On the surface, this appears like a compelling lineup. But let’s take a moment to contemplate the worth proposition. The existing Seiko five entry-level model (the SNK809) retails for about $75. The venerable SKX lineup (which this group is clearly aimed at replacing) runs amongst $220 and $250. So, exactly where does that leave the value target on the subsequent-gen lineup? Though official U.S. pricing has however to be released, conversion from euros paints a retail variety of $300 to $380.
Now, I’m confident costs will drop reduce following the initial release. But here’s my hangup: The fundamental solar quartz Citizen Promaster Diver can be had for significantly less than $200. Orient’s Ray and Mako divers (a Seiko sister brand) also come in about $160, comprehensive with hacking and hand-winding mechanical movements. And all these options have 200 m of water resistance. That is some fairly stiff competitors from fellow Japanese makers.
Final Thoughts on the Seiko five
Appear, I feel these are really desirable watches. It is a neat improvement for a label that started its catalog in the exact same year as the Beatles. And, truth be told, I’ll take the 50-% reduce in water resistance in favor of a movement that enables me to zero out the second hand. No recreational divers will ever come close to the 100m depth rating, so something beyond that is somewhat moot.
But I’m also not a fan of paying additional for significantly less. For the new Seiko 5s to be a worth the value of entry, they’ll want to come by means of with powerful styles, strong accuracy, and outstanding match and finish. The eye-popping diversity of the lineup shows me that they’re partway there.
Alright, Seiko. You have got my consideration. In the words of the Fab 5, “Please please me.”