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560 of 591 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great watch, but the WR30M could be an issue for some ...
Seiko offers two similar versions of a mechanical "military" watch:

The SNK809 (which is black, but there are other colors). This has a 21 jewel movement (generally the 7S26B, but the earlier models have the 7S26). It has a 36mm case (excluding the crown) and18mm wide band.

The other model is the lager SNZG15 (which is black, but there are other...
Published on March 14, 2010 by Lonchodomas

versus
54 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent value and features
I've had this watch for a few years. As others have noted, it runs a little fast -- seems like a few minutes every week or so. Probably not bad at this price point, but it kind of defeats my purpose in getting an automatic watch, which was to not have to worry about the watch -- no winding, no battery, it just works. Instead, I have to constantly correct it...
Published on February 27, 2010 by Jonathan Gala


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560 of 591 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great watch, but the WR30M could be an issue for some ..., March 14, 2010
By 
Seiko offers two similar versions of a mechanical "military" watch:

The SNK809 (which is black, but there are other colors). This has a 21 jewel movement (generally the 7S26B, but the earlier models have the 7S26). It has a 36mm case (excluding the crown) and18mm wide band.

The other model is the lager SNZG15 (which is black, but there are other colors). This has a 23 jewel movement (generally the 7S36B, but earlier models have the 7S36). It has a 40mm case (excluding crown) and an 22mm band.

Both of these watches are gray market. You won't see them for sale in US stores.

I've owned my SNK809 for several months and love it. Its very accurate for the price. Mine gains about 5 sec/day. You'll have to spend a lot of money to do better than that in the mechanical watch world.

Two of my friends own the SNZG15, and they seem to gain about 10 sec/day. Note: The fact the SNZG15 has 23 jewels doesn't mean its more accurate than a 21 jewel movement. It's larger, pushes more mass (bigger hands), and thus I speculate is inherently less accurate than the smaller SNK809.

I got my SNK809 on eBay for $45 + $25 shipping (2009). However, it was shipped from Hong Kong. It had to clear customs, shipping takes about three weeks, and has more inherent risk. I'd expect to pay more on Amazon if it was shipped from within the US. Similarly, I've seen the SNG15 for as little as $105 with free shipping, shipped from Singapore.

What I did not appreciate at the time I bought my SNK809 is that its water resistant rating is 30 meters (WR30M). 98 ft. That seems sufficient unless you're a serious scuba diver, right?

Wrong.

Look up water resistant ratings for watches on Wikipedia.

30 meters is the static water pressure for the test conducted in the ratings lab. The working/dynamic pressure rating will be much less. You should not even shower wearing a WR30M watch, let alone swim with it. WR30M is considered splash resistant only. I have splashed my watch, it still runs great, but depending upon your lifestyle, this may or may not be an issue.

The bigger SNZG15 is rated at WR100M, which you can swim and skin dive with. The smallest rating you should swim with (but no skin diving) is WR50M.

The other aspect of the SNK809 you should be aware of is that its smaller than most watches are today. In the 1960's an 18mm band was typical. Today its small, aesthetically, particularly for a person with large wrists.

When I first got my SNK809, I was taken aback by how thin the band looked (and I have smaller than average wrists). I have read the market Seiko is targeting with this model is teenagers in Asia. That market base probably has smaller wrists than the average American male.

But after wearing it for awhile, I noticed I wasn't banging it into things like I do with my larger watch. And it fit under my shirt sleeves better.

Its notable that my friends say the 22mm SNZG15 is a bit bigger than they wish it was.

I've concluded I like the 18mm band. I'm an outdoorsman (when I can be), and do wish the SNK809 was at least WR50M. Other reviewers will say they wish it had a hacking mechanism or a sapphire crystal. Those are not issues for me, and for the price, let's get real.

This is a phenomenal mechanical watch for what you'll pay. I wear mine to work every day. I wear it to meetings and snicker to myself as my second hand moves at six clicks per second, while others sitting at the table suffer the one second lurch of the ubiquitous quartz movement. Yes, I'm a watch geek. Just be aware of the smaller width of the band and WR30M rating. If those aren't big issues for you, you can't beat it.
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163 of 173 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Entry Level Automatic, July 13, 2010
By 
JT (Long Island, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
This is a nice little entry level automatic watch. Upon opening the box it came in the first thing I noticed was the size of the watch itself and the band. The watch itself is somewhat small but not too bad. its slightly larger than a quarter. The band however is much smaller than I expected. I have tiny wrists so It doesn't bother me too much but someone with a larger wrist may find it odd looking; it's really just preference and shouldn't make or break the deal as the band can easily be swapped out. The watch has a nice heavy weight to it and doesn't feel cheap like some other larger automatics I have. One strange thing I noticed right away when I picked up my watch was that the weight that spins the mainspring slides against the interior of the watch as I move it. So I can feel the weight as it moves around. This doesn't bother me but I hope its normal and doesn't mean I got a faulty watch. Everything is working fine at the moment (I've only been wearing it for a day) and I see no other problems or peeves about the watch. I'll break down the pros and cons here:

(PROS)
+ Overall nice looking watch. As most watches; the picture online just doesn't do it justice.
+ Watch has a nice weight to it.
+ It's an automatic for under $100; thats a bargain, especially for a Seiko.
+ The luminous hands are pretty good and last for a good 20 minutes. (Not as good as a Seiko Monster but what do you expect)
+ Comes with a 3 year warranty (although the retailer warranty card I received was not filled out by Amazon, not sure if this matters)

(Cons)
- Both the watch's body and strap were smaller than I expected.
- Hardlex glass is not exactly the best material, it suffices but Mineral would've been better. Sapphire is good too but thats a little too much to ask for in a watch of this caliber.
- Grindy mainspring weight.
- Malaysian movement. Although it says this watch has a Japanese movement in the specs; There is a Malaysian movement in them. I believe these are designed in Japan and built or assembled in Malaysia; either way the movement is definitely not made & assembled in Japan. If this was already common knowledge I apologize.
- Water resistance is sub-par. This watch should at least have the ability to withstand swimming and not just be resistant to minor splashes.

All in all it seems like a nice watch. As long as that weight isn't defective and its normal everything should be fine. I'll post an update eventually to let you know how its held up over time.

*** Update
I've been wearing the watch almost everyday for a few weeks now. It's kept time perfectly only gaining a couple seconds a day. It's by far the most accurate automatic I own; even more than some of my Swiss ETA movements. As far as the quality of the watch it seems almost perfect. I love the size and look of it. The Hardlex has held up and I still have no scratches on the dial or caseback (More time will tell how well it really holds up) The only problem I have with this watch is that it seems theres still some friction between the weight and the inside of the watch body. This has been causing it to sometimes keep the weight stationary at some points rather than spin around as it should. It still spins with enough force but some normal hand movements have not been enough to keep the weight moving. That being said it hasn't been a big enough problem to cause the watch to stop on me. It still keeps ticking long after ive put it down. After some research I realized this watch uses the same movement as the famous Seiko Monster & is a bit of a workhorse for seiko.
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90 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, good timekeeper, March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
I purchased this watch as my first foray into mechanical watches, knowing that it was a budget watch with excellent credentials, and calibrating my expectations to this. I have not been disappointed.

First things first, this watch is NOT a Japanese movement, and buyers should not expect a Japanese movement, regardless of what Amazon's description may say; I did not, at this price point. The movement is designed by Seiko in Japan, but produced in Malaysia, and the markings on the watch clearly indicate this. I have contacted Amazon about this, but they do not seem to show any interest in correcting their ad copy. Caveat emptor.

The movement in this watch as purchased in January of 2012 is a 7S26C.

I have been tracking the accuracy of the watch I received for about 50 days now, taking the time once a day from both the watch and a clock disciplined by the time signal transmitted by the observatory in Boulder, CO. The long-term accuracy is excellent, with an aggregate drift of 13 seconds over this time period. The daily drift is variable, with nearly 1/4 of daily readings showing no change at the second granularity, and 3/4 or more of the readings within +/- 2 seconds per day. I don't know how other units may compare to the one I received, but I am quite pleased with its performance.

The case finish seems to be plenty hard, and is very even and relatively attractive. After nearly two months of wear there are no apparent marks or dings in the finish. The crystal appears to be very hard (likewise no apparent marks there), certainly harder than the Skagen crystal I wore previously, and is very flat and not unduly prone to reflection.

I had concerns about the nylon band looking cheap, but it is reasonably classy and matches the style of the watch body. The clasp and keepers are stainless steel with a matte finish, with the clasp appearing to be cast and the keepers extruded wire. The butt joint of the wire keepers is clean and well-deburred, and of course not visible when the watch is worn.

The lume on the hands and dial is very efficient, much brighter than any watch I have previously warn (which is pretty much limited to Timex and Skagen in recent memory). It is also evenly laid. If I had a complaint about the lume, it would be that the 12 o'clock position bears the same small dot as all other positions, making it easy to read off by one hour mark if you must read the watch in an unusual position. This is not a show stopper, but it does require some care.

As others have noted regarding the 7S26 caliber, the rotor is a little bit noisy. I do notice a rattle from my wrist from time to time going about my daily business. On the other hand, it is plenty efficient. I do not consciously wind the rotor unless I have had to lay the watch aside for an extended period of time (such as when working at a particularly dirty or wet task for the better part of a day), and then I give it no more than a couple of twirls, if anything. I normally wear the watch 24/7 and I have not had any stoppages. When first starting the watch after receipt, I twirled it for 5 to 10 seconds, put it on, and didn't give it any further special attention.

All in all I feel this is an excellent introduction to mechanical watches, and a good everyday watch for the price.

Pros:
* More than adequate everyday accuracy
* Casual but not "cheap" look
* Good fit and finish, quality materials, feels solid
* Light and slim for an automatic

Cons:
* Band appears likely to be good for only about a year (time will tell)
* Occasional rattle from the winding rotor
* Malaysian movement finish is workmanlike but not particularly fine
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars caveat emptor and all that, September 21, 2010
By 
supercow (Pasadena, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
This thing is brilliant. Only complaint is, I had to get a replacement from Amazon, who was extremely nice about it. More about that later...

The SNK809 series movement is 7s26b. Yep, it's Seiko's famous fully-mechanical movement, designed to be (1) accurate and (2) dirt-cheap to manufacture. Accuracy-wise, it keeps its own against mechanical watches twenty times the price. How'd they do it? The 7s26b is an in-house Seiko design. It's gems are functional, the gears are unpolished, two of the rarely-used gears are even plastic! That's right, this movement doesn't put up airs. It's gonna do its thing. Absurdly well, for the price! Sorry if I sound flippant, but this is really cool!

If you don't like the band, you can get it replaced. Not everyone would like a leather/more expensive band, and it adds to the initial cost. This is dirt-cheap for a mechanical watch-- once its YOUR mechanical watch, you can mix and match! Capitalism is fun!

One thing! The mainspring doesn't rotate freely. If you watch the clear back as you move the watch around smoothly, the weight won't move around smoothly. This is important, because the first one I ordered basically wouldn't move. It wouldn't charge. I pissed off no fewer than five strangers who asked for the time. I guess the mainspring was defective, or one of the Seiko robots resented its fleshy human masters. Anyhow, the folks at Amazon were very nice and sent me a replacement, and this one works great.

What's in the future? The SNK809 series has been discontinued by Seiko. Its successor is the SNKH63 series, feat. the same movement, with modified cosmetics and 20mm lugs. I like the snk809 better. That's why I bought it! Get it while you can. Unless you don't want to, in which case why did you read my review to the end? Get back to work! :)
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Bang for the Buck!, October 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
If you're considering buying this watch and have reservations due to some negative reviews let me try to assuage your fears. I've been reading the less than positive reviews with some amusement and the majority seem to be from people who have little or no idea of what an "automatic" watch exactly is or how to properly operate one. For example, one gentleman returned two of these watches as they both arrived with dead batteries. Another customer with a PhD after his name seemed rather disappointed that the watch did not have a light for better night time viewing. See what I'm getting at?
Others seemed to have purchased the watch as they liked the idea of battery free operation yet seemed rather dismayed when they received their purchase only to find that they had to actually do something to make the watch function. Like occasionally wave it back and forth for half a minute or so if you've not worn it for a while.
Then there are the complaints from people who obviously didn't bother to read the specs and repine about the size of the case, lack of hacking feature or screw down crown, no sapphire crystal etc. and then knock off a couple of stars from their review. If you read the specs there will be no surprises. Just do a little research to make sure the specs meet your needs. In other words, don't order a hamburger and complain that it doesn't taste like a Kobe steak.
The only negative reviews that seem inexplicable are the ones that just complain of receiving a very substandard quality watch. The only explanation I can think of is they may have unwittingly purchased a counterfeit. Buying from Amazon's site doesn't mean it's coming from Amazon. I purchased mine from "Amazon" as opposed to "Sold by ______ and fulfilled by Amazon". I noted that choosing to purchase from Amazon was the only option that seemed to make mention of a warranty. Just because these are inexpensive watches doesn't mean there aren't dystopian factories in China full of wan 9 year olds pumping out a few hundred metric tons of counterfeit Seikos a day. Because there are.
On a brighter note, the watch I received showed excellent fit and finish and has been keeping excellent time. I can't really think of anything bad to say about it. Had I paid several hundred dollars I would be more critical but I paid a little over fifty dollars for an automatic that functions as it should and has a day/date display to boot. How can you go wrong? To be honest, if I had paid double or triple this price I'd still be more than happy with it.
If you want the ultimate in time keeping accuracy pull out your iphone. If you're interested in buying a Spartan yet aesthetically pleasing automatic and are aware of their limitations and idiosyncrasies (be it Rolex or Seiko) then this watch is an easy choice. To revisit my earlier metaphor, while this may be hamburger in the world of automatic watches it's still a damn good hamburger.
I'd just recommend ordering directly from Amazon as opposed to "fulfilled by Amazon" as I have mentioned earlier.
Hope this was helpful.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waterproof, December 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
I wanted an automatic watch that was accurate, waterproof, trouble free and affordable. I read all the specs and reviews and liked the Seiko SNK809 but I was confused about it's water resistance. Amazon listed it as 300 feet but Seiko and reviews said 30 feet and not suitable for even a shower. At $55 the price seemed right so I ordered it. It arrived, I set the time and took a shower. For the last 5 weeks I have worn it non stop. We went to Florida and I wore it while snorkelling and swimming with the fishes. There is no trace of internal moisture or fog. I am amazed at how accurate it is, after a month it was out a couple of minutes.
It has a canvas type military strap that looks good and held up fine to salt water. This is one fine watch!

I have now had the watch 6 months and it is great. Still waterproof. Got back from 2 weeks of snorkelling in Mexico. I usually set it about once a month and it slowly gains a few minutes over the month.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice watch for the price, but not without a few issues to overcome..., March 5, 2012
By 
Seth (South East) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
This watch is my first (and only) "Automatic" winding watch. I've never been good at wearing watches. What I mean is that I usually end up cracking the lenses, breaking the bands, or simply losing them. And, the only reason I bought this watch is because it was a requirement for EMT school. (The teacher insisted that we have a watch that clearly showed the seconds, which supposedly would make taking pulse rates easier. Go figure.) So, after searching Amazon and reading reviews, I decided to buy this one. It seemed to be the light-weight, low-profile, relatively inexpensive watch that I was looking for. For the purposes I've listed, I'd recommend this watch, but that recommedation would not be without some qualifiers. To make things simple, I'll list the good and the bad:

The Good:
-Narrow band and small watch face makes for more comfortable wearing. (Easier to bend wrist while wearing it. Easy to position higher or lower on wrist.)
-Unlike metal bands, this one doesn't pinch or pull hairs.
-Unlike rubber bands, this one doesn't cause sweating.
-Lens has been remarkably wear resistant. (As a firefighter/EMT, I've banged this watch against hard/sharp objects hundreds of times now, thinking for certain that I would have scratched or cracked it. So far, there's not a single scratch!)
-Band snaps free of watch when caught on an object. (I've snagged the watch several times now on different objects during work which resulted the band snapping loose from the watch body. The reason I've listed this as "Good" is because each time it has been very easy to simply pop the band's retaining, spring-rods (don't know the technical term) back into the watch. So, its good that the watch will separate/snap free when snagged without causing any permanent damage the band retainers!)
-If worn consistently (every day for a several hours each day), the watch doesn't require manual winding.
-Shows the seconds as the largest numbers, making it very easy to count off seconds.
-Water resistance seems to be well designed. (Its been sprayed with pressurized water and submerged and so far shows no signs of leaks.)
-Back of watch is transparent, allowing one to see the inner workings. Very cool!

The Bad:

-Does not stay wound very long if not worn constantly. If you skip a day wearing this watch (or if you wear it but don't move around a lot, it will wind down over night and necessitate resetting it.
-Tricky to get it to keep time accurately. At first, I decided to do the manual winding method (shake it from side to side) every morning on each day I would wear it, but that resulted in it being over-wound. So, it would keep time too fast or gain time (approx. 10 mins within a couple days). Then, I decided to not do any manual winding, but quickly discovered that it would keep time too slowly or loose time (approx. 10 mins per 2 days). Ultimately, there's a sweet spot where one learns just the right ratio of manual winding to "automatic" winding. At this point in ownership, I've managed to establish a manual/automatic winding routine where at most I'll gain or lose only about 2 to 3 minutes from actual time over the course of a week. And, according to what I've read, a 2 to 3 minute variance in 7 days is very good accuracy for a mechanical watch in this price range.
-Can be annoying to set the day of the week and calendar day. (There's a specific time window each day that you can directly set these. It has to do with the A.M. and P.M. positioning. Since there's no visual indicator of whether the watch is on the rise or fall of the 12/24 hour clock cycle, you can't necessarily simply change the day of the week and calendar day to what it's supposed to be and expect it to change correctly on the next day. You may have to also change the time, cycling through an entire 12 hour interval, to make sure that the date will change at midnight instead of noon. I hope that makes sense...)
-Glow-in-the-dark watch hands are not very bright or of long duration. (If they're exposed to a bright light (sunlight or intense, up close lamp light), the hands glow brightly in the dark, but only for a few minutes. I know that all such phosphorescent-based photoluminescent materials are subject to gradual fading, but the hands on this watch seem to be the fastest-fading, dimmest of any watch I've ever owned. This is very problematic if you need to check the time or count seconds when its dark.

Conclusion:

Despite the problems listed above, I'm mostly satified so far with the performance of this watch. Once I worked out/adapted to its quirks, it serves me well. I'm especially impressed with its durability. I've put this watch through some heavy abuse, but it has remained scratch and defect free! As someone who has always hated wearing watches, I've grown to like wearing this one so much that I'm thinking of buying another with a brown band to wear to church and such, since my current black band clashes with most of my dress clothes/shoes/coats.
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54 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent value and features, February 27, 2010
By 
Jonathan Gala (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've had this watch for a few years. As others have noted, it runs a little fast -- seems like a few minutes every week or so. Probably not bad at this price point, but it kind of defeats my purpose in getting an automatic watch, which was to not have to worry about the watch -- no winding, no battery, it just works. Instead, I have to constantly correct it.

The other negative for me is the feeling of vibration when it gets moved around -- maybe it is some kind of internal suspension to provide shock resistance, but it feels and sounds a little cheap. It's a kind of buzzy clack, especially when the watch is moved perpendicular to the face.

On the plus side, it looks nice, I enjoy having the day and date, the glass back is cool, and it way exceeded its advertised water resistance for me: I forgot to take it off when I went diving to 45 feet, and it has worked perfectly with no fogging or other signs of trouble since then. As far as I know it is unrated at any given depth, so that was impressive.

If you are sure you want an automatic watch, this is a good and inexpensive way to get there. For me, I kind of wish I had either gone with a similar watch in quartz for a thinner case and better accuracy, or just gone upmarket.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One out of four, June 29, 2007
By 
Jan Husdal (Molde, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This watch comes in 4 models, SNK 803 with a beige strap and dial, SNK 805 with a green strap and dial, SNK 807 with a blue strap and dial, and SNK 809 with a black strap and dial. What I like most is the red tip on the seconds hand that sweeps continuously across the dial and not in steps for every second like in most analog watches. Also cool is the untraditional numbering of the hour markings, where the 5-minutes are more protruding than the hours. The strap looks better in the photos than in reality, but it's still very nice and tough-looking, although it is narrower than you think when you see it on the guy's arm in the pictures above. The see-through case is a gimmick I could do without, but anyway, nice to watch the watch work. Buy all four and you have one to go with every occasion and dress colour/code. This item sells on eBay for 30-40 dollars.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really like this watch!, September 5, 2010
By 
P David (Salt Lake City, Utah) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
I'm not a watch geek, so I'm not even going to begin to address the technical points that other reviewers have covered. I was looking for a watch that was somewhere between casual and dressy and this watch filled the bill. If you are looking for a watch that is stylishly large (a grandfather clock on your wrist), then this is not a watch for you. I like a watch that slides easily under the cuff of a dress shirt and is not so large that it screams "look at me, look at me!". I am not a small person (6'1" and 215 pounds) and I find the size of this watch just about ideal. It is also dressier looking than I expected, and I have worn it with a suit and tie and have felt very comfortable. I have no problem with its accuracy - it seems to be as accurate as my Citizen Eco-Drives. As far as the clear back goes, I don't really care because it's against my wrist, and no one sees it. I am very satisfied with this purchase and will probably buy another one in a different color.
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