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Lume Champion of Seiko 5,
This review is from: Seiko Men's SNKL07 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Dial (Watch)
SNKL07 is one of Seiko's newer Seiko 5 models. My watch was built in December 2011 in Malaysia, number 2,620 in that month's production. It has Seiko's well-known 7S26 movement. It is an automatic (self-winding) mechanical watch which cannot be hand-wound, and its second hand cannot be paused or "hacked" when you set the watch. If you have limited mobility or limited arm movement, you may not be able to keep an automatic-only watch running. Case diameter is 38 mm (40 mm including the crown). It has conventional lugs for a 20 mm bracelet or strap. It displays the date and the day of the week in English and Spanish, printed in black on white with Saturday and Sunday printed in blue and red respectively. The dial is a very dark navy blue. Seiko rates this watch for 30 meters water resistance.
The dial has eleven large bar markers, extra wide at 6, 9 and 12. The markers are painted on the dial in a thick coat of luminous paint, with a little silver border to add sparkle. Seiko has the best luminous paint in the industry, and the SNKL07 has the strongest lume I have seen on a Seiko 5: it glows in the dark like a diver watch for six hours. If you need a watch you can read in the dark, this is a good one. The second hash marks and numbers are well executed but not very useful, since the numbers cannot be read at arm's length.
SNKL07 has sister models: SNKL03 has a gray dial, SNKL05 has a green dial, and SNKL09 has a black dial. Except for dial color, these watches are almost identical (SNKL09 has a black date wheel). In addition, there are two variants on the black-dial SNKL09: SNKL11 has a black bezel, and SNKL13 has a black, ion-plated case and bracelet.
The metal bracelet is the best I have seen on a Seiko 5, but it is a folded-link bracelet you could not pay me to wear. I put my SNKL07 on a Hadley-Roma Men's MSM886RB-200 20-mm Brown Genuine Shrunken Leather Watch Strap and it looks like a $120 watch. To me it looks great on a reddish brown or caramel brown leather strap with a medium pad, but my taste may not be your taste (I wear brown shoes with a navy blue blazer).
Seiko makes watches in Japan and Malaysia: they differ in the flyspeck on the dial, "Made in Japan." Collectors and uyoku dantai pay extra for the flyspeck. Some Seiko 5 watches are made in Japan, but most are made in Malaysia because they are not intended for the Japanese home market. They are not money makers for Seiko, but they reinforce Seiko's market dominance in Southeast Asia.
Once broken in, a Seiko 5 should run 15 to 20 seconds fast or slow (usually fast) per day. Seiko has outstanding quality control, but a few watches leave the factory running much faster or slower because they need to be regulated. I buy Seiko 5 watches from well-known, reputable dealers who accept returns for replacement without restocking fees. A watchmaker's labor to regulate this watch would cost more than the watch.
Seiko rates the SNKL07 for 30 meters water resistance. Please understand that 30 meters does not mean 30 meters underwater. Seiko designed the water seals to withstand 3 atmospheres or "3 bar" pressure. The watch industry is convinced that its customers cannot understand atmospheres or bars, except for the kind with swinging doors. I am not a cultural historian, and I do not know when or how 3 atmospheres turned into 30 meters: but believe me, if you wore this watch on a 100 foot dive, you would not return with a working watch. This is what the industry's water resistance numbers mean:
30 meters/3 atmospheres/3 bar = splash resistant: good for a spilled drink and hand washing, but it might not survive dish-washing.
50 meters/5 atmospheres/5 bar = sprinkle resistant: wear it in a driving rain.
100 meters/10 atmospheres/10 bar = immersion resistant: wear it swimming but not off a diving tower.
200 meters/20 atmospheres/20 bar = diving resistant: scuba diving to the usual sport depth of 20 to 40 feet, and perhaps to 100 feet or a little deeper to examine a wreck.
I own six Seiko 5 watches including one "Made in Japan": SNKL07 is the best looking and it has the strongest lume. Hand winding and better water resistance would be desirable, but for the price I consider it a great bargain.
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Initial post: Oct 5, 2015 11:23:40 AM PDT
C. J. Salkins says:
got an education about seikos... had Seiko dive watch that has run for 30 years, but now faltering...this review taught me things about Seiko watches I never knew ..
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