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on March 26, 2016
I have owned this watch for about 2 weeks now. This watch looks alot better in person. Buying this watch i knew it was small in diameter and it surprised me in how well it looks on my wrist. Although it is small is still has a very masculine and stylish look and feel. this is my first automatic watch and i am very satisfied with my purchase. I did how ever purchase a new strap for it as i feel the cream/tan of the face combined with the original strap makes the watch look cheap and dull. I replaced it with a Hadley Roma MS854 18mm. The watch looks superb now. The leather strap really brought out the face more, it makes for an excellent combo that can be worn for many occasions. If you really want to up your style this watch can do just that.
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on January 27, 2015
I'd probably give this watch 4.5 stars if I could. The comfort of the band is really the only thing I had a serious issue with, and otherwise I like it a lot. It's sharp looking in an understated way and works well with a wide variety of attire. I'd definitely recommend for anyone interested in a good looking but high value watch.

Pros:
The beige color is a lot more attractive in person than I thought. It looks good with the existing band, and goes well with a wide variety of other bands. I think pairing it with a dark leather band gives it more of a retro look and I've seen pictures of it with various colors of NATO bands that all look nice. I was a little unsure at first (I generally go with darker colors), but I'm really happy with the color.

Lightweight and nice sized face. It's big enough to see, but not so big that you always know it's there.

Seems pretty accurate for such an inexpensive automatic watch. I didn't try to set mine to the second, but it's still within 1 minute after 9 days. My unscientific observations were that it picked up most of the time the first day I set it (when it probably wasn't wound that well) and has run a few seconds fast per day since.

Cons:

The band (at least the one I got) scratched up my arm quite a bit. It had some loose threads/stitching which I was able to trim to help, but I don't think I should have to do that for a new watch. Otherwise the band seems pretty sturdy and it has a strip of (p?)leather to stabilize the holes.

Other:

I added some pictures of the watch with a brown leather band and a blue/grey NATO band. The actual color of the face is closer to the picture with the brown band (more peach than yellow).

I like the sandblasted finish, but I'm guessing it probably won't wear all that well over time (since any scratches will remove the matte finish).

I'm not really sure about the lume, since I haven't really done any significant testing. It seems like it's brighter than a previous Fossil watch I had, but it fades much quicker. It's not really been a problem, but it's not anything special.
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on June 18, 2017
I was stuck between the Timex Weekender and this Seiko 5 SNK803 model. Since I was looking for an everyday watch and one that I would be able to use at the office I decided to skip the Timex Weekender for now since it has an apparent loud tick*. After using this watch daily I can safely say that the Seiko 5 watch face does not scratch easily even after a few accidental bumps. It's also simple to adjust (crown has two clicks for time/date) and the night time reading light glows a pretty blue-green (ring of dots for the hour and both hour/minute hands). The face looks more yellow-beige in person and while slightly on the rugged side, it still manages to look sleek on my small female wrist (fellow small hand women - take note). It's a perfect size fit. Due to the wide range of customization options I have already bought two different straps to change the look and feel. Overall the Seiko 5 is functional, affordable and packed with some great features. I can recommend this watch to anyone for everyday use.

*My friend who has a Timex Weekender let me examine his watch and it definitely has an audible ticking sound. I may include it in my collection as a truly weekend-only watch someday.
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on September 7, 2016
For The price, you will not find a better automatic mechanical watch. I have had this snk803 for a little over a month at this point and have to say i am pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant at first seeing some of the negative reviews and was worried that it would be far too inaccurate for my tastes. I can gladly say this is not the case. From the day i got it, it has been consistently been running between +3 to +5 seconds a day. Very acceptable for a entry level mechanical let alone one under $100 usd. My guess is that accuracy comes from Seiko's long proven 7S26. This mechanical movement is used in watches far above the snk's pricepoint and this thing is only $60?! Now, onto the build quality of this watch. somehow, it just does not show any scratches. Even after rubbing against metal in an engine bay while working on cars and knocking it into various things every now and then. Im not talking about just the crystal either, the case has yet to show any kind of real wear. Now, for clarification this watch has a few quirks that an uninformed buy may not be aware of. This is a mechanical watch meaning it does not use batteries. It is driven by a spring that is wound from the motion of your wrist. What this means is that if you do not wear it for a prolonged period of time every day, it will stop and will have to be re-wound manually. Being a entry level mechanical watch, the snk803 does not offer the option to hand wind it. It can only be wound through the movement of the rotor. To re wind it you just need to gently shake it side to side for about a minuet to get it started back up. A bit of a hassle compared to a automatic that can be hand wound, but not a big deal if it is something you will wear every day. Another note about this watch is that it is non hacking. This means the second hand does not stop when you are setting the time. This is also very common on entry level mechanical's but can easily be worked around. Just a few things to keep in mind. Usually i would take off a star or two for lacking these features, but the fact that you are getting a well know name brand, well built mechanical watch for around $60 is simply astonishing.
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on March 30, 2015
Incredible watch for the money. It was a little inconsistent the first few days (+-5s/day - which honestly isn't bad at all) but once it seems to have broken in it's been solid.

The bead blasted finish looks great without being flashy, and I actually like the strap it came with much more than I thought I would. I'm still going to replace it with a brown leather one, soon, but it's nice to have the nylon strap as an option if I think I might get it wet. The watch is perfectly sized for me (it looks manly without being oversized).

As far as durability, it seems great so far. I'm a valet, which means I'm constantly running around hurriedly, loading/unloading heavy luggage, jumping in and out of cars, etc. I regularly bump by watch on car doors, bell carts, concrete walls, and I've yet to develop any noticeable blemishes in the bezel or case or loss/gain of time from it being vigorously shaken and regularly bumped.

There's something about how this watch feels on your wrist that is part of the experience. It feels substantial: not heavy or bothersome, but you know it's there. It also is cool to feel and hear the rotor move when you shake your wrist. Additionally, the display back is fun. It's cool to watch the rotor move and the balance wheel move back and forth. The movement is certainly not beautifully finished in the way a Grand Seiko or a haute Swiss watch would be, but ITS 50 BUCKS!!!!

Overall, the watch is great. I paid $53 to buy it from Amazon which came with the manufacturer warranty from Seiko and shipped with Prime. While I'm sure it's not indestructible, it looks great, it's versatile, and it's a reliable mechanical watch for under $60. That's unheard of.

Edit: 6 months out
Watch has several small scratches on the case now from being thoroughly abused. Only noticeable if you're close up and adds to its overall character.

There's also 2 or three VERY fine scratches on the crystal. You have to get it in just the right light to see them. Let me remind you I accidentally smack this watch into a concrete wall on a moderately regular basis.

I have it on a brown leather band from Hadley Roma and it looks great. I wear it every day with everything from a tank top to a suit.

I've had time to really watch the accuracy and its consistently about -30s/day. One of these days I might open it up and regulate it, but for now I just move it up a minute every other day.

Still extremely satisfied with my purchase. This thing has got me hooked on real watches and now I want a Nomos Orion and a JLC MUT Moon. Maybe one day...
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I am very happy with this little "Fleiger style" watch, particularly with it's dial, which compares to any that I have seen in the affordable watch space. The dial has a great deal of well composed detail, this is subtle and hard to see in photographs. In person this very inexpensive watch actually looks high-end.

It is indeed a small watch, 36.5 mm; be aware of that. It's cute as a button, and not much bigger. I have to adjust a bit after wearing this watch to a feeling that my other watches are clownishly large.

Of the 5 different models in the SNK80x series, I recommend this one. This model has a different "color scheme", not just a different colored dial. Notice the black outlining of the handset (the others all have monochromatic handsets). The slender ring between the edge and center of the watch, providing separation between the hours and minute numerals, is gold on this model, but black or white on the other models. The lighter dial provides a background that allows similar adjacent colors of the silver Seiko logo and golden '5" numeral to appear more distinctly, and this cream- light-beige tone also nicely complements the pale green color of the 'super-luminova' application around the dial and on the handset. These, and other little subtleties of the color scheme implemented for the SNK803, add sophistication to the dial that I don't find in the other models. The choice between the models is subjective, of course, and if only black will do, then by all means, get the black version. But the 803 model makes use of color in a way that adds refinement, and puts it over the top for me!

Note: many photographs of this model make it appear that the color is a darker, brownish yellow. The dial doesn't really shift in color as such photos suggest. The first photo of the listing is pretty close to the comparatively light, creamy-beige, actual color.

I like the stainless steel case. It has an interesting multi-layered construction, with the top part having the sand-blasted finish and the bottom (as well as the sides between the lugs) being highly polished. The round bezel formed out of the top section simulates a third layer. The case's sleek lines and tiered geometry contribute significantly to the SNK803's visual appeal.

This watch has Seiko "Super Luminova" (sic) applied to small pips around the dial, and on the hands. I think it's the same compound Seiko uses on other models; it's quickly responsive to charging by a light source, and glows very brightly at first. The initial light-show is very pretty. However, not much surface area is allotted for lume on this watch, so the brightness seems to fade a little faster than on models with more copious amounts of SuperLume, such as Sieko's dive watches.

This is a "Seiko 5" watch. "5" is actually a specification for 5 features - i. automatic movement, ii. Day, iii.Date, iv shock resistance and v. water resistance. The basic idea is that Seiko 5 Sports models should be rugged and suitable for outdoor activities. The low cost of these SNK80x models makes them attractive as 'beater' watches, and I've watched reviews on Youtube from people who who attest to the outstanding durability of this watch, after having worn them for years while working in physically demanding, outdoorsy professions

However, water resistance on this model may be a little questionable. It's specified as "water resistant" on the case-back, which I think corresponds to 30 Meters. This is the most minimal water resistance level, just above "not water resistant at all". Seiko is pretty good about testing and actually meeting their specifications, including those for water resistance, but I've heard some reports specific to this model that suggest it may not represent Seiko's best (as far as making the case water resistant).. It's not designed for extended submersion under water, etc. Also - the canvas strap doesn't seem very compatible with aquatic adventure; seems likely to get mildew.
...speaking of the strap, I have trouble understanding all the bitching and moaning about it in other reviews. I think it's a pretty good strap, It looks good with the watch. But I haven't had the watch long enough to know how it holds up or whether it becomes uncomfortable.

This watch contains an "un-adjusted" Seiko 7S26 movement. This movement's strong point is that it continues to run reliably, just about as accurately, for a very long time before requiring service - typically well over 12 years. Up to 20+ is quite possible. Some people claim to have Seiko watches from the 60s (with very similar movement inside) that are still running beautifully without ever visiting a watch maker (50+ years!).

Accuracy varies; unregulated movement, so a bit of a 'crap shoot'. The movement is very similar to those used in many newer, mid-tier Seiko 5s, (the 4R3x) but for some reason the 7S26 seems to have somewhat less consistent time-keeping. Most are quite decent, but there are some stinkers, as Seiko QA will allow them as far off as -35 to +45 sec/day. But most of these will be accurate to within -15 to +15 sec/day, or better. I base this on on my own collection, some research, and reviews I've read.
Note: It's possible to open the case back and manually adjust the watch's accuracy, if you get one that is inaccurate enough to bug you. There are various videos on Youtube that demonstrate the method. Regulating a watch is not for the faint of heart and it takes a steady hand and quite a bit of patience - don't try it with an expensive watch. As it happens the watch I received was pretty inaccurate, running about 20 secs/day fast. So I decided to try adjusting it. I got lucky on the first try - a very slight, almost imperceptible nudge to the '-' direction left the watch running about +2 secs/day! Other attempts I've made to regulate watches took far more effort - one has to patiently try small adjustments, re-measure accuracy for a while to judge results, until finally you are able to hit the tiny spot that will provide just the right hairspring tension for accurate performance.

The movement has a power reserve of 43 hours. It's a good idea to test this shortly after purchase - once in a while there are problems with the rotor winding system, or mainspring/barrel assembly, resulting in limited power reserve -- these things are defects, cause for a return w/refund or repair under warranty. The "automatic" winding system should work well enough to get the watch completely would up after a day or two of full time wear. Swinging the watch gently and not too rapidly from side to side, face up, parallel to the ground, about 200 mm from side to side, can wind the watch up fully in a little over 5 minutes, I've found.

The 7S26 movement does not support manually winding with the crown, nor 'hacking', which means the second hand stopping when the crown is fully extended. These are convenient features that Seiko neglected to add to this entry level movement.
I've gotten used to it, as I have couple models with 7Sx6 movements. I'm willing to take a couple extra minutes to prepare these for wearing. Most people probably aren't as picking about making sure the watch is wound before setting the time, but I like to try to keep the watch as accurate as possible, and find just shaking it a few times isn't going to give the watch enough power to run optimally (till it's been worn for quite a while), so I 'wind them up' for a while by the method just described.

It's actually possible, also, to set the watch accurate to the second, even without hacking. If you rotate the crown a little bit backwards and stop, it will "pin" the second hand (stop it's movement). You have to continue putting a little pressure on the crown in the reverse direction till the real time catches up to the second hand. This doesn't work if the watch is almost fully wound. Sometimes the second hand starts going backwards - this is OK, and speeds up the the process of synchronized with time. It doesn't hurt the watch. Called "back hacking" it's a common practice.

Final thoughts: I think the true value of this watch exceeds the MSRP of $185.00. I was lucky enough to notice it listed on sale, brand new, for $33.00 USD. I couldn't resist at that price.

The low prices typical for the SNK-80x line are a bit weird. If one compares other small, 7S2x based Seiko 5 Sports watches ranging in price between $60-125 on Amazon, though most have good qualities, it's difficult to find one even in the same ball park, as regards distinctive detail and beautiful composition of this watch. Why is this Seiko's least expensive automatic watch?. Well, clearly there is a discount for it's having a canvas strap instead of a metal bracelet - but this model has such an attractive dial that it's surprising to find such low pricing...

For those willing to pay a bit more, I think some other brands also offer great value:

Swatch's Sistem51 -- movement is windable but not hackable, very accurate with huge power reserve of 90 hours.

Invicta's Pro Diver series, (43mm carbon-fiber dial models, around $115, have high quality lume, & generally better build quality compared to the less expensive 8026 & like variants around $85) I also like the new automatic I-Force autos. . Invicta automatics consistently have hacking, winding movements; in fact the Seiko 4R35 /6 A movement, which is a step up from the 7S26 in this SNK803.

For $65.00 or less, the only remotely comparable wrist watch would be an Orient '3 Star'. These are similar in size to the SNG80x, and excellent little watches, but I've not seen one with the elegance of the Seiko SNK80x. Orient's in-house movement is very good though, probably more precise than the Sieko 7S26. The Orient movement is based on an earlier Seiko caliber, the predecessor to the 7S26, to which Orient made modifications intended to improve accuracy.

Watch hobbyists have a saying, you hear it all the time: 'You can never go wrong with a Seiko'. This statement is meaningful. Their products have consistent high quality, at all price points. The quality is subtle, in the materials used, in the finishing of the case, the quality of the crystals, the long lasting brightness of the substance applied to hands and markers to illuminate the the watch in the dark, and the distinctive approach taken to each model, making it unique and in it's own way, unlike any other. The high quality is hard to see in on-line photographs, and Seiko watches almost always seem a lot nicer when you "meet them in person". I think this is part of the 'you can't go wrong' stuff. If you kinda like the on-line photos of a Sieko, but maybe aren't sure, you are not going to be disappointed with the actual watch. You will often adore it, immediately when you actually see it, and at the least not be disappointed.
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on December 7, 2016
  Today I'll be reviewing the Seiko 5 SNK803 which is a field watch in all but name. At first glance the time piece is an excellent piece and does the Seiko brand justice.
The watch has a case diameter of 37 mm and a thickness of 11mm, this makes the watch very unobtrusive and wears large on the wrist. The movement is a Seiko 7S26 21 jewel movement. The movement has been a venerable weapon in Seiko's arsenal since its introduction in 1996. Ticking at 6 bps and keeping a 43 hour power reserve. This watch does not have to worn everyday. You can actually have a great view of the movement via its crystal case back.
The dial on this watch is quite nice with an appearance that speaks to pilot watches and field watches. The watch is purely functional with aesthetically pleasing low lights such as the brushed case and the durable canvas strap with leather hole reinforcement that matches the dial. The day-date complication is functional and practical feature. I honestly wish more analog watches included this. The indexes are marked at intervals of 5 minutes and the hours being within a sort of sub dial is also a nice touch for those of us who still struggle with analog watches. A friend of mine likes analog watches but takes twenty or thirty seconds to "calculate" the time as he would say. There are pips around the indexes which are luminous and second minute hour hands are luminous also. In typical of Seiko's watches the lume is quite bright when charged. I also like the second hand design as it reminds me of my SKX007 but the "floating disc" effect is not present due to the contrasting colors of the dial. I imagine on the black variant of this piece the illusion would probably work better.
I purchased this watch as gift. But I'll likely be getting myself one. I really like to overall design of the watch at 37mm some would think the watch is small but with such a large face it wears big. This may sound picky but I don't care for the SEIKO branding being raised and polished on the face. I personally would have preferred to see a matte printing on the face to really lock in its field watch status.
price point
At less than 80 bucks this watch is a great bargain for those looking to get an automatic that wears well and looks great. SEIKO is probably one of the lesser known popular brands among the general public. I always recommend SEIKOs to people as most are work horses that are well worth their pricing.
This watch embodies the field watch. Some history on the Field Watch, as watches were originally a female accessory with a purely aesthetic purpose. Now come the men of early to mid 1800s who began wearing the watch as a faster more efficient way to keep track of time than the pocket watch. We'll take this watch outside and see how it performs in low light conditions with a ambient light charge.
I think this is a great watch to buy for both the collector and for anyone who needs a decent watch that wears well.
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on September 29, 2016
This is the 2nd of these simple, elegant, beautiful, self-winding watches I have purchased. I paid $65 for it in 2012 and $44 in 2016, so you can't go wrong! I am complimented frequently in court and I love the cream color! When the band gets dull and dirty I get it wet and rub a bar of soap into it and gently rub and it comes perfectly clean. I prefer this fabric band to any kind of metal, it feels like a friend while I wear it!
It doesn't keep perfect time like a watch with a good battery, but doesn't lose more than 2-3 minutes every few weeks and while I'm waiting in the hallway I enjoy looking at the movements on the back; reminds me that there are far smarter individuals than I who made this gorgeous watch, keeps me humble!
It is definitely a watch that needs to be worn all the time in order to keep good time, and like most men that's not difficult as our watches become part of us. This is truly a quality, beautiful timepiece! The one I purchased in 2012 just broke when I accidentally struck it with a piece of 1/2" rebar that I was using. I'm not sure what the watch repair in the Mall would have charged me to fix it, but my wife assured me that it would be more than what I paid for the new one. So, now what to do with my broken Seiko?
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on June 21, 2016
Seiko 5's are the not so well kept secret of the mechanical watch world. Low maintenance and long running, the 7s26 movement is a great value. This is my second Seiko 5 and my 3rd 7s26 movement. They are accurate and tough. The only way I know to knock one off spec is to throw it face down on the ground. I know from experience.

These watches wear small. The 37mm size is reminiscent of older watches. I enjoy smaller watches. Anything over 43mm looks awful on me. With watch this watch does, it needs to be no bigger.

As for accuracy, I find these watches to keep consistent time. By consistent I mean it is the same amount fast or slow every day. At this price point, there will not be much regulation of the movement. It is quite a simple procedure to regulate these watches. A simple Google search and a few simple tools, and your watch will be running on time all the time. Seiko only regulates to +30/-30 seconds a day. Mine tend to run around 2 seconds fast. You results may vary.

The look of the watch and band are as pictured. I immediately switched bands to one of my many NATO straps. The dial goes great with many colors.

If you want a nice watch that will run for decades with no battery changes and only light maintenance every 5 years, this is the watch for you. Would highly recommend.
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on August 2, 2017
I love this watch. It's so cool!

I've wanted to get a mechanical watch for probably a year now, but as a picky person, I had a lot of research to do. I like to be at baby-enthusiast level before I buy anything and the watch world is huge so it took some time. I ended up narrowing it down to two different watches for two different occasions. The first watch was this, my intent was for it to be a casual watch, up to business casual. The second watch was an Orient Bambino. A fair bit pricier but a fair bit fancier too. The intent for that would be a business casual to dress watch. I decided I dressed in the first category more frequently so this is the watch I picked.

It fits the role perfectly! But first thing is first, I HATE the default band. It's so bland to me and does absolutely nothing for the watch. But, I don't think most people buy a watch for the strap, especially not at this price point. So, my review has one caveat: You must ditch the band for another. Or several, like I did (see pictures, I only kept the blue and green canvas and the dark leather). I spent 50 bucks in watch bands, and 40 bucks on this watch (watch the price over a few weeks, it will go up and down), so in under a hundred dollars I have a SICK automatic watch that I can make look like 3! The only reason this works is because of the creme face. If you get any of the other face colors, the band will look better but your customization options (and outfit pairs... don't judge me) go down significantly.

Now, onto the quality of the actual mechanism that is inside this beautiful shell... it's great! As an engineer it really sits with me. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a watch with a tourbillon or a carousel incorporated but ain't nobody got cash fo dat. I will say that even though this mechanism is fairly simple as fair as watches go, my watch only loses 2 seconds each day which, ask any watch enthusiast and they will tell you I'm lying. Don't expect your watch to do that, 4 seconds might be more realistic, I think I got lucky. But, the day and the date are much appreciated and easy to set. Oh, and the lume! THE LUME! Pictures cannot do it justice, even on a cloudy day (here in texas), when I get in the car, I can notice it glowing on my wrist while I drive. Best lume I have personally seen although I have not seen a lot...

Anyways, I think this watch is awesome. I think my pictures are the most useful part of this review and I hope I helped somehow.
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