on February 18, 2010
Since there seems to be some confusion in the reviews over accuracy and power reserve, I'll try to do a quick explanation of what this watch is... An Automatic (winding) mechanism is a traditional mechanical (clockwork) watch. It is powered by a spring which is wound by the movement of your arm, and only has a reserve of 36-40 hours meaning that in order to keep it ticking you need to wear it just about every day.
Also, the time is kept by a precision weighted balance wheel rather than a quartz crystal, it will not be as accurate as a $4.99 digital watch. This watch will probably gain 5-10 seconds per day (Although it is possible to have the mechanism adjusted to improve it a little)...
If this is the case, why buy or wear an automatic watch instead of a quartz watch?... The answer is because of those intangible factors, somehow a mechanical watch has more soul than a quartz, you can feel the automatic winder moving on your wrist, it's more of a symbiotic relationship, a quartz watch can be put in a draw and it will run for years, while an automatic needs you as much as you need it. There's a certain satisfaction in the mechanical mechanism for those with some mechanical sympathy.
There is another up side to a watch like this too... if you put a quartz watch in a draw for a couple of years, the battery will be dead and it will be useless when you need it most, an automatic will have stopped... but it will be running again a few minutes after you start to wear it, and I suppose in extreme situations they would be EMP proof too :)
I wear an automatic watch every day, and I gladly accept somewhat less accuracy to have something less soulless than your typical quartz watch.
on May 5, 2009
This is an excellent product from Seiko.
1) Legible dial where numbers are clearly laid out in WWII bomber format.
2) Luminous markers hold light well
3) Automatic, may not be as accurate as a quartz watch but one can certainly appreciate the continuous sweep of the second hand and the exhibition display.
4) Nato Style nylon strap is comfortable and does its job, although i have plans to replace it with a calfskin brown strap as i am suspecting some threading to occur within 3 to 4 months time.
5) DAY and DATE, often see one or the other but makes the watch much more useful with both of them.
Im enjoying this watch and might plan to start a collection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
on April 10, 2010
For me this watch is fantastic. If you know auto-winds (automatics), then you know their little idiosyncrasies. So let's start there...
It's not a chronometer, it does gain (or lose) more than 0.5 seconds/day. In fact, on some days it seems to gain as much as a minute. Gaining time seems to be a common observation with other owners and reviewers. My guess is that it is "set fast" at the factory, with the idea that "if we can't get it perfect out of the box, then it's better to be early than be late." For this, you could probably go down to your local watch repair and get the timing set. Having said that, My watch normally runs about a minute fast over the course of a month and that doesn't bother me. In fact, true to all automatics, it gains and loses a little time each day or so and it is generally the same "one minute" ahead of the current time for several months.
The watch is obvious quality. Seiko is quality and they obviously get a great job on this one too. It's quite rugged. I regularly ride a both a mountain bike and road bike to work, which is 12 miles in one direction. The watch take a vibrational beating, but never really misses a beat (outside of the range mentioned in the previous paragraph).
I wasn't keen on the style of the band that came with the watch, although it is tough and will probably never come apart. I went a got a leather band, and this thing is beautiful. No kidding, totally styling.
The numbers on the watch dial are definitely unique: minutes on the outside; hours on the inside... Okay - but is a great way to help little kids to tell analog time, "The little hand tells you the hours and the big hand tells you the minutes." Was it planned?
I went out and got two more. Another for myself, with a green dial (that my oldest son commandeered) and another with a blue dial for my daughter in the Coast Guard. I was able to spend $64 a piece for these, so really, I think they were a great deal.
I have an older, beautiful Omega Deville that I wear when the occasion arises, but to tell you the truth, I end up feeling just a little guilty leaving this watch behind for some event, when it really is my trusted time piece.
However, after this... An Omega Planet Ocean.
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...
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.
on March 17, 2014
At a glance, the beige face and beige strap of this particular Seiko 5 might seem pretty blah looking when compared to its black, blue and green faced brothers in the SNK80 line, but when it comes to combining it with different straps, I think the beige face actually gives it more versatility, and pairing it with a leather band like the Hadley-Roma Chestnut as seen here [...]) gives it a classic, almost old-fashioned look that elevates it to a level of classiness that the others would be hard-pressed to attain.
Get this one and a new band, and I promise you won't be disappointed.
on March 4, 2011
I love this watch. I have been looking for just the right watch for the last 4 years, I even bought a Victorinox for more than twice the price, that I like, not love. You get more than you pay for, though it is an automatic and you will gain or loose some time. Mine seems to be .01 sec fast... but in reality, I'm not a super spy, and I have a cell phone, so maybe once every week or two I set it back a min as needed. If you really wanted you could take it to a trusted jeweler and have it "tuned up". But for the price, the movement is beautiful and the clear backing is mezmorizing (sorry 'bout my spelling). The styling is perfect, has an old school feel with modern "slickness", as my father would say. The face is smaller, which was a selling point for me... there seems to be a big watch trend, I hate that. I wear my watch 24hrs/day 7 days a week (I do take it off to take a shower though), the size of this face is perfect; form, style and function. The only thing that I did to it was replace the band, I love the NATO style bands, the fit can be tailored perfectly. I LOVE THIS WATCH, and though I am drunk on this fabulous time piece at the moment, of course, I see myself wearing it for many years to come (the last watch I had was a timex and I wore it for 5 years till the battery died).
P.S. I know that 5 stars is almost cleche' but I feel that it is appropriate here.
on September 6, 2013
A number of the reviews for this watch made me a little skeptical about the purchase. However having worn Seiko since the mid-1960s I decided to make the purchase.
The reviewers who wrote saying that this watch is bad are either working for another watch company or just don't know what they are talking about.
This watch is exceptional for the price. As soon as it arrived I set the date and time according to a desktop atomic clock and it is now 1 week later and it is perfectly accurate - no loss or gain in time. Because it is an automatic I wore it for about 10 hours daily for 3 days and now wear it of and on about 6 hours daily. It has set not worn for an entire weekend. The watch has not stopped; proving that the watch reserve power once wound is adequate for at least a weekend. This watch is as good as my other three Seiko watches which each cost $300+.
Yes, I would purchase this again and I would recommend it to others.
on November 4, 2012
Great watch if you are looking for an outdoors watch or if you are working in an environment where you need a robust watch. Built to the usual shape of a military watch, the seconds hand sweeps and is painted red. The hour and minute hands are both luminous and there are luminous indicators for each hour. The lume is great and when exposed to a small amount of light is very bright and can be seen very clearly. The back has a display case that is a nice touch. The strap is a canvas style and is reasonably robust especially considering I have read a few other reviews of canvas straps that have been of poor quality. The day and date function are also good. The face is beige in colour as is the strap. All in all a very good watch.
So now to cover the major points of the watch.
Firstly the power reserve. I have found that it can be erratic at times. I have left this watch at times at home overnight and during the day while wearing another watch and returned to find it keeping excellent time (About 18 hours later) However on other occasions on my travels I have left it on a cabinet and found it to be failing after only a few hours, in fairness this has only happened once or twice. When the watch is worn constantly it keeps excellent time. The main reason for this is unlike most automatics the Seiko 5 watches cannot be handwound, you "Charge" Them by shaking them (Which may worry some people) To get them going, they need to be in constant use on the wrist if they do the power reserve will last the night otherwise, you may find it to be erratic.
Secondly the lume. If going from good light to poor light (i.e. from daylight to dusk) It can struggle to pick up enough light to be effective. When in total darkness however the lume is fantastic. I have checked the time after 5 or more hours and found it to be still bright enough to see the watch at a good arms length so no holding the watch almost to your nose to read the time. From daylight to poor artificial light however, its very good.
The strap. Its a canvas strap which can have its problems, namely the ends can get frayed very easily and I find they can sometimes start to rub on the wrist when they begin to age. This is holding out OK I usually use a nato strap with military watches (And divers for that matter) However with this it would cover the display back so its a bit of a waste. I would stick with the canvas strap.
After using this in a few tough conditions I still strongly recommend it. The watch still looks good, glass is tip top and very robust. People say that the crystal Seiko use are prone to scratching. Well I honestly dont know what conditions they are using a watch under but this has been trekking, on holiday abroad etc and not a mark on it. Never had a problem with the crystal on a Seiko watch. Lume is fantastic at night and in constant wear keeps excellent time.