on April 10, 2010
This review was originally written for the SNK803K2. The only difference is the color of the dial. But I bought this on too.
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 28, 2013
I've been wearing this watch everyday for about a week now and I'm very impressed with it so far. Here is my own breakdown of the watch, in no particular order:
I have a 7 inch wrist and this watch fits me very nicely. It's such a relief to find an affordable, reasonably-sized, automatic watch these days when every new watch design coming out seems to be 40mm in diameter or larger. I would consider this a "mid-sized" watch for anyone with a medium to small wrist. Also, in case anyone is interested, the width of the lugs and strap for this watch is 18mm.
Fit and Finish:
The quality and craftsmanship of this watch is pretty outstanding considering it only cost $60. The dial is sharp and the lume is totally useable. Make no mistake, this watch was most likely assembled entirely by robots, but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing (they did a pretty good job on mine). The watch strap leaves a little to be desired, feeling a bit coarse on the skin; I'll probably replace it eventually, but for now, it's doing just fine.
I've been keeping track of my watch's accuracy compared to the US atomic clock for the last week and I have to say I'm impressed. It's been consistently 2-4 seconds fast per day, which is even more accurate than its officially stated specifications. In other words, it's overachieving in a big way. To get more accurate than this you are going to have to shell out at least 5 times the cash.
This watch employs a Seiko 7S26C movement, which, in my humble opinion, is an absolute marvel of modern engineering. It is rumored that this mechanism costs all of $10 to produce, which, if true, is simply amazing. It's extremely efficient in winding the mainspring and is reported to be very durable, shock-resistant, and extremely low-maintenance in the long-term. You couldn't really ask for much more from such an inexpensive movement. I will say, the rotor does "rattle" ever so slightly when the watch is jerked around suddenly, but this is nothing that you can hear unless you have it close to your ear. It hasn't bothered me at all and doesn't seem to have any impact on the function of the watch. Lastly, this movement is not officially "hackable" but you can actual manually force it to hack by turning the crown slightly against its normal rotation direction while in the second position... this effectively stops the seconds hand. If you turn it back to normal then the second hand starts back up again. Hack achieved! Now just set the hour and minutes and you're good to go.
This watch has a stated water-resistance of 30 meters (or 3 ATM). I haven't really tested this, but I have washed the watch in a sink without any incident. Personally, I won't hesitate to swim in this watch even though the manufacturer guidelines tell you not to swim in a 30m WR watch (the manufacturers are just covering their own skin, in my opinion, but your opinion might vary). I'm betting that this watch will most likely keep a seal while the gaskets and O-rings are relatively new, and besides, it's only a $60 watch anyway... not worth losing sleep over.
Compared to many of the more expensive automatic watches out there, this watch basically gives you 80% of the functionality for 20% of the cost (or less!). I'd say that's a steal any way you look at it!
on April 9, 2015
I'm giving this a five star rating for the watch itself. The strap is a steaming pile. I'm new to this whole mechanical watch thing, so I was looking at bang for the buck. I like military/aviator style watches and this one seemed to fit the bill on the checklist. I have to say, when it arrived, I was surprised for so little money you'd get such a nice timepiece. The box and little pillow are nice. This would make a great gift for a nerdy kid. There are a ton of other reviews, so I'll just get down to what I like: The lume is powerful enough that I can read the watch all night long without having to charge it under a light. If I wake up at 4:45 am, I can see that's what time it is. The watch is quiet in operation. I do hear the jingle jangle of the rotor in the back swinging around with my arm when I move sometimes, but it's not annoying. My particular watch is very accurate. I've had it running for three weeks now and it has lost 14 seconds. I took the strap off of mine as soon as I got it and made one out of leather, so my photos are not representative of the strap that comes with it. The strap that comes with it is really thin and cheap feeling. I'd feel guilty using the strap that came with it as a collar for a feral cat, let alone my wrist. My only personal complaint of the watch is that it seems a bit small on me, but fashion comes and goes and changes. It's big enough that it doesn't look goofy. If I wasn't married, I'd immediately buy the other colors so I had one to go with every outfit.
on November 27, 2007
Excellent watch for the money. I bought mine through Amazon about six months ago and am very satisfied by this watch. I think I paid $54 for it then and the shipping was very quick. This is my first automatic and I love the fact that I never have to replace a battery. It has a simple elegance that reminds me of WWII British and American issue watches. It runs a little fast (probable gains a minute a week) but this is not a big issue.
on April 1, 2015
Love this watch! A great buy. This is my first and only automatic watch. I wasn't sure about the color when I first got it. I put a leather strap on it with a stainless steel deployment clasp with a brushed finish and WOW! I think it looks fantastic. The green face gives it a unique look. It is darker green and almost looks black from a distance. The white with brown leather and the black with brown leather are the more classic combinations, so I feel a little special with the green and brown leather, which I like. I'll post some pictures and you be the judge. I think it is fun to keep it as close to the exact time by checking the accuracy with an radio controlled "atomic" clock ($10) each morning and night. I learned how each night position affects the accuracy so I use the position that will keep it most accurate. I generally end up losing about 2 seconds per day and I make a minute adjustment about once a month. I have a small wrist, so the smaller size suits me fine. The lume in the dark is not the greatest for my aging eyes. It is ok if I go from sunlight to dark since the lume will be brighter for 20 minutes or so. I still can't believe I got this for around $56. My guess is most more expensive automatics aren't much more accurate. I wear it almost every day, so I have not had a problem with it stopping. To me this watch wants to be worn and wants my attention. Like a good pet, if I give it my attention, it gives me back much in return.
on April 23, 2015
Update 7/29 15 -- Seiko Customer Service is terrible. After sending my watch in for repair under the advertised 3-year warranty, I finally had to prompt them for status. They replied that I should check their website and gave me a repair number. They could have called or shot me an email letting me know that they had received it and wanted to talk to me about it. But they didn't. So I went into their website only to discover that they considered the watch not to be under warranty and that it would cost $122.13 to repair it. And I have to pay shipping...again!!! Thinking there must be some sort of mix up since I had sent the Amazon invoice with the watch proving that the watch was purchased new, by me, and that it wasn't out of warranty when it broke. Seiko Customer Service responded that they needed the Warranty Certificate (included in the box with the watch) completed by an authorized Seiko dealer before they would honor the warranty. How am I going to get that, if the order is online and fulfilled by one of Amazon’s vendors? Anyway, this was contrary to the return requirements posted on their Seiko Service Center’s website which reads, "If your timepiece is under warranty please include the fully completed warranty card or the original proof of purchase...". I sent them the proof of purchase (Amazon invoice) which should of been sufficient. And I explained that to them...twice.
My response to them posed the simple question, "Why won't you honor a 3-year warranty when I’ve already provided evidence that I purchased the watch and that it’s still well within the 3-year warranty period?” The watch also still looked brand new so it was obvious that it hadn’t been run over by a truck. I added, “The watch only cost about $60 when new. Why would I pay more than the watch cost when brand new to fix it?” They emailed me to phone them again for an explanation of their policy. I won’t waste any more time discussing policy.
Out of sheer frustration, I send a complaint email and explanation with the Seiko email chain to Amazon’s Customer Service. And, in stark contrast, Amazon replied promptly, apologized for my difficulty (even though it wasn’t their fault), and cheerfully refunded the cost of the watch. All of this in less than a day. No questions asked. My complaint and request for their help was even well beyond the 30 days return period too. I was amazed. Amazon is great. But I will never buy another Seiko again.
As an aside, I had a nice Seiko Aviator’s watch that kept good time for more than twenty years. Really liked that watch until it simply wore out. So I know that Seiko can make good watches, it’s just that their nonexistent customer service got to me this time. These days, companies really should bend over backwards to maintain a loyal customer following. I think of it this way, “How much business has it and will it cost Seiko not to fix my $60 watch?” Would you buy a watch from them after reading this review?
Update 7/5/15 -- A few weeks ago this Seiko became intermittent. It would occasionally stop while I wore it. The watch just didn't seem to automatically wind enough like it did when it was new. Poor for only 3 months of normal wear. Didn't drop it or get it wet either. The energy reserve of the watch after normal wear decreased from approx. 18 hours, to about 6 hrs, and then became intermittent while I wore it. When it ran, it kept great time. I have returned it to Seiko for warranty repair or replacement. Will update this review when I hear from the warranty center.
April 2015 --This is an excellent watch. Superb quality for the price. I've never owned an automatic before, but I must say that I'm fascinated by the concept. This Seiko 5 is attractive and rugged. Looks nice for all-around wear. And so far, it's very accurate. I put it on before I leave for work and take it off when I return home. If you wear it every day like this, it won't run down. I might have to adjust the time slightly each week, but that's about it. It just works. I'm very satisfied with this purchase.
on April 27, 2011
The bezel is a classic size, not like the many gaudy over-sized bezels that are being churned out by every watch company these days. It's not tiny as suggested by some other reviewers, i'd say it's about the size of your average Timex Iron-man digital watch. It's thickness makes up for the smaller bezel diameter. I would sorta understand the size complaints if it were small and thin, but it's sits on the wrist with ample thickness to convey that it is indeed a mans timepiece. Not dainty by any means.
The green face is very unique yet understated. There is the option to view the day in English or French. So far it keeps very accurate time, I've only owned it for a few days so i'll update this review if anything changes. The watch is very light and comfortable to wear. Overall, i'd say you can't go wrong with this one in any color.
on January 21, 2011
I was afraid that the green would be too green... well, the face is very very dark green. (You can easily replace the band to a different color such as brown or black and the people will not be able to tell the face is green unless they pay attention) The band is a little thin but you can always change that. The band is a good quality and well built. The watch has a good solid weight, yet it is thin enough to wear with a dress shirt. I'm giving 5 stars because it is an excellent value for the price.
UPDATE: I originally gave 5 stars, but I have been wearing the watch all day under a normal condition. It gained 4 min per every hour (yes, per hour). I read another user having the same issue. this is not normal. I will try again for a couple of more days. If the condition does not improve I will return the watch. I still like the color and the looks of the watch. :)
UPDATE 2: It has been a week since I wore this watch. I have been wearing it for the last 2 days and the time is accurate. Am I going crazy? I left it on my desk for the last week or so (with face up flat). I was going to return but decided to test it out once again. It keep accurate time for the first hour so I kept on wearing (including overnight)as of today it gained +-15sec (within 48 hours). It is amazing. I'm very glad! I read about automatic watches needing "break-in" time or "adjustment-period"... so I guess it is true... or maybe it was magnetized during shipment.. or maybe it was stored side ways for a long-time.... well, I don't know since I'm not a watch specialist or anything.... I just want to tell you that it works. If I want an accurate time I would go with Quartz. My rating is going back up to 5 stars!
on January 25, 2013
Batteries in my old watch died on me right after I got to Afghanistan and I figured instead of ordering batteries and messing with it I'd rather try a new watch that doesn't need batteries. I used this for the rest of my deployment and It held up very well. It runs fast, but the reviews said that so I'm not that concerned. Better running a little ahead than a little behind. The band is getting a little scruffy after a year, but I think that's an acceptable lifespan (still works fine, just looks rough). Had it over a year now and still using it every day back home.
on April 9, 2016
First let me say I'm not a watch guy, I like watches I think they look cool but frankly I don't know what makes a good watch good or what makes a cheap watch cheap, I only know that the general consensus is that Seiko is a good "starter watch". That being said this review is from the standpoint of a normal guy who just likes the watch.
This isn't a "starter watch" a good product is a good product no matter the price! It's suited for a guy who owns a Rolex or a guy who buys no name watches and just wants something nicer. Honestly after owning this watch a while I would have no problem paying the full retail $180.00 for this and at $60.00 it's a steal and let me tell you why.
First the size, it's small! I think the modern style is for watches to be big, I actually own another seiko that's in the recraft series it's a good looking watch and looks nice with a suit but it's big and cumbersome. On the contrary the seiko 5 is much much smaller more like the classic sized watch you would have seen your grandfather wearing. I have very large wrists most watch bands only fit on the last or even second to last hole comfortably and this watch looks perfectly sized for my wrists in no way does it look feminine although this could make a fine large watch for a woman. Take a look a look at the picture below and keep in mind I have large wrists at 7.8 inches. The size makes it possible to go along with life with out your watch getting in the way or digging into the back of your hand.
Next up the strap of the watch.
This watch is classy and has an awsome retro design. I feel it was a mistake for them to place this beautiful timepiece on such a cheap watch band. The included watch band is made with a seat belt material and while I think it would last a while I find it to be ugly and it takes away from what the watch could be. I'm sure it was chosen to go along with the military design of the watch it is also probably a cost cutting method.
I honestly never even wore the included band I changed it the moment it came to my door. I first tried a band from Amazon made by strapsco a very beautiful leather watch band but too small for my wrist. Then I got a cheap Walmart 18mm watch band, it worked but didn't do the watch justice. I ended up getting a watch band from crown and buckle the watch band was on sale for $30.00ish and is made out of realy soft calf leather, call me cheap but I find even that price high for a watch strap but if your looking for a high quality watch strap I recommend trying crown and buckle.
The watch color.
When choosing the color I asked my wife what color I should get and she said green. Honestly I thought green was the ugliest color and wanted to go with black or maybe even blue but I have this nasty habit of asking my wife's opinion and doing what I want any way. My wife is a smart beautiful classy lady so I decided I need to listen to her opinion and I did and I'm really happy I did. The green face is less military green in real life its more of a forest green, when paired up with a nice leather band it gives this watch a really unique classic look and as stupid as this sounds it's the only way I can accurately describe it, it looks very earthy. Having the green color on my wrist I wouldn't choose any of the other colors.
The dial markings are another treat, where as the seiko and 5 shield are applied the second and hour markings are painted straight on the face. That may sound like it would look cheap but I think it actually gives it a very classic and timeless look. Also the way it's set up makes telling the time a simple quick look down process. The watch also has loom admittedly, while it's very bright at first it fades quickly, although it's faint you can still make out the time in the middle of the night.
Now the movement.
When you look at that second hand you are going to be treated by what looks like a sweeping second hand, it's so cool. And while I don't think it's really a sweeping hand it's close enough for this non expert! Turn over the watch and you have that beautiful exhibition display you can see the mechanism that swings when you move that powers the watch also the watch spring moving like a tiny heart beating it's really an awsome thing to look at. This watch is also an automatic, that means the power is derived from the moment of your arm winding the watch as you go, I have been told it has a life span of nearly 30 or so hours although mine has yet to die. During the work week I wear a digital watch to work and wear this watch for around 4 hours a day and so far that has been enough to keep it alive. Reseting the watch is a snap. First pull the watch crown all the way out and set the clock to 12.00, then push the crown in one click rotate the crown forward to change it to the correct date and backward for the day, pull out the crown again and set the time. Setting it to 12 initially keeps your watch from turning to the Spanish day of the week in the middle of the day, just a learned helpful tip.
And lastly the overall build of the watch. Although it's a small watch it has some nice heft to it and in no way feels cheap thanks to that stainless steal bezel. The bezel is a really complementing dull stainless steal although the sides by the strap are a nice polished stainless steal. I also really like how the crown is set at 4:00, it gives this watch a very unique look while keeping the crown from digging into the back of your hand.
This is not my only watch nor is it my most expensive, as I also mentioned it's not my only seiko or my newest watch but it is my favorite. It's not just that it's an all around beautiful watch, honestly seiko nailed it here. But this watch is quality and when it comes down to it money doesn't always determine how long something is going to last even though that's what consumerism tells us. This watch is quality the stainless steel body not to mention the same movement that is found in a wide variety of seikos including watches that cost much more comparatively. Although it would have been nice to have a nicer crystal even if it would have cost more and even a nicer band included, the price reflects this and I think it's an even cheaper price then this watch could be.
This isn't only the best watch buy of my life but the absolute hands down best buy of my year when it comes to quality to price ratio.