on February 10, 2012
I bought mine on Feb 8, 2012, sold by A2ZWatches, fulfilled by Amazon. I did a ton of research into Seiko 5s, and specifically this watch. I liked the SNK809, but the size seemed small, so I went with the SNZG15. On my 7.5" wrist, next to my awfully large paws, this watch appears just about right; stylishly on the large size, but not by any means massive.
If you look closely at the picture in the Amazon listing as I did, between the 8 and 7, and between the 7 and the 6, there is white text that should read "MADE IN" and "JAPAN" respectively. The watch I received does not have this. Between the 7 and the 6 it reads "7S36-" (the caliber) because it is not made in Japan, but rather Malaysia. It's also labeled as such on the Hardlex backing. This was a little disappointing to me, and I almost returned it. But ultimately decided it wasn't worth the hassle. I like the watch, and am fully satisfied with it's authenticity and quality.
It arrived in the expected blue Seiko box (with white protective cardboard sleeve), mounted on the white Seiko pillow, with retail string tag attached, along with the Seiko ZSxx instructions, registration card, and warranty/instructions booklet with "certificate of limited warranty," which was not "filled out by the Seiko authorized dealer."
I wound the watch according to the instructions at about 15:00 local time, and set the time (about -3 seconds to the atomic clock). Before bed at about 23:00 local, I removed the watch and I noted it had held at about -3 seconds to the atomic clock. The next morning at about 9:00 local, I observed that the watch was about +15 seconds to the atomic clock (a net gain of 18 seconds). After wearing the watch all day, I'm now observing about +16 seconds to the atomic clock (a net gain of 1 second throughout the day). I'll be keeping track of it against the atomic clock, and may report back. So far, this is very much within my needed time keeping tolerances, and for an automatic, I'm satisfied.
The Lumibrite hands charge up quickly, and dissipate at a rate on par with most glow-in-the-dark items I've seen. It's nothing special, but it's also not radioactive like tritium, which is a plus to me.
The strap is comfortable but austere. There's vinyl reinforcing the strap holes. But I didn't, and don't think you're about to, buy this watch for it's band. I've got 2 other straps, a Bond Zulu and a stitched composite band (black with with red stitching) on their way, which I suspect will really make this time piece pop on my wrist.
Size great (for bigger mitts like mine)
Great price for an automatic with some provenance
Wish it had been made in Japan as pictured
A month and a half later, I would like to add a few things that I thought you the reader might find helpful. The time keeping has been very good; very close to what I've reported above. It's a weekend watch for me, and after a 2 day weekend of wearing it roughly 16 hours per day, the automatic movement will run about a day and a half. Lastly, the Amazon listing when I purchased it (and at the time of this update) states the band width to be 20mm, but this is not true. It's 22mm. The bands I bought looked a little small, and my calipers confirmed it; bandwidth is 22mm. Fantastic watch overall. I would buy again, and would recommend to a friend.
on August 18, 2012
Bought this seiko G15 after having tried it in a shop somewhere in San Francisco Chinatown. Decided to buy it on amazon because it was much much cheaper. Unfortunately, amazon`s description of the watch is pretty useless (at the time of purchase it didnt even mention it was an automatic, and even mentionned that the seiko had a battery!!!). Since then, it has been corrected...)
Long story short, i'll try to describe the watch better here:
The watch has an automatic seiko movement (SNZG15 uses the 23 jewel seiko 7S36 movement) and the watch is 42mm in diameter (but it feels like a big 40mm or a small 42mm seeing the flieger/military type dial is well designed). It's lug size is 22mm, giving it a hefty look and feel, but rest assured, having relatively average/small wrists, it sits well on the wrist and doesnt look too big at all. It's water resistant to 100 meters. That means you should be able to swim with it, but I would not recommend diving with it (go check out the real diving seikos that are WR to 200 should your goal be diving). I knocked off a star in the rating because the watch does not have a screw in crown. I know its not advertised as a real divers, but a screw in crown would've allowed more security while swimming with it. However, 100m should be enough anyways for most people's usage).
The dial has the 12 hour markings on the outside, while european 24 hours type (13 to 24) are right under them, giving it more of a military/flieger look and use. The glass is hardlex crystal (harder to scratch).
The cloth strap feels a little tougher than a regular nato. It will however be necessary to replace it after a year or so seing the amount of wear it has taken in 2 months of regular wearing.
The lume is really bright, but i'm not sure the second hand has any, or it is very thinly applied.
The day and date are present, which is a big plus. It is not instadate, so the day and date turn slowly around midnight to change. The day of the week is both in english and spanish, but once you set it, it will only display the language you chose, so the other language will only turn around midnight and you will only see it then)
If you were hesitating between the SNZG15 and the SNK809, please note that these are two similar watches while you compare them online and with pictures, but they are actually very different when trying them on (809 is very light, much smaller, different WR rating as it is 30m).
Overall, I am really satisfied with my purchase. For connaisseurs, or people who love to buy japanese seikos, you should already know that the SNZG15 on sale on amazon is NOT from Japan, but is made in Malaysia, as is the movement as the reference number should tell you, J for japan, K basically being not japan). Even if I wouldve prefered the japanese model, it comes at a much higher price. I am really delighted with the build quality of the malaysian watch, and the movement only gains 1 or 2 seconds max per day. Not too sure about the warranty though, but the watch came with a nice seiko box and all the paperwork).
on June 1, 2014
This was my first automatic watch. I wanted something a little more sophisticated than my Timex Easy Reader while still saving money for a much nicer watch (Nomos). The watch feels very nice, a definite upgrade in every category possible. Basically a poor man's Hamilton Khaki.
One thing I highly recommend is getting a new strap as soon as you get it. The strap that it comes with is not the greatest.
on November 14, 2012
I've wanted an automatic watch for daily wear for some time now. I wanted one that was reasonably accurate so I don't have to re-set it all the time. However the general rule has been that cheap ones are never accurate and accurate ones are never cheap. This watch seems to be an exception. It's self winding, which is a plus and is plenty accurate for my needs.
It's a classic looking watch. Nothing flashy or gimmicky which I prefer. It's great for daily wear with the super comfortable nylon strap. The size of the watch is about perfect on my wrist which measures 7.25". I use the 6th out of 10 holes on the strap. The hands & hour markers glow in the dark. The glow is quite strong if you were in sunlight all day. If you hold it near your ear, you can hear the watch ticking. I have a Malaysian movement watch.
This watch is a great value. It keeps time as well as an ordinary quartz watch, but never needs batteries or even winding, just wear it. It's stylish and comfortable enough for daily wear. Definitely keeps time better than automatic watches from designer brands that cost up to 3x as more. I never understood why people buy watches made by companies that specialize in designing clothing. Buy a watch from a proper watch maker, not a generic manufacturer white labeled watch!
on October 7, 2015
The world of watches can be roughly divided into two major groups: quartz watches and mechanical watches, like this Seiko 5 Sports SNZG15. For one who desires to only look at their wrist and see the time and maybe the date, the distinction is irrelevant. In fact, quartz watches are, by all accounts, more accurate than mechanical watches. They are unaffected by pressure and temperature for all practical purposes, and even when their batteries begin to run low they still keep accurate time. Their manufacture is now a triviality of assembly line robotics and production of quartz watches now falls into the same class as the production of ballpoint pens: they are plentiful and inexpensive in most cases.
So why would a person wish to own a watch full of gears and springs and friction-reducing synthetic rubies (of which this watch has 23)? Simply put: a mechanical watch is a thing of wonder, a tangible illustration of the achievement of our understanding of physics, mathematics, and the craft of manufacture. Even the slightest understanding of the mechanism's workings fills the mechanical watch wearer with a sense of pride and distinction that can only be understood by other aficionados.
Of course, as with all things, not all mechanical watches are created equal. This watch, however, is a real gem. It's not perfect, and I'll get to why, which earns it only four out of five total stars, but for the price it cannot be beaten. This is a true automatic winding mechanical watch that keeps time steadfastly and even includes the day and date complications, a feature normally reserved for much more expensive pieces. Let's start with what is great about this watch.
First, as I said already, it is a true automatic winding mechanical watch. The back is clear so that you can see the winding rotor, the balance spring, and a few associated wheels. The case itself is solidly built and has a weight and quality in the hand that may surprise you at this price point. The face is black with white numerals, hour markers, and hands. The hour markers and hands are luminous, so they glow in the dark. Overall the design is quite handsome, understated, and contemporary. You might compare the style of this watch to other modern sports watches.
It looks good, it feels good, and it keeps time well. On top of that, it's a lovely mechanism with a "sweeping"-style second hand and the distinctions that are afforded any well-made mechanical watch. This is why I gave it four stars. Now let's talk about that fifth star.
Bear in mind: I really like this watch. That said, here are my minor criticisms. The nylon band this watch ships with is good-looking, but somewhat cut-rate in quality. It could be softer and the buckle piece could be made better. Nevertheless, it is a fairly standard 21.5mm band with typical spring bar attachments, so replacing it with a band of your liking is a straightforward affair.
The winding rotor makes a very soft rattling sound if it is shaken. This is quite a trivial matter, and can only be heard in very quiet conditions, but it bears mentioning. This Seiko calibre 7S36 cannot be manually wound and does not have a "hack" feature. If the watch runs down and stops, you have to swing it around until the rotor has wound the mainspring enough to power the watch. If you wear this watch daily, you may never have to do that, but it should be stated. Since there is no "hack" feature, the second hand cannot be stopped, so the best accuracy you can achieve is within one minute or so. I've never been one to sweat a one- or two-minute accuracy problem on a day-to-day basis, but also, this is good to know.
The caliber does have a regulator, so if you are very intrepid (or if you take the watch to a proper jeweler or watch repair shop) it can be adjusted to run faster or slower. If you find that the watch is gaining or losing time very quickly, a professional repair shop can use a timing device to measure mechanism and adjust the regulator for you.
Finally, the included instructions leave a little bit to be desired. This watch has a day/date feature and the day indicators are available in English and Spanish. This means that every other day on the ring is in English. Once you have set the watch correctly, the day ring will advance two positions between midnight and two or three AM so that the next English day indicator is displayed. The instructions do mention adjusting the date and day first and then advancing the hands until the NEXT day is displayed; this is critical to ensure that the day indicator and the internal mechanisms are in the correct position. There are YouTube videos and other Internet guides for doing this that are better than the included instructions.
The instructions also note that you should not attempt to change the day or date between the hours of 9 PM and 4 AM or you risk damaging the mechanism. This is another reason that the watch is priced so competitively; the mechanism simply lacks the refinement to avoid this risk. Such are the trade-offs in designing any machine.
Still, in spite of all of these minor shortcomings, you will honestly never encounter a watch so well-designed, well-built, and inspiring of that horological pride shared by we who appreciate the achievements of the watchmakers of the world at this incredible price. You should add this watch to your collection simply to say that you own one.
on December 23, 2012
This Seiko has quickly become my favorite of my collection, it's a fine piece if you're looking for your first automatic or a fine everyday wear watch.
This is my first automatic so I can't compare it to other autos, but in my experience this piece is fairly accurate (I didn't do any synthetic test though) and will last about a day without being worn.
easily read chapter ring
the signature Seiko smooth sweep second hand
superb build quality and fit/finish
luminosity recharges quickly & lasts slightly above what I consider average
relatively quite rotor movement (you must be in a very quite room to hear the weight spin)
lens isn't as hard as Seiko claims (it scratched in the first week, my Citizen's have fair much better)
on February 19, 2016
I bought the Seiko SNK809 automatic a couple years ago and really liked it. But wanted a bit larger automatic so just got this SNZG15 auto. Lovely watch. 42mm size with 22mm lug width. The nighttime markers are very bright and easily readable all night long. This watch uses the 23 jewel 7S36 movement whereas the SNK809 uses the 21 jewel 7S26 movement. From what i've read both movements are basically the same but having two more jewels just sounds better. This watch keeps very good time for an inexpensive automatic gaining about 3 seconds a day. I'm happy with that. 100 meter depth rating is nice. I won't use for swimming or scuba but nice to think i can leave it on while bathing and also don't have to worry about perspiration seeping in while hiking. I have a Seiko Kinetic dive watch if i want to go snorkeling. Bold clear face is easy to read any time indoors or out. Some have complained about the nylon strap but i think it's fine.
Update: Not sure how i originally stated the watch gains 3 seconds per day. After wearing daily for a week i find the watch only gains 1 second per day! Awesome!!
on October 11, 2013
Then this is your watch. I've been after a very specific watch the last couple of years: automatic movement, well crafted, 42MM case diameter, day/date with a rugged build and a simple, non-chronometer face. Most of the watches that catch my eye carry the name IWC, Hamilton, Damasko, Sinn or Fortis. I am not willing to pay that kind of money just for the brand or the swiss/german "craftsmanship". I am not a label snob, per se, and look mainly for high quality and value. This Seiko hits the mark and then nails it. I cannot be more pleased with my purchase. The timekeeping is superb as long as you wear it daily and the fit and finish are first rate. It looks great on my wrist, and i catch myself staring at it often during the day. So far, it's proven to be bump and scratch proof. The only modification I made was swapping out the OEM band for a NATO version. I could not be happier. This is a fabulous watch, and will satisfy all but the most discriminating watch buyer. Yes, I'd love an IWC, but this satisfies 95% of what I want from an IWC for 1% of the cost. One percent. I am thrilled with this purchase. Highly recommended.
on May 21, 2014
I have had this watch for just over a month now and I love it. I bought this watch just over a month ago after I got another seiko 5 watch (model #SNK809). I did this because when I first bought the watch (SNK809) I bought it off amazon and when I received it. It was just too small. I freaked out and returned it the next day. I looked at this watch before and bought it on the spot. A couple days later I got it in the mail. I was and still am so happy I got this watch instead.
There are many things that I really like about this watch. First of all it looks good. Its fairly clean and simple. There is a lot of numbers and letters that may make it seem a little busy but its still not bad at all. Overall fit and finish is very good, I do not have any complaints. The Hardlex Crystal is also very good no scratches yet to report, just a very small, microscopic chip. I believe Hardlex is harder than mineral, which is very good because I have some beat up mineral crystals. I wish however, the crystal sat lower than the bezel to help protect it some, but it doesn't. But with the abuse I put on it, it has been holding up spectacularly well. Accuracy is also very good. As my first Auto I was not sure what to expect. I did not officially track the accuracy but I'm fairly confident its about +/- 1 minute per week. Again no complaints here (I however, do not understand most people's obsession with accuracy as long as it keeps the time within a couple minutes). Also the Lume is very very good. It is the best I ever seen and with this being under $200 its quite impressive. WR is good I haven't swam with it, but I plan to, however, I wear it showering on occasion and no fogging or water leaks.
The size is also perfect, not too big or small. much better than the SNK809.
Now there is one particular problem I have with this watch (also the SNK809), and that is the canvas strap. I knew from when I bought it I would not like it very much. So I ordered this watch with a NATO strap. Now when it arrived the strap was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. But it still seemed cheap and of alright quality. So I took it off ( NOTE: A spring bar tool is highly recommended if you choose this route, I ended up cutting up my fingers trying to use a knife to get the spring bars off) and threw it back in the box. I threw the nato strap on it and I was very content with my purchase.
There are a few other very minor things that I also do not like about this watch. For instance the lume, however good it may be it has a slight green/off-white tint that does not help the appearance of this watch and the lime doesn't completely cover the dashes on the sides. Also the movement is great that there is a see-through case-back but the movement is not pretty at all, in fact it is kind of ugly. But for a sub $200 watch that's not really expected.
Overall this is a great watch most of the stuff is just me knit-picking and does not really detract for this watch. I truly do love this watch and wear it religiously. The militaristic/pilot look works very well in different environments and goes with about everything besides like a suit. The only thing I would recommend would be to buy it with a NATO strap because they are cheap, cool looking, and easy to change out. Plus you would still have the original strap.
And always remember the value aspect. For being an auto with a nice crystal, a day/date function, great lume, good WR, and generally an attractive, everyday use watch that is under $200 thats a pretty good value.
However, if you want to go smaller with the SNK809 that is even a better value, and in my opinion the face of the SNK809 is even more attractive. I personally didn't want to have buyers remorse from the size of it which was just too small for me.
Hope this helps, I try to give anyone reading this as much info as possible to make a wise decision on their purchase.So it may be long but I don't want to leave anything out. Good luck!
on August 8, 2016
Bought this for my daughter's Basic Training graduation. I like it so much that I am selling my non "sport" Seiko 5 watches and buying this one for my daily wear. It's a bit more expensive than the standard 5, and a little larger, but being water resistant it is a better daily wear watch. Can't wait to get mine.