If you’ve ever done a quick search online for the best affordable dive watches, starter mechanical watches or even just all-round value enthusiast watches, chances are, you have crossed paths with the legendary Seiko SKX007. It offered all the benefits of an established watch manufacture, including a history dating back to the late 1800s, and all the reliability and quality that Seiko has come to be known for. And at a sub MYR1,000 price tag, it was really hard to beat in terms of value for money.
Sometime last year, however, Worn & Wound reported that Seiko had quietly discontinued the SKX007 and it wasn’t until just recently that we understood why – introducing the brand new Seiko 5 Sports collection. From a glance, this collection looks to be the spiritual successor to the 007 but does this new offering live up to the legend that preceded it? We find out.
For those who are unacquainted with the Seiko 5 badge, it is a splinter from Seiko, created to offer more affordable watches with an emphasis on quality. The ‘5’ in the name comes from the five traits each of these watches would have: a mechanical movement, a day/date function, good water resistance, a crown at 4 o’clock and a durable case and bracelet or strap. And a good piece of trivia is that when ‘Seiko 5’ was first introduced in 1963 it was Japan’s first automatic day-date timepiece. The new Seiko 5 Sports collection seems to have kept its ethos and for this latest collection modified the logo slightly.
Design-wise, this thing is spot on. It offers all the things we loved about the 007 in the first place; a clear and legible dial, and a case (42.5mm) with relatively short lugs (46mm lug-to-lug) so it sits quite comfortably on the wrist. Applied indicators now replace the previously painted indicators giving it a heightened sense of craftsmanship, but by and large, it still keeps the look and feel that we have all come to love. With this new Seiko 5 Sports collection they have decided to break up the colour/strap option into five categories namely Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street and Sense depending on your combination of dial colours and straps.
The biggest upgrade with the Seiko 5 Sports collection comes with a change of movement, upgrading the 7S26 of the SKX007 into the Caliber 4R36 which now comes with hacking and hand-winding functions. And of course, to show off this fact, they have also included a clear caseback. On the downside, unlike the SKX007 that had a 200m water resistance, these new Seiko 5 Sports watches come with only 100m of water resistance, which would explain why it doesn’t have a screw-down crown.
These new watches are now priced from MYR1,120 to MYR1,390 depending on your combination. We loved the fact that they upgraded the movement to one with hacking and hand-winding but with the loss of the screw-down crown and the 200m water resistance, we can’t quite call it a successor to the SKX007. It’s clear from its colour and strap options that Seiko designed the watch to target a more casual audience, and in that regard, you still get quite a lot of bang for your buck. Those looking for a robust and reliable dive watch, however, should probably still try to get their hands on a 007 before it runs out and when it does, there are other options out there like Seiko’s ‘turtle’ or ‘mini turtle’ watches.
Case: Stainless steel
Case size: 42.5mm
Movement: Calibre 4R36
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: MYR1,120 – MYR1,390