Another Friday, another Top 5! After two lists of the best watches under €1,000, we’re staying on the topic of affordable watches. This week’s list focuses on the best Seiko watches under €500. The Japanese brand used to be the undisputed king of affordable mechanical timepieces. However, with rising prices, we sometimes think those days are gone. But are they? We have selected five models from the different product ranges that perfectly show that Seiko still has some amazing options for people who don’t want to spend a fortune.

It’s no secret that increasing prices are a constant annoyance in the eyes of watch fans. Many of our favorite brands have steadily increased their prices. As a result, some have outgrown the price ranges with which many people associate them. Seiko is one of those. The brand has increased its prices over time, and we see a lot of debate about them today. Does that mean that Seiko does not have any proper, affordable watches? Certainly not! While the prices have risen significantly and it’s not the ever-affordable brand that many of us perceive it to be, Seiko still offers some great affordable timepieces. We have found five of them under €500 that we would gladly add to our collections.

Seiko 5 Sports SSK023

Let’s kick this list off with one of Seiko’s recent releases that surprised us in all the right ways. The Seiko 5 Sports SSK023 combines the best features of a field watch and a GMT. If you don’t need or are not a fan of the additional GMT function, the standard Seiko 5 Sports SRPG27 is the simpler field watch with a day indicator instead. Or, if you prefer the smaller 36.4mm version, you could also opt for the SRPJ81.

Seiko 5 Sports SSK023K1 dial close-up

But we are fans of the GMT version as it adds functionality and some visual sparkles. The black hard-coated SSK025 is a stealthy option, but we prefer the stainless steel look of the SSK023.

Seiko 5 Sports SSK023K1 on wrist

The watch features a 39.4mm stainless steel case that is 13.6mm thick and 47.9mm from lug to lug. It also has a stainless steel GMT bezel that gives it extra character. With two 12-hour scales on the dial and a 24-hour scale on the bezel, it is quite a busy watch. But at no point will you get lost in all the info that the watch offers because the readability is excellent.

Seiko 5 Sports SSK023K1 and SSK025K1

That is thanks to the different font sizes that the Seiko designers chose. The orange GMT hand, GMT text on the dial, and the orange tip of the second hand offer a nice injection of color. Inside the case, Seiko equips the watch with its caliber 4R34, which offers 41 hours of power reserve. At €460, the SSK023 is a great versatile Seiko tool watch under €500.

seiko watches under €500 Cocktail Time SRPJ13

Seiko Presage SRPJ13 and SRPJ17

Are you a fan of Irish coffee? Or would you rather drink an Aviation cocktail? For our second pick under €500, we selected a duo of Seiko Cocktail Time models. As most of you will know, the Seiko Presage range features various Cocktail Time watches inspired by Japanese cocktail culture in Tokyo’s Ginza district. We picked these two specific watches because their case size is slightly smaller than that of most Cocktail Time models. This makes them great dressy picks at under €500 from Seiko.

The blue-dial SRPJ13 and the brown-dial SRPJ17 have a 39.52mm stainless steel case that is 11.79mm thick and 46mm long. Both feature a box-style Hardlex crystal and display case back that reveals the automatic caliber 4R35 with 41 hours of power reserve.

The SRPJ13 features a textured gradient blue dial that takes inspiration from the Aviation cocktail and gets its blue/violet hues from the crème de violette ingredient. It is matched with stainless steel markers and a stainless steel bracelet for a crisp and stylish watch. And if you swap the bracelet for a nice leather strap, the watch can look significantly dressier, making for a versatile piece.

seiko watches under €500 SRPJ17

It’s a matter of style

The SRPJ17 has a textured gradient brown dial after the Irish cream that goes into an Irish coffee. It combines rose-gold-tone hour markers and a brown leather strap for a more classical look. I am a fan of the blue-dial SRPJ13 because it comes with a nice matching bracelet, and I love the crisp blue dial color. But you can’t go wrong with either of these two models for €450.

seiko watches under €500 SRPE93

Seiko Prospex SRPE93

Does Seiko still offer Prospex divers under €500? While the options have become limited, you can still get your hands on the Seiko “Turtle” SRPE93, previously known as the SRP777. This Seiko legend is a capable diver characterized by its instantly recognizable case shape. It’s a much-beloved classic, and it is great that Seiko still offers it at an affordable price.

A quick search on different international Seiko sites shows that the watch is not currently part of Seiko’s catalog in all countries. Nevertheless, with the power of the internet at your fingertips, you should be able to get your hands on the SRPE93 rather easily. A different option would be the slightly more expensive Turtle SRPE99 PADI Edition. It’s a watch that I know very well as I own the previous version.

seiko watches under €500 SRPE93

With the SRPE93, you will get a Seiko classic with a 45mm stainless steel case that is 13.42mm thick and water resistant to 200 meters. Inside the case, Seiko uses its in-house caliber 4R36 with both day and date indicators and a 41-hour power reserve. As Henry perfectly explained, with the Turtle, you won’t be getting just a Seiko diver but also a future collectible.

Seiko 6309 Cover

The classic Seiko 6309

The watch has a rich history dating back to the Seiko 6309 diver, which was introduced in 1976. Almost five decades later, the modern version is still a standout watch in any collection, and the SRPE93 can be yours for €440, depending on where you are. It’s great that this Seiko classic is still available for less than €500.

Seiko 5 Sports SSK001

A much-praised series from the Seiko 5 Sports collection is the SKX-style GMT that Seiko released in 2022. With the SSK001, SSK003, and SSK005, the brand introduced three different models that fans of the SKX have wanted to see for a long time, as Nacho explained in his review. The SSK001 comes with a black dial and a black and gray bezel insert, while the SSK003 has a blue dial with a black and blue bezel insert.

Both models have a bright red GMT hand that stands out immediately. The third model is the orange-dial SSK005 with a contrasting black GMT hand and a black and gray bezel insert with gold-colored numerals.

While these three were the first models, we have seen some great follow-ups, such as the Yuto Horigome Limited Edition SSK027, the Asia-only Ice Blue SSK029 and Passion Red SSK031 limited editions, and the US-exclusive SSK017 (yellow), SSK019 (Pepsi), SSK021 (two-tone) limited editions. So there is plenty to choose from when it comes to the “5KX” GMT. All of them feature a 42.5mm case that is 13.6mm thick and 46mm from lug to lug.

Inside the case, Seiko powers the watch with its caliber 4R34, which also powers the first watch on this list. Despite both being GMT tool watches from the same Seiko 5 Sports collection, they are rooted in different genres. We also wanted to feature the Seiko 5 Sports SSK001, which can be yours for €490. It’s a great pick under €500 if you ask us.

Seiko 5 Sports SKX Sports Style SRPK31 under €500

Seiko 5 Sports SRPK31

Our last pick for this Top 5 list of the best current Seiko watches under €500 is the Seiko 5 Sports SRPK31. The watch is part of a series of four new 38mm SKX-style sports watches that were announced in the spring of 2023. The first is the SRPK29, which has a black dial and bezel. The second model is the SPRK33, which has a teal dial, golden hands, and a black bezel.

seiko watches under €500 SRPK31

The third is the SRPK35, which features an orange dial, golden hands, and a black bezel with golden markings. The last one, our pick, is the SRPK31, which has an off-white dial and a gray bezel. Because of the colorway, it stands out immediately. But, of course, there is nothing wrong with either of the four models.

What makes them stand out is their smaller size. All four watches have a 38mm case that is 12.1mm thick and 44.2mm from lug to lug. With these modest dimensions, Seiko has created a watch with a popular look for those who don’t like oversized watches. Seiko also did this with the older SKX013, the reference that these models are based on. Inside the case, you will find the caliber 4R36, which powers the previously mentioned Turtle. The movement offers day and date indicators at 3 o’clock and a 41-hour power reserve.

As Nacho explained, for €350, you get a lot of bang for your buck, so we picked the SRPK31 as the last pick of the five best current Seiko watches under €500.

Seiko 5 Sports SKX Sports Style

Final thoughts

As mentioned, Seiko releases under €500 are getting less and less common. Luckily, the Seiko 5 Sports collection offers great options that all fit that budget. But it’s also great to see that you can still find some nice options in the Presage Cocktail Time and the Prospex lines. Now I would like to turn it over to you. What are your favorite current Seiko watches under €500? Let us know in the comments section, and we will see you again for a new list next week!