Without a word of warning, and while most of the watch world was still digesting the Geneva-based extravaganza that was Watches and Wonders, Seiko has done it again! The Japanese brand has just introduced four new 38mm Seiko 5 Sports models. Since 1996 and throughout its 23-year lifespan, the Seiko SKX became one of the most popular dive watches. It was not a luxury item but an everyman’s tool watch — a quintessential piece in the collections of beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike. For many, it was the first stepping stone into the rabbit hole of mechanical watches. We forgave many of its quirks, including misaligned rehauts and bezels, lack of hacking, and the fact that you had to “shake it to wake it.”

One of the SKX’s biggest pitfalls in the later years was its size. People went to the SKX013 for a more forgiving alternative. This 37mm alternative to the SKX007 was also a fan favorite. And though I remember reading about how it was far too small for a man’s wrist (not something many of us ever agreed with) back in the late 2010s, it has been posthumously redeemed. The hype surrounding Tudor’s new Black Bay 54 proves that 37mm is not too small for a dive watch, at least not one inspired by a vintage model. However, with this latest introduction, Seiko makes a bid to conquer the entry-level watch market and the wrists of those who wished upon a star for a 38mm SKX.

38mm Seiko 5 Sports Models — SRPK29, SRPK31, SRPK33, SRPK35

I used the term “dive watch” rather liberally just now, well aware of its implications. But before I continue, let me just clear the air and say that these new 38mm Seiko 5 Sports models are (sadly) not proper dive watches. Not ISO-certified divers anyway. Still, with 100m of water resistance, they will stand up to the abuse that most will throw their way. And if you’re familiar with the new Seiko 5 Sports successor to the SKX, you’ll already know many of its specs. So, what’s different? Well, the case size is undoubtedly our primary talking point. With a diameter of 38mm, a thickness of 12.1mm, and a lug-to-lug of 44.2mm, these new models are perfectly proportioned. These new models take 20mm straps and come on a three-link bracelet (as opposed to the classic five-link) with a three-fold clasp.

Seiko debuts this line with four new models — SRPK29 (black dial, black bezel), SRPK31 (cream dial, khaki green bezel), SRPK33 (teal dial, golden hands, and black bezel), and SRPK35 (orange dial, golden hands, and a black bezel with golden markings). All four feature the same unidirectional rotating bezel, Hardlex crystal, Lumibrite on both hands and indexes, display case back, and Seiko’s 4R36 movement. This means they’ll hack, hand-wind, run for about 41-hours, and display the day and date on the dial. All technical details aside, I think its safe to say that the new 38mm Seiko 5 Sports watches are going to make a splash. Their 42mm brothers and GMT counterparts were already visible on wrists all around the world. But now that they plant themselves firmly within the size sweet spot, it seems the entry-level watch world’s wrists are theirs for the taking.

Final thoughts

I hope you are as excited as I am to see one of these in the metal soon. It won’t be long until these become available, so you can expect a complete hands-on follow-up to this quick introduction. For now, no information has been provided on pricing. However, with the 42mm version priced at €310 on the bracelet, and €280 on a nylon strap, I can’t imagine these will be far off. In the meantime, you can find more information on the Seiko website.

For now, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Will this be your next impulse buy? Or are you not convinced? Either way, let me know your take in the comments section below. And remember to tune in shortly for a comprehensive hands-on review.

Follow me on Instagram: @ncgwatches

Watch specifications

5 Sports SKX Sports Style
SRPK29 (black dial, black bezel), SRPK31 (cream dial, grey bezel), SRPK33 (teal dial, golden hands, and black bezel), and SRPK35 (orange dial, golden hands, and a black bezel with golden markings) — Lumibrite on hands and markers.
Case Material
Stainless steel (316L)
Case Dimensions
38.0mm (diameter) × 44.2mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.1mm (thickness) × 20mm (lug spacing)
Case Back
Open case back with Hardlex crystal
4R36 — automatic with manual winding, 41-hour power reserve, hacking seconds, day/date display
Water Resistance
Three-link stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp and push-button release
Time, day, date, unidirectional bezel