Introducing: Three New US-Exclusive Seiko 5 SKX Sports Style GMT Watches
It’s already been a little over a year since the launch of the Seiko 5 Sports GMT series. I can still remember the palpable excitement within the watch community when the watches came out. Some people had already seen some leaked images, and others had been simply hoping the concept would become a reality one day. In the Fratello office, we were also very positively surprised by the arrival of the “5KX GMT.” And now Seiko has introduced three new US-exclusive versions.
These new colors come in addition to the original orange, blue, and black versions of the Seiko 5 GMT. This time, there is a modest “Pepsi” version with a charcoal dial and a red and blue chapter ring. Then there’s a classy two-tone version with a gold-colored bezel and 24-hour hand. Lastly, there’s a bright and lively version with a vibrant yellow dial. I don’t know about you, but when I look at those three new colors, I sure find it too bad that they won’t be available here in Europe.
The familiar Seiko 5 GMT
When it comes to the watches themselves, there isn’t really anything new here. The polished and brushed stainless steel case of the Seiko 5 SKX Sports Style GMT still measures 42.5mm in diameter. It’s 13.6mm thick, and it has a fairly short 46mm lug-to-lug span. I think this is well known by now, but the SKX-style case works really well on a large variety of wrist sizes. It’s water resistant to 100 meters, and the two-tone bezel insert and the crystals on the front and back of the case are made of Seiko’s Hardlex material. It sure is hard, but it isn’t as scratch resistant as sapphire, for example.
Through the exhibition case back, you’ll find Seiko’s 4R34 automatic movement. It runs at a 21,600vph frequency, has a 41-hour power reserve, and is accurate between +45/-35 seconds per day. This caliber is also a so-called caller GMT, which enables you to set the 24-hour hand instead of the 12-hour hand independently. It’s less convenient when traveling, yes, but at this price point, there isn’t much to complain about. Now we get to the new stuff, the US-exclusive colorways.
US-exclusive models in Pepsi, two-tone, and yellow
The differences between the three versions are in the dial, bezel, and contrasting 24-hour hand. Other than that, all three watches are identical, just like the three models that debuted last year. I’ll start with my favorite, the two-tone version (SSK021). It comes with a gold-colored outer bezel and 24-hour hand. I love how the gold tones contrast with the dark gray dial. And this is certainly not an overly flashy two-tone watch. I find it quite modest, but the gold accents do make it look more special than the fully stainless steel ones.
Then we get to the Pepsi version with the red and blue chapter ring and the red 24-hour hand (SSK019). Just like the two-tone version, I find this quite a modest design for a Pepsi-style GMT watch, especially because both the dial and bezel insert are still mainly gray. The final version (SSK017) with its bright yellow dial and, once again, a red 24-hour hand is the most flashy one of the trio. All three versions come on a stainless steel brushed and polished Jubilee-style bracelet with pins and collars for sizing.
Why so exclusive?
I’m not sure why Seiko would keep these colorways exclusive to the US market only. They don’t seem like colors that would only appeal to people in the US. I can imagine that people in other parts of the world would also like to get their hands on these watches. Maybe it’s just a way to make people buy watches when they’re traveling to the US. Anyway, the SSK017, SSK019, and SSK021 are available now (yes, in the US only) for $475 before local taxes. For more information, please check out the official Seiko USA website.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of these three new colorways and of the fact that they’re only available in the US.