Hot Take: Seiko 5 Sports Field Watch
Ah, Seiko — sometimes the Japanese giant can still surprise us. I say that because the newest Seiko 5 Sports field watch truly slipped under the radar. I think it’s worth a quick look.
That’s right, Seiko is usually very good these days at sending us all kinds of promotional material prior to a release. We even get to go hands-on in advance at times. Still, the brand, on occasion, does use a regional rollout strategy that leaves us waiting for the news to hit us locally. Such is the case with the newest Seiko 5 Sports field watch collection, although I now see them for sale around the world. It’s kind of an odd situation because these watches are actually a pretty big deal. Why is that?
The Seiko 5 Sports field watch replaces a very popular model
The release of these new Seiko 5 Sports field watch models is such a big deal because they follow one of the brand’s most beloved models. That’s right the SNK80x series now has a modern replacement. Chances are that you’ve seen this model for years on feeds, Amazon, or other places. We even wrote an article about it recently knowing that the watch was about to have its swan song. If not, the short version is that these watches exist alongside the iconic SKX divers as great entry-level mechanical watches. They’re durable, cheap, and decent-looking. Like the SKX, the SNKs also use the rudimentary 7S26 automatic. Finally, and like the SKX again, they’re still available but technically out of production.
It’s been a couple of years since the Seiko 5 Sports “divers” debuted with cases and styling similar to the SKX. Despite early criticism due to a lack of ISO specs, no screw-down crown, and high pricing, these watches are seriously popular. Countless variations have been released with loads of tie-ins to popular culture. Thankfully, in replacing the SNK series, Seiko wasn’t tasked with following up a semi-professional watch. The result, in my view, is a worthy successor. Let’s talk about the specs and the variants for the new Seiko 5 Sports field watch.
A number of color choices from the beginning
The Seiko 5 Sports field watch models come with a decent selection of colors and strap choices. Confusingly, when I look at the local Seiko Boutique page here in Germany, they have different models from the country page. Go figure! Regardless of where you look, these watches use a 39mm stainless steel case with 100 meters of water resistance and a display case back. Unlike the flat crystal on the former SNK, these pieces use domed Hardlex, which brings thickness up to 13mm. Like the diver-styled Seiko 5 models, these newest additions also use the 4R36. Finally, the cases contain thoughtful drilled lugs, and the crown moves to 3 o’clock.
As far as colors, there is a bright blue dial version (SRPG29) on a bracelet, a navy version on nylon (SRPG31), an olive dial on nylon (SRPG33), a bright blue with aged lume on leather (SRPG39), and a black-coated case with black dial on leather (SRPG41). No matter which you choose, the watches feature applied-looking Arabic numeral indices. This is a big change from the old SNK where a minute’s scale was more prominently featured than the hours.
Pricing and thoughts
Intriguingly, all of these Seiko 5 Sports field watch models come in at €269 except for the black-coated model. That one is priced at €299. The first complaint will come about the pricing but for whatever reason, I see these as far more sensible than the light diver watches under Seiko 5 Sports. Plus, we simply need to get our heads around the fact that Seiko is no longer really in the business of selling €80–150 watches. The dials are a big improvement over the former models and the movement is an upgrade.
Thankfully, Seiko kept the sizing in check as well. Honestly, I think these stand in perfectly well as a great daily or travel beater. In fact, there’s not that much else out there that’s mechanical in this price range. The best thing about these new pieces, whether you hear it from Seiko or not, is that they are available immediately.