The Japanese watchmaker has introduced a new series within the Seiko 5 family, which pays homage to the past but somehow feels very natural in the present. Seiko is one of those few brands for which an enthusiast can buy a very humble automatic watch. Or a mechanical marvel with very tight tolerances that competes with the best the Swiss have to offer. Today’s release by Seiko honors the former category. And does so while proudly riffing off the Seiko 5 line’s heritage. The Seiko 5 line was introduced in the 1960s by Seiko to provide a durable all-round timekeeper for the masses. The ‘5’ in ‘Seiko 5’ refers to five critical elements that defined these watches. They were automatic movements, water resistance, a day-date display, general durability, and approachable design.

The Seiko 5 philosophy 

Simply put, Seiko 5 watches were meant to meet the needs of the everyday man. In time, they became a benchmark for affordable mechanical wristwatches and a gateway drug for enthusiasts. As an aside, my first watch was a Seiko 5. And so it is with excitement that I read Seiko has released a new series of three references based on the original SNXS Seiko 5 watches. The SRPK87 (blue dial), SRPK89 (black dial) SRPK91 (ivory dial, though in the photos, it looks closer to Champagne).

Seiko said these references are inspired by the concept of “EDC” or “Everyday carry”: “something you carry every day” (go figure). This is another way of saying that these watches have been put squarely with the original concept of the Seiko 5 line in mind. Like some of the Seiko 5 references from the 1970s, these new Seiko 5’s retain a wonderful organic case shape. The crown is recessed and put in the 4 o’clock position, which keeps it tucked out of the way.

Excellent proportions for an attractive Seiko 5

The case size is a suave 37.4mm with a nice short lug-to-lug of 44.7mm. The height of the case comes in at 12.5mm, which is a little higher than I’d like for a 37mm watch but certainly not problematic. Perhaps that’s explained by the 100 meters of water resistance, which is a welcome feature. The lug width of each watch is 18mm, which provides ample strap opportunities should Seiko’s stainless steel bracelet offering isn’t to your liking. It’s basic but functional with a three-fold clasp with a push button release. I like the look of the bracelet overall.

An interesting detail that Seiko provides in the specifications for these watches is their magnetic resistance. For these three references, it’s rated at 4,800 A/m. This means the watches meet the ISO 764/DIN 8309 requirement for anti-magnetism in a watch. The weight of these watches (including the bracelet) is 125 grams.

A tried and tested mechanical heartbeat 

Inside the watches is the brand’s tried and trusty 4R36 movement. This 24-jewel movement will be familiar to many, providing 41 hours of power fully wound, a day-date display, hacking seconds, and manual winding. The crystal is Hardlex, not Sapphire. This aligns with many of Seiko’s offerings at the entry-level. I have nothing against Hardlex.

You can spot the 4R36 movement behind a see-through case back, which I suspect might add to some of the watch’s thickness. I’d actually appreciate a closed case back here, but I can see how this feature would be a great novelty for someone getting their first mechanical watch. Seiko said the orange seconds hand is inspired by many of the Seiko 5 watches from the 1970s. It’s a great decade to draw design inspiration, but using an orange seconds hand will also help with general legibility. Seiko’s lumibrite is applied on the upper surface of the indices and the hour and minute hands.

Final thoughts

I like the look of these new Seiko 5’s. I’m excited to see them in the metal. One thing I am not sure about is the creamy color of the luminescent material. I prefer the lighter shades rather than ‘faux patina.’ However, these watches are supposed to evoke a warm and fuzzy feeling of 1970s design and, at their face value, likely achieve this aim. You can find more information on this new lineup on Seiko’s website.

But what do you think, Fratelli? Are you a fan of them or not? And do you share my view on the ‘faux patina’? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch specifications

5 Sports SNXS series
Blue, black, and champagne with Lumibrite on hands and indexes
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
Thickness:12.5mm Diameter:37.4mm Lug-to-lug:44.7mm
Case Back
See-through & screw-down case back
Water Resistance
Stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release
Stop second hand function Day/Date display
Special Note(s)
Available May 2024