The new "5kx" is here and to no surprise it is a much better and improved watch than the discontinued Seiko SKX series which had a very long and successful run, even though it mad many major flaws and extreme quality control issues. As always in my experience with the Seiko brand, I have honestly never had a quality control issue with a "Seiko 5" model, which I found to be quite odd considering they are cheaper than Prospex and standard models. Anyway, this new Seiko 5 sports has exactly the same case as the SKX minus the drilled lug holes and crown function. The case is comprised of solid 316L stainless steel with brushed lug tops and highly polished sides, as well as the new upgraded exhibition caseback. The measurements come in at 42.5MM x 13.4mm x 46MM with the same 22MM lug width. The finishing is good, for this price and it was also good on the original SKX. I do like the fact that they added drilled lug holes for easy strap changing as this watch is most definitely a strap monster. The crown is actually Pull/Push instead of screwed down and we only get 100M instead of 200M of water resistance. This really is not a big deal considering I can swim with it and I never have gone diving anyway, and probably never will. I do like the exhibition caseback as we do get a glimpse of the custom Seiko rotor, which is a nice little detail for this standard 4R36 caliber. Overall, it really is the perfect size for my 6.75" wrist and wears quite
The version I chose features a smoky black dial, but it is referred to as black. A nice upgrade is the applied markers with a semi vintage patina look filled with blue seiko lumibrite. The hands remain the same minus the red tipped needle seconds hand, which is a nice little touch by Seiko. This model does feature a white chapter ring which contrasts nicely with the aluminum bezel insert. The bezel action is quite nice and a bit more rigid id say than the SKX. THE BIG THIS IS...that the 120 Click besel actually lines up! There are no alignment issues - atleast on my model! Id say one downgrade is the absence of a lumed 12:00 pip, which is a bit of a letdown - especially at a retail price of $295 USD. The crystal remains the same with seikos own hardlex, which is essentially a hardened mineral crystal.
Seiko has upgraded the movement to the 4R36 caliber which has some nice upgrades compared to the previous 7S26 movement. We now get improved accuracy, hacking, manual winding, and a 42 hour power reserve beating away at 3Hz. This movement is extremely
rohust and can go years without servicing or error. I think this was the main upgrade many really wanted as so many have modded their standard skxes with NH35 movements.
Strap - Silicone band on my model
Now, there are numerous dial and case finish / strap iterations of the new Seiko 5 sports models - but I tested my luck and chose the model with the rubber band instead of the standard steel bracelet. And I am
quite happy I did! This band is extremely comfortable and even comes fitted with a custom Seiko signed brushed buckle. It kind of resembles a mesh band, which is cool I guess. Anyway, you will not have to change out the band on this one - as it is a good one and definitely a keeper on my watch.
Im not going to say this is the BEST watch you can get
for under $300.00 but it certainly is a pleaser if you were a previous SKX fan but hated the downsides such as the low end movement, misaligned bezel, and crown issues myself and many others endured. If there was one thing I wish Seiko did, it would be to add a nice sapphire crystal - that would really make my day. I mean it is feasible in other Swiss brands with models priced on the grey market at $300+ such as Hamilton and Tissot models which even feature a swiss automatic movement which certainly costs more to produce and is of higher quality. BUT , if you are a seiko fan and want a tough, waterproof, everyday watch that will last a very long time - Id say go for it / I am definitely
enjoying mine a tad more than my previous Seiko SKX007.