Seiko watches offer the consumer a lot of value for their money when it comes to mechanical or automatic watches. They often provide reliable in house made movements that get the job done in decently finished and cut cases whether it be a sporty or dress watch. Today my friends, we are going to take a peek at the super cheap and affordable Seiko SNK809, a small and very affordable Seiko 5 automatic watch which represents a lot of things the brand has to offer.
The rather small 37MM case on the Seiko SNK809. might not be so appealing to those with larger wrists, but for those of us with 7 inch wrists and under I think it will fit just fine. The 316L solid stainless steel case is done in a matte finish which often makes it appear slightly grey and adds to the field aesthetic Seiko seemed to be going for in terms of design. The lug width is 18MM which is often not seen much these days but was a thing of the past with vintage dress watches. I paired a quick-release silicone strap with mine because the stock nylon strap was rather uncomfortable on my wrist. In terms of thickness we are looking at 11MM and Lug to Lug measures 42MM. The crown is located at the 4:00 position just like the Seiko SKX and is tucked in with enough room to fit a finger and pull or push the crown in. This case only is rated at 30 Meters so it is certainly not a watch to submerge underwater or do any water activities with. Although it is okay to wash your hands and if you happen to get caught in the rain while walking you will be just fine. Furthermore, for 65 USD , what I paid for this watch I find the gray matte finish and the build to be really good for the money.
The black dial covered by the seiko made Hardlex crystal ( hardened mineral crystal ) is a legible one with purpose. We have a 60 seconds track on the outer portion and a hours track on the inner part of the dial which has much of a field watch look. The 5 under Seiko is applied and slightly raised while the Spanish and English date wheel/Day is recessed a bit. Some nice accents are the long lumed white hands and the red tip on the seconds hand. There is also lime dots above each numeral on the outer portion of the dial which is decent but not as good as let's say a Seiko SKX. While hardlex is not my crystal of choice and I would much rather prefer a Sapphire crystal for 65 bucks I will have to do.
The automatic Seiko 7S26 self-wind movement fits just fine in this 37MM case and is visible through the mineral caseback. This is also a nice feature because maybe some people just getting into mechanical watches would like to get a glance and take a look at the balance wheel or the rotor spinning, considering this is a super entry-level watch. This movement is a reliable one at best, but certainly not the most accurate movement gaining around 15 seconds a day. The 7S26 contains 21 jewels, and is non hackable as well. The beat rate is 21,600 BPH and holds a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound. This in fact is the same movement that the ever so popular Seiko SKX line uses, which some complain about and often mod their watches with Seiko NH35 movements due to the hacking and hand wind capability. These movements can be adjusted though, so if yours is running a bit too slow or fast I would not fret.
You may have noticed that none of these pictures show the stock nylon Zulu style strap which came with the watch...I did change the strap to a silicone quick release strap as It is super comfortable and no need for breaking in. Also, the stock Seiko strap was a little rough on my skin. I have dropped a photo below of the stock strap for your viewing.
Watch Addict Conclusion
In conclusion, I have yet to find a brand that offers a mechanical watch for under $100 besides the Invicta Pro Diver that actually functions and will last quite a long time. This watch is a great everyday beater watch or a fun watch to add to the collection. It is also a great watch to buy if you are just getting into watches and not trying to spend a lot of money. It provides excellent design, decent case finishing, a robust and trusty movement, and its a Seiko 5, What is cooler than that?
Where I bought mine
Oh yeah...they come in 4 different flavors as well