Very few watch manufacturers in the world can rival the number of models that Seiko has produced over the years. The Japanese watchmaker is all about diversity, providing time tellers at just about every price point, from five-figure boutique to getting change back from a $100 note – perfect for a quality Christmas pressie!
And they also have a hefty heritage to draw upon, one that goes all the way back to Tokyo circa 1881, when an entrepreneur by the name of Kintaro Hattori – at the tender age of 22 – opened up his own watch repair shop.
The ethos that Hattori started out with all those years ago is still instilled into all Seiko designs that go to market today – total perfection within every creation.
Seiko watches are renowned for their forward-thinking technologies that stay within the boundaries of stylish – highlighted by their signature 1960s classic the Grand Seiko, or the cal.0614, the world’s first six-digit liquid-crystal display piece.
These designs have helped put Seiko time tellers on a pedestal reserved usually for high-end Swiss watchmakers. The difference is that Seiko isn’t scarred to stick a budget watch on the market, and moreover, releasing watches in this price range hasn’t effected their appeal. Why? Simply because they’re so well made.
If you’re thinking about purchasing one, and quite frankly why wouldn’t you, there are literally thousands of different models doing the rounds. So to cut to the chase we’ve put together a list of our favourites for you, featuring a whole range of styles, materials and price points – so why not check ‘em out below.
Seiko Five is probably the most well-known Seiko model on the market, and it’s certainly had more than a fair share of revamps. It first came to light back in the 1960s and was aimed at those fond of the great outdoors thanks to its water resistance, automatic winding and window for the time and date, which was considered new at the time. It’s a highly respected piece within the watch community, so kudos to those who wear one. The new range is split into, wait for it, five categories, Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street and Sense, each designed to represent the personality of the wearer.
Here’s one for the best dressed, more sophisticated gentleman. The Seiko Solar is one of the most classic, antique-looking watches on this list. A Quartz Caliber V115 sits nice and snug in a thin, sleek 6.1mm thick stainless steel case with scratch-resistant Hardlex sapphire. The rectangular dial is surrounded by roman numerals held against the wrist by a calfskin leather strap and tang clasp. And just to add that little piece of modernity, it’s completely solar-powered, with a 12-month power reserve.
Seiko Flight Alarm / Flight Master
If you’re looking for something that resembles the working space of a commercial airline pilot, or a cheeky resemblance to Breitling’s Navitimer, then this SNA411 Chrono will have you standing by for take-off. It has a 7T62 Quartz Movement protected by a stainless steel case and a Hardlex crystal dome, under which sits a highly numerical Chrono face. It also has a water resistance of up 200 metres and a large 46mm diametres including crown. One for those who love to turn heads.
This beautiful white dial stainless steel time-teller comes from the Seiko Neo Classic series and is a perfect everyday watch. It’s stylish enough to work with office attire or evening dress – summer or winter. The scratch-resistant sapphire case means your watch will retain its natural glean, whilst a pull and push down crown ensures you’ll always be on time. The White face and hands are luminous for when you’re out and about around town, and a 20mm stainless steel strap with deployment clast adds total, practical comfort.
Seiko Fitfy Five Fathoms
This Fifty Five Fathoms model is part of the long list in the Seiko 5 series and features a wonderful skeleton case so you can appreciate the detail of its Caliber 7S36 automatic movement. The case is made from stainless steel with a deployment clasp to match. Mineral crystal covers a Black Sunray patterned dial with gold-tone index markers and luminous hands. It’s the type of watch that fits nicely into various wardrobes and certainly adds a touch of class to any look with all the hallmarks of a Blancpain model of the same name, at a fraction of the price.
If you’re looking for something all the more luxurious then check out this Seiko Day-Date. It bears more than a close resemblance to the classic Rolex Day-Date, and the similarities don’t stop there. It has a yellow-gold tone jubilee bracelet, a Quartz movement and a nice thin 8mm case. The case is made from stainless steel and a Hardlex sapphire dome that holds a golden analogue dial with day and date at the 3-o- clock. It’s also water-resistant up to 30 metres, enough for a splash in hot tubs and pool parties!
If you prefer a more quirky, retro-style look to your Chronograph, then the Recraft might just take your fancy. It has a colourful nylon strap that looks great with more casual or sportswear. Its V175 Quartz movement has an impressive 6-month power reserve and is protected by a 14mm stainless steel case with Hardlex crystal dome. You can keep track of every second, minute and hour thanks to a solar-powered battery, cutting down on added expenditure down the line. It’s also water-resistant up to 100 metres.
Seiko 'Tuna Can'
If you like your sports and altogether more street casual threads then this super cool Tuna Can design from Seiko just can’t be ignored. It has a stainless steel case that sits in a rubber exterior that extends to the strap. It’s built for a knock and can withstand a variety of action sports, including those in the water thanks to a 200 metres resistance. Its Quartz V157 Calibre movement is solar-powered, and the dials total circumference comes to a rather large 47mm – so you’ll need big hands.
If you pass most of your days in dress or business attire then you need the watch to match. Problem is these types of watches, for a good one at least, cost a small fortune. This is where the Seiko Presage steps in. It has a sleek and sophisticated design featuring a rose gold tinted stainless steel case with a scratch-resistant sapphire dome. Roman numerals at twelve and six, on a textured white face along with a classy maroon strap that resembles rare leather, give all the appearances of a luxury watch at a fraction of the price.
Chronographs are some of the most multifunctional timepieces on the market, allowing you to time anything from how quickly you’ve swam a length to how fast you’ve gone around a track. But well-made pieces come at a high price, unless, of course, you’re looking at the Seiko Solar Chronograph Quartz. The four-way Chrono dial is powered by Quartz movement, encased in stainless steel with Hardlex crystal dome, all held in place by a steel bracelet with deployment clasp. It also features luminous hands and a fixed bezel.
The Premier Solar Chronograph is a thing of beauty, and quite possibly the most versatile watch on this list. Not only will its classy Chrono dial with roman numerals have you set for business attire and a proud bit of cheque signing, but it’s also resistant enough to withstand everyday wear. It carries a Quartz Caliber V175 movement powered by solar energy, protected by stainless steel and a scratch-resistant sapphire dome. It’s held against the wrist with a nice black leather strap with brown interior and a classic buckle clasp.
The Seiko SKX is easily one of the most affordable high-quality diving watches on the market. In fact, the price tag for such a piece almost feels like daylight robbery. It has a water resistance of up 200 metres (660 feet) and an analogue dial protected by a sturdy stainless steel case, held against the wrist with the choice of a 22mm rubber or metal strap. The dial and bezel are available in both black and Pepsi, with dot dials and luminescent hands. If there was one watch that embodies Seiko’s all-round value – it’s the SKX.
The Seiko Sportura is very much based on the Porsche x IWC watch from the 1970s, a model that today would cost you upwards of $2000. The case, strap and clasp are made from black coated stainless steel for a more racing, military look. Its Caliber V195 Quartz Movement sits in a thin, 11.9mm case that adds to the feeling of lightness and comfort, whilst it’s silver tones hand rotate against dot markers and three sub-dials (60 seconds, 24 hours, 60 minutes. It also has a nicely hidden date display at 4-o-clock and water resistance of up to 100 metres.
Now, if you’re looking for a quality divers watch, something a little more high end than the SKX, then this Seiko Prospex Diver Padi special could be more than appealing. It can take you to depths of up to 200 metres and is also sturdy enough to be used in other high impact water sports. Its stainless steel case and blue dial are circled by a unidirectional red-blue bezel. It’s got that great crossover feel of a sports watch that can also be worn with a smart-casual wardrobe.