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, producing time tellers for just about every price point; from five-figure boutique models to getting change back from a $100 note.
Seiko also has an illustrious heritage to draw upon, one that goes all the way back to Tokyo circa 1881, when an entrepreneur by the name of Kintaro Hattori opened up his own watch repair shop at the tender age of 22.
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 scared to put a budget watch on the market, and subsequently, releasing watches in this price range hasn’t affected 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 to choose from. With such huge choice, naturally, comes a much harder decision as to which Seiko watches or watches to buy. So, being the lovely people we are here at DMARGE, we’ve put together this list of some of the best, coolest and downright awesome Seiko watches to buy right now.
Seiko Prospex 1968 Professional 300m Divers Re-creation
When Seiko launched the Prospex in 1965, it became Japan's first diver's and was used by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition team from 1966 to 1969. 55 years later, Seiko has launched some anniversary models, which includes this 1968 Re-creation model.
While this model reproduces the look of its ancestral sibling – the 1968 6159-7000 "Hi-Beat" Diver – it has been given thoroughly modern equipment that represents the very latest in Seiko's watch technologies. Like its predecessor, this new model makes use of a 10-beat high-precision automatic caliber (8L55) which produces 36,000 beats per hour, making it slightly more accurate than conventional "low beat" movements.
This Prospex also benefits from a monobloc casing, giving the ability to be submerged up to 1000ft for saturation diving and owing to its affinity with the water, is given a gorgeous blue dial with matching silicone strap. You better be quick to snap one up though, as it's limited to just 1,100 pieces worldwide.
Seiko Prospex SPB153J 'Captain Willard'
Another rejuvenation of classic Seiko watch comes in the form of this SPB153J Prospex, which is effectively a reincarnation of the 'Captain Willard' Seiko 6105. While a version with a black dial and bezel may be more faithful to its ancestor, it's this green dialled beauty that you should really be looking out for.
Housing Seiko's 6R35 calibre complete with 70-hour power reserve beneath its 42.7mm case, this Prospex offers wearers 200-metres of water-resistance thanks to a screw-down crown and a stainless steel construction.
An affordable Seiko diver that looks like a vintage model? Sign us up.
Seiko Presage Automatic
For unadulterated simplicity and elegance, look no further than this white dial Seiko Presage. The Presage collection takes inspiration from the Japanese ideal of creating beauty from simplicity, and that is shown here, with the Japanese Asanoha design being implemented for the dial. This hemp leaf style pattern symbolises strong growth in Japan, and the gradation of the pattern causes light to reflect at various angles.
The smaller 39mm dial makes this Presage suitable for wearing both casually with a t-shirt and jeans, or with more formal outfits such as a suit or blazer. It's powered by Seiko's 6R35 movement, giving you 70-hours of reserve power and a 100-metre water-resistance rating means you can comfortably wear it in the pool.
Seiko Prospex "Save The Ocean"
Who doesn't love a collaboration timepiece? For this Prospex model, Seiko partnered with ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau to produce a watch that brought to the fore the need to both help and explore our oceans. Rocking the 'King Turtle' 45mm case with a deep ocean blue dial and images of mantarays, this 200-metre water-resistant watch is both seriously cool and seriously needed.
Seiko Astron 5x Dual-Time Sport Titanium
Seiko's Astron series was truly pioneering, being the first to be powered by solar energy and thus never needing to have its battery changed (a huge selling point for many watch wearers).
It also lays claim to being the first watch series to have the ability to connect to a GPS network so that you can easily adjust the time based on whatever time zone you find yourself in at the press of a button.
The latest Astron timepieces – of which there are four: three with silver cases and one in black – to be launched come in a new titanium casing and make use of Seiko's most advanced 5X53 GPS Solar caliber, taking around three seconds to change the time from one time zone to another. It can also instantaneously change the main dial time to home time from local time, if you're arriving home, for example, while also changing the time displayed on the sub-dial at 6 o'clock from home time to local time, to show the time in the country you've just left.
The casing of the new Astron pays homage to the original model launched in 1969, including wide lugs, curved case and a thin bezel, while the pushers used to adjust the time now sit slightly more flush with right side of the bezel, giving the watch a much cleaner profile. If you're a frequent flyer, the Seiko Astron is the perfect timekeeping accompaniment.
Our model of choice has to be the green dial edition, which is limited to 2,000 pieces worldwide.
Seiko Prospex "Arnie Edition" Analogue Solar
If you fancy yourself a bit of a tough guy, this "Arnie Edition" Seiko Prospex is named as such because the notorious muscleman wore its predecessor in both Predator and Commando. This burlier than burly watch is powered by Seiko's H851 solar quartz movement, which displays analogue time, as well as powering a small digital screen that can show the time in digital, a second time zone, chronograph functions, an alarm and the date.
To back up its Arnie credentials, this watch is big, rocking a 48mm case and a comfortable 50mm lug to lug. But while bigger doesn't always mean better, in this instance, it works and it wears remarkably well on the wrist.
Seiko Presage 2020 Limited Edition
The Presage line of Seiko watches has always taken on a more dress watch-like aesthetic, although are informal enough to be worn daily. This 2020 Limited Edition model, available in three colours, is a faithful reproduction of Seiko's Crown Chronograph. The first Japanese wristwatch with a stopwatch function, the Crown Chronograph was used during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
While not actually a chronograph due to the lack of sub-dials, this Presage homage takes on a remarkably similar form, thanks to minute details such as the Arabic numerals on the bezel and minute markers around the edge of the dial. The Seiko 6R35 calibre provides a lengthy power reserve of 70 hours, a considerable increase over the 38 hours achieved by the 1964 model upon which this is based.
Seiko's series of '5' watches are perhaps its best known and most popular. Offering solid build quality and a hardy and reliable automatic movement in the 4R36, it's one of the best value watch propositions around. It's available in a wide range of colours too, with five series: Sports, Sense, Suits, Street and Specialist, each of which is designed to reflect the personality of the wearer.
Here’s one for the well-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 Fifty 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.
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.