Recently, I “stumbled” over two inexpensive Seiko timepieces that I absolutely had to have. One is quartz powered, the other is an automatic timepiece.
The Seiko SNX111 is one of your typical famous Seiko 5ers. The stainless case is 37 or 38mm (depending on where you measure, but always without the crown) wide with a classic silver colored dial and Lumibrite markings on the hands and hour index points. Seiko has great lume. The crown on this model is placed “correctly” at three o´clock, not at four o´clock. You find that very often on 5ers. I can´t stand that. If it were not for the day and date display window, this automatic watch reminds me a bit of the Rolex Air King. 5ers have an unusual 19mm strap lug width, so if you want to replace the somewhat noisy and hair-popping folded metal band, be sure to find a piece of leather that perfectly matches.
The 5er movements are reliable and time-proven and should be good for many years before they will need major servicing. At 70 dollars including shipping from Asia, this watch was a good bit cheaper than usually found in German shops. The white colored date window has black English and French letters, so maybe this model is not officially imported at all into this market. The SNX also comes in a black face version, with a highly contrasting white date window. I prefer my version, as any leather strap color will eventually match and the “SEIKO” logo is somewhat pale.
The simple 5ers should be kept away from too much water, swimming is not recommended with them. I have had watches with “100m water resistance” damaged by heavy summer rainfalls, 5ers are only good for 30 meters from the factory. I guess you can wash your car or fish around in a water bucket for a few moments with one on your wrist, but take it off before you shower.
Since a few years, Seiko shows off the mechanical 7S26 movements in their 5ers with a see-through base. I have read once that his is a marketing move meant to teach teenagers about mechanical watches. In Japan, many kids do not wear watches, using their cell phones for telling the time. Is this an urban myth ? Mail me if you know more.
My other new Seiko is a black faced (with corresponding black date window) quartz model named SGEF81 with a 39mm sized case. This one comes with a 20mm wide calf leather strap that is a bit stiff, but looks great. The hands and face of this one are free of any lume, so the “EDC”-value might be lowered a good bit.
The second hand on my sample is hitting right on the corresponding minute bars. I have emailed the seller about this before buying as I consider it a quality feature. I know this is somewhat “anal”, but I do not see why it cannot be a part of the factory quality control. This watch should be great for formal attire, as it is very understated and elegant at the same time.
I don´t like watches with too much “bling” factor and find that they can be “boring” to own over time. Timelessness in watches (what a great pun!) can be achieved by leaving things away, not adding fashion fads. The keepers for me are always the ones which achieve “perfection” by simplicity.