If you’re just getting into watches or are somewhat new to the rabbit hole of watch collecting, you have probably come across the brand Seiko at some point. When it comes to affordable and reliable watches, Seiko is a brand that is hard to beat. Known for their high-quality craftsmanship, precision movements, and stylish designs, Seiko watches have become a go-to choice for watch enthusiasts and casual wearers alike.
However, it can be overwhelming for those new to the brand to navigate the wide range of options available. In this blog post, we will be exploring some of the best Seiko watches for beginners. Whether you’re looking for a classic timepiece or a sporty and durable watch, this guide will help you find the perfect Seiko watch to start your collection. So, if you’re new to the Seiko brand and looking to add a reliable and stylish watch to your collection, look no further than this guide.
I picked the following Seiko watches for two reasons. One, I think it represents the essence of Seiko, a high-value and durable watch that delivers a great experience. You could argue that Seiko’s price increases over the last few years have pushed them up the market, but nonetheless, they offer a good value.
The second reason for the one on this list is that I own or have owned each and every watch on this list. I have personally spent my own money or traded other watches to get my hands on these, so I can recommend them with full confidence. No watch is perfect, and if there is a glaring issue, I point it out.
- Round watch with rotating bezel featuring luminous hands and markers and day/date window
- 42 mm stainless steel case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
- Automatic self-wind movement with analog display
- Rubber band with buckle closure
- Diver’s 200m (660ft) watch: in general, suitable for high-impact water sports and scuba diving at depths NOT requiring mixed-gas
Of course, I have to start the list with the SKX. The Seiko SKX007 is a classic dive watch that has been around for decades. It features a black dial with large, easy-to-read indices and a unidirectional bezel for dive timing. It’s water-resistant to 200 meters and is powered by Seiko’s reliable 7S26 automatic movement. The movement seems dated now with its lack of hand winding or hacking, but it does last for years without any trouble.
The Seiko SKX (specifically the SKX007 and SKX009 models) has become iconic for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the SKX line is known for its excellent quality and reliability. Seiko has a long history of making high-quality watches, and the SKX line is no exception.
Another reason for the SKX’s iconic status is its classic design. The watch’s simple, functional design has remained largely unchanged for decades. The SKX has an iconic look that is instantly recognizable among watch enthusiasts. There are many in the watch world that say the SKX is just a ho-hum watch, but you can’t argue with its history or longevity.
I love my SKX and have three in my collection. I have one that is my real “beater watch” and wear it for all kinds of adventures. There is just something cool about the retro look and feel and its timeless vibe. If you have any doubts about it being a classic, just look at how Seiko launched the New Seiko 5 line.
Seiko 5 Sports SRPD55K1
- Double-sided automatic lift (magic lever); Power reserve 41 hours
- Stainless steel housing; Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp with safety push button; Hardlex; screwed glass bottom; Diameter 43.0mm
- 100m waterproof; unidirectional rotating bezel; Day of the week and date; Lumibrite
- 43 x 13 mm
The new Seiko 5’s are next since we just talked about the original SKX007, this is Seiko’s take on reviving a true classic.
The Seiko 5 Sports line is a great place to start if you’re looking for an affordable and reliable automatic watch. The SRPD55K1 is a great example of a Seiko 5 Sports watch. It features a classic design with a black dial, stainless steel case, and bracelet. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters and has a day/date function.
One of the main criticisms of the new Seiko 5 is that it represents a departure from the classic design and styling that has made Seiko watches so popular over the years. The new Seiko 5 watches have a more modern and sporty design, which some fans feel detracts from the brand’s heritage.
Additionally, some fans are disappointed that Seiko has chosen to use a more generic “Seiko 5” branding for the new watches rather than using model names or numbers as they have previously done. This has led to confusion among some consumers who need help differentiating between the different Seiko 5 models.
Not all Seiko fans share these criticisms, and many are excited about the new Seiko 5 watches and appreciate the brand’s efforts to modernize and appeal to a broader audience. As with any new product launch, there are constantly varying opinions and preferences among consumers and enthusiasts.
- Automatic movement with manual winding capacity
- Silver-tone stainless steel case, bezel and bracelet
- Blue dial with LumiBrite hour markers and Arabic numerals
- Red-tipped seconds hand and 2 LumiBrite hands
- Day of the month and day of the week window at the 3 position
I bought the SRPG27 just when Seiko released their new Seiko 5 field watch series. While I am disappointed it doesn’t have a screw-down crown and the bracelet was garbage, it’s still a solid choice for anybody who wants a decent look field-style watch. Of course, if you’re a Seiko fanboy, these shortcomings won’t stop you from buying it either.
Now that the watch has been out for well over a year, prices have also settled, and you can pick up the different colorways for under $200. I bought mine on a bracelet, but I usually, wear it on a strap or nato, as you can see in my picture above.
One of the standout features of the SRPG27 is its reliable and accurate automatic movement, which is powered by Seiko’s 4R36 caliber. The movement is visible through the exhibition case-back, allowing the wearer to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail that has gone into the watch.
The movement is tough and will deliver many years of running without any maintenance. The lume is ok, but the dial is crisp and has good visibility. The SRPG27 is a reliable and stylish watch that is well-suited for everyday wear and outdoor activities. This is just a cool basic watch that looks good on your wrist.
Seiko SRPE93 Turtle
- Screwdown crown and caseback, 41-hour power reserve, one-way rotating elapsed timing bezel, LumiBrite hands and markers, Date calendar
I will not go into a ton of details here because I have talked extensively about the SRPE93 here, and the Seiko Turtle makes every list of watches you need to own I write, as seen here.
The SRPE93 is unique in its combination of stylish design and practical features. It features a date display, a screw-down crown, and a unidirectional rotating bezel, making it a versatile watch that can be used for a wide range of activities. Its unique appearance and reliable performance make it a popular choice among watch enthusiasts, and it has a lot of history behind it.
It’s one of those watches that you don’t see every day, but when you do, you know you have found another watch nerd. In addition to its durable construction, the SRPE93 is powered by Seiko’s reliable and accurate 4R35 automatic movement, ensuring that the watch keeps accurate time and requires minimal maintenance.
Seiko Presage SRPB41J1 Cocktail Time
The Seiko Presage line is known for its dress watches, and the SRPB41J1 is an excellent example of a Presage watch. It features a beautiful blue dial with a sunburst finish, stainless steel case, and a bracelet. It’s powered by Seiko’s 4R35 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 41 hours.
Presage is a line of watches produced by Seiko that is known for its high-quality and elegant design. The name “Presage” is derived from the French word “présage,” which means “omen” or “sign of things to come.”
The Seiko Presage line includes a range of watches, from dress watches to sports watches, and features many advanced technologies and innovative designs. The line is designed to appeal to watch enthusiasts who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into each watch.
The Seiko Presage watches are known for their elegant and sophisticated design, with many models featuring traditional Japanese art and impressive craftsmanship. The watches often incorporate materials such as enamel, porcelain, and mother-of-pearl to create unique and visually stunning dials.
One of the key features of the Seiko Presage watches is their high-quality movements. The watches are powered by Seiko’s in-house movements, which are known for their accuracy, reliability, and durability. Many models also include additional features such as power reserve indicators, moon phase displays, and chronographs.
Overall, the Seiko Presage line represents Seiko’s commitment to creating high-quality, elegant, and innovative watches that appeal to watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.
Where Did The Cocktail Time Name Come From?
The Seiko “Presage” Cocktail Time is a line of watches that were inspired by cocktails and created in collaboration with Shinobu Ishigaki, a well-known Japanese mixologist. The line was designed to capture cocktail culture’s elegance, sophistication, and style.
The name “Cocktail Time” was coined by watch enthusiasts and collectors, who appreciated the unique and stylish design of the watch, as well as its connection to the world of cocktails. The watch features a range of colors and finishes that evoke the appearance of various cocktails, such as the champagne-inspired SRPB43 and the “Old Fashioned” inspired SRPD37.
The Cocktail Time watches are known for their distinctive sunburst dials, which capture the light in a way that is reminiscent of the reflections in a glass of cocktail. The watches also feature high-quality craftsmanship, including reliable and accurate movements, sapphire crystals, and stainless steel cases and bracelets.
The Seiko SARB035 is considered a classic watch due to its timeless and understated design, high-quality craftsmanship, and reliable performance.
The Seiko SARB035 is a great dress watch with a classic design with a white dial, stainless steel case, and bracelet. It’s powered by Seiko’s 6R15 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 50 hours. It also features a date function and a sapphire crystal. The SARB033 is the black dial version.
The SARB035 is a versatile watch that can be worn in a variety of settings, from the office to more casual occasions. The watch is also water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it suitable for swimming and other water sports but not really diving.
Seiko discontinued the SARB035 in 2018, and the decision was met with disappointment among many watch enthusiasts who had come to love the watch for its classic design and reliable movement.
The reason for Seiko’s decision to discontinue the SARB035 is not entirely clear, but it is likely because Seiko was changing its product line and shifting its focus to other watches. One reason could be that Seiko wanted to focus more on its Presage line of watches, which features similar dress watch designs but with higher-end movements and materials.
Regardless of the reasons behind Seiko’s decision to discontinue the SARB035, the watch remains popular among watch enthusiasts and collectors, and its classic design and reliable movement continue to make it a sought-after timepiece on the secondary market.
- Solar, 10-month power reserve once fully charged, magnified date calendar
The Seiko SNE537 is a solar-powered dive watch that has a similar classic design to the SKX007. It features a black dial with large, easy-to-read indices and a unidirectional bezel for timing dives. The watch is water-resistant to 200 meters and has a power reserve of up to 10 months.
The Seiko SNE537 is a great watch for beginners, especially for those who are looking for a reliable and affordable dive watch. The SNE537 is powered by solar energy, which means you don’t have to worry about winding it or changing batteries. The watch can be charged using any light source, including sunlight and indoor lighting.
The SNE537 has a durable stainless steel case and is a great option for those who want a watch that can withstand the rigors of daily wear and outdoor activities. The watch has hands that are coated with Lumibrite for increased visibility in low-light conditions. The unidirectional bezel is also easy to read and use for timing dives. The SNE537 is an affordable option compared to many other dive watches on the market. This makes it a great option for those who are just getting started with watch collecting or who are on a budget.
Seiko Courtura SSG009
- BLACK DIAL: this men’s watch features a bold, black dial, stainless steel watch case and bracelet, grey bezel, and cabochon crown
- LUMIBRITE HANDS & MARKERS: never struggle to tell the time in low light conditions, with LumiBrite dial indicator hands and markers set against the watch face
- RADIO SYNC SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH: this Seiko Couture chronograph watch automatically receives radio signals to precisely adjust the time and calendar, ensuring accurate timekeeping
- TIME ZONES & DATE CALENDAR: with three subdials and a handy calendar function, this GMT watch keeps track of the date and world time right on the watch face
- ENERGY-EFFICIENT SOLAR POWER: powered by any light energy, this solar watch has a power cell that is energy-efficient with a 6-month reserve once fully charged
If Seiko offers one thing, it’s a massive catalog of solar-powered watches that range from around $100 to over $1,000. I picked the SSG009 because of all the high-end solar Seiko I have experience with this particular model.
The Seiko COUTURA SSG009 has a sleek and modern design that is elegant and functional. The watch features a stainless steel case and bracelet with a black dial, silver-tone hands, and markers.
This Seiko is unique for several reasons, but one of the best is the ability to track multiple time zones with its world time bezel. If you look closely, you can see major countries are abbreviated around the bezel so that you can tell the time in Rio or Honolulu while you sit at your desk.
I love the dial details on these models. The inside chapter ring and textured dial give the watch such depth when you look at it. I love the sword-style hands and baton markers on the dial. The watch has an integrated bracelet. The SSG009 is a comfortable watch to wear, with a well-built stainless steel bracelet and a lightweight design that does not feel bulky or heavy on the wrist.
The Seiko SSG009 uses radio signals to adjust its time and date automatically. This feature is commonly referred to as radio-controlled timekeeping or atomic timekeeping. Radio signals are broadcast from atomic clocks, which are highly accurate timekeeping devices that are used to keep time in various parts of the world. The atomic clocks are synchronized to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) standard, the world’s most widely used time standard.
When the watch receives a radio signal, it automatically adjusts its time and date to the correct time and date for the local time zone. This ensures that the watch is always accurate and up-to-date, without the need for manual adjustments.
Seiko SRPG15 Land Tortise
- Featuring a Blue Band, Silver-tone Case, Crystal
The Land Tortoise as these are called is just another version of my beloved Turtle. It’s slimmed down version and has a compass-style bezel. I wanted to love this watch more than I do, but it definitely needs to be on a list of beginner Seiko watches to check out.
Just getting Into Watches? Seiko Is A Good Place To Start
Seiko offers a wide variety of automatic watches that are both affordable and reliable. Whether you’re looking for a dive watch, a dress watch, or something in between, Seiko has a watch for you. From the iconic Seiko SKX to the low-cost 5 Sports, there’s an excellent watch for every budget and level of expertise. Every one of these Seiko watches has a unique style that’s sure to pique the interest of any beginner watch enthusiast and they all bring something special to your collection. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to add an interesting piece to an already impressive ensemble, there’s a Seiko watch out there for you. In short, if you are looking for a great quality timepiece on a budget, then look no further than my list of the best Seiko watches under $500. Now, let’s all wind our watches and go seek adventure!