# Seiko 5 watch review: Stainless steel with gold accents.

The Seiko 5 watch for men is one of the Japanese brand’s most well-known and recognizable items, bridging the gap between affordability and premium quality. The SNKK94 model in stainless steel with gold accents – one of the more eye-catching versions of this particular Seiko 5 version – is the subject of our Seiko 5 study. But, before we get into the study, let’s take a look at what the Seiko 5 watches are all about and what makes them so special.

When it comes to accurate automatic watches, the Swiss are usually the first to come to mind. The Japanese, on the other hand, have repeatedly shown that their timepieces are just as dependable, if not more so, and that they can provide the same degree of quality for a fraction of the cost. Although it can’t compete with the likes of Omega, Vacheron, and Patek, the Seiko 5 provides the best value for money in its class without sacrificing looks or accuracy.

# But first, a bit of history.

In the 1960s, the Seiko 5 was born in an effort to meet the growing demands of that generation. As a result, each of these watches provided five distinct and useful features. Every timepiece had self-winding capabilities, water resistance, a day-date feature in a single window, a recessed crown at 4 o’clock, and a sturdy steel case and bracelet when it left the factory doors. With time, the Japanese watchmakers began to deviate from the original design, especially when it came to the location of the crown. Our SNKK94 model does have a standard crown at 3 o’clock, but it still has all of the other benefits of the classic Seiko 5.

In the 1960s, few businesses were able to bundle these distinct features into a single product without charging a premium. The Seiko 5, on the other hand, became extremely successful due to its extremely low asking price. This is also one of the most cost-effective automatic watches on the market today. It’s also one of the most dependable and reliable watches in its price range, making it a must-have for anyone looking for an automatic watch without going broke.

# Case and design.

The SNKK94 is one of the smallest Seiko 5 models available, with a case diameter of 38mm. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, particularly if your wrists and hands are tiny. Apart from the colorway, which is all-silver/steel on the SNKK87, the style is almost similar to that of the SNKK87. The SNKK94’s gold highlights make it stand out and give it a flashier, more costly appearance. The steel case has a plain gray appearance, as you can see, but the golden bezel takes center stage when viewed from the front.

The golden hour markers and hands contrast well with the white dial, complementing the bezel. The crown is the same golden color as the dial, and the Seiko 5 branding at 12 o’clock is the same.

The Hardlex crystal, which protects the dial from the elements, is surrounded by the bezel. If you’re unfamiliar with Hardlex, it’s an in-house crystal that’s more scratch resistant than regular mineral glass. However, it pales in comparison to sapphire.

The crown is located at the 3 o’clock position and does not allow for manual winding. Even so, you can manually wind the watch by shaking your wrist. As long as you wear the timepiece regularly, the self-winding mechanism ensures that you will never run out of control. Many of you who prefer to wind your watches by hand might consider this a weakness.

The back of the case is also made of Hardlex, and it gives a glimpse of the watch’s in-house Japanese 7S26 automatic movement. This is a pretty plain-looking movement, since it doesn’t have a lot of ornamentation. It does, however, contain 21 gems, which is no small feat. The case is water resistant to a depth of 99 feet (30 meters).

Manufacturers don’t recommend submerging your Seiko 5 in water because it may be permanently harmed. Showering with this watch is also not recommended, but if it gets a few splashes or is worn in the rain, you shouldn’t be too concerned. In reality, some Seiko 5 owners have confirmed no damage to their watches after swimming with them. It’s ultimately up to you if you want to take the chance, but just to be sure, I never tried swimming with this watch.

# Hands and dial.

Since the hour and minute hands have been treated with Seiko’s renowned LumiBrite luminous paint treatment, legibility on the Seiko 5 SNKK94 is excellent. The hour markers themselves are not luminescent, but each one has a tiny luminescent dot at the end that helps with readability in low light. For this model, Seiko chose to forego both Arabic and Roman numerals, which means we’re stuck with plain rectangular-shaped markers.

The Seiko 5 logos are at the top of the dial, just below the 12 o’clock point, while the AUTOMATIC 21 Jewels print is above 6 o’clock on the opposite side.

# The movement.

As previously mentioned, the Seiko 5 SNKK94 is operated by a 21-jewel Seiko 7S26 automatic calibre built in-house. The movement has a power reserve of 40 hours and runs at a frequency of 21,600vph or 3Hz. The central hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as a day/date complication, are among its key functions.

Its flaws are the non-hacking seconds and the lack of manual winding. To wind up the timepiece, you just need to shake it for about 30 seconds, and if you don’t want to do that, you can easily wear it on a daily basis without worrying about running out of battery.

# Final thoughts.

The Seiko 5 SNKK94 is not necessarily a luxury watch in a true sense of the word, but it does feel like one at times. Its main selling point is probably the 7S26 movement, which offers decent accuracy and all of the benefits of a reliable automatic watch. Seiko did cut some corners when it comes to the bracelet and general presentation, as the box is definitely one of the simplest I’ve ever seen. You’re not buying this watch for the box, however, you’re buying it because it provides you with a chance to enter the automatic watch market at a steal.

# Seiko 5 technical specifications.

• Case: 38mm diameter – 316L grade stainless steel – Hardlex crystal at the front, Hardlex case back – 99 feet of water-resistance.
• Movement: Seiko 7S26 calibre – automatic – 21,600vph/3Hz frequency – 21 jewels – 40h power reserve – average rate -20/+40 seconds per day – hours, minutes, seconds (non-hacking) and day/date complication.
• Strap: Stainless steel with folded links, clasp with a push-down mechanism for easy release.
• Reference: SNKK94 Silver/Gold (white dial) / SNKK87 Brushed Silver (white dial).

More specifications here

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