Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The 2019 Seiko 5 – New and Revamped

Seiko shows why the future of watches is brightly analogue.

| By Gandor Bronkhorst | 2 min read |

Normally when a watch company starts to talk about products for ‘a next generation’, the implicit message is: ‘run away now.’ But not this time. The Seiko 5 sports watch has existed for over 50 years, but like a G-Shock it has maintained its coolness. That achievement probably has to do with a conscious lack of pretence. Trying to be cool is usually the fastest way to be very uncool, indeed. Of course, there’s the common marketing slang like ‘created for the individual’ and obvious skateboard references, but that doesn’t matter at all because these watches speak for themselves.

The first Seiko 5 was introduced in 1963 and went under the name Seiko Sportmatic. It was Seiko’s and – Japan’s – first-ever automatic day-date watch. The number ‘5’ was chosen intentionally and represented the 5 promises that every Seiko 5 watch would have: an automatic movement; a day-date display; water-resistance; a recessed crown at the four o’clock position; and a case and bracelet built for durability. Taken together, these features gave, and give, Seiko 5 its tough appearance and its strength. The case measures 42.5mm diameter and 13.4mm in height.

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The Seiko 5 Sports delivers these values in a very basic way. They look a bit like tool watches, but instead, they’re actually made for daily use in practically every way. Reliability, accessibility, durability, performance and a nice but not too flashy style are definitely the values that Seiko has used for this collection. And mechanical knowledge, of course, as the new collection is fully equipped with mechanical movements!

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The movements are all Seiko’s basic automatic Calibre 4R36, with 24 jewels, optional manual-winding, a 41-hour power reserve and a hacking seconds hand.

Nice detail: the movement can be seen thanks to a see-through caseback.

There are no fewer than 27 different varieties, grouped in five different styles: Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street and Sense. All have very basic dials with three-dimensional hour markers and straps made from different materials. There’s steel (also in mesh), nylon, silicone/calf hybrid and straps. The cases are all in steel, in colours like black, rose gold, grey or olive green.

All of them are quite sporty in traditional watch terms (although a twenty-something could also easily wear them in a casual work environment), but they’re definitely not intended for professional use – after all, they’re water-resistant to 100m and have Hardlex crystals.

The Seiko 5 Sports will be available in September 2019, and retail prices start at 280 EUR. What’s not to love about these wonderful Japanese watches? More models and info at the website here.

18 responses

  1. They look like really nice custom SKXs, which I love, yet I was hoping for something different

  2. So what you are actually reporting is the fact that Seiko has VASTLY reduced the number of Seiko 5 models they make, DRAMATICALLY increased the minimum size, which is also the maximum size due to the fact that they have decided to use only one case (and only one set of hands which they have already being making for a very long time and one movement which is, shall we say, well established?) The 4r36 is simply the old 7S26C with a hacking module and winding mechanism installed.
    Add some marketing nonsense and a few pictures of “young men doing cool things” and voila! Seiko becomes Kenneth Cole.

    I seriously suspect that there has been a generational shift in senior management at Seiko in the last 2 years and that furthermore, the New Guard spent some a significant amount of time at “business schools” in America.

    Seiko. You will be missed.

  3. Very disappointing. Instead of several cool models for every occasion, a single bulky 42mm in some weird color schemes. Very disappointing indeed.

  4. I think this is more than just a new collection. The idea behind it is to start controlling the market. Right now Seiko 5 Sports watches are sold everywhere to extremely dissimilar prices depending on where you look. This is very harmful if you want to play in the major leagues, and Seiko is already competing there -but still with that fetter around its ankle.

    So apparently the new collection will be sold only to official distributors, not to just anybody. If this is the case, Seiko will be on the right path to get rid of that image of flea market brand (as regards prices, not quality).

    The downside is, as JAGOTW has pointed out, that we lose the vast offer of watches we used to have. I mean they are still going to be produced, only in less and less quantities (so they told me at Seiko this morning anyway). I certainly do hope Seiko reconsiders that in the future. Not everybody likes or wants a diver watch, or can wear a 42 mm case.

  5. Actually i want to buy skx007, but after see this news, i will wait for this watch. its so gorgeous!!
    i am eager to buy this watch. a lot of change than the old one, the 5 logo is so fresh. and the machine is better than skx007. good job Seiko

  6. They may be missing something in this approach . I have already quite a few Seiko 5s . They are cheap enough at present to encourage that (the last one I bought was about £65). I have different styles, colours and straps. But at these much more expensive prices and concentrating on very similar styles, basically variations o a theme they may end up selling fewer watches.

  7. Why is no one mentioning the fact that they don’t have threaded crowns anymore

  8. So now, the choice is vastly reduced. I can’t see myself buying one of these new seiko 5s, which to me look like toy watches. And moreover, the asking price has nearly doubled compared to the seiko 5s sold on Amazon… They are indeed moving upmarket. Very disappointed in Seiko’s new marketing strategy…

  9. Son relojes interesantes es un intento de direccionar el 007 hacia otro publico estuve encel sitio de seiko y tienen Corona a rosca.

  10. Gracias Guillermo, pero para mí, una corona de bloqueo no salva este intento descaradamente cínico de cobrar mucho más por mucho menos. Realmente siento que la Seiko que conocemos y amamos desde hace décadas se está evaporando. Estoy tentado a comprar un GS de estilo antiguo antes de que todos se hayan ido

  11. “Mall watch” is the perfect term for these. Who knew 2019 was the year Seiko would start drawing inspiration from Fossil? *eye roll*

  12. I had a Skx007 and I bought one of the new 5s. I have to say that it’s a better watch in every way, except if you are a real diver. The better movement, the much better finish of the dial, and the perforated lugs are worth it. Much more accurate than my old 007, although that could be just luck, or the fact that fully winding these movements really helps, who knows…

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