Seiko may have some of the most popular entry-level watches on the market, but lest you forget, the company has a storied and prestigious history. Seiko revolutionized the watch industry by introducing the world’s first quartz watch. It was the official timer for several Olympic games, and it also adorned the wrists of General Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War as well as the mythical James Bond. Swiss movements may garner a lot of praise, and respectfully so, but Seiko’s in-house movements are remarkable in themselves.
I recently wrote a review on the Seiko SNK and agreed with many other enthusiasts that it is one of the best automatic watches someone can buy as their first timepiece. However, if the SNK isn’t your cup of tea, the Seiko SKX007 is arguably the best entry dive watch on the market and is worth just as much consideration. I’m a proud owner of both, but I tend to wear the SKX007 the most frequently out of my collection.
- Case diameter (w/o crown): 42.5mm
- Case thickness: 13.33mm
- Lug width: 22mm
- Lug-to-lug length: 46mm
- Water resistance: 200m
- Crystal: Hardlex
- Movement: 7S26
What I enjoy most about the Seiko SKX007 is its aesthetics. The matte black dial goes nicely with the polished stainless steel case, and the orange water resistance mark adds a subtle yet eye-catching flair. The recessed crown sits at the four o’clock position with its tall crown guards which adds to the watch’s unique look. The SKX007 not only looks good though, it wears even better. A case diameter of 42.5mm might make this a bit too big of a watch for some, but the 46mm lug-to-lug length allows this watch to be forgiving of smaller wrists.
The SKX007 has more to offer than just a sleek and versatile look. The watch meets ISO 6425 standards and has all the features to make it an official dive watch. This doesn’t just mean the watch will work at its rated depth, it also means the watch is tested for a reasonable amount of magnetic and shock resistance, something all wearers can both appreciate. I’ve put the watch through some cringe-worthy impacts and I’m impressed with how well it holds up to some abuse. Speaking of toughness, Seiko’s proprietary hardlex crystal has a reputation for being tougher and more scratch-resistant than most other mineral crystals. The lume on the SKX also works incredibly well, especially for such an inexpensive watch, something Seiko is often praised for. I’m always surprised at its initial brightness when I enter a room and how bright it remains as time passes on.
As great as the SKX is, it does come with couple cons, even if they aren’t so readily apparent. For starters, the 120-click unidirectional bezel isn’t very rigid and offers a bit of play. You won’t have to worry about the bezel moving on you, but the slight amount of wiggle-room can be frustrating. Also, the day-date complication is a nice feature to have, but it takes several hours to completely cycle through (from around 2200 to 0300). This isn’t exactly a flaw, but a minor inconvenience if you’re wearing the watch at night as well as a glaring reminder that is after all just an entry-level wristwatch. With all of this being said, both of these cons are minor and very much forgivable, especially for such an affordable dive watch.
-Great price for an automatic dive watch
-Tough and durable
-Bezel has a little play
-Day-date complication takes several hours to cycle through
-Non-hacking movement (can’t stop second hand)
At the time of writing this review, the SKX009 and the smaller but identical SKX013 sell for about $180. A bit of an oxymoron, but the SKX makes for a quality beater watch. It’s a dive watch you can admire but not have to worry about scuffing up as you go about your day. My SKX only gains a few seconds every day which is exceptionally accurate for its price. If you don’t particularly like the style of the watch, the SKX also happens to be one of the easiest and most popular watches to mod (customize). With the immense amount of aftermarket parts available, a quick internet search might help you find something you like.
All photos courtesy of the author.