Review of Seiko 5 SNK809 – A Lot of a Mechanical Watch for Less than $100

By rolex
May 26, 2021
10 min read

A few years prior, we distributed a story named “ The Cheapest High-End Watch “. We looked for the most moderate top of the line watch, comprising a mechanical development, in-house made obviously, from a brand with an undisputed family, ideally family-claimed, and the watch ought to be (generally) little and rich. What’s more, think about who won the title… not Patek, not Vacheron, not even Rolex or Omega. It was a Seiko 5! While essentially everybody considers Switzerland when we talk about top of the line watches, we felt that one explicit brand was frequently absent in the discussion… Today that’s changing as of now and positively since Grand Seiko has been situated as a different brand, this Japanese monster is being paid attention to very. Japanese movements are acquiring footing all in all, and despite being modest (the word reasonable doesn’t even work any longer), Seiko 5 watches are genuine mechanical, value for-the-money “high-end” pieces. Time to show this, with the not-even-100-dollar Seiko 5 Military SNK809.

There’s an innumerable number of watches falling into the offer classification. We have numerous articles and reviews covering them, from microbrands financing through Kickstarter to set up brands offering compelling arrangements. The Marloe Haskell  is a genuine illustration of a microbrand piece with a Swiss ETA, coming in well under USD 1,000. The new Timex Marlin Automatics  have exemplary styling, solid Miyota developments and a cost under USD 300 (and it’s the brand’s first programmed line since 1982). Indeed, even Hamilton  can make an extraordinary USD 400 watch with a hand-wound development. All are incredible incentives in their separate value levels and simple to recommend.

There’s a particular watch, in any case, that offers an in-house programmed development, presentation caseback, day/date complication and clean military stylish from a significant brand set up back in 1881, with still inclusion of the establishing family – for just USD 100 (and handily found for less). The Seiko 5 SNK809 is important for a more extensive arrangement of Seiko 5 watches, however this specific model may have the most standard allure with an all around measured 38mm steel case, moderate shading plan and value that most watch fans can manage. It is imperfect, yet ostensibly offers the most complete watch bundle at the cost. The entirety of that falls into our definition of “ The Cheapest High-End Watch ” – and that isn’t the case for all the previously mentioned watches! Period!


Seiko is a watch brand that pretty much everybody perceives, regardless of whether they never wear a watch or game a huge assortment. The company was established by Kintarō Hattori in 1881 in Tokyo, Japan as a watch and gem dealer. It wasn’t until 1892 that it began fabricating clocks under the brand Seikosha, deciphered as “Place of Exquisite Workmanship.” In 1924, creation of wristwatches with the Seiko name started and the brand before long turned into a power to be figured with.

The Seiko 5 is one of the brand’s most notable watch arrangement. Presented in 1963, it offered mind boggling an incentive with a few developments. Indeed, it had five key developments that motivated its name.

  1. Day/date complication inside a solitary window, which was uncommon at the time
  2. In-house programmed development (with Diashock stun assurance framework comparable to the current Swiss Incabloc system)
  3. Water-opposition for all models
  4. Seiko’s solid Diaflex origin inside a tough case
  5. Recessed crown at 4 o’clock

In the 55 years that the Seiko 5 has been underway, a wide assortment of developments have been utilized. What they all share for all intents and purpose, be that as it may, is unwavering quality, negligible support and moderateness. It’s said that numerous Seiko 5 programmed developments are collected with practically zero direct human contribution, which eliminates a portion of the mechanical sentiment and persona yet considers exceptionally savvy large scale manufacturing. You will not discover Côtes de Genève, perlage or different embellishments, yet the workhorse developments give an intriguing perspective through a display caseback in any case – an enlivened development in a Seiko 5 would watch strange. Furthermore, here’s a great actuality – previous NASA flight chief Gene Kranz wore a Seiko 5 model 6119-8460 during numerous Apollo missions (it actually ticks today). In case you’re searching for a top of the line piece, the brand offers a restricted release Grand Seiko  for over USD 50,000. However, as I would like to think, a USD 100 Seiko 5 is a similarly amazing achievement.

Case And Design

The 37mm hardened steel instance of the Pilot-enlivened Seiko 5 SNK809 has a matte completion on the front and agrees with a cleaned back. It has a pleasant military stylish and helps me to remember a 38mm Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (which retails for USD 475). At 11mm in tallness, it’s not the most slender watch around, but rather the thickness assists offset with trip the smallish width on my wrist. The bezel is fairly weighty (somewhat more considerable than the Hamilton), however functions admirably with the case and encompasses a level Hardlex crystal.

This is an in-house planned gem that opposes scratches better compared to standard mineral glass yet isn’t at the degree of sapphire. It’s great at the cost as I expected to see acrylic. The crown sits at an uncommon 4 o’clock position and doesn’t screw down, leaving the case water-impervious to just 30m. That is fine for downpour and sprinkles, yet you ought to most likely abstain from swimming. You additionally can’t wind the watch physically with the crown, which is one of its shortcomings, however basically shaking the watch will wind it all very similar. The crown is additionally somewhat little, yet not very fiddly when attempting to set the time or date.

The caseback has a Hardlex presentation window that shows the in-house 7S26 programmed development. The cleaned caseback and back drags balance well with the remainder of the matte completion, and the undecorated development fits the general tasteful impeccably. The case has a decent, generous weight and straightforward disposition, and albeit basic, has genuine character.

Dial And Hands

The matte dark dial proceeds with the military stylish. The external border has white Arabic numerals denoting the minutes, while a more modest inside circle of Arabic numerals mark the hours – this twin-area show is regularly found on military pieces, yet the external denotes the hours while the inward shows 24-hour military time. The white hour and moment hands are loaded up with Seiko’s prestigious radiant paint (LumiBrite) just as spots on the peripheral edge denoting each five minutes.

The white candy seconds hand has lume in its roundabout stabilizer and furthermore sports a red tip. One of the large advantages is a day/date complication at 3 o’clock and you can even pick among English and Spanish for the afternoon (and more dialects relying upon the market). SEIKO and the 5 logo are appeared close to the top and add a little profundity, while AUTOMATIC and 21 JEWELS are printed at the base. Decipherability is strong and there’s a ton going on with the dial, however it’s not excessively occupied and unquestionably doesn’t come across as generic.


Impressive highlights proceed with the thumping heart, which is an in-house Seiko 7S26 programmed type. It has 21 gems, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 40-hour power save. Capacities incorporate focal hours, minutes, seconds and a day/date complication. Two oversights are the non-hacking seconds and absence of manual twisting, yet nor are not kidding blemishes in that value section and are not difficult to live with. Essentially shaking the watch for around 30 seconds will enough wind it, while every day wear will keep it ticking.

Accuracy is appraised at – 20/+40 seconds out of every day, which isn’t actually a chronometer, yet more than sensible at the cost. A straightforward time change like clockwork or even once seven days will keep your time exact. Following seven days of testing, the Seiko 5 reviewed found the middle value of just 18 seconds moderate each day. At that rate, I’d presumably just change it once per week.

Viewed from the show caseback, it is anything but a refined wonder, yet gives an intriguing gander at the mechanics of a programmed workhorse. It might not have Geneva stripes or blued screws, yet is by and by a cool sight and I’m exceptionally satisfied that Seiko incorporated a Hardlex show window on a particularly modest piece.


If there’s a champion defect with this watch, it’s very the dark 18mm material lash. I see myself as something of a lash highbrow snot and it’s normal for me to supplant producer’s ones with better outsider alternatives. Nonetheless, the lash that comes with this Seiko 5 is simply tremendously terrible. It takes care of business, mind you, and looks good enough on the wrist, however it’s genuinely uncomfortable, tangles on the metal circles when attempting to tie it on (from the inexactly sewed piece covering the openings) and looks and feels modest while the real watch does not.

The matte steel clasp and circles are adequately decent, however the inspiration closes there. I don’t detest it and would most likely be fine whenever stayed with it, however I’ll be changing to a more pleasant material tie. It merits the USD 20 overhaul. To be reasonable, the tie has broken in a piece from every day wear and is more comfortable than on the very beginning, yet I’m as yet excited for a substitution. Be that as it may, on the other hand, at USD 100 or less, you can’t have it all.


The Seiko 5 SNK809 is quite possibly the most noteworthy watches I’ve investigated for this present year. It is anything but an extravagance piece and unquestionably will not stand out, yet for just USD 100 (or less on the web), it offers significantly in excess of a mechanical watch ought to. A solid, in-house programmed, all from a grounded brand, with the establishing family actually engaged with the brand, with a steel case and limited dimensions… And we should not fail to remember that it’s been in nonstop creation for a very long time. Positively not a similar mechanical wonder as a Patek, but rather still, we try to say it once more: this is the most available very good quality watch on the planet (and by all in all a margin).

Notwithstanding the inferior quality tie, this watch makes even an incentive like the 38mm Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical appear to be costly. That observe absolutely has a Swiss ETA 2801-2 and hacking seconds, yet Seiko’s developments aren’t to be accused (a long way from that). At the point when you add everything up, the Seiko 5 SNK809 could possibly be extraordinary compared to other horological blasts for the buck. It’s a cool watch for prepared fans yet for the most part is an ideal piece for first-time mechanical watch purchasers – Christmas is coming…

This specific model may have as of late been stopped by Seiko, albeit a few retailers guarantee that one can be requested on solicitation. The Seiko 5 Military SNK809 was created in the large numbers, in any case, and is promptly accessible. Locales like Amazon and a large group of outsider retailers convey it with costs going from USD 109 to a stunning USD 65. Seiko likewise offers a three-year restricted guarantee on all new SNK809 models. More subtleties at .