Coming as a bit of a mid-summer surprise the new Seiko 5 Sports collection was just unveiled, and we’ve got a lot to unpack here. 27 models in total, split between 5 sub-collections, all effectively based on the beloved (and as far as we know discontinued) Seiko SKX—the quintessential affordable diver we all know and love. It uses the same automatic hacking caliber 4R36 found in the Turtle and several other Seikos out there, a Hardex crystal, and a unidirectional rotating bezel (presumably 120-click, based on history).
That said, there are definitely a couple of changes with the new model that raise some yet to be answered questions. First off, we’re seeing an exhibition caseback on these models—something more common in the Seiko 5 collections as a whole, but never fitted to the brand’s “real” divers. Also, these new watches only have 100m of water resistance, rather than the 200m of the SKX (you’ll note the addition of “Automatic” to the dial in script similar to pre-Prospex Sumo models, and deletion of “DIVER’S 200m”). Coming with that, we have no official word at time of publishing about whether or not these models have screw-down crowns, leading us to assume they don’t. For those well-versed in Seiko product coding, these are all SRPD models, ranging from 51 to 83 (SRPD51K11 to SRPD85K1).
With those specs in mind, the new Seiko 5 divers simply aren’t as rough-and-tumble as some of their counterparts, however with the Turtle and Mini Turtle still out there, those looking for a proper tool watch aren’t left high and dry. Also, most of us aren’t going diving, and 100m of water resistance without a screw-down crown is still more than adequate for swimming, washing dishes, or getting caught in a thunderstorm. With EU pricing set to be between 280 and 340 Euros depending on the model (USD pricing not yet available), I’d still wholeheartedly support both new and well-versed watch enthusiasts adding any of these models to their collections.
That in mind, here’s a look at all the wild offerings in each of the 5 sub-collections (and images of ALL the new models at the bottom of the page).
Seiko 5 Sports Style
Easily the simples and most generic of the pack (as well as the grouping with the most connection to the SKX based on color choice), The sports line is fitted on a mix of Oyster-style bracelets and rubber straps in plain black, blue, orange, green, and of course Pepsi configurations. Its blue dials seem much more vibrant than those of the past SKX as well. The most unusual of the pack is the gilt and green model—a combination that seems to work surprisingly well (though am rather eager to examine it in person.
Seiko 5 Suits Style
Also a hefty collection, the Suits Style models are much more unorthodox in color choice, and come on either Milanese/mesh bracelets or some very nicely executed rubber straps that mimmic the texture of a Milanese bracelet. All but one model use faux-aged Lumibrite luminous material for their hands and indices. Of the pack, the blue dial on rubber variant (SRPD71K2) comes a surprise favorite, as its white rehaut provides some solid contrast, and its dial appears to have a faint dégradé effect to it.
Seiko 5 Specialists Style
Probably the most “why did they bother?” grouping of the pack is these three Specialist Style models. They’re plain, black dialed variants in stainless steel, finished either brushed, or in pink gold or black “hard coating”. Especially odd is their choice of silicone rubber straps that have leather inserts in them, clearly targeting the dressy dive watch crowd (whoever that is).
Seiko 5 Street Style
Here we have something properly different. Blacked out with bold indices, paired with black NATO straps, Seiko is pushing into the same game to which George Bamford is owed much credit. We’ve seen this aesthetic from everyone from Zodiac Watches (the long discontinued Oceanaire) through to Omega’s recent Planet Ocean GMT models, and frankly it works well with Seiko’s diver cases.
Seiko 5 Sense Style
Last but not least, Seiko doles out a dose of textured dial goodness with its last two models—the oddly named Sense Style models. The color choices are peculiar to say the least, especially when you look at the minty green seconds hand set above a maroon brown dial. Bonus points for uniqueness, for sure, and the dial texture is a lot of fun, but between the two the green SRPD77K1 is definitely the winner.