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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I received my Seiko 5 automatic SNK809 via overnight UPS this morning. It's well-known here and a review is probably redundant, but I'm going to tell you about why this is a $75 watch and not a $400 watch. Not a critical review (I love the watch), but I'm going to point out some things you probably can't tell before you've held one in your hands.

There is another military style SNX425 numbered 1-12 and 13-24 on the dial. That one doesn't seem to be commonly available in the states. There's also a sports military SNZG13. These are available in a few different dial colors (green, black and blue?) and with either a nylon strap or metal bracelet. The Flieger I'm reviewing is also available in a few different colors (including tan) and in a nylon strap or metal bracelet.

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SNK809K2

The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box is how much better the Seiko logo and "5" badge stood out in the light than the numbers on the dial. This changes depending on lighting. It's a bit disappointing. The numbers on the dial are painted, whereas the badges are applied metal pieces. This isn't unexpected in a $75 watch, but my Pulsar military chrono has the logo painted as well, and it looks more balanced. More expensive watches often have the numbers applied or even molded into the dial. I might have to spend a lot more to get a dial I'm delighted with.

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The strap is a two-piece black nylon (it also comes in blue and tan, and if I recall green as well) with zulu-style rounded keepers (one fixed and one floating), and the buckle and keepers are matte finished to match the watch case. The buckle has a Seiko logo. The holes are reinforced with leather, like the Swiss Army style nylon bands. Overall it's a nice nylon strap, though I think the watch would look better with 20mm lugs and strap rather than 18. Most WUSers seem to replace the strap with leather, NATO or ZULU, but for now I think I'm going to leave it on the stock strap. I prefer a two-piece to NATO or ZULU, and the nylon works well with the watch.

The movement, visible through the clear back, is marked Malaysia. The strap is marked China. I do not see any indication where the case or dial is made.

The hands are lumed an off-white and rimmed with bright white. I'd prefer the hands be all white, but I know most people like their lume. The tip of the seconds hand is red, which is a nice touch that further informalizes the design, and counter-balanced by an opposing lume dot. It sweeps at 6 beats per second, I believe, which is smooth without my glasses, but with my outdated eyeglasses and still-farsighted, partially-corrected vision I can see the mechanism beating. With too-strong reading glasses (a magnifier, essentially) it's not particularly smooth, but still far nicer to watch than quartz. I don't know how it compares to other mechanicals as this is the first I've owned since childhood and I haven't shopped mechanicals in person in a very long time.

There are small lume dots on all the hours. Those and the hands are easily visible and the watch is readable in the dark, though the hands are kinda small, and I haven't tested how long it lasts. I don't particularly care about lume, and as I said I'd prefer the hands were bright, un-lumed white.

The dial is shiny black steel. It gives it a very dark black look, whereas a matte finish would be dark grey. It does reflect a lot, but only at the same time the flat crystal reflects, so that's not a problem. Where it is a problem, and this is a very minor nit, is that you can see the unevenness in the surface of the dial from the stamping of the hole for the day/date. The hole is square and straight, of course, but the stamping has left the surface around it very slightly uneven, and you can see this in the reflected light off the dial. You can also see the deformation of the dial where the Seiko logo has been attached in two places. This, again, is a very minor nit. You have to look really closely to see it, and I have to be wearing my reading glasses. On balance the blackness of the shiny black dial is a plus. My pulsar with a textured matte dial looks less black. Also a plus is the black day/date window without a colored border. Nice and stealth, as it should be on this watch.

The inside of the bezel has a brushed steel finish and has nothing printed on it. I like it a lot. The outside of the bezel and most of the rest of the case has a bead-blasted (?) matte finish. I prefer the brushed finish on my Pulsar military chrono and a lot of other Seiko quartz chronos. I think brushed steel is a more solid, substantial look. The underside of the case is polished.

The movement is very plain looking. To be expected in this model. The larger structural pieces have a straight, heavily-brushed surface. If I look with jeweler's glasses (even stronger than my reading glasses) I see a couple tiny scratches that run counter to the brushing. I can't see these even with strong reading glasses, though. I wouldn't expect this on a much more expensive movement, but on this model it's a non-issue. The Seiko logo and the movement model number are printed on the glass, as is "movement Malaysia", and the serial number is etched on the bottom ring of the case. The movement is marked with "Seiko", "Seiko Time Corp", the model, number of jewels and "Malaysia".

The watch wears smaller on the wrist than I expected, though it is fairly thick and stands pretty tall. It looks a little funny with the lugs not close to touching the wrist.

The watch can be manually wound with the crown pushed in (I think--it seemed to work to get it started for me, and the instructions called this the winding position). Position 1 clockwise sets the date and counter-clockwise sets the day, alternating between two languages. Posision 2 sets the time. I quickly and accidentally discovered as others have that you can stop the seconds hand by applying a small backward force in the time-setting position.

I'm not sure what the second language is on the day display. I was kinda hoping for but not expecting Kanji. This was a grey market piece from Amazon. I don't know what market it was intended for.

In all I'm very happy with the watch, particularly for what I paid. It's a bit similar to my Pulsar and might need an olive drab nylon or a brown leather strap to distinguish itself.

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Images borrowed from www.rauken.co.jp. I might add photos of the details I've described, if my camera gear is up to it and I find the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've worn it almost constantly for six days and it has lost thirty seconds. Consistently five seconds per day. Better than I was anticipating. Next I want to find out how long it runs once I take it off.
 

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I got mine in the mail Monday and this is the first full day with it on. I really like the look and for the price it cannot be beat. Have a couple of vintage Hamilton manuals and automatics and really like the way this looks and feels. Real simple and bought it mainly to wear with jeans. It is not a $500 watch but it is great for everyday casual wear. I dont really care if it gets beat up in my everyday life! If it does I will buy another!!
 

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Thanks for the review! I got one of these a week ago, and I really like it a lot. My wrist is quite thin, so the size suits me perfectly. Mine seems to be losing around 3 seconds per day, not bad for an inexpensive automatic I think. I only wish it could be manually wound; since I'm often changing watches multiple times in a day, I don't manage to wind it up sufficiently to keep going until the next day. I'm a PhD student, and I don't move my left arm that much during a normal working day (I mostly move the fingers while typing, not the wrist. Even the motion detecting office lights turn off all the time because of lack of external activity). Still, I love this watch - the red-tipped second hand and the flieger-like dial in particular :)
 

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My first automatic that I just got today in the mail. Looks great, and was cheap. Will be buying multiple NATO straps for this.
Will recommend this for anyone looking for a watch under $100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I only wish it could be manually wound
Yes. I said in the review that it is windable, because the instructions call the "in" position the winding position and because it started up when I wound it. It was probably me picking it up that started it, though.
 

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I've been reading about the SNK809 these last few weeks. I'm hoping to pick up an automatic watch next year and I think this will be it. I have to say I love that dial - and the size is probably ideal for me. Thanks for the review.
 

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I've been reading about the SNK809 these last few weeks. I'm hoping to pick up an automatic watch next year and I think this will be it. I have to say I love that dial - and the size is probably ideal for me. Thanks for the review.
From someone who owns 2 of them it's a great watch. They tend to pop up on the deal a day sites from times to time for around $60-$70 bucks so if your considering a purchase thatd a great way to snag one for cheap!
 

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Don't even need to wait - they're $62 on Amazon.com right now!

From someone who owns 2 of them it's a great watch. They tend to pop up on the deal a day sites from times to time for around $60-$70 bucks so if your considering a purchase thatd a great way to snag one for cheap!
 

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Hi everyone. I'm a new member here and this is my 1st post :)
My girlfriend bought me this particular watch (steel bracelet model) for our anniversary last June and I'm loving it despite the fact that she disagreed with my choice. The minimalist design is what caught my eyes at first. And then the flieger dial. And then the matte finish. And the glass is awesome too. I'm a clumsy person so I always accidentally knock my watch on things but there's not a single scratch on the glass. I'm now waiting for my grey nato strap to arrive. Really can't wait.
 

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Don't even need to wait - they're $62 on Amazon.com right now!
Yea I realize that now :/ I got mine on amazon a little over a year ago and the price has fluctuated so mmuch since. I've seen it for over $90 to as low as $60. I guess it's in the lower range now. Grab em while you can! Who knows how long this one will be in production :X
 

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Hi all - I'm new to the forum. I just received this watch and really like it as an everyday watch. But like the OP mentioned, the day is shown in English and Arabic. While fiddling around with it, I noticed that it would display English for 30min. before switching to Arabic for most of the day. Is there a way to have it show only English?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to WUS! Sure there is, pull the crown out to the first position to set the day and date and set the day to the English version. Going forward it will show the Arabic version and then settle at the English version. Just be sure not to change the day/date while the watch is in the 9PM to 4AM range as it can damage the watch.


Hi all - I'm new to the forum. I just received this watch and really like it as an everyday watch. But like the OP mentioned, the day is shown in English and Arabic. While fiddling around with it, I noticed that it would display English for 30min. before switching to Arabic for most of the day. Is there a way to have it show only English?

Thanks!
 
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