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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trolling out on the Bay for a while and keep running across a lot of Seiko 5's. Some of them look pretty good, but are some built better than others? Some ads refer to "Seiko Japan" models while others don't, and you can see some differences in their photos. I understand the 5's are made for domestic Japan and some international markets (but not necessarily North America - I guess that's where the Cotura/Sportura lines come in), so pretty much anything I'm looking at was made for "someplace else".

With that in mind, going back to my initial question: are the Seiko 5's made with different levels of fit and finish for each market, and if so what would be the better markets to consider if you're shopping for one?

Mike
 

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I don't know where in north Texas you are but I used to travel to Dallas on business regularly and I bought a few 5's at a little import shop near Love Field. It was near the intersection of Harry Hines and either "Royal" or "Regal". The price was around $50 apiece as I recall.
 

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I've never owned any 5's but I'd guess that Seiko would expect/require similar q/c in their watches across the board regardless of where manufactured or destination markets. I'd venture that the "Seiko Japan" mentions are mostly marketing hype.
 

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My main objection to 5's is that most of them come on a folded link bracelet. I have seen a few on higher quality, more comfortable solid link bracelets, but not many. Of course, you could always go for one on a strap.
 

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There are plenty of threads covering this on the Seiko, Citizen, Orient forum. The general feeling is that there is no real difference between "J" (Japan) models and the "K" models (made elsewhere) in terms of quality - all the parts come from the same production lines just assembled in different places under SEIKO QC. I paid a bit more for my Japan version 5, but not a lot. That was before I got on this forum and began my education. I'd probably buy the J version again just because the premium is small and I thought the Made in Japan on the dial was cool.
I agree with the comment on the folded bracelets. If you shop around, you can get the same robust 7S36 movement in a non-5 Seiko with a nicer bracelet or look at the Orient line. My Mako cost less that my 5 and has a far superior bracelet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry, I didn't even think to post this on the Seiko forum - I was looking at it from the "affordable" angle, I guess.

So overall the models really don't differ that much, just where they happen to be destined for sale I guess. That gives me more to work with, since there seem to be wide swings in prices sometimes.

I honestly didn't think about the bracelet - I had read the thread about folded vs. solid links so I know what to look for now. I used to wear straps, but in the humid summer weather where I grew up in Georgia they tended to get a bit gross-looking (and feeling). It's quite a bit drier here in Texas, so maybe I'll consider a strap again.

I live about 75 miles north of Dallas -- practically in Oklahoma -- and get down to the Metroplex (what we call the Dallas-Fort Worth region) every now and then; I'll see about that shop near Love Field next time I have a chance...

Mike
 
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