Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch
Product Link
I've been wanting to start a decent collection of EDC-type watches, and I wanted something to compliment the Citizen Eco-Drive watch I was going to order. The Eco-Drive series is solar powered, so I figured a cheap automatic movement watch would be a perfect partner for the Citizen, and ordered it from Amazon as part of the same order.

Product Description

Price: $50-$75 Online

This is a classic mechanical automatic movement watch with a clear case back to see the nifty whirlygigs and thingamabobs. It has a plain but clean looking steel case with a simple nylon strap band. It features a classic day/date window at 3 o'clock and a nice, classic smooth-sweep second hand.

Official Specs (From Amazon)





Model numberSNK807
Part NumberSNK807
Model Year2011
Item ShapeRound
Dial window material typeHardlex
Display TypeAnalog
ClaspBuckle
Case materialStainless steel
Case diameter37 millimeters
Case Thickness11 millimeters
Band MaterialCanvas
Band lengthMen's Standard
Band width17 millimeters
Band ColorBlue
Dial colorBlue
Bezel materialStainless steel
Bezel functionStationary
CalendarDay and date
Special featuresCalendar
MovementAutomatic self wind
Water resistant depth99 Feet



First Impressions


This my first Seiko. I've been buying Citizens for years and I mainly ordered this one just to be
thorough. I'm tired of replacing so many batteries on all my watches, so I'm looking at other solutions like newer budget automatics.

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch With Citizen BM8180-03E Men's Eco-Drive Watch
One automatic, one solar
I un-boxed this watch, flailed my hands around until it started ticking, set the time, and took a good look at it. I strapped it to my wrist, and I knew that it would be my favorite watch, at least until a new favorite comes along. This is a 60 dollar watch with the class and style of a 600 dollar watch.

Build Quality


The build quality is excellent considering this is a budget watch using budget materials. The case may be budget steel, but the stone washed finish gives it a more upscale look. The glass crystal and case back are good quality but nothing really special. The band has a superb fit and finish for being the cheap nylon variety. They even stonewashed the hardware on the band to match the case. My review sample has a fit and finish more in line with its $185 retail box price.

Movement


This is a mechanical "Seiko 5" 21 jewel, automatic movement, found in lots and lots of their 5 series watches. I read somewhere that Seiko took its design inspiration from the original Rolex, and I can believe it.

There is no dedicated method to wind the movement. It is powered by your normal arm movements and once fully "charged" it will go about a day and a half off your arm before it stops. Rotating the wrist back and forth will wind it the fastest, though pretty much any flailing of the arm or wrist will do.

Dial


Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Closeup Of Dial
The dial is a little more busy than I would prefer, but the numbers and marking are very crisp, which gives the watch a very classy look overall. The hour and minute hands have that same crispness and precision, but they're a little shorter than I would like. They both have a liberal amount of luminescent material.

The second hand has a continuous sweep, which I've always liked on the more expensive watches but never thought I would get on a sub-$100 time piece. The tip of the second hand is red, and on the opposite side of the hand is a little blob of luminescent material.

At 3 O'Clock is the day / date window. The day display is a dual English/Spanish display that is aggravating to set right, but once set is fine. I wish they would just have separate versions of the watch because it's a hassle for people of either language.

Overall the dial is well laid out and very crisp for how busy it is. And for whatever reason, it's a little easier to read without my reading glasses than my new Citizen.


Case


This is a budget watch, and the case reflects that fact. Most of it is stonewashed, though, so I have
Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Closeup Of Glass Case Back
You can see all the gizmos
to look much closer to see any flaws. I'm not sure how it will wear, but out of the box it looks like an expensive watch.

The case back has a window which shows you the inner workings of the 21 jewel  automatic movement.

Band


The band is made of nylon with what looks like cheap leather reinforcing the holes. It feels a little cheap but right in line with what I'd expect from a budget watch. Overall the design and construction of the band is good, and obviously well thought out. The metal rings and the clasp are stonewashed like the case.
Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Closeup Of Clasp
The fit and finish is very good on the band

My band is blue since I bought the blue model. The blue colored nylon is good and matches the dial pretty good. And the leather (?) reinforcement is even the same color blue. Very well executed for a budget band.

My average size hands hit the adjustment almost perfectly at the halfway point, which means that it should still fit slightly small or large wrists pretty well, too.

Setting The Time


Setting the time on the SNK807 is straightforward. Once click on the crown lets you set the day and date, and another click lets you set the time. Since the days of the week are given in two different languages, you will need to turn past the day you don't want.

Luminescence 


Just the basics in the dark
This watch has lumisecent material on the dial at each hour marker, and a little bit of material on all three hands. I'm not an expert but it seems to use the budget material, which doesn't hold much of a charge. It could do with a little more material on the dial markers, but other than that, it's fairly easy to read in the dark.

Accuracy


Since this is an automatic movement, it is not going to be as accurate as quartz. As time goes by, automatics settle into a sort of groove and the accuracy increases. My sample seems a good bit fast right out of the box, and I noted that looking through the window in the case back, the adjustment is set almost all the way to minus (-). My sample seems to pickup a few seconds a day.


Usability


I'm glad this became my instant favorite, because one of the downsides to the usability of an automatic watch (at least one that can't be wound) is that if you take it off for a couple days, you have to reset the time, day and date, which can be a hassle.

But mine hasn't left my wrist for more than a day. I always forget to take it off before I do dishes or shower, so I end up letting it sit for half a day or so when it gets wet. Otherwise the band starts getting a little funky, though not as funky as a canvas band.

Automatics are always heavier, but for this watch it hasn't been an issue. Day to day it feels comfortable and is easier to read without my glasses than most of my other watches. I really thought the weight would be an issue, but it hasn't been.

The band feels good. It started off a little scratchy but it's feeling better as it wears in.

Conclusions


This is my first Seiko, and my first automatic in several years. At 60 bucks, I didn't have really high expectations of it, but boy am I impressed! I've seen the black version on Amazon for about 50 bucks, and I don't think there is any better value out there for a name brand automatic watch. I wish Amazon's computer didn't calculate that you would pay $10 more for the blue one, or $20 more for the tan one. But looking at it objectively, this watch is a steal even for a few bucks more.

My wife likes this model so much that now she wants one, and I'm considering getting at least one more. This is almost my ideal watch for every day carry. If I could just combine it with what I like about the Eco-Drive it would be perfect.

Gallery

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: In Box








Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Bar CodeSeiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Box

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Fluffy Seiko Pillow Display
Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Closeup Of Band
Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Another Closeup Of Band

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Another Closeup Of Case Front

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Another Closeup Of Case Back

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: On My Wrist

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: With a Movado
Holds its own with a watch costing many times more

Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: Next To Ruler
Seiko SNK807 "Seiko 5" Automatic Men's Watch: On Scale
It's a little heavy for a casual watch, but hey, it's an automatic!


1 comment:

  1. An apt and a detailed review,
    lots of necessary information,
    Thumps up.

    ReplyDelete