“It is only one world in infinite universes where this impossible happiness exists,but that is what make sit so valuable.”
-Micaiah Johnson,M.F.A[Rutgres-Camden; Writer
Q. Dear Gonzo,
What – in your esteemed opinion – should be counted as the current five most significant Seiko watches between $500 and $1000?And what significance does each of those pieces hold? I’m not looking forward to hear about Grand Seiko in this regard; everyone knows them to be great watches – as what I’ve gleaned from your previous answers to others. I’m quite new to the world of ‘real’ watches; I am eager to know what Seiko watch would you start with if you are to collect for yourself. Would you say those specific pieces have changed the watch-making landscape by and far? If so, then what value would you attach to them – say – after 10 years of a moderate (twice a week) use?
A. Allow me to reveal first a small, simple truth. Seiko’s mettle is proved through their extensive offerings of excellent mechanical, analog/digital/combo quartz (solar/battery) and unusual(Kinetic-/Spring-Drive, Radio-/GPS-sync) watches, so the answer to what you ask will vary, depending upon whom you ask and Gonzo, though better versed than the average watch-wearer, never passes decrees. He feels immensely delighted if someone takes his suggestions and settles for what he recommended; he is delighted even more if another person’s choice turns out to be better than what he suggested. It gives him a renewed interest for probing into something which he had ignored or disliked in the past; even, might have never come across!
We all know Seiko to be a company with the nerves to throw challenges at the Swiss; making watches every bit as good is doubtlessly tough! Seiko carries the tradition for long; ever since their inception. So, I’d like to guide you in to the reissues. I’m definite you understand the significance. If you can’t, then you’ll need to study about some of the Seiko retro-s and vintages.
They were damn good watches. The reissues are simply better. They are from the SRPD family. You’ll find the Seiko 5, Prospex and Presage – all clustered around here. These don’t quite require any more ink to be spilled for all these three line-ups remain strong; it’s just the nostalgic feel presented within a modern context that need to be addressed. The 5 watches you asked for are way above mere entry-level; the gaps between the Seiko 5, Prospex and Presage diminish further! Let’s take a look at each of these three line-ups and one or more pieces from each of them.
I. SRPD Seiko 5: It is essential to mention the slightly grown up cousin to the traditional Seiko 5 here; the SKX007with the DNA from more expensive Seiko dive watches and a much bolder design than the ordinary Seiko 5. It has a broader access as an everyday beater to anyone without a too-frail frame. Sadly, they aren’t produced anymore; but here are a few that are left to be picked up. I’d definitely ask you to include one in your list.
50 years after its first inception, the Seiko 5 Sports reissue still bears the 5 moniker; now in a way that’s halfway between an S and 5. It draws heavily from the SKX’s aesthetics and specs and puts them back again with a different philosophy to work. These are more socially acceptable and more robust dive watches than the SKX.
There are 5 distinct sub-collections to choose from: Specialist, Sports, Suits, Street and Sense. Even if you leave the Prospex and the Presage out from the SRPD line, you’ll still have 27 options to choose your 5 from. [Gonzo’s advice: “Stick to all 3 as discussed before.”]. The variations are aesthetic (colorway/finish/strap); common points are the 42mm/13.5mm stainless steel cases, the calibre 4R36 mechanical, automatic movement; 100m of water resistance, a display case back and drilled lugs.
The new Seiko 5 solves another problem with the movement. The previous 7S26 was reliable, but not exactly accurate. This glitch has been levelled up in the new Seiko 5 with the modern Seiko automatic calibre 4R36 (same as NH38) and these things hikes the prices bit higher than ordinary 5s. You can hack the seconds for a more accurate time-setting, wind it manually, leave it on your desk for 40-hours without wearing and enjoy a better accuracy (+15 to +20 seconds/day) as opposed to the previous +35 to -45 seconds over 24 hours.
Which one would I go for? The Suits Style Automatic; for sure! If I want another Pepsi bezel, I’d go for
II. Seiko SRPD Prospex:There’s not much to compare between the SRPD Prospex with other Prospex mechanical automatic divers. The SRPD Prospex line has been designed to be more appealing to the new generation of tool-watch wearers. They are sleeker and stronger; mostly with the most essential functions you’ll need on land and in sea. They offer a clear vision and target the demographic that is somewhat affluent; with good taste and an outgoing bent of mind. The simple formula Seiko followed is they picked up some of their previous achievements and added to them the qualities of the Prospex. For this, they had to alter the original designs, though not very extensively.
The SRPD Prospex, while it brings back a better version of the Monster on one hand; on the other, it pulls in the Turtle (w/ Special Edition), the Alpinist , Field Compass and Samurai into
the circle; all given the Pro-specs. The actual watches they represent are likely familiar to you; they are, almost to everybody. These new SRPD Prospex watches carry enough wrist-drama; more than you could possibly want. They offer a pleasant mix of modern style with flashes of luxe.
Oh, you asked about my preferences; I just recall.
I’d pick two from this line-up – the Seiko Prospex Blue Whale Wave Pattern Turtle and the Alpinist Field Compass. Don’t ask me “Why?” – I just like them more than the rest. At the most, I can tell you what I truly feel about it.
The Alpinist – its tech specs aside – is likeable for its versatility. You can land straight from the mountaintop amidst a fine dining invitation (figuratively) without having to stop in between. Okay, you do not need to go that extreme; from polo to the pub night is a more plausible option.
It’s lovable for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a surprisingly monochromatic look; a softer, subtler take on traditional aesthetics. The Alpinist is paired with a black leather strap with white stitching and features classic cathedral-hands which work very well with the Alpinist. It is one of the more ornate matches to your cargos and steel toes and brings the dressier vibes to your urban casuals.
The other one, I guess, has established itself at that point in timeline where tradition meets affordability. It’s unique; being a reincarnation and still be an original isn’t an easy task! It’s smart, informal and would perfectly suit my business casuals; whether I prefer to count my profits inside the bar at the skywalk or at the beaches of Miami! Tech specs of this watch are strewn all over the internet, so let’s not chew the cud any further. It’s a timepiece I’ve heard from its owners that refuses to compromise.
III. SRPD Presage: I’m very particular about Presages if I’m to buy one. To match my peaks of expectations, I’d choose the Limited Editionamong the SRPD collection; I’m in love with its curves and edges! It will be for the time I’d like something similar to a Presage Automatic Power Reserve Limited Edition, only not as much. That’s to say, for workplace. I’d reserve the Power Reserve L.E. for festivities, ceremonies and celebrations within close circles.
Its 4R35 movement is commonly found within the Prospex, which is a proof of this Presage to be a sturdy piece, irrespective of its looks. I like to wear my watches and for thgreater part of its life inside a locker. I guess I can trust this one on that aspect. On the other hand, as you speak about these watches retaining their values; well; let us not forget the Seiko Monster too, was considered to be somewhat left-field amidst all Seiko dive watches of that time. It was certainly wasn’t a commonly recommended diver. The Turtle was a more acceptable diver due to its construction, making it a serious tool watch. The Monster’s love/hate hunk-of-steel appeal since then has been on an upward curve; the original Monster’s modular, bare-tooth appeal is now largely missed. The reissued Prospex Monster retains that hulk without its skin-clad wildness. Don’t expect to get rich by selling this one off; buy it if you want to keep it. If by value you mean getting every penny out of the dollars you spent, you’ll require a very long time before you draw the last penny out. Same goes for the Seiko 5 SRPD but things are bit different for the Presage. While it has the potential to reimburse you with most of the money that you spent after it, not too many people will be interested, simply because they won’t have an idea about what Presage is. It is not a household name like Rolex or Omega. 40 years down the line, there will be many takers. Watch out till then!
What are your thoughts, folks? We’d love to hear you out in the comments. State which one from the above Seiko SRPD watches you’d like to go for the most and also, why?Shop Now