Regardless that searching the window of my workplace right this moment in France the climate isn’t essentially the most partaking, plainly summer season is across the nook. Good climate, good vibes, good occasions, and the second once we are inclined to spend extra time exterior than inside. For that cause, watch lovers additionally are inclined to have the idea of a summer season watch in thoughts. A timepiece that may observe them throughout their summer season adventures and may principally do-it-all. Earlier right this moment, Seiko launched the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT, a brand new vary that we’ve already launched on this article. And after I had the SSK001K1, SSK003K1 and SSK005K1 in my fingers, it instantly made me assume: might this be the very best summer season watch you may get now? Reply to come back!
Summer time… A time for outside actions. Overlook your cup of tea and your blanket in entrance of the hearth. It’s time to exit. Benefit from the solar, burn some vitality… Briefly, benefit from the good life. Summer time means many issues. It’s the time for holidays, that many people will spend on the seaside or within the mountains. It’s the time of the 12 months if you hearth up the barbecue, be part of outside events with mates, bounce within the pool or within the sea, put on your favorite linen shirt and swimsuit… It’s the second once we’re out gardening or just having fun with a superb e book within the backyard. And since many individuals journey for his or her holidays, they’ll in all probability cross a couple of time zones too.
So, what does that imply by way of watch wants? With the above record in thoughts, a typical summer season watch is a mixture of water-resistance, robustness, possibly a traveller’s operate and clearly, a trendy design that may be vibrant, enjoyable and sporty. An informal-looking watch, with a snug WR score, a well-protected case, probably a GMT operate, ideally a metal bracelet (a rubber strap can be an choice) and, to high all of it, a worth that ought to be respectable sufficient so that you don’t fear an excessive amount of if you find yourself scratching your watch (or worse, find yourself shedding it…)
Our resident diver and watch tester Derek Haager is aware of all about dive watches… However he’s additionally a reasonably skilled diver, and his wants are completely different from the typical Joe occurring seaside holidays.
The straightforward resolution to the “summer season watch problem” is commonly to make use of a dive watch. In case you’re lucky sufficient, you may even discover GMT-equipped dive watches, such because the Tudor Black Bay GMT or the Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black. Nonetheless, I’m unsure taking a 5K (or extra) euros watch on a mountaineering journey or for a fishing afternoon on a pace boat looks as if the best choice. In the identical vein, a basic 300m dive watch appears nearly overdone for a seaside trip. Even in case you plan a leisure dive, the deepest you’ll go will in all probability be 20/30 metres under the floor.
After which we obtained these new Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT watches on the workplace… And it shortly grew to become clear that the Japanese model had a winner right here. However not solely as a result of these watches look good, are nicely priced and are totally geared up, but in addition as a result of they really reply all of the wants we’ve listed above. Greatest summer season watch in the marketplace? Effectively, at the very least, we have now very severe contenders with these SSK001K1, SSK003K1 and SSK005K1.
The fundamentals concerning the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT
The Seiko 5 vary was launched in 1963 because the model’s accessible assortment full of attention-grabbing options. The 5 within the title refers back to the 5 pillars of the gathering, which means 1) day/date complication inside a single window; 2) in-house automated motion; 3) water-resistance for all fashions (minimal 30m, most of them with 100m); 4) strong metal case; 5) recessed crown at 4 o’clock. Within the 55 years that the Seiko 5 has been in manufacturing, all kinds of actions have been used. What all of them have in frequent, nonetheless, is reliability, minimal upkeep and affordability. Take as an illustration the military-inspired SNK809 and also you’ll have an ideal instance of final worth for the cash…
The sphere-inspired Seiko 5 SNK809 is likely one of the greatest examples of what the gathering was all about for years…
The Seiko 5 assortment was fully revamped in 2019 with the launch of the Seiko 5 Sports activities Assortment. And taking a look at these preliminary watches, there’s one other watch that must be talked about, the legendary SKX007, the accessible dive watch personified. An awesome, cheap but high-performance look ahead to leisure diving, the SKX007 has been successful for the model, but it was discontinued in mid-2019, principally as a result of Seiko wished to cease the manufacturing of the 7S collection of motion, to get replaced by the 4R collection.
The SKX007, the definitive accessible dive watch…
But, with the SKX007 (and its siblings) being a number of the most acclaimed and revered fashions of the Japanese model, Seiko determined to present it (form of) a successor, within the title of the Seiko 5 Sports activities Assortment. This new assortment may be seen because the implementation of the SKX design into the Seiko 5 idea. Whereas not sharing the identical diving capacities because the SKX, the revamped Seiko 5 Sports activities assortment was clearly sharing the identical general sporty design – the case, bezel and dial all look extremely acquainted. The idea was there, even when barely altered. An accessible, comparatively strong, funky sports activities watch with a number of kinds to select from. An automated motion inside, a crown at 4 o’clock, a day/date show, a rotating bezel… And right here you go, a wonderfully positive sports activities watch at a good worth. And among the best choices too in the case of the primary mechanical watch.
Some examples of the present Seiko 5 Sports activities Assortment, as re-launched in 2019.
Over the previous 3 years, the Seiko 5 Sports activities assortment has grown to now provide completely different kinds – with out rotating bezels, in a number of colors, in several dimensions… Even the sector/navy design of the SNK809 was introduced again. However all fashions, till now at the very least, have been powered by the identical automated 4R motion with hours, minutes, seconds and day/date.
Now, in June 2022, Seiko presents the primary main mechanical evolution into the 5 Sports activities assortment, and it’s this new GMT watch. As Robin defined in his introducing article, the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT watches share a number of parts with the basic day/date fashions, and retain the beloved SKX Collection inspiration. As such, they’ve the identical asymmetrical chrome steel case, with a screw-down crown at 4 o’clock and a 42.5mm diameter, a 13.6mm top (which is just 0.1mm greater than the basic day/date fashions) and a compact 46.5mm lug-to-lug measurement. On the wrist, and if the diameter sounds a bit massive, these new Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT SSK001K1, SSK003K1 and SSK005K1 put on with nice consolation, feeling like 40/41mm watches.
The remainder of the watch doesn’t disappoint both. As an illustration, the water-resistance is rated at 100 metres, which appears greater than ample for many of us (perceive non-professional divers). The watch is topped by a basic Hardlex crystal, one thing that signifies that these new fashions are enjoying in an entry-level subject. The identical materials is used for the insert of the rotating 24h bezel. Certainly, the basic Seiko 5 Sports activities watches have a 60-minute scale printed over an aluminium insert however Seiko determined to present the GMT watches a extra qualitative component.
This insert is attention-grabbing for 3 causes. First, Hardlex is kind of resistant and the bezel is likely one of the most uncovered parts of a watch. Second, it seems fairly gorgeous and provides depth to the watch, because the 24h scale is printed on the inside face. Lastly, you’ll discover that the inserts are bicolour – black and gray on the black and orange fashions, black and blue on the blue dial model. And the results of this two-tone insert with the Hardlex floor is fairly cool… From sure angles, it seems nearly fully black. Transfer the watch a bit and the second color turns into way more apparent and nearly has a chrome impact – which is especially true on the blue model. Playful, visually satisfying and denoting a real sense of element. Effectively accomplished Seiko for this, particularly in a sub-500 euro watch.
As for the dial of the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT (and for that matter, most Seiko 5 Sports activities watches), the reference to the SKX Collection continues to be true. Fingers and indexes are nearly similar, and all the weather are generously handled with the model’s high-performance Lumibrite materials. In fact, there are some specificities to this GMT mannequin, akin to the extra 24h hand, the 24h scale printed on the inside flange and the truth that this model has a date-only show, and never a day/date. Plus, there’s a cyclops over the date. Prefer it or not…
The Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT is launched in three flavours: SSK001K1 with black dial, black and gray bezel insert; SSK003K1 with blue dial, black and blue bezel insert; and SSK005K1 with orange dial, black and gray bezel insert. The black dial is matte whereas the 2 colored dials have a sunray-brushed impact, including extra depth to their colors. If the black model is form of a no brainer that may all the time work, I’ve a private choice for the blue version. Extra vigorous, a bit bolder. It’s also possible to go for the orange model if that’s your factor, nevertheless it isn’t mine… Tastes and hues…
One other new component of those Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT is the bracelet, this cool-looking, retro-styled, 5-row Jubilee-inspired metal band that someway remembers what was as soon as discovered on the SKX Collection. However right here once more, there’s an plain bounce in high quality in comparison with the SKX, whether or not visually or on the wrist. It comes geared up with a folding clasp and safe lock. Plus, let’s be clear, it actually does look fairly cool!
Contained in the case, you’ll discover an evolution of the tried-and-tested 4R motion. Now with out day/date, with an extra GMT hand. All the remainder is similar: 3Hz frequency, hacking seconds, hand-wound capability, 41h energy reserve. Its magnetic resistance (4,800 A/m) is a category 2, which implies it will probably stand up to magnetic fields created by on a regular basis devices and residential home equipment inside a proximity of 5 centimetres. The motion is seen underneath a see-through caseback, which I might simply stay with out…
One essential factor to notice relating to the GMT complication. Unline an Omega, a Rolex, a Tudor or a Grand Seiko (or any high-end, true traveller’s watch), the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT isn’t geared up with a neighborhood time leaping operate. The second place of the crown truly adjusts the 24h hour hand independently, very similar to an ETA 2893-2. Not a serious drawback in my view for a watch of this worth, however a slight downside by way of practicality. Entry-level costs usually imply a couple of concessions. However, it would do the job when travelling and crossing borders.
Relating to costs and availability, the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT SSK001K1, SSK003K1 and SSK005K1 are launched as a part of the everlasting assortment (not restricted) and will probably be out there from July 2022. The worth is EUR 470, which appears excessive in comparison with the remainder of the Seiko 5 Sports activities assortment (beginning at EUR 260), however contemplating the extra GMT complication, the brand new rotating bezel with Hardlex insert and the Jubilee bracelet, it truly stays a reasonably (to say the least) priced watch. In any case, it’s a completely in-house-produced watch, from a revered watchmaker, with many, many options and a high quality that’s nearly unbeatable.
Why it’s the very best summer season watch now out there
In a nutshell… this Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT packs all of it. Interval. Thanks, goodbye! Okay, let me go a bit deeper. What you could have here’s a watch that could be a nice definition of a summer season watch, a toolish piece that may do all of it, take all of it, observe you all over the place, look good wherever, and that may by no means actually be misplaced (besides possibly on the workplace…)
As we talked about, summer season is a time for leisure actions and for spending time exterior. What you’re in search of, or at the very least what I’m in search of, is a watch that may observe me all over the place I’m going, whether or not I’m leaping in a pool, gardening, driving a motorcycle, cleansing my barbecue, taking a ship journey or just need to go to a metropolis like a good-old vacationer. I would like my watch to be water resistant to an honest degree, so I don’t have to strap it off earlier than leaping within the water; I would like my watch to be strong sufficient to take a bang or two with out breaking down; and I would like my watch to be comparatively accessible as a result of if ever I lose it, I received’t be too unhappy. I additionally favor to keep away from having an costly luxurious watch on my wrist, as a result of nobody is aware of what can occur (you’ve in all probability learn these tales of Rolex homeowners being mugged…) I don’t need to be in that state of affairs.
And since summer season is the right time for travelling (and sure, we are able to do it once more now that the pandemic appears to be nearly underneath management), I’m very a lot curious about a watch that may point out a second time zone, so I can hold monitor of the time at residence. A GMT operate is a no brainer. A diving bezel could be good, however let’s be actual, who actually makes use of them when swimming anyway. Sure, they’re sensible to cook dinner pasta. Proper… A 24h bezel is extra sensible in actual life.
Lastly, summer season is the time once we is usually a bit bolder with our garments. Shiny colors are far more accepted, and informal apparel is the best way to go; I desire a watch that displays this, with a touch of color, a relaxed look, and a slight sporty model. And on this vein, a metal bracelet is a few form of a should for me, as I don’t actually take pleasure in rubber straps.
With the entire above necessities in thoughts, I can hardly discover a higher reply than the Seiko 5 Sports activities Fashion GMT… It does every little thing completely, with model and high quality, at a superb worth. And never solely do I like to recommend this watch to newcomers (women and men) but in addition to way more skilled watch lovers. It’s not an issue of worth anymore; it’s simply that this Seiko actually does every little thing you’ll ever want. With out mentioning the truth that it has a really versatile case that may look good with principally any sort of strap: NATO, Perlon, two-piece cloth, tropic… The sport is on. These watches are typical strap monsters, imagine me. And if the Jubillee-style bracelet isn’t your factor, you may also use the 3-link Oyster-style of the opposite Seiko 5 watches.
I don’t learn about you, however to be trustworthy, I believe I simply discovered my new good summer season watch. There are a lot of different choices to contemplate, after all. However not many can mix such a degree of coolness, quality-price ratio, and practicality. I’ll allow you to resolve whether or not you agree or not, however my selection is made!
For extra particulars, please go to www.seikowatches.com.