Seiko SKX007 Review
The SKX007 is one of the most iconic divers now on the market. The SKX007 is generally the first watch budding collectors purchase after making the leap to mechanicals, but it’s also prized by experienced enthusiasts for its robust build and good looks, ISO-rated case, and heroic nighttime. It has a street price of around $150– depending on the vendor and availability–so it makes for a superb sound beater that you just don’t need to worry about. But price aside, it’s simply a truly well-made watch that’s equal parts versatile and identical parts utilitarian, all from one of the most respected businesses in the world.
First produced in 1996, the SKX007 is one of several modern divers from Seiko powered by the brand’s 7s26 movement that is automatic. Other variations feature the same case paired with different dial layouts and colours, some of which were conceived for specific international markets. There are even variations based on where the watch was produced, and some collectors prize the “made above all others in Japan” variants. To become acquainted with all the available variants, check out this post that is very educational.
I feel confident simply saying, “Go buy one.” and could actually end the review here It’s a no-brainer. But this is worn&wound, after all, and it wouldn’t be a review without us geeking out over some of the watch’s finer points. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it all.
Let’s get the specs out of the way. The SKX007 case comes in at approximately 42.5mm wide, and 45.5mm. The lug width 22mm -to-lug span is a quite fair and adapting 46mm, so it should wear on an extensive variety of wrists. It is a little thick watch at 13.25mm, a relatively common trait with Seiko divers. The watch wears quite well and doesn’t sit high off the wrist. The ISO-rated case boasts an impressive 200m of water resistance.
The movement of the SKX007 is wholly unique to Seiko and represents a natural progression of the layout going back several versions.
The complete design of the case is fairly soft; there are transitions and no hard lines between sections or finishes. The sides of the case with the tops of the lugs featuring a fine -brushed finish. There’s a slight bevel where the case meets the bezel, and it extends all the way down to the lugs. The large crown is positioned at 4 o’clock, and it’s flanked by a set of notable peak guards superbly integrated into the flow of the case. As a result of height of the crown guards it can be very difficult to use, although the unsigned crown is rather large and features coin edging. Sitting atop of the case is a chambered crystal made from Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex stuff, though it’s more scratch prone than sapphire, a sort of tempered mineral crystal that offers greater resistance against shattering.
The 120-click bezel is incredibly well made. It features a two-tiered groove pattern that allows for a sure hold, and the bezel is truly impeccable. At this price point you usually get some wobble or less than stellar activity. It’s smooth, with positive clicks and without any significant play. It feels like the bezel of a substantially more expensive watch. The insert is black aluminum with silver markers for each minute. The lume pip, centered at 60, is shielded.
Flipping the watch about, you’ll see the screw down case that is solid back with Seiko’s stamped Tsunami medallion. The technical specs are etched along the perimeter of the case back.
Dial and Hands
The no frills dial is utilitarian designed, though not without some of Seiko’s trademark charm. It features a matte black base with rounded white hour markers. The first is the beveled day/date window at 3 o’clock, and the second is the inverted triangle at the 12 o’clock spot. The markers are large and legible, necessities on any professional dive watch.
I don’t find the markers overly bothersome here, although I’m usually the first to whine about white date wheels against black dials. While I would still favor a fitting date wheel and may mod my bit in the future (more on “modding” after), I find the white aperture, elongated to adapt both complications, does a superb job at fitting the longer mark at 9 o’clock, thus retaining a sense of symmetry on the dial. The brand insignia is placed in the traditional place below the 12 o’clock marker, with the word “AUTOMATIC” right below “SEIKO.” Above the 6 o’clock position is the depth evaluation, and it reads “DIVER’S 200m” with a nice splash of colour in red on the dial. The face of the watch is stretched a great deal by the sloping chapter ring, also black but with silver hash marks signifying the minutes/seconds.
The hours and minutes hands are your usual trademark Seiko style and pull from the brand’s tradition. The hours hand is sword shaped and the minutes hand is a stylized arrow with a broad foundation; both are needle tipped. They’re also generously full of lustrous material and trimmed in chrome, the latter of which offers a look that is warmer than what one would get from stainless steel. The seconds hand is a departure for Seiko, in that it’s a significantly long counterbalance with a lumed lollipop end bordered in black trimming (Seiko divers traditionally featured lumed circles or segments on the front end of the seconds hand). I like this unique attribute, not because it offers any type of utility that is real, but just because it’s trendy to see a “floating” disk move across the dial. The rest of the seconds hand is painted white.
Speaking of lume, the SKX007 features Seiko’s patented LumiBrite remedy, known for its impeccable night luminescence. Markers and that hands are nicely packed with the items, and it lasts well into the night on a complete charge.
Seiko’s 7s26 movement is a prized workhorse constructed around 4 primary moving parts, making it one of the most straightforward automatic systems. It features a quickset day/date display, automatic bi-directional winding (via Seiko’s patented Magic Lever system), 21 jewels, a beat speed of 21,600 bph, and it is non-handwinding and non-hacking. Overall, there’s not much to say about this movement other than that it’s inexpensive and dependable. When it comes to correctness however, the range is rather big, rated at approximately -20 to 40 seconds per day. The movement can be adjusted to attain greater accuracy, however, and they sometimes come comparatively accurate right out of the carton (my unique piece runs about 4 seconds quick a day).
Straps and Wearability
As already mentioned, the SKX007 is an incredibly versatile watch. It can be bought on a number of different straps, including a rubber two-piece, a stainless steel oyster bracelet, and a stainless steel jubilee bracelet. I’m not the biggest fan of the alloy bracelets Seiko uses with their affordable timepieces, so I opted for the rubber choice. Though it is a little stiff, it wears comfortably enough. Being a dive watch, the SKX007 would look on a nylon military slip -through strap, an excellent alternative for the summer.
For those interested in a wristband, I would recommend the jubilee group from STRAPCODE. It’s a comparatively affordable option at about $63, and it looks great. I particularly adore the way the vintage styling of the bracelet dresses the watch up a little. It’s heavy and strong, and it features solid end links. My only complaint is that the end links aren’t an exact match to the instance, but it’s something that’s only noticeable under extreme scrutiny.
You might not take note of modding if you’re new to assembling watches. You can read our take on it here, but it’s basically what it sounds like. Built around specific watches and movements, one of the most notable being the SKX007, is a little community of brands furnishing aftermarket parts that can be used to change the general look of the watch. It is often quite fun as the mixes truly are endless when you really get into. For a supplier of aftermarket parts, visit with our buddies over at Dagaz Watches.
Thanks for reading our Seiko SKX007 Review. If you’re making the leap from quartz to mechanicals and aren’t looking to break the bank there are very few watches I ‘d recommend before the SKX007. Even if you’re simply buying well-rounded diver to take on your own next vacation, there actually is no better choice. It’s versatile and robust, and with a couple additional straps you’ll have a watch you can match to nearly every occasion. And remember, you can mod the watch to just about any configuration imaginable, so it can be for creating the watch you truly desire a solid base.
If you’re interested in my Nixon Watch Review, I talk about some of my favorite Nixon Watches!