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The 10 best Seiko watches for men of 2020

Posted on August 26 2020

The 10 best Seiko watches for men of 2020

 

Why Seiko?

 

Seiko, as a brand, needs no introduction. It’s become a household name brand for affordable, reliable watches. Even before I became watch enthusiast I’ve already heard of Seiko, and having never owned one till this year, I always knew that they were the go-to brand if you’re looking for an affordable and reliable timepiece. 

What Seiko is to the affordable watch market is, dare I say, what Rolex is to the luxury watch market--it’s the Mercedes Benz syndrome, I guess. Looking for a posh luxury car? Get a Benz. An expensive luxury watch? Rolex. An affordable watch that will last you forever? Seiko.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, not even remotely. A reputation like this isn’t something that is built overnight, it’s earned through years of producing fantastic, reliable timepieces that offer incredible value for your money. But with all that said, there’s more to Seiko than just affordable timepieces.

 

 

The more seasoned enthusiasts among you may know that Seiko holdings corporation not only holds the Seiko brand that we’re familiar with but also hold brands that can stand toe to toe against the best Swiss luxury watches such as the Grand Seiko and Credor. Which all opinions aside, are some of the finest luxury watches available in the market today. And I’m not talking about watches that cost several hundred or thousands, the prices of some of these higher-end pieces from GS and Credor could easily settle the down-payment of a really posh car.

 

 

I believe the more accurate term for Seiko wouldn’t be the brand to turn to for an affordable watch, but rather, the brand that offers the best-valued watch. Whether they’re in the price bracket of a few hundred dollars or several thousand, Seiko’s watches offer high-quality fit, finish and thought that far exceeds the price that you paid for. And that is what we’re here for, whether you’re looking for an entry-level piece or a true high-end timepiece, what are the best Seiko watches you can get today?

 

SEIKO PROSPEX SPB147J1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-prospex/products/seiko-prospex-spb147j1-mens-watch

 

For those who were looking for a faithful re-issue of the legendary 62MAS diver but were not fortunate enough to get the truly lovely SLA017, fret not as the SPB147J1 is here to scratch that itch at only a fraction of the cost. Design-wise, the SPB147J1 is a properly accurate representation (it is a re-issue after all) of the original Seiko diver, even down to the size at 40.5mm, bringing it much closer to the SLA017 and its dear old dad, the 62MAS.

The one we’re looking at today, the SPB147J1, Is probably my favourite looking out of the quartet that was released, probably because it’s the only one on a rubber strap--I’m not the biggest fan of bracelet watches, but I digress. The watch features a not-so-common sunburst brown dial with golden gilt markers, giving it a lovely vintage touch that complements the overall classic design of the timepiece without looking overly pretentious.

The sunburst brown dial is a rather fetching looking feature on an otherwise sturdy professional dive watch, giving it a very unique almost split personality, like Jekyll and Hyde I would say. With its gold gilts and sunburst brown dial matched with a compact 40.5mm case, I’d say you can get away with wearing this with a suit, and yet strapped on a diving suit with scuba gear, it can easily survive the crushing depths of the waves without breaking a sweat.

Powering the watch is an equally robust and higher-end 6r35 offering a date complication, 3Hz frequency and a massive 70 hours of power reserve. So, it not only looks good, it performs like a beast as well. All in all, this is probably my favourite dive watch release from the Prospex line this year (aside from the LX but that’s in a completely different price bracket), I always loved the design of the re-issue 62MAS pieces, and now with the SPB147J1, thanks to its lovely gilts and sunburst dial, makes for a properly intriguing and visually gorgeous dive watch to have.

 

Key Features

  • A vintage, sporty yet luxurious design at a relatively affordable price
  • High performance 6r35 caliber and higher level of finishing 
  • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
  • Materials - Stainless steel 
  • Water Resistance - 200 meters
  • Case Size - 40.5 x 13.2mm

     

    SEIKO PROSPEX SPB121J1 MEN'S WATCH

    https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-prospex/products/seiko-prospex-spb121j1-mens-watch

     

    The original Seiko Alpinist is a watch that ticks a lot of boxes for a vast majority of the watch-wearing public. It’s readily available, reliable, robust, attractive and affordable. It’s the perfect fit, and one could even call it the Goldilocks of watches. This, of course, made it hugely popular in its hay day. There were 3 released then, but one that stood out in particular, the SARB017 with its sunburst green dial and gold markers.

    But the range has gone out of production, driving resale prices sky high, and once the stocks on the second-hand market dry out, they’re gone forever. And it wasn’t until recently, when Seiko announced a reissue of the Alpinist with 3 new models that sits very nicely in the Prospex line do we finally have a modern-day Alpinist.  What Seiko has done essentially, is taken everything that made the Alpinist great and made them better. The old Alpinist was powered by the Caliber 6R15, the new one is powered by the 6R35, giving it a whopping 70 hours of power reserve. The sapphire crystal has been given a cyclops lens (controversial to some, I know) and an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. On top of that, there is an exhibition caseback for you to enjoy the 6R35 caliber in greater detail. However, not much has changed visually on the new Alpinist SPB121J1, aside from the Seiko Prospex “X” branding on the dial.

     

     

    It’s a small touch that shows everyone that this watch is more than just a pretty face, it means serious business. The watch hailed from a line originally intended for Japanese mountaineers back in 1961-1964 and was known as the Laurel Alpinist. It wasn’t until 2006 that Seiko unveiled the horological phenomenon which is the Alpinist, we all know and love today. And now they’re back once again, and the wait was certainly worth it.

    The Alpinist was a watch that struck a chord with the watch community, even under the shadow of the divers like the Sumo, Turtle, Monster and Tuna, and for good reason. It’s a serious tool watch, with 200m of water resistance, bright luminescence on the hands and 12 markers, as well as an internal rotating bezel which functions as a compass.

    Yet with all of these features, the watch, thanks to its perfect size and proportions, is incredibly versatile. It can be worn under a windbreaker while hiking, to a gala dinner with a suit, or even just as an everyday beater and it would still sit comfortably at home on your wrist. And that, in my opinion probably makes it the best watch on the list, an uncompromised go anywhere do everything watch with the performance and visual appeal to match.

     

    Key Features

    • A versatile and highly luxurious design at a relatively affordable price
    • High performance 6r35 caliber and higher level of finishing 
    • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
    • Materials - Stainless steel 
    • Water Resistance - 200 meters
    • Case Size - 39 x 13.2mm

       

      SEIKO PROSPEX SPB083J1 MEN'S WATCH

      https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-prospex/products/seiko-prospex-spb083j1-mens-watch

       

      Following the properly brilliant SPB147J1, we’re looking at another powerhouse diver from the Prospex range. This special edition release (albeit not limited or numbered) comes in the form of the Seiko Prospex SPB083J1 or what some may call, the Great Blue Hole-MM200 (Seiko Marinemaster 200m). First impressions of this watch, as with most of Seiko’s offerings these days, is great.

      Right after strapping this watch on, the first thing you’ll notice is the unique dial. The stunning sunburst blue has a multi-directional gradient to it, catching and reflecting the light at different angles. Speaking of the dial, it’s also notably inspired by the Seiko 6159-7001 and the Seiko Marinemaster MM300 SBDX017.

      The round markers and the distinctive indices at 12 o’clock are markedly lifted from its predecessors. The case and lugs design are close to its predecessors and would have easily sealed the deal on why it would be called the MM200 in reference to the MM300 of its ancestors.

      The overall case diameter of the SPB083J1 sits at a relatively large 44mm with a 20mm lug width, giving it quite an imposing presence on the wrist . It’s protected by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and its case is treated with Seiko’s Diashield coating, ensuring improved scratch and corrosion resistance. Right out the box, the SPB083J1 comes with 2 straps, a stainless-steel bracelet and a silicone dive strap. The stainless-steel strap comes with a dive extension for easier fitting over a wetsuit as well as a very secure fold-over safety clasp.

      Power comes from Seiko’s trusty Caliber 6R15 automatic, a step up from the 4R Caliber, and as expected, the movement comes with hacking, hand winding and a modestly beefy 50 hours of power reserve and a respectable 21,600 VPH (3HZ) frequency. All in all, if you’re looking for a true diver that gives you a bit more to look at (thanks to that gorgeous sunburst blue dial that you don’t see on most tool watches), then the SPB083J1 is certainly for you.

       

      Key Features

      • A vintage, sporty yet luxurious design at a relatively affordable price
      • High performance 6r15 caliber and higher level of finishing 
      • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
      • Materials - Stainless steel 
      • Water Resistance - 200 meters
      • Case Size - 44 x 12.7mm

         

        SEIKO PRESAGE URUSHI BYAKUDAN LIMITED EDITION SPB085J1 MEN'S WATCH

        https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-presage-urushi-byakudan-limited-edition-spb085j1-mens-watch

         

        The dress watch is a staple in every man’s wardrobe and is the most quintessential timepiece a man can ever own. Traditionally simple, it tells nothing but the time, not even the seconds, but if you’re the sort who has looked at a dress watch and wondered; is that all? Then fret not because the Seiko Presage Urushi Byakudan is the perfect answer to your burning question.

        Traditionally, a dress watch would only have 2 hands, and 12 markers, telling only the time and not even the seconds. The SPB085J1 then, would be the complete antithesis of a traditional dress watch. With more hands than a monkey, the SPB085J1 might come off as a visual mess when compared to the sober 2 handed dress watch. But it is executed beautifully and legibly (as you would expect from a high-end Seiko) and it offers a wonderfully unique wearing experience for a dress watch.  

        It’s a properly functional and legible timepiece with contrasting markers and dials, but functionality isn’t what we’re here for, at least for most of us. As the name suggests, this watch has an enamel lacquered dial and not just any old form of lacquering, but the most complex. The dial is subjected to 2 forms of lacquering, first, the Urushi technique is applied, using a jet-black lacquer that is directly painted on the metal base of the dial. The subdials are then sprinkled with a fine metallic powder and are subsequently repainted with a red-tinged semi-transparent Urushi lacquer again.

        The process is repeated until the required effect (a deep red tone) is accomplished. As for the Byakudan-Nuri technique, the crescent power reserve indicator is first coated with a layer of Urushi lacquer which acts as an adhesive to the fine gilt-coloured powder that is then sprinkled and dispersed over the crescent. The surface is then perfected by the master craftsman and the result is nothing short of stunning.

        Each dial alone is the result of painstaking efforts over a number of weeks because of the immense complexity and artistic skillset required for the completion of such a dial. Meant to reflect the colours of the sky and the moon just before dawn, the SPB085J1 is a wonderful example of the passion and technical skill in the art of Japanese watchmaking.

        Key Features

        • An elegant and luxurious design at a very affordable price
        • One of the most affordable enamel dial timepieces in the market 
        • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
        • Materials - Stainless steel 
        • Water Resistance - 100 meters
        • Case Size - 40.5 x 12.8mm

           

          SEIKO PRESAGE AUTOMATIC SRP468J1 STAINLESS STEEL MEN'S TWO-TONE WATCH

          https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-presage-automatic-srp468j1-mens-watch

           

          While all the offerings that we’ve seen so far have either been subtle, classic dress watches (albeit some with a bit of a flamboyant flair), or bold professional tool watches. We haven’t really touched on something a bit more casual, and perhaps more suited for daily wear. Enter the SRP468J1, Seiko’s answer to our calls for a classic Japanese made sports watch. Now, Seiko does make proper sports watches, their Prospex and Seiko 5 range can attest to that.

          But this SRP468J1 is a very different type of sports watch, coming in a relatively slim polished and brushed stainless steel case, that is ‘only’ 43mm in diameter and with an integrated bracelet design, it harks back to the angular and unconventional sports watches from the 1970s that saved the mechanical watches from the quartz crisis. Before you roll your eyes thinking: “Oh, this is just another Royal Oak clone or a Nautilus copy”, it’s not.

          The SRP468J1 still has all the design characteristics that distinctly makes it a Seiko, the textured, cream white dial, sharp and polished applied indexes and a simple but perfectly executed finish. Melded with the defining features of a 1970s sports watch, namely the sharp angles and the integrated bracelet. And what we’ve ended up with is a stunning daily wearer with classic Japanese design proportions and practicality with the radical and unconventional Genta-esque aesthetic. And if that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, perhaps the inclusion of an in-house caliber assembled in Japan will be enough to sweeten this already sweet deal for you. 

           

          Key Features

          • A classic, sporty yet luxurious design at a very affordable price
          • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
          • Materials - Stainless steel 
          • Water Resistance - 100 meters
          • Case Size - 43 x 12mm

             

            SEIKO PRESAGE SSA413J1 MEN'S WATCH

            https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-presage-ssa413j1-mens-watch

             

            Coming in at a dainty 38mm in diameter, the SSA413J1 Zen garden is certainly the smallest watch on the list today but it is one of the most gorgeous too. To start, let’s get the name out of the way, for those who are not familiar with what a Zen garden is, it is a creation of miniaturized stylized landscapes made with rocks, water features, moss and uses raked gravel or sand to symbolize ripples in water.

            Often referred to as a place that gives you a peaceful state of mind, it should come as no surprise that the SSA413J1 comes with a timelessly elegant, uncluttered and clean design. The first thing that you’ll notice will be the circular graining on the dial, that is done in resemblance to the aforementioned raked sand that replicates water ripples in a Zen garden.

            The watch carries with it all the attention to detail that Seiko is so well known for and it executes this concept effortlessly and beautifully. The applied and polished indexes and hands, like landscapes on the rippling sand, and the show-cased beating escapement at 9 O’clock, add much more visual weight to this otherwise beautifully finished dial.

            The watch is powered by Seiko’s 4r38, so there should be no questions about its reliability and performance too, with a frequency of 3Hz, 41 hours of power reserve and hacking and hand winding. What you’re getting with the SSA413J1 is the elegant and refined execution of traditional Japanese watchmaking with modern-day reliability, and that makes it one of the nicest dress watches that you can own today.

             

            Key Features

            • An elegant and luxurious design at a very affordable price
            • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
            • Materials - Stainless steel 
            • Water Resistance - 100 meters
            • Case Size - 42.5 x 13.4mm

               

               

              SEIKO 5 SPORTS SRPE71K1 MEN'S WATCH

              https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-5/products/seiko-5-sports-srpe71k1-mens-watch

               

              One of the newer, and more interesting looking designs in the new 5kx line-up, the SRPE71K1 is a rather intriguing piece to look at. It shares the exact case dimensions and base design as the SRPD lined Seiko 5, but with a major difference. It’s finished in metal completely, right down to the silvered bezel and dial, giving the watch a completely different personality altogether.

              The bezel is probably the most striking thing about this watch’s design, finished in an identical colour as the rest of the watch, with a bead-blasted finish paired with relief numerals and indexes. Speaking of which, I do find the font choice used to be rather interesting, in an almost gothic style, which gives the sober-looking watch an almost edgy appeal.

              The dial is finished in a clean opaline sunburst silver too completing the monochromatic style of the watch, and I have to say it is executed very nicely. The watch is of course powered by Seiko’s 4r36 so already points can be added for reliability and ease of use too. Pair that with a unique industrial dive style design and you’ve got yourself one of the most unique timepieces in the market now without having to break the bank.

               

              Key Features

              • A unique sporty design at a very affordable price
              • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
              • Materials - Stainless steel 
              • Water Resistance - 100 meters
              • Case Size - 42.5 x 13.4mm

                 

                SEIKO 5 SPORTS SRPE57K1 MEN'S WATCH

                https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-5/products/seiko-5-sports-srpe57k1-mens-watch

                 

                The 2019 Seiko 5 sports (known more fondly as the 5kx) line has been rather polarizing, to say the least. But then again coming in as the modern replacement for the coveted and unfortunately discontinued affordable mechanical dive watch that is the SKX is a tough act to follow. It gives us things that enthusiasts want such as an updated modern movement with hacking and hand winding (which the SKX didn’t have) while doing away with the features that made the SKX so loved in the first place.

                An ISO rated case and threaded crown that a true diver should have, the new 5kx isn’t so much a dive watch as it is a dive-style watch. And that is enough to divide enthusiasts in their opinions and feelings towards this timepiece. But all animosity aside, the new 5kx release with a fixed smooth steel bezel and smaller 40mm case might just be the best Seiko 5 release this year. With a 100m water resistance and no timing bezel, it is now a proper sports watch (not a dive or sports style watch) in its own right.

                The design will instantly remind you of the Tudor black bay 36 and the Rolex explorer (or even the Omega Railmaster too) and to be honest, that’s not really such a bad thing. The one we’re looking at today, the SRPE57K1 is as classically correct in its design as a sports watch should be. It features a stainless steel case and bracelet, comfortable 40mm case, bold hands and markers (that are of course coated generously in lume) oh and some nice gold gilt too.

                If you can’t already tell, I love golden gilts on sports watches, I think it gives them so much more personality, adding a refined elegant vintage touch to an otherwise serious no-nonsense tool watch. But the steel bezel 5kx is still a lot of fun to have on the wrist. Powered by the tried and tested 4r36 caliber offering a useful day-date complication, 3Hz frequency and a modest 41 hours of power reserve, it unsurprisingly ticks a lot of boxes for what enthusiasts are looking for in a modern sports watch. All in all, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly vintage styled sports watch but aren’t looking to sink that much money into an Explorer yet, the SRPE57K1 is going to be the best place to put your money at.

                 

                Key Features

                • A vintage sporty design at a very affordable price
                • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
                • Materials - Stainless steel 
                • Water Resistance - 100 meters
                • Case Size - 40 x 11.5mm

                   

                  SEIKO 5 SPORTS SRPD65K3 MEN'S WATCH

                  https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-5/products/seiko-5-sports-srpd65k3-mens-watch

                   

                  The SRPD65K3 is part of the Specialist line, though I genuinely don’t have the slightest understanding or clue behind the name of this category. If I were to picture a ‘specialist styled’ watch, it’d be a proper purpose-built tool watch, not a polished, smart-looking diver on a rubber strap with a crocodile printed calfskin lined on top of it.

                  The confusing title aside, the design elements certainly make the watch look a lot smarter, yet all the more versatile as well. I can see this easily paired with your best suit or with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I personally own a model from the Specialist line, the gorgeous and unfortunately sold-out rose gold SRPD76K1 and it’s one of my favourites in my collection, albeit as of writing this, I really should give that watch more wrist-time. Power comes from the 4r36 as you would expect and if you’re looking for a tidy and polished dive watch to wear for all occasions, then this timepiece will be one to rely on.

                   

                  Key Features

                  • A sporty yet luxurious design at a very affordable price
                  • Movement Type - Japanese automatic
                  • Materials - Stainless steel 
                  • Water Resistance - 100 meters
                  • Case Size - 42.5 x 13.4mm

                     

                    SEIKO SPC253P1 MEN'S WATCH

                    https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-spc253p1-mens-watch

                     

                    When we think of chronographs, we generally think of bold, sporty watches and for the most part that’s true, but dress chronographs do exist and I don’t think they receive as much love and attention as they should from the community. Now imagine this: a Seiko with the reliability and craftsmanship that you’d come to expect from this Japanese powerhouse that also has an in-house movement, perpetual calendar chronograph and alarm cased in a polished 40.4mm stainless steel case that costs under $500.

                    Sounds too good to be true? It’s not but there’s a catch--it’s a quartz. Now I know some of you may be dismayed by this but the truth is, unless you’re willing to shell out a mortgage, you’re not going to have a mechanical perpetual calendar with a chronograph, that’s a fact. Now back to the SPC253P1 and boy what a watch it is, its design is heavily influenced by vintage European styling, with Breguet numerals adorning the stark white dial and an exaggerated seconds hand which runs the full length of the dial and ending with a lovely crescent counterweight.

                    Despite having such a vast array of complications, the dial isn’t overly cluttered and information can be viewed with the push of a button. By now, we’re all familiar with how a chronograph works, but push the reset button on the SPC253P1 without activating the chronograph and you will ‘summon’ its calendar function, displaying the date, day and month. It’s a technical marvel, and all this, crammed within a slim 40mm case makes the SPC253P1 one of the most impressive dress watches you can own.

                     

                    Key Features

                    • An elegant luxurious design at a very affordable price
                    • Highly precise three-dial chronograph, on demand perpetual calendar and alarm display offers fantastic technical prowess
                    • Movement Type - Japanese quartz/kinetic
                    • Materials - Stainless steel 
                    • Water Resistance - 50 meters
                    • Case Size - 40.4 x 11.5mm

                     

                    The right watch for you.

                     

                    So here they are, the ten best Seiko watches that money can buy today. Whether it’s a sharp elegant piece you’re looking to wear with a suit with a pair of monk straps or a professional tool to don against your wetsuit and dive computer, Seiko certainly has watches suited for everyone. With the quality of the fit and finish that they offer countered with their prices, it’s small wonder that they’ve earned such a reputation of making watches that are great value for money, and you’ll certainly find the right watch for you here.