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Top 10 Seiko Chronographs to spice up your wrist game

Posted on August 04 2020

Top 10 Seiko Chronographs to spice up your wrist game
 
Table of contents
  • The right watch for you?
  • SEIKO PROSPEX LIMITED EDITION SSC761J1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO PROSPEX DIVER'S SNJ031P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO PROSPEX SSC739P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO SPC253P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO PROSPEX SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH SSC618P1 MEN'S BLACK RUBBER STRAP WATCH
  • SEIKO SSB369P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO CHRONOGRAPH SNDH45P1 STAINLESS STEEL MEN'S BLACK WATCH
  • SEIKO PROSPEX SSC487P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO SSB301P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • SEIKO SSC223P1 MEN'S WATCH
  • Happy hunting

 

The right watch for you?

 

Chronographs have always been one of the most coveted complications in watchmaking, and even to a bystander who knows nothing of watches, a chronograph watch certainly gives more to look at. However, good chronographs don’t tend to come cheap, especially if you’re looking at mechanical ones, but for those of us who don’t have the budget to drop a year’s worth of college fees on a watch but are still looking to get a good chronograph, fret not for there is a solution; Seiko. Seiko as a brand needs no introduction, but for the sake of those who are not in the know, here’s a quick recap. Seiko has brought the world of watchmaking many contributions, despite it nearly decimating the entire Swiss watchmaking industry with their revolutionary quartz-powered Astron in the 1970s. Seiko has always been forward-thinking, creating fine timepieces for the masses that cater to an array of tastes. Whether you’re looking for something dressy or something sporty, their Presage and Prospex lines always have something to offer.

 

 

When it comes to high-end luxury timepieces, the Grand Seiko and Credor lines have proven that they can go toe-to-toe with the best that Switzerland has to offer with their exquisite complications and finishes as well. It’s a pay-to-play game when you’re getting into Seiko, with prices for some of their most affordable watches starting in the low hundreds that make up for the bulk of most collections, and their most expensive rivaling sports cars. 

 

 

And that brings us to our topic of the day: What’s the right Seiko watch for you? Maybe you’re looking to get into Seiko, add another to your already impressive collection, or just find a piece with a little more panache. Because we’re here to look at some of the finest and most complicated offerings that Seiko has to give, which brings us back to our topic for the day. First off, what is a chronograph? And how does it work? Well, a chronograph is, in layman’s term a stopwatch. It allows you to record elapsed time over a period with the push of a button and can be started, stopped and reset intuitively with the 2 pushers on the case of the watch. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, that brings us to our next issue, how do I know which chronograph is the right one for me? Well that’s what we’re going to find out today, with our 10 hand-picked Seiko chronographs that you’re sure to fall in love with. 

 

SEIKO PROSPEX LIMITED EDITION SSC761J1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-prospex/products/seiko-prospex-limited-edition-ssc761j1-mens-watch

 

We’re starting off strong with the Seiko Prospex limited edition SSC761J1 Diver’s chronograph. The watch is part of Seiko’s limited-edition line-up of ‘black’ watches and is a proper ISO rated diver with a water resistance of 200m with a unidirectional rotating bezel and threaded crown and pushers as well.

The SSC761J1 is a solar-powered watch, which is a great feature as you essentially get the reliability and accuracy of quartz, without the pitfall of having to change the watch’s battery every 2 or so years. With all that said,  it’s the look of this piece that really ended up drawing us to this watch. With its stealthy IP coated stainless-steel brushed black case, faux aged patina on the hands and indexes, this watch pulls no punches when it comes to its design.

The overall construction of the watch is fantastic, as you would expect from a Seiko and as is with their other sporty offerings, the dial is generously decorated with their Lumibrite luminescence. The watch also features a 24-hour indicator that functions as a day/night display as well, adding a tasteful touch of practicality to this already functional timepiece. If you’re looking to get a slice of Seiko’s watchmaking or are just looking to get a diver’s chronograph, the Seiko SSC761J1 should be on the top of your list of options. 

 

Key features

  • Black IP stainless-steel case and rubber strap
  • Modern and timeless dive watch design 
  • Faux patinated lume  
  • Dependable and rugged solar movement
  • Sapphire Crystal 

 

SEIKO PROSPEX DIVER'S SNJ031P1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/collections/seiko-prospex/products/seiko-prospex-divers-snj031p1-mens-watch

 

Now I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the SNJ031P1 is missing the visual features that define a chronograph but hear me out. Some of you might already be familiar with the ana-digi Tuna, or by its other better-known moniker, the Arnie (for its association with a certain former Californian governor who may or may not have been sent from the future to murder John Connor, but I digress).

The SNJ031P1 is a modern update of that watch, with elements that stay true to the original’s design but with more contemporary finishes and trims. The result? It’s a stout and handsome watch, and despite its size, thanks to a shorter lug-to-lug, sits smaller than its dimensions would suggest. Being an analogue/digital hybrid, the watch is more than a chronograph, with an additional power-reserve, full calendar and alarm function as well.

The SNJ031P1 measures in at a stout 47.8mm in diameter and in this particular colour and design certainly looks more suited to be worn while tracking a killer alien in the American jungle than to be worn under a cuff. If you’re looking for a chronograph that has plenty of history in pop-culture and is equally iconic as it is less conventional, then the Seiko Prospex SNJ031P1 is the watch for you. 

Key features

  • Matte stainless-steel case with shroud and rubber strap
  • Classic and timeless dive watch design 
  • Analogue digital display
  • Iconic design
  • Faux patinated lume  
  • Dependable and rugged solar movement
  • Hardlex Crystal 

 

SEIKO PROSPEX SSC739P1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-prospex-ssc739p1-mens-watch

 

The terms “dive watch” and “sports watch” have become practically synonymous with each other in this day and age, but there’s more to sports watches than just a sea of divers, and this Seiko Prospex SRPD31K1 is a fine example of that. First things first, this is a field compass chronograph, and given that a vast majority of us spend more time on land than in the water, it’s rather odd that watches with abyssal water-resistance are far more common than compass watches.

The SSC739P1 is, visually and functionally, a tool watch, with a 44mm stainless steel case finished in an IP black coating, and a rotating bezel that acts as a compass. The dial of the watch follows the same idea. Simple and straight to the point, featuring large luminous (Lumibrite) raised plots, Arabic numerals as well as oversized hour and minute hands.

One feature that I do like about this is, well I hesitate to call it a feature, it’s more of a gimmick. It’s the inclusion of emergency surface to air signals on the case-back of the watch, which practically speaking no one will ever use or god forbid, ever have to. It’s more likely that this will become a daily beater for its owner than to ever be used as a piece of proper equipment and to be honest, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. In the same sense of wearing a watch that can easily survive the crushing depths of the ocean, 300m below the surface but only ever bringing it as deep as the filing cabinet in your desk goes, it’s pretty safe to say that the same will certainly apply with this SSC739P1. 

 

Key features

  • Black IP stainless-steel case and leather strap
  • Timeless field watch design
  • Faux patinated lume  
  • Dependable and rugged solar movement
  • Hardlex Crystal 

 

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 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. How much would you pay for a watch like that? $1000? $5000?

What if I told you, you could have all that for less than half of what you were initially willing to pay, but there’s a catch. The watch costs under $500, but it’s a quartz. Now I know some of you may be dismayed by this but hear me out. Unless you’re willing to shell out a mortgage, you’re not going to have a mechanical perpetual calendar 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 overtly cluttered and information can be had with a 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

  • High polished stainless-steel case and black leather strap
  • Timelessly elegant dress watch 
  • Breguet numerals
  • Perpetual calendar, alarm and chronograph function
  • Dependable and rugged quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal 

 

SEIKO PROSPEX SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH SSC618P1 MEN'S BLACK RUBBER STRAP WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-prospex-solar-chronograph-ssc618p1-mens-watch

 

This is probably my favourite looking watch on the list, or perhaps I’m just a sucker for rose-gold and black timepieces. In fact, I’m writing this as my rose-gold Seiko 5 SRPD76K1 is sitting on my wrist, but I digress. There’s something about a rose-gold dive watch that really appeals to me, maybe its because they remind me a lot of another much more expensive timepiece from a certain brand with a five-pointed coronet.

That brings us back to the SSC618P1 dive watch, it is, as you would expect from any of Seiko’s Prospex divers, a proper ISO rated diver, though I’d say this watch would sit more comfortably under a cuff in a board room than strapped against a diving suit 300 feet below the waves, though it can easily survive both. The rose-gold colourway gives the watch a much softer tone, almost dressy I would say, it still has all the design elements and boldness of a true tool watch but toned down for a more subtle and classy appeal. If you’re the sort who loves to pair your divers with your business attire, be it at work or for a night out, the SSC618P1 is perfect for you. 

 

Key features

  • Rose-gold IP stainless-steel case and black rubber strap
  • Timeless modern dive watch design
  • Perfect to be worn with a suit
  • Dependable and rugged solar movement
  • Hardlex Crystal 

 

SEIKO SSB369P1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-ssb369p1-mens-watch

 

If you’re a fan of 70s military-style watches, then the Seiko SSB369P1 pilot’s chronograph is for you. Taking inspiration from the practical, legible, no-nonsense style of military watches of yesteryear, the SSB369P1 is a properly sharp timepiece. With highly legible Arabic numerals, sharp bold hands coated in generous amounts of faux-patinated lume (that shines blue might I add), there is no mistaking the intention of this watch’s design the moment you lay eyes on it.

The chronograph action is slick and features a fly-back function as well, a rather uncommon feature especially at this price point. The watch comes on an olive-green nylon lined rubber strap that, if you’re familiar with Seiko’s rubber straps, is incredibly supple and comfortable to wear and completes the overall military-style aesthetic of this timepiece. All things considered, if owning a 70s style military pilot’s chronograph is a must for you, you’re sure to fall in love with the SSB369P1. 

 

Key features

  • Black IP stainless-steel case and rubber strap
  • Vintage military-style pilot’s watch design
  • Faux patinated lume  
  • Dependable and rugged quartz movement
  • Hardlex Crystal 

 

SEIKO CHRONOGRAPH SNDH45P1 STAINLESS STEEL MEN'S BLACK WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-sndh45p1-mens-watch

 

If a sporty, stealthy all-black look is what you’re going for, then you’re in the right place with the Seiko Criteria SNDH45P1. The case of the watch is finished in an all-black IP coating, with matching black nylon straps furnished with contrasting orange stitching to add a dash of colour to an otherwise stealthy package.

The watch features a double-stacked hour and minute chronograph sub-dial which is quite an uncommon sight among chronographs in the price range and also comes with a date window too for added usability. It’s a versatile sporty design that is great for everyday wear, though I wouldn’t recommend wearing this one with a suit, it leans a lot more to the casual, sporty side of things and it does it in great style. I love the look that the orange markers, hands and stitching give to this timepiece, that added contrast with a colour not commonly seen on watches gives this stealthy all-black piece that bit more character. 

 

Key features

  • Black IP stainless-steel case and fabric strap
  • Iconic modern motor-sport themed design
  • Unique orange stitching and trim   
  • Dependable and rugged quartz movement
  • Sapphire Crystal 

 

SEIKO PROSPEX SSC487P1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-prospex-ssc487p1-mens-watch

 

The last of our highly complicated chronographs is the Seiko Prospex SSC487P1 world-timer chronograph. The watch is part of Seiko’s Prospex series so you know it’s a serious tool watch, and the timepiece, as its name suggests is a world-timer chronograph with an alarm and power-reserve indicator to boot.

It features a solar-powered movement to keep the watch perpetually charged as long as it is under the light. The watch measures in at 44.6mm in diameter so it’s got wrist presence pretty much covered and thanks to the rather bold fang-like hour markers, (that are also generously applied with lume) makes for a rather striking watch to look at. Overall, this watch is a serious performer both in specs and in the design department and will certainly fit very nicely in any collection.

 

Key features

  • Brushed stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Sporty modern design
  • Uniquely styled markers
  • World-timer, alarm and power-reserve complications
  • Dependable and rugged solar movement
  • Sapphire Crystal 

 

SEIKO SSB301P1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-ssb301p1-mens-watch

 

Another motor-sport inspired chronograph, the SSB301P1 is a timeless, modern racing chronograph design that we tend to think of when talking about modern, affordable racing chronographs. The Monacos and Daytonas are in completely different price points so bear with me on this one.

The watch features a modern industrial style that’s almost futuristic I would say, especially with that cool dark blue dial and bezel paired against the clean machined silver finishing on the chronograph subdials, hands and markers too. With 100m of water-resistance, it’s not a watch that’s afraid to get wet and thanks to its sporty and versatile design, is a great go anywhere do anything watch. If you’re a fan of the modern racing chronograph style, then the robust SSB301P1 is a damn good choice for you. 

 

Key features

  • Brushed stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Iconic modern motor-sport themed design
  • Dependable and rugged quartz movement
  • Hardlex Crystal 

 

SEIKO SSC223P1 MEN'S WATCH

https://www.h2hubwatches.com/products/seiko-ssc223p1-mens-watch

 

And last but certainly not least, we have our retro-modern sports chronograph, the SSC223P1. With a stainless-steel bezel with graduated 60-minute markers, threaded chronograph pushers and crown, as well as a simple uncluttered dial, the watch is the perfect blend of retro style meeting modern elements. The stainless-steel bezel is really what makes the watch’s design work for me, it’s so vintage and with a silvered stainless-steel countdown bezel, a piece of this calibre is pretty hard to come by these days.

The clean uncluttered dial which makes for excellent legibility gives the watch a more modern tool watch aesthetic and when paired against the silvered bezel, makes for a properly harmonic design choice that will certainly put a smile on your face whenever you look at it. It’s a handsome watch, and the solar-powered caliber powering it makes for a worry-free ownership experience with this brilliant timepiece.

 

Key features

  • Brushed stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Unique retro-modern design with a brushed silvered timing bezel
  • Dependable and rugged solar movement
  • Hardlex Crystal 

 

Happy hunting

 

Finding the right watch can be hard, especially in this day and age where there are so many options available, and when we’re constantly being bombarded with information too. But it’s the thrill of the hunt that makes watch collecting worthwhile, that feeling you get when you’ve finally found the right one for you and the bubbling excitement that gnaws away at you when you finally pick up that watch. It’s truly a feeling to savour, and from one collector to another, never lose sight of that. Be patient, and look around a bit more, you’ll never know if the one is right around the corner. That being said, if a Seiko chronograph is what you’re looking for, we hope you’ll find yours on our comprehensive list.