SEIKO 5 Buyer's Guide
If you're looking for a watch but you're not sure what you want then you've come to the right place. This guide will step you through what to look for in a watch and what you can find in the Seiko 5 line.
Where to Start
There are four major criteria to consider when selecting a watch:
The simplest way to ensure quality is to pick the right brand. Choosing the Seiko brand essentially guarantees a high level of quality since it is one of the most highly respected watch brands, especially for affordable watches.
For the rest of this guide we will assume you have chosen to go with Seiko so we can focus on the other three criteria.
To find your perfect watch you need to combine
- The right price
- The right style
- The right features
The Right Price
Grand Seiko SBGE009
If your budget is in the thousands of dollars then you could buy dozens of Seiko 5s, or more reasonably you could choose one of Seiko's high-end watches in the Grand Seiko line. One of the more famous Grand Seikos is the SBGA011 "Snowflake". Its dial looks like it is covered by a light coating of snow. The SBGH001 "Hi-Beat" is also very popular, as are the SBGE009 and SBGR051 models.
SARB065 "Cocktail Time"
In the more affordable neighborhood of $500 there are a number of excellent Seiko's in the SARB series. The SARB065 "Cocktail Time" is extremely popular and is pictured on the right. Other popular models include the SARB033 "Spirit", the beautiful SARB017 "Alpinist" with an emerald green dial and Mercedes hands, and the SARB035. Check out these SAR models and more in our Seiko SAR Finder.
Affordable / Budget
Seiko 5 SNKL41
Most Seiko 5s fall in the $50 - $150 price range with 50% of them under $100 and 90% of them under $200. If that is the budget you are shopping for then the Seiko 5 Finder has hundreds of choices for you.
On the right side of the page under General Options enter a minimum and maximum price when you're ready to begin your search.
The Right Style
Now that we've covered finding the right price we can move on to finding the right style. The best way to get started is to think about when you will wear your watch. Will you wear it at work, on formal occasions, under water, on camping trips?
All of the Seiko 5s in our catalog are analog watches so if you are looking for a digital display you will need to try another model line or another brand.
Seiko 5 SYM796
Selecting the Gender in the criteria on the right will help you narrow down the search results. Generally the biggest difference between men's and women's watches is the size. Women's watches tend to be small, in the 24-26mm range, while men's watches are larger, 36mm and above. Some watches fall in the transition between small and large and are considered unisex. These watches show up whether you search for men's or women's watches on this site.
Seiko 5 SNKA21
Dress watches tend to be on the smaller side, 36-38mm, with simple bezels and a relatively simple dial. Many watches have easily replaceable bands and dress watches often look very good with a leather band.
Field / Military
Seiko 5 SNZG09
Field / Military Watch
Field or Military watches typically have Arabic numerals for the hour markings and come with simple, non-rotating bezels like dress watches. While they can be as small as a dress watch many field watches are much larger than what would be considered an appropriate size for a dress watch.
Seiko 5 SNZF15
Diver style watches are usually a bit larger, 42-44mm, with minute numbering on a rotating bezel and water resistance of at least 100 meters. The hours are marked using bars, circles or triangles rather than Arabic or Roman numerals.
If you are actually going to dive with your watch then we recommend the SKX007 or SKX009 which are not Seiko 5s but are ISO rated for diving. If you have a higher budget then the Seiko SBDC001 "Sumo" and SBBN017 "Tuna" are also highly recommended. Check out these diver models and more in our Seiko Diver Finder.
Quite a few color options are available in the Seiko 5 line. You can search by Dial Color.
You can search by Bezel Color.
You can even search by Hand Color.
Other color-related search options are available in the search criteria on the right such as band color and inner-bezel color.
The Right Features
So far we have covered the right price and the right style. Now it's time to cover the right features. There are a few features that come standard in all Seiko 5s.
- Automatic movements, not quartz
- Day and date on the dial
- Water resistant
- Durable construction
Here are some other features you might want depending on how you intend to use your watch.
If you like hiking and camping did know you can get a watch that tells you how far apart two things are on a map? With the Map Distance feature you can roll the second crown (on the left side of the watch) along a path on a 1:50,000 scale map and the inner bezel will move to tell you the distance for the path that you traced.
To find watches with this feature select the checkbox for Map Distance under the Inner Bezel Options in the search criteria on the right.
If you want to know the time in another time zone then a watch with GMT Cities can be a big help. First you rotate the bezel so that the city in your current time zone is under the hour hand. Next you find the city for the time zone you want to know about. That city is where their hour hand would be pointing.
To see watches with this feature find the Bezel Options in the search criteria on the right then select the checkbox for GMT Cities under "On the Bezel".
Some people say you can make a house look like new by giving it a new coat of paint. With watches you can achieve this same effect by changing the band. Some watches have easy to replace bands, some watches have bands that can be removed but a replacement might need to be notched to fit between the lugs, and some watches have integrated bands which are virtually impossible to replace.
To see watches with replaceable bands find the Band Options in the search options on the right then select the checkbox for Yes under Replaceable Band.
If you want to use your watch to perform mathematical calculations then you want a Pilot Slide Rule. The bezel and dial each have a logarithmic scale on them. Once you learn how to use them you can
- Do multiplication and division
- Calculate square roots
- Find the unknown value if you know two of these values: speed, distance remaining, time remaining
- Find the unknown value if you know two of these values: time remaining, fuel consumption, fuel consumption rate
To see watches with this feature find the Bezel Options in the search criteria on the right then select the checkbox for Pilot Slide Rule under "On the Bezel".
If you would prefer to see the full day of the week on your watch instead of a three-letter abbreviation then you are in luck. There are Seiko 5s with this feature.
To see watches with the full day of the week find the Dial Options in the search criteria on the right then under "On the Dial" choose Yes for Full Day of Week.
There are many more features you can search for on this site such as whether the watch is Hand Windable, whether it is made of Titanium and whether it has Sapphire Crystal. Explore the full list on the right to find the features you care about.
We hope after reading this Buyer's Guide you know the right price, the right style and the right features for your perfect watch and are able to find it here at the Seiko 5 Finder. If you have any questions or comments about this guide or about the site please use our Feedback Form.