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Need some input on the Sieko 5

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by whetrock, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    So I'm gradually getting into to the whole EDC/knife craze thing and feel that I'm pretty well set with a dandy selection of everyday tools in most regards. With that being said I don't have too good of an understanding of watches and wear stuff that some enthusiast would cringe at. I've got my eye on something that is analog, somewhat simplistic and kinda utilitarian in both form and function. From my observations the Seiko 5 seems to be the watch that meets most of all my criteria. As I've previously stated though I'm not too terribly knowledgable about watches and could use some advice on this particular watch. Is there a better option in this price rang ? Is this particular watch overrated ? What do owners have to say about them ? All in all I'm a bit of a noob in the world of watches and couldn't think of a better place to ask.
  2. Badhammer

    Badhammer Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Not familiar with the Seiko 5 but have been a happy Seiko owner since 1978. My current daily wear is a Seiko Velatura and I love it. When you buy Seiko you're buying quality. You just have to find the one that works best for you.
  3. Gadgetman7


    Sep 30, 2001
    In my experience they're good watches. Especially as an entry level mechanical. I recommend either an orange or black Monster.

    The only issue is that they don't hack so you can't easily set an exact time. (Hacking is stopping the second hand at a particular mark to match a master clock.) There is a work around but it's aggregating.
  4. nccole

    nccole Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    I wear a 5 everyday. I really like the simplicity and style of it, and have enjoyed since I got it in May. The only gripe is that mine loses time, but $60 for an automatic that loses time is no big deal. I had it off for about 48 hours at one time and it was still running, so no issues with it stopping overnight. I have also swam with it several times and had no issues at all. Mine is green, and I have thought about getting one of the other colors, so I would say I definitely recommend it.
  5. Dan57


    Apr 8, 2012
    I've been into watches in the past. Not so much anymore, but I've retained most of the knowledge from when I was. Go ahead and get a Seiko 5, they're awesome. Underrated, if anything.
    If you want to get into watches more, check this place out. It's great.
  6. rickdarris2004


    Feb 15, 2010
    I also wear a Seiko 5 everyday. My only gripe is no AR Sapphire, but thats expected with an entry level watch. I only lose a few seconds a week it seems, never really payed to close attention. I have one of the SNZG13K1 on a kangaroo leather nato.
  7. xbxb

    xbxb Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Here's mine, --for a $60-70 watch they work fine. I wear it quite often. Give one a try.
  8. jacksterp


    Jun 3, 2011
    Have two Seiko 5 Sports. No complaints. Keep reasonably good time (about 20 secs. per day).

    If you can, try to find those made in Japan rather than simply Japanese movement. They are quite a bit better for quality control.

    There is a site in Malaysia that I recommend. Had both mine delivered in three days.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    Thanks guys, the Seiko 5 is most likely going to be on my wrist in the near future. Also Dan57 I appreciate the link, I was curious if there was an active watch forum. I've never had an automatic before so it'll be a new experience.
  10. nccole

    nccole Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    I am interested in this and whetrock might be interested also, can you (or better a watch maker) adjust it if it loses or gains time? I noticed what looks to be two little levers and a "+" and "-" inside mine. The pivot of the two levers is capped by one of the jewels (a pink one on mine). I do not know a lot about watches, I just know I hate dead batteries in watches so I buy automatics now and deal with the precision being not quite as good, but if adjustable, that would be great.

    The pink jewel, the levers have gold tips and you may be able to make out the "+" and "-"
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  11. Lenny


    Oct 15, 1998
    Yes, it can be adjusted (regulated) but there are a few things to consider:
    - you need to find a good watchmaker first, not somebody in a mall watch store
    - to be properly done, the watch must be put on a special machine that listens to the beat in all the different orientations of the watch; the watchmaker must then adjust it for a compromise of all the positions
    - most likely, if it's a water resistant watch, and you want it to remain water resistant, the watchmaker will have to pressure test it and then replace any seals if it fails the pressure test
    - once you get it back, your wearing habits (sitting still at a desk with your watch hand mostly in the same position every day, etc) may affect the watch's accuracy and you won't get the same accuracy to what the watchmaker has gotten
    - doing this to a Seiko 5 will probably cost more than the actual watch
    - the movements in a Seiko 5, or other inexpensive watches are rugged little soldiers, that keep on going and going; but they won't necessarily hold a regulation for very long; it's possible that the accuracy of a freshly regulated watch will degrade the day after you get it back
    - as everybody will tell you on TimeZone.com, if you want an accurate watch, buy quartz
    Good luck,
  12. nccole

    nccole Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 2, 2011
    Thanks, I will bump it up when it needs it. No quartz for me, and no expensive tear down either, I have had some bad experiences with "experts" taking my watches apart to replace batteries and so forth. My wife got me a Citizen (quartz) and the battery died. She had the case back engraved and the jeweler pinged it back on with a very fine point instrument. It looks like a little hailstorm hit my watch and it never worked again. It is a shame because I have never seen a classier simple watch.
  13. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    LOL I'm incredibly indecisive. At first I was just about sold on the proven and venerable Seiko 5, that was until I first saw the Citizen Eco-drive today. I may have to just break down and get both sooner or later. I get the feeling that I'm starting another challenging and expensive addiction. First knives, then guns, now watches.
  14. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Seiko 5 is Seiko's entry-level (cheap) mechanical watch. They are not on Seiko USA's web site because they are not intended for the US market, but they are easy enough to find here. Seiko does not publish a catalog of all Seiko 5 models. These dealer sites are the best catalogs I have found:



    They have something for everyone. Want a gold watch with a 24-hour DayGlo dial? Got you covered, dude.


    There are two kinds of Seiko 5: small ones and large ones. The small ones go for $60–$70, the large ones are mostly $100–$125 but some are over $200. Here are small and large field watches side by side.


    Besides size and price, the main difference is water resistance. Seiko rates most of the small ones 3BAR, but the newer ones are 5BAR (if the water resistance isn't on the tag or the back of the case, it is 5BAR). The large ones are mostly 10BAR, but the $200+ ones are 20BAR. 3BAR means the case's water seals were tested at and survived 3 atmospheres pressure. These watches are splash-proof but not immersion-proof. Here is Seiko's water resistance chart:


    On dealers' web sites, you will find these watches described as having 30 meters water resistance. That does not mean you could dive to 100 feet and return with a working watch. The industry is convinced that bars and atmospheres are measurements too abstract for their customers to understand. And "30 meters" sounds a lot better better than "water resistant but not waterproof — not to be worn in the water."
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  15. ElConquistador

    ElConquistador Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    I had a Seiko automatic diver watch (forget the model number), actually I still have it in a drawer somewhere. It is typical for an automatic to loose or gain 15-45 seconds a day!! It seemed like mine was always 5 minutes off, I decided I have a watch to know what time it is not to marvel at it's inner workings so I got sick of it after a year or so.

    I've also got a Citizen eco-drive diver watch (also forget that model number). The citizen would keep time within about 1-2 seconds a month, in the 6 month period between daylight savings time when I would reset it it typically would be within 5 seconds and once was within 3. That's pretty impressive. I have another eco-drive watch which is almost as good.

    For the last couple years I've gone to a G-Shock with solar and atomic. It sets itself every night and is always within a second, it's power meter has never dropped below "full" even when it seems like I'm never outside. It's also nice not having to set the date/day at the end of the month. I'm a fan.

    Of course opinions will vary based on why you wear a watch in the first place but for my needs I'd say go for the eco-drive (quartz) over the mechanical.
  16. whetrock


    Nov 13, 2010
    Yeah I dunno, I guess I got a bit excited when I first saw an automatic and felt like it would be a nifty little watch with a bit of nostalgic appeal. With that being said it does have the advantage of not requiring batteries, for what it's worth. I might break down and just purchase a watch that sports a quartz movement for now and maybe dabble in the automatics when I gain a bit more knowledge regarding automatics. As of now I'm digging the looks of the Citizen eco-drive.
  17. simioh


    Jan 12, 2012
    I would say go ahead and get it. I just got a Seiko 5 in a trade about a month ago and I've been using it the most (out of 10 watches total that I have). In part because it's new to me, but also because it looks good when dressed up or casual. That being said, I'm no watch expert, and I don't think I would ever notice a 5 second inaccuracy. When someone asks for time I usually round up or down anyway! haha
  18. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    There are more Eco-Drives than you can shake a stick at. Four inexpensive models are popular on watch forums and probably around here: BM8180-03E, AT0200-05E, BM8475-00X, BM6400-00E.

    BM8180-03E is a traditional 20th century military watch for infantry. Everyone seems to like this one. I liked mine.

    AT0200-05E is a traditional 20th century military watch for air force flight officers. In watchspeak it is called a chronograph, and it has a stopwatch function that was used in navigation to calculate ground speed. IMO stopwatch timing with an analog watch is pretty archaic but this is about a traditional, historic military look.

    BM8475-00X looks like Citizen's take on a 21st century analog military watch. It is more controversial than the first two because some people don't like black watches.

    BM6400-00E is a diver's watch with great lume, but some people don't like its big numbers.

    The first three are rated 100 meters/10BARS/10 atmospheres, meaning you can swim with them and snorkel dive, but jumping off a dive tower is probably not a good idea. The diver's watch is rated 200 meters/20BARS/20 atmospheres for scuba diving to the usual sport depth of 30–40 feet or exploring a wreck at 110–120 feet.

    They all have straps you will want to replace immediately. You should examine them in person before buying, especially the last two.
  19. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    Eco-drives are a good idea in theory but in practice they have some limitations. The Citizen specs will tell you how long the charge will last but this is deceptive. You would think that you could wear the watch and get it fully charged, then put it in your closet or safe for a little while and it will stay running but this is harmful to the watch. It needs to have more frequent exposure to light. I've owned 3 of them and I had trouble with all 3 because I stored them in the dark. I did some research on the battery replacements and found a lot of places that are in business to service these watches. They will tell you that the batteries typically fail at 5 years age and they charge a lot to replace them. Right now my eco-drive is dead until I save up enough to send it in for repair. Strangely enough I have a Luminox that lasts about 7 years on its battery and I can replace the battery myself for very little money, and the watch doesn't care if it is in the dark or in the light.
  20. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    The Seiko 5 watches are good utilitarian watches and are a very good value. The more popular Seiko divers such as the Monsters and the SKX007 use essentially the same movement as the 5's but in a better case. In the past the 5's were typically smaller but now they have some new models that are larger like the mover expensive models. Of course an automatic watch needs to be worn daily or be kept on a winder in order to keep it running, and the less expensive automatics will not be as accurate as even a cheap quartz watch, but some watch enthusiasts find pleasure in wearing mechanical watches that they just don't get with quartz watches.

    Citizen and Orient also make a variety of mechanical watches that are good values.

    There are good watch forums to read about watches- pmwf.com, timezone.com, watchuseek.com.

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