One thing I like about watch companies is when their collection reflects a true, exclusive DNA. Some manufacturers, like Rolex, really “find themselves” and stay true to their designs that eventually become classics. Seiko has a flawless reputation for bold and durable divers that are unmistakeably “Seiko.” Often referred to as the “Seiko Submariner,” the SKX007 is a classic dive piece that shares some characteristics with the iconic Rolex reference: superior legibility, durability and a strong pedigree. In fact, the SKX007 is a direct descendant of Seiko’s very first diver manufactured in 1965 (62MAS-010). For $200, you’re getting a quality 21-jewel automatic diver that you will invariably be able to pass along to your children in a fully functional state.
Let’s start with the vitals:
- Case width: 40mm
- Case thickness: 13mm
- Crystal: Hardlex mineral crystal
- Bracelet: Steel jubilee or rubber strap
- Dial: Black
- Water Resistance: 200m
- Unidirectional rotating bezel
- Movement: Seiko 21J 7s26 w/ Day-Date complication
The dial is simultaneously classic while incorporating the typical Seiko funkiness. The hour markers are a bright white against a deep, matte black dial, and telling the time is super easy. The second thing I notice is the unusual minute hand. I would have expected the hour hand to be the special one (usually this is the case), and similarly I find it interesting that Seiko chose to extend the second hand so far past the pinion (and then stick the lumed circle on the opposite side–the second hand is like an inverted Submariner second hand).
Sized at 40mm, the case is the perfect size with a healthy but not obnoxious thickness at 13mm. The watch utilizes a Hardlex crystal that, unlike a lot of the more popular and premium Seiko divers, is raised and flat instead of domed. The 60-click rotating bezel is easy to turn and the lumed pip lines up pretty well with the twelve o’clock marker. Like I said before, telling the time is easy, even in the dark. While the lume isn’t as strong as it is on the Monster (when is it ever?), it’s still some of the best lume I’ve seen on a diver. Inside the steel case is the 7s26, which offers a day-date complication and a four o’clock crown.
You can buy the watch on a steel bracelet or rubber strap. Seiko rubber straps just don’t do it for me, so normally I’d recommend picking up the bracelet version, but this bracelet isn’t as high quality as, say, the Seiko Monsters. It’s a handsome jubilee, but my arms are too hairy to go near that thing. I swiftly swapped out the bracelet for a Bond-style NATO strap and haven’t looked back. The watch also comes in a Pepsi variation, a blue dial with a portion of the bezel painted red.
I wouldn’t recommend this watch for a beginner right away, only because it’s not perfect enough as a complete “package” but instead is a gem if you’re willing to put in a little work to modify it. If you already own a couple of pieces, you are looking for a new automatic diver and you’re comfortable changing straps on your watch, then go for it. Or if your arms are hairless. A sharp, dependable ISO-certified diver for under $200 is hard to beat.