This is follow up to my earlier post of another Seiko 5 Military which on hindsight should really be called the Seiko 5 Flieger, rather than the Seiko 5 Military.
A very interesting post on actual Seiko 5s being used in military application can be found here.
One might spot the resemblance to a certain other Swiss company that dug deep into their archives recently and introduced a fairly popular timepiece at this year’s Basel.
Of course Seiko copied the original military vintage watches, but note that this Seiko was released way back in 2008, before reissues were all the rage by Swiss and Japanese companies alike.
Unlike its much more expensive counterpart, Seiko retained its era-appropriate size at 35mm. It might sound horrendously undersized but the dial size is exactly the same as that of the popular SKX007 diver models, which result in numerous mods of the SKX with this military SNX dial back when the SNX watches were first released approximately ten years ago.
I first got to know about this watch through this post by Yeoman and found it very intriguing that it seems to be the Seiko 5 that was a transition model. This was because the earlier version of this watch came with a solid case back (like mine), while the latter versions (using the same model numbers) came with a display case back, probably to attract new consumers to the concept of a mechanical watch.
It might also interest readers that this Seiko 5 was a Seiko 5 in all but name. It had no “visible” (more to come on this) badge on its dial, but it otherwise had all the attributes of the Seiko 5 models, including the date/day, automatic winding, water resistance (although only 30m), etc. What most people do not know is that, it is branded as a Seiko 5, just not how you would have expected it. In the photo below, look carefully between the 5 and 6 o’clock hour marker and you’ll spot the 5 badge! Amazing, is it not?
This is the only Seiko I know that has the branding in this manner.
The case measures 40mm from lug to lug but comes with a 18 mm lug size . The case and the accompany bracelet is bead blasted all over and feels very nice at the touch. Scratches are also not easily visible with the exception of the dual locking clasp.
The back of the case is also bead blasted at the lugs while the stainless steel case back has a outward radial brushing which looks utilitarian, well befitting its image as a military field watch.
The bracelet is also well constructed, certainly one of the better ones I have seen at its price point, with folded end links and middle links, but otherwise solid links.
Just like the Seiko divers, the crown is located at the 4 o’clock position and recessed. The unsigned crown does not screw in.
As you can see from the photo below, the side profile of the case is fairly straight with only the slightest hint of a curve at the tips of the lug. In a bigger watch, this would have lead to overhang on smaller wrists, but its fairly comfortable even on my 6.5in wrist due to its compact size.
I usually do not like wearing my watches on their accompanying steel bracelets (if any) as the total weight usually gets uncomfortable for me over long hours of wear. However I do not have this problem with my SNX due to the compact size of the head and hollow middle links in the bracelet which help keep the overall weight at a manageable level.
The watch still has its lume functional, with generous lume on its syringe hour and minute hands and lume dots at all the hour markers. The end of the seconds hand also has a dash of lume applied.
This watch is powered by the 7S36B movement, which is an ancient dinosaur compared to the latest 4R movements today. It does not hack, nor does it allow hand winding, but it works well for all its simplicity, which is what really matters at a watch of this price and functionality.
All in, this is one of my favourite watch purchase so far this year because of its hidden Seiko 5 badge, solid case back, comfortable wearing experience, and general hardiness against daily knocks and scratches. It’s fairly hard to find nowadays and I was very lucky that my friend was looking to let go of it at a time when I had a watch itch to scratch. I was well aware of this watch previously, but was not looking for it actively, as I was never a sucker for military designed watches but this little Seiko 5 has won me over convincingly.