It’s easy to become fixated on Swiss creations, but for those willing to look beyond the locale, there’s a lot to be said about Seiko watches too.
The brand has much in common with conventional Swiss watchmakers. Heritage, for example, is a big one. Initially launching as a watch and clock repair shop in Tokyo in 1881, which ultimately evolved in the “Seikosha” factory a short time later. “Seiko” may be roughly translated to “exquisite,” “minute,” or “success,” while “sha” is Japanese for “house.”
The brand is responsible for many innovations as well, such as the first-ever Japanese wristwatch and pioneering developments in shock-resistance engineering. It’s responsible for many world firsts as well, such as crafting the world’s first watch with computer functions, first production quartz watch, and first quartz chronograph.
Known for its quality and precision, the company earned the privilege of producing the official railway watch of Japan and became the official timer of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo as well as several other Games after that. It held its own against Swiss watchmakers in the Neuchatel Observatory Competitions and Geneva Observatory Competitions too. With countless ties to sport, such as FIFA, IAAF, and tennis, as well as links to NASA, Seiko watches are some of the most prestigious offerings on the market today.
Moreover, it’s difficult to select just one thing the company does right. It produces pieces which appeal to a wide variety of people, with quartz, mechanical, kinetic, and solar movements. Pricing runs the gamut, with options below $50 all the way through more than $500,000 and is broken up amongst several brands. That in mind, ten of the top Seiko watches are outlined below.
1) Grand Seiko Blue Ceramic Hi-Beat GMT 36000
With just 350 pieces released, the Grand Seiko Blue Ceramic Hi-Beat GMT 36000 may be a tough one to get your hands on, but it illustrates a point; the brand makes quality timepieces. Seiko watches incorporated ceramic for years prior to the release of the blue ceramic GMT model, though it was historically black ceramic versus the vibrant hue seen on the case, dial, bezel, and strap accent on this one. It’s an incredibly classy-looking piece, with GS monogrammed across the dial and a red-tipped GMT hand. It leverages the brand’s Caliber 9S86 which is accurate to -5 to +3 seconds per day and has a power reserve of 55 hours. The case back also offers a clear view of the oscillating weight, giving the piece superior shock resistance. Pricing starts at $14,800 new.
2) Coutra SSG021P9
The SSG021P9 is from the company’s Coutra line, and it earns a place on the list for being one of their best solar-powered watches. It looks incredibly stealthy in its black hard-coated stainless steel case with blue accents at the bezel and sub-elements. It’s absolutely loaded with features, including chronograph, ability to receive radio signals, world time, 24-hour hand, and more. It’s also water-resistant to 10 bar, or 100 meters, so it’s a great choice for the avid outdoorsman. Pricing starts at just under $700 new.
3) Astron GPS Solar 5X
If you liked the Coutra solar watch, you’ll love the Astron GPS Solar. Not only is it solar-powered, but it links up with the GPS network and identifies the exact time to display based upon your location twice per day automatically or with the touch of a button. What’s most interesting is that it arguably looks a bit like a Rolex. There are several models, but the SSH003 comes in titanium with a black dial, sub-elements, and bezel. Naturally, it offers world time, hosts a perpetual calendar, and more. Pricing for these begins at little more than $2,000.
4) SGG711 Titanium
The SGG711 is from the main Seiko line. It’s classic and is one of the brand’s best sellers, with pricing starting around $500. This particular model is in titanium with a black dial and date window. It hosts a quartz movement and is water resistant to 50 meters. Though it’s not a high-end timepiece, it’s good for daily wear.
5) SNK809 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel
The SNK809 retains the classic silver-and-black look, but comes with a self-winding automatic movement. This model allows the wearer to customize the day/ date window to English or Spanish and comes with a canvas strap. New pricing on one is under $100.
6) SKX173 Stainless Steel and Black Polyurethane Automatic Dive Watch
If you’re in the market for a decent, yet inexpensive, dive watch, the SKX173 is a good pick. Pricing starts around $250 and pieces offer water resistance to 200 meters. This particular model has a stainless steel case, though the strap, dial, and bezel are black. Naturally, it hosts an automatic self-winding movement and is built to withstand tough environments.
7) SNZF17 Stainless Steel Diver
If you’re a fan of the Rolex Submariner, but not the price, you’ll probably appreciate the SNZF17 Stainless Steel Diver. It’s a doppelganger for the iconic timepiece, but can be found for less than $150. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters and has a classic day/date window.
8) SSC017 Solar Stainless-Steel Dive Watch
Coming in at just over $400, the SSC017 offers serious bang for buck and impressive style. It is solar-powered and water-resistant to 200 meters, plus it’s a chronograph with 24-hour, 60-minute, and seconds sub-dials. Like many of the other classic Seiko watches, this is black on stainless steel, but it also offers a pop of vibrant blue on the bezel from the zero-mark through 15.
9) Prospex SBDC031 Kinetic Dive Watch
The SBDC031 aka “Sumo” also takes on a bit of a Rolex appearance as well; a stainless-steel bracelet and case with black bezel and dial. However, it gains its power from the movements of the wearer and has a 50-hour power reserve. It’s water-resistant to 200 meters and hosts a screw-down crown as well. Although it’s not the most accurate piece around, pricing starts at less than $500, making it a good choice for someone who wants a serious watch on a budget.
10) Prospex SUN023 Kinetic GMT Dive Watch
The SUN023 is one of the edgier pieces from the brand. The strap is black silicone which is paired with a black bezel and dial. However, there are accents in steel, orange, bright blue, and white, making it one of the most eye-catching Seiko watches around. Wearers of this piece describe it as “a tank” and say shaking it for only one minute will keep it charged for a week. With a six-month power reserve and dual time zone feature, it’s ideal for a sportsman or traveler too. Initial pricing for this model starts at under $400.
Find Your Favorite Seiko Watches on Value Your Watch
Many Seiko watches are priced fairly low to begin with, but if you’re looking for an even better deal on one of these Japanese instruments, you’ll find it here on Value Your Watch. We’re a leading marketplace that makes it easier for collectors to sell, so buyers get a better section and some of the best pricing you’ll find anywhere online. Check out our selection of Seiko watches and other fine timepieces now.
Keyword: Seiko Watches
Description: Whether you’re into mechanical, solar, kinetic, or quartz, Seiko watches deliver at every price point. See our top ten picks and learn about the brand here.