Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Watch Review

In every watch collection it is good to have at least one watch that you can wear anywhere, with anything, while not worrying about what can happen to that watch. The Seiko 5 Sports Automatic watch is the one I have in my collection and I could not be happier with my selection.

This watch is a great tool watch. Not only does it provide you with excellent timekeeping, but is also very sturdy, sophisticated, sleek, casual, and most importantly…affordable. Having owned this watch for some time now. I want to provide everyone with a detailed and thorough review of this watch and my experiences wearing it.

You don’t need to spend top dollar for a good military/field/sporty automatic watch because the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic provides you with all of these things and more. The best part of all is that this watch is backed by a trusted and world-renowned watch brand that even the snobbiest of watch snobs will respect.

SEIKO – Exceptional Japanese Craftsmanship

Since 1881 Seiko has established itself as one of the most beloved and respected watch brands in the industry. Founded by Kintaro Hatotori in Tokyo, the name of the brand is a shortened version of the Japanese word “Seikosha” which means House of Exquisite Workmanship.

Seiko to this day supplies its in-house movement to 100s of other watch brands around the world. The brand has built its recognition from its superior quality and attention to detail. Seiko even put a big dent into the Swiss watchmaking industry in the 70s when they unveiled the first ever quartz movement watch. Known as the “Quartz Crisis” the Swiss watchmakers couldn’t keep up with the changing times and with quartz watches’ being way more accurate and affordable than their automatics, Seiko single-handedly brought the Swiss watch industry to its knees during this decade of time.

Seiko’s ingenuity, creativity, and quality is what propelled this watch company to its current stature and it is a watch brand that deserves and receives serious respect from watch enthusiasts. Every timepiece they put out be it quartz or automatic is worth the price. That price in most cases is far more affordable than many watch brands in the industry.

Design and Style

What I really love about the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic watch is that this watch covers a range of watch styles in this one piece.

My SEIKO 5 Sports SNZG11J1

Some would say that a watch collector must have a military style watch in their collection, others will tell you that you cannot have a watch collection without including a good field watch. What about a good sports watch?

With the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic you get all of these watch styles in one. This watch makes for a good sports, military and field watch. Personally, I wear this watch as my daily because it is very easy to tell time with. I also always choose this watch when going out into nature for taking a hike or even camping. Any type of activity where I know I might be getting dirty this is my go to watch.

For starters the dial is very crisp and clear. The watch has very crisp 12 hour and 24 hour Arabic numerals on the dial so that you can always tell what time it is regardless on which format you prefer. Very clean hour and minute markers.

The day date function is my favorite part of the watch. You not only get to see the numerical date but also the day abbreviation right next to it. What’s really special (at least with my version of the watch) is that it provides the day in 2 different languages. Mine switches between English and Arabic.

It has a stainless steel case with a pull/push crown on the side. The glass on the dial is hardlex which is a pretty sturdy material, though scratch resistant to an extent, it does not compare to a sapphire crystal lens that higher end watches tend to use.

The back of the watch has an exhibition case back so that you can see the automatic movement of the watch. The Seiko 5 Sports automatic that I own is the SNZG11J1 model. This watch has a case size of 42mm which fits well on larger wrists like mine. It does have lume, and very good lume I might add. Of all the watches I own it has some of the best lume as you can see in the picture on the right. Even the second marker has a little lume on the tip, which you just don’t see in many watches.

One of my favorite design aspects of this watch is the second hand. The tip of the second hand is red and it just adds this extra flair to the watch. This model has the blue dial and comes with a blue nylon strap. The Nylon strap with a buckle and is pretty good quality as far as nylon straps go The overall design of the watch including the band make it very versatile. I go swimming with the watch all the time and have not had any issues of water leaking in.

That’s most likely due to the decent water resistance of the watch coming in at 100 m (330 ft).

The lugs on the watch are 22mm wide and that gives you a lot of options for purchasing aftermarket bands that can easily be swapped on this watch. I have also worn this watch with a brown leather strap and it worked great for a more formal affair.

What about the Movement?

The Seiko 5 Sports Automatic runs using the 7S36C movement. This is the definition of “workhorse movement” when it comes to automatic watch movements. Considered an entry level automatic movement in the world of Seiko. The movement is still in production today and is the last movement of its class.

The 7S36C contains 23 jewels and does NOT feature hacking, or hand winding. This is why most Seiko watch enthusiasts prefer the newer and more attractive workhorse movement known as the NH36 which does feature hand winding and hacking.

That being said the movement in this watch is very accurate with +1.9/s per day on average. I have yet to need the watch serviced and it continues to tick with no problems. I have dropped the watch and have banged it up a few times pretty badly and haven’t had any issues with the time speeding up or slowing down from the abuse it has received. This movement includes a day/date function which is another one of my favorite features in this watch.

Pros and Cons

Overall I really love this watch and would recommend it to anyone looking to add an everyday inexpensive watch to their collection that is great to use for the rugged outdoors where it might receive some abuse. Let me give you a breakdown on what I like and what I don’t like.

Pros:

  • Easy to Read Attractive Dial and Hands Design w/Day and Date Function
  • Sturdy and Good For Everyday Use Including the Outdoors
  • Great Lume
  • Good Entry Level Accurate Automatic Movement
  • Very Affordable Price

Cons:

  • Hardlex Mineral Glass (Though sturdy, as my watch has taken a beating, it does have a small scratch on it. Compared to some of my other watches’ that have taken beatings, Sapphire Crystal fairs better against abuse.)
  • No Hand Winding and Hacking

I want to also add that I prefer the imported made in Japan versions of this watch. Now that being said this is more of a personal preference. Personally, If I am going to be purchasing a Japanese watch from the acclaimed Seiko brand, I feel more at ease knowing that my personal watch was made in Japan. This does put the watch at a higher price point as well.

How to Tell If Your Watch is Made in Japan?

The model number will tell you whether your watch was assembled and made in Japan or not. Aside from the “made in Japan” written on the dial of your watch usually on the bottom left-hand side. Looking at the model number of your watch such as the case with my SNZG11J1, the J means that the watch was made in Japan. If it says K instead, then that means it was manufactured elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

The Seiko 5 Sports Automatic is functional, reliable, sturdy, attractive, simple, affordable and backed by one of the most respected watch brands in the industry. Whether you are looking to add a new every day watch to your collection or you are a new watch enthusiast looking to just begin their collection with an affordable entry level automatic watch, the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic will not only provide you with everything you are looking for, but also exceed expectations.

This watch is a watch I am proud to wear on my wrist and is most definitely, a watch to remember…

***Let me and the community know what your thoughts are about the Seiko 5 Sports Automatic watch in the comments below***

p.s. If you would like to purchase the exact watch I own click on the link below!

Seiko 5 Automatic Blue Dial Men’s Watch SNZG11J1

Leave a Comment