Gallery: 2 Seiko 5 SNKs are better than one

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Everyone who wears watches knows the value of a good tool watch; a watch that you feel comfortable wearing no matter the circumstance, a watch that you feel confident will endure. Think of it is your default or go-to watch; that watch that when you wake up in the morning and don’t have time to fuss about, you just grab, because you know that it is reliable, speaks to your style and is just a pleasure to wear. For me, the Seiko 5 SNK series are ideal for this purpose. Their military looks are timeless, they are designed to be functional but manage to be fashionable and they are very versatile. Also, they are exceedingly affordable.

I wrote a review of the SNK803 several months ago, so I will defer to that for the various details about the watch. What really matters is that ever since getting the 803 I’ve wanted to get the SNK in another color, namely the snk809 black dial model. So, I toyed around with that idea for sometime, and then one day I was browsing Amazon and I noticed that price of the 809 was down to an astonishing $55 dollars…. Let that sink in for a second. It is hard to find a mediocre looking quartz for that price, let alone a good automatic watch. So I bought it right then and there. Inspired by the good price, I decided to spend a little more and pick up a J.Crew suede NATO, as I felt the light beige/sand color would make the black dial and bead blasted finish just sing…and, it does.

Unfortunately, it is also a piece of junk (sorry J, got to be honest). It is paper-thin and frail, so thin in fact that it slips right out of the metal loops you weave it through to contain the extra strap. After wearing it for one day, the sizing hole I put it on has distorted and stretched to twice its original size. I wouldn’t even want to know what would happen if it got wet. Honestly, I don’t think the strap would last through a week of continuous use. It looks great on the watch though, which makes the unfortunate quality all the more disappointing.

That being said, the 809 is a total success. I love it, and I love having two SNKs to alternate. The price of the snk809 has risen to a whopping $63, still making it an immensely affordable watch and a great value. Now, without further adieu, here’s the point of this post…a gallery of my two Seiko 5 SNKs.

Zach is the co-founder and Executive Editor of worn&wound. Before diving head first into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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  • Jared

    Sad to hear that the J Crew swede NATO is such poor quality. Do you happen to have any experience with their other leather NATO (not the shell cordovan lol, the other one)? Curious about it’s quality.

    Think you’re talking me into giving the SNK series a go. Thanks for another great post!

    • Hi Jared,

      No, I haven’t tried their other leather NATOS, but I would be hesitant to. Crown and buckle or holbens both have leather natos of good quality. Or if you are willing to spend a bit more, Jurgens has some gorgeous ones.


  • Beautiful watches! And in-house as well! 🙂

  • Agreed, great watches! I could not stop at 2, I have 4 – black on stainless, the other 3 variants (sand, khaki, blue) on nato. The khaki is one of my favorite watcehs.

  • Adi

    Hey,my snk 809 just arrived. im thinking of changing the strap. whats the lug size? i saw it written on amazon as 16.8mm and some said its 18mm. maybe some help? thank you so much!

    • Hey Adi,

      The lug width is 18mm for sure. I hope you like your watch!


  • Kiel West

    Thanks for your Seiko 5 coverage. Your first post was instrumental in my happy purchase of the SNK803, and I have also been musing the rest of the series.

    I was thinking of this bad boy as a replacement strap, as it satisfies both my army green and brown leather desires.

  • Skylar

    I noticed the price for these is sitting around 70-55 depending where you’re looking. Why the incredible discounting, I wonder? Timex, I get- but I don’t see how a near $300 MSRP Seiko tumbles down that far.

  • Gabe

    has anyone else found that this watch runs fast? I also purchased mine from Amazon and it adds enough minutes in a week of wear that I usually wind up putting it down in favor of my quartz Nixon. Mine was made in Malaysia rather than Japan – are all batches of this model made outside of Japan?

    • I have not noticed any major issues, but I also haven’t been looking… My SNK809 (black) is also made in malaysia, where as my SNK803 is from Japan. I’ll run some tests over the next couple of weeks and see if I have the same problems.

      Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Sam

    How did you get the original strap out?

  • I put a olive green 3 ring Zulu on my Beige SNK803 – great color combination.

    Had the watch about a month and a half, haven’t noticed any perceptible loss/gain of seconds.

    Love the watch! Need to add a black one????

  • Bee

    Nice article Zach!
    After that I wanted to read the SNK 803 review but it seems to be gone “” shows a 404-error. Any chance to get it back?

  • Creek0512

    FYI, there is now a red one as well, SNKM95. Supposedly, exclusive to Amazon.

  • L4ffing Dogg

    I bought my 803 two weeks ago. It’s my first automatic and I really like it! Got myself extra Nato straps to exchange and create pops of color against the beige face. We even had the same idea about black and grey strap. I’m happy with this watch.

  • Hemanth Ravuri

    Can I know which fail colour is more versatile and sexy

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