Five Great Seiko 5 Watches for Under $200

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It’s well-known that we’re big fans of the Seiko 5 line here at Worn & Wound, and I’m certain that it’s a sentiment shared by many watch lovers across the spectrum of collecting. Because they’re very cheap, Seiko 5 watches are often called the ultimate gateway into mechanical timekeeping — the first steps into the shallow end of the pool before the obsession takes hold and we get pulled into the deep end. But I think that does a disservice to these timepieces because, money considerations aside, these are truly great watches that punch well above their weight. Zach, who’s probably handled thousands of watches at this point and has owned some truly wonderful pieces over the years, still wears his SNK regularly, and that’s because the watch simply holds up. 

I recently took a deep dive on Amazon to see what other cool Seiko 5s exist, and for today’s guide I’ve rounded up some of my favorites — and all of them can be had for well under $200 a pop. 

“Fifty Fathoms-lite”
Refs. SNZH53, SNZH55, and SNZH57

This one’s a bit of a classic and it’s a deep cut to the early days of Worn & Wound. Unsurprisingly, it still holds it own. The SNZH5x-series measures 42 millimeters across and features models with metallic blue dial, a black dial, or a black dial with golden accents, respectively.  Aesthetically, it is reminiscent of the Fifty Fathoms, and these get modded with some regularity to look even more like the FF. Regardless, this one’s a looker without any tweaking, and a great all-around beater.

Ref. SNZH53 – $127
Ref. SNZH55 – $175
Ref. SNZH57 – $149

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“The Bottlecap”
Refs. SRPC61, SRPC63, SRPC65, SRPC67, and SRPC68

Seiko fans have nicknamed this one the “Bottlecap” for its somewhat unusual bezel/mid-case design, and this relatively new collection from Seiko is one of the more unique offerings in the 5 series. It marries dive and pilot watch cues, and throws in some interesting color combinations into the mix. This one would look absolutely awesome on a nylon mil-strap.

This series is the priciest of the group, with one of the variants just a touch north of $200, but I felt it was worth including.

Ref. SRPC61 – $180
Ref. SRPC63 – $170
Ref. SRPC65 – $205
Ref. SRPC67 – $190
Ref SRPC68 – $190

“The Quirky All-Arounder”
Ref. SNXF05

One of the great things about the Seiko 5 line is that many of the watches come in well under 40 millimeters. This SNXF05 measures just 37 millimeters across, but it’s given a boost in presence via the tonneau case. What’s really special about this watch is the dial, or to be more specific, the gridded pattern on the dial, which is something you just don’t really see today. Ditch the chintzy bracelet, slip on a neutral-colored leather two-piece strap, and you’re good to go.

Ref. SNXF05 – $120

“Oyster Perpetual-esque”
Refs. SNXS73, SNXS75, SNXS77, and SNXS79

These are a personal favorite. All four have major Oyster Perpetual vibes without feeling too derivative, and naturally you can expect anything that borrows from the OP to be pretty damn versatile. These share the same tonneau case as the aforementioned SNXF05, so that 37-millimeter diameter should be quite forgiving for a number of wrist sizes.

Ref. SNXS73 – $143
Ref. SNXS75 – $95
Ref. SNXS77 -$93

Ref. SNXS79 – $115

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“The Mil-Watch”
Ref. SNK381

Finally, if you want something with a bit of a military vibe, then look no further than the SNK381. The big, bold Arabic numerals really pop against the black dial, and the color-matched day-date at three integrates nicely into the design. Oh yeah, this one’s also just 37 millimeters across. Throw this one on a mil-strap for maximum mil-spec vibes.

Ref. SNK381 – $98

Okay, I lied. There’s no way I can do this guide justice by leaving out the other SNK field-watch-inspired gems (after all, I did mention them in the intro). These are still some of the best watches money can buy, and it’s my go-to when someone asks me for a mechanical watch that doesn’t break the bank. Available in a plethora of colors, there’s one for everyone.

Ref. SNK803 – $70
Ref. SNK805 – $91
Ref. SNK807 -$75
Ref. SNK809 – $75

Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
ryvini
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