Introducing the Seiko 5 Dual-Crown Diver Collection (Refs. SRPB25, SRPB27, SRPB29, and SRPB31)

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Few watches can offer the same horological bang-for-the-buck-value that’s packed in a Seiko 5 watch. After all, the watches of the iconic SNK range—what I and I’m sure many others would happily agree are the benchmark for solid and honestly-priced mechanical watches today—proudly display the Seiko 5 badge on their dials.

Launched in 1963, the Seiko 5 line came into existence with a set of five simple rules. Seiko 5 watches needed to include:

1. automatic winding
2. day/date displayed in a single window
3. water resistance
4. recessed crown at the four o’clock position
5. durable case and bracelet.

Vintage Seiko 5 ad.

Of course, much of this is already part and parcel of modern watches, so today these bullet points are more of a spiritual guide for the Seiko 5 line rather than a strict checklist. In fact, you’ll regularly find Seiko 5 watches without some of these features. Nevertheless, if you’re buying a Seiko 5 watch, then you know you’re getting a workhorse that punches well above its weight.

The quirky thing about Seiko 5 watches is that they just sort of appear, and they do so with absolutely no fanfare. There’s no PR campaign. There’s no grand story. The watches just come, and maybe you’ll hear about them, or, and this is far more likely, you won’t. I often discover new models while perusing the forums (Seiko fanatics make the best detectives), or I’ll come across some on Amazon, which is a pretty solid hangout spot for Seiko 5 watches.

On a recent trip to Amazon, I spotted a new Seiko 5 model that I hadn’t seen before, and it was one I was sure our readers would want to know about—introducing the Seiko 5 dual-crown diver series (Ref. SRPBxx).

Ref. SRPB29.

Though they’re styled after some of the most iconic Super Compressor-cased watches once produced by EPSA (read the history here), the SRPBxx watches are not true Super Compressors, but they do give one the feel of some of those great vintage pieces, and I imagine that’s intentional. Collectors and general enthusiasts absolutely adore vintage dual-crown divers, and brands both high and low have released their interpretations (and reinterpretations) of these legendary watches in recent years. Perhaps one of the best know is the Legend Diver from Longines, which to this day remains a highly sought after watch (both the vintage piece and the neo-vintage reimagining). If you’ve been in the market for one, then this collection from Seiko 5 may just scratch that itch.

Let’s do a quick rundown of the specs. The case measures 42.5 millimeters across, 12.3 millimeters thick, and 22 millimeters at the lugs, so the watch isn’t overly inflated. The crown at two operates the internal rotating bezel, and the crown at three is for general time-setting operation. The case is rated to 100 meters (so it’s technically not a dive watch, but 100 meters is still solid), and the dial is protected with a mineral crystal. Powering the watch is Seiko’s 4R36 mechanical automatic caliber, which features 24-jewels, a day/date complication at three, and hacking.

Ref. SRPB25.

After a bit of digging, I found what look to be four distinct color variants in the SRPBxx range. They include:

Ref. SRPB25 – blue dial; red and blue bezel, stainless steel bracelet
Ref. SRPB27 – black dial; gray and black bezel; stainless steel bracelet
Ref. SRPB29 – black dial; red and black bezel; stainless steel bracelet
Ref. SRPB31 – black dial; orange and black bezel; black rubber strap

Ref. SRPB27 (image via Skywatches).

The selection of color combinations offers a little bit of something for everyone. Personally, I’m a fan of the subdued Ref. SRPB27, followed closely by the more colorful Ref. SRPB31. Throw either of those on a nylon mil-strap, and you’ve got yourself a killer watch.

Altogether, this is a neat watch from Seiko, and, like most watches in the Seiko 5 range, it won’t break the bank. The lowest priced (on Amazon) of the four is Ref. SRPB31 at just $155, and the most expensive is Ref. SRPB27 for $223. The other two are well below $200. If you’re in the market for one of these, then you’ve got one hell of a value here.

Featured image via Skywatches

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.
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