Popping the SRPD on your wrist is a bit like catching up with an old friend after a few years of not seeing each other. Some things have changed and some things have stayed the same, but at their core, the personality remains largely the same. That’s a bit what my experience with the new line of SRPDs is like. I’m a long-time owner (and huge fan) of an SKX173, and after hearing that the legendary SKX line has been discontinued, I scrambled to see what was released in its place. While most of the serious dive watches in Seiko’s lineup now reside in the PROSPEX line, the overall design of the SKX is now part of the “Seiko 5 Sports” lineup.
The decreased water resistance and lack of screw-down crown immediately jumped out to me as potential problems with what used to be a rock-solid, ISO certified diver. However, the Seiko 5 line is no slouch. These watches have a history dating back to the early 1960s and were created to be durable and versatile everyday watches that had 5 key features. They needed an automatic movement, a day/date display at 3 o’clock, some degree of water resistance, a recessed crown at 4 o’clock, and a case and bracelet built for durability. The new SPRDs earned the 5 badge on their dial by meeting each of these key elements of design.
Can this new take on the Seiko SKX hold its own? Let’s take an in-depth look at a few watches from the extensive SRPD lineup (appropriately nicknamed the “5KX”) and see if they do justice to the long history of the Seiko 5 and the iconic divers that they’re so closely based on.