It’s been some time since we reviewed a Seiko on worn&wound, which is a shame because Seiko is one of our favorite brands. As long time readers may recall, we’ve reviewed a number of Seiko’s including two from their Seiko 5 line, the SNK military field watch and SNZH diver, both of which have quite a following from the watch nerd community. Seiko 5’s are known for being sturdy, affordable mechanical watches that come in a variety of flavors, and today we’re going to take a look at the SNZG, a mid-sized military field watch that retails for $100 to $115 depending on strap choice.
The Seiko 5 line of watches is vast, including watches from a number of genres (dive, dress, military) with varying dial colors, case finishes and strap choices for each model. That said, you very well may be wondering “What makes a Seiko 5 a Seiko 5?” That’s a great question, and from researching the subject, I have learned that the 5 in the Seiko 5 name signifies five key components of any Seiko 5 watch found across the entire line. These components are as follows;
- Automatic mechanical movement
- Day/Date display
- Water resistance (varies across line)
- Diaflex mainspring (commonly referred to as “unbreakable”)
- Diashock shock resistant design
It is rather amazing that these are the standards for a line of mechanical watches that are frequently priced well below $200, and are often found available for $100 or less. Add to the equation that Seiko is a brand with roots dating back to the late 1800’s, with a horological tradition as rich as many Swiss brands, and the value of a Seiko 5 is much greater than its price tag may suggest.
Now that you know a bit more about Seiko 5’s your next thought may be “Great, I’m sold. Now which Seiko 5 is right for me?” Another great question. The Seiko 5 variations are endless, though a good place to start when trying to decide which is right for you may be to look at those models that have, over time, developed a fan base. Included in this group are two watches that we have reviewed on worn&wound, the SNZH diver and SNK military field. As Zach pointed out in his review of the SNZH, its a diver with heritage design elements similar to that of the iconic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, making it a no brainer Seiko 5 for dive enthusiasts. As for the SNZ, it’s classic military styling is spot on, and is commonly priced well less than $100, making it another great Seiko 5 pick. Unfortunately for those who prefer mid-sized to larger watches, the SNK is not an option, measuring just north of 37mm in diameter.
This is where the Seiko 5 SNZG steps into the spotlight. Measuring a more robust 42mm in diameter, the SNZG is a great Seiko 5 pick for someone in the market for an affordable mechanical military field watch. It is available at an astounding price of $115 with metal bracelet, as reviewed here, or as low as $100 on a nylon strap. So, without further ado, lets jump into the specifics of the SNZG.
Very nice, and maybe the best bang for the buck. Though I still want that Seiko 5 that looks like the Fifty Fathoms. 😉
“This video is private” 🙁
I’ve owned one of these for about 6 months now, and I paid around US$180 for the Japanese-made variant, as distinct from the standard Malaysian-manufactured version. I work in a profession where a suit is a must, but due to the nature of the job my watches tend to cop a battering. In my opinion, this watch strikes a solid balance between professional, presentable and utilitarian, and it has stood up to a remarkable amount of (unintentional) abuse. I’d love to wear my dress watches to work, but they just wouldn’t survive, and I’m pleased to report the Seiko has garnered its fair share of compliments. Highly recommended.
Love your site. Would it be possible to replace the face of this watch with something simple like the Maratac Pilot? I like the size and features of this watch, just not the logos. How would you compare the Maratac to the Seiko?
I have the SNZG13 with a staineless steel strap. Now I bought mine for $240 and that’s cheap in Australia for this watch. But I have no choice as too where it’s made if I did I’d choose Japan :-). But anyway this watch is fantastic. It’s one of my weekend Seiko watches and as always you can’t beat Seiko lumibrite. I went camping a few weeks back and it was the camp from hell. So much went wrong but this watch stayed strong and was the only item to come out of the camp in the condition it entered. So for the price paid, durability and all round ease of use and comfort. It’s fantastic. But as there is not hacking or manual winding I’m a little dissapointed. But Seiko are fixing this and it’s something I can live with. So all up, a great watch.
Great review! I bought the SNZG13 in SS six months ago on sale for $79US. I set it 25 days ago, and checking today it’s now 40 seconds fast, for an average of +1.6 secs/day!! I’ve made some great buys, but few have provided as much mechanical competency and aesthetic pleasure for the dollar as my SNZG13.
Since I love this watch so much, I’m now looking to change it. 😉 The bracelet is comfortable enough, but is a tiny bit noisier than my Seiko Sportura. I’m thinking of going a bit radical, a distressed leather handmade strap for winter, like those from Gunny (which would cost more than the SNZG13 itself… eek!) and NATO straps for our Austin TX summers. I’d love to read/see what straps others are wearing on this extraordinary timepiece.
Is the case diameter 42mm including the crown? I keep getting mixed measurements on this watch. I would like to make sure before I buy this for someone.
bought this one few months ago based on instinct and the info came after only making it more worthy purchase and perfect choice since my other collections were always the casio calculator watch and data bank since college.
Why aren’t those watches sync’d!?! D:
I’ve had the watch on a nylon strap for about 1 year. Picked it up as an after though – it was recommended to me by the local watch shop.
Made in Japan. Its worked it way into my daily wear line-up.
Nylon strap absorbs body odor – It can STINK. Wash it in hot weather and let it air dry.
Lume isn’t up to SEIKO standards. Faint at best and goes dark very quickly – in 20 minutes or so.
The crystal will scratch, be careful in doorways.
Non-hacking and non-windable. Fully automatic wind.
Dependable. It seems to get better with more wear.
Accurate as necessary. For its price point its well within acceptable deviation. You might want to have the local watchsmith do a cleaning and adjustment if its that important.
Clean ‘classic’ looks. It blends in well.
24 hr time on dial. For me, this is important. Great legibility.
Price is great for what you get – value for money spent.
In todays world of high dollar “status” watches this SEIKO is a very good, and affordable, deal.
cool watch,i like seiko,what store can i buy seiko sport
great review! where did you get that olive (I believe?) nato strap?
Look for the SNZG13J1 model. The “J1” is the model made in Japan. There are some “K1” models out there and I believe they are made in Malaysia. The Japanese model also says “Made in Japan” in small letters on the face around the 8 o’clock position. I found mine at:
Awesome review by the way!
Makes no difference.
That strap looks is a killer tho. Is it from Gnomon watches? Would like to know the code..
Does anybody know the glass diameter and thickness of a Seiko SNZG09 Military Green 7S36-03JO.
Of all my watches this is one of my favorites and the most versatile. I ended up picking up a second one to keep for nato straps and the other on the bracelet. Incredible value!
The movement is 7S36C not 7S26C as it is written above
I just ordered one of these – wrist is itchy with anticipation.
hey guys, the movement is 7S36, not 7S26 🙂 the 7S26 can be found in SNK’s.
very good point of fact Sirbu.
I have this exact model in my daily wear rotation. It is an EXCELLENT watch.
It does need better lume(actually very bad lume) and the crystal is far from being “scratch-proof”(it scratches a lot and easily).
But I do like the watch a lot.
As much as i want to like the Seiko,as a affordable military style automatic watch, i dont think its my thing.The dial of the watch is cluttered with its “Seiko”, “5”, “Sports”,”Automatic”, “23 Jewels” and “100m”, every piece in its own single line. Do i really need all this information everytime when i look at my watch?Is there a chance that i forget that it is waterrestistant, or is it vital to know that it has 23 Jewels?I wish it would be more clean,not puristic,still instrumental,but more reasonable.”Seiko”+ one more informationwriting is enough. Also the 42mm Diameter is slightly to big for me, 40mm would be enough.More than the 37mm of the previous modell to have presence, not so much that it will look odd in a few years when smaller,more reasonable watches have their comeback. Aside from this, i enjoy your reviews very much,Greetings from Germany.
This is a pretty common complaint about the Seiko 5. I recently learned that there are many replacement dials for Seiko watches. The price is low and the change is supposedly easy to DIY, or have your watch repaireman do it.
I definitely want to purchase one of these, they look great with a leather strap of any kind. They have however gotten more expensive. The japanese models are now almost $190, way more than the review stated.
I just ordered a Japanese built one from Creation Watches that was $125 with free 2 day shipping. They charge $105 for the Malaysian version. I’m not sure where you’re looking but there are dozens for sale on Amazon for $105 with a nylon bracelet and $115 for the stainless steel bracelet (both Malaysian).
The SNZG13 is a great watch. Still available for $110 online. Mine looks great with a brown leather strap from Crown and Buckle. Doesn’t matter where it’s made, a Seiko is a Seiko. And that means it’s tough. I still wear a Seiko 5 (6619A-9020) made in 1965 that keeps reasonably accurate time. It needs a service, but it’s 51 years old and looks fantastic!
I do think it’s odd that the author has never seen fit to correct the erroneous movement in the article.
Any chance somebody can recommend a quartz watch that is similar. I’d like more accuracy and better durability.
-3 clearly legible hands