The One You’ve Been Waiting For – Meet The Seiko 5 Sports GMT

Seiko is kicking off the summer with a fun new watch that’ll make an excellent companion for your cross timezone travels. For the first time ever in the 5 lineup, Seiko is offering an affordable and handsome GMT watch in three fun colorways. There was some disappointment in the watch world when Seiko discontinued the classic SKX and replaced them with a slightly less capable counterpart in their 5 Sports line. However, I’m happy to see them iterating on the classic SKX style even further with GMT functionality. These new “SSK” GMTs are based on the same design as the SRPD “divers” that we reviewed in depth here. The case looks largely the same, but is a scant 0.1mm thicker to accommodate the new movement inside. Let’s take a closer look at these new GMTs from Seiko 5 Sports. 

The Seiko 5 Sports lineup has taken over for the classic SKX, dropping a few key features along the way, but still maintaining that classic Seiko design spirit. If you’re looking for a true dive watch, then you’ll probably find yourself wading in the Prospex pool. I don’t mean that in a way that undermines the 5 Sports lineup. They’re still plenty capable and water resistant enough for most everyday activities (and then some) at 100m. If a fun GMT with an affordable price tag is more your speed, then these new SSKs pack a lot of value into a truly tempting package.


The new SSKs are housed in a 42.5mm stainless steel case coming in at 13.6mm thick with 100 meters of water resistance. A familiar case shape should make SKX fans feel right at home, since this watch features the classic SKX silhouette right down to the 4 o’clock crown and sculpted crown guards. The watch ships on a jubilee style stainless steel bracelet with plenty of articulation to keep the watch comfortably secured to your wrist. You’ll also find a refined dial with applied indices, a GMT scale on the rehaut, and a rotating 24-hour bezel. 

Inside the watch, there’s Seiko’s new affordable GMT movement — the 4R34. It’s the same quality you can expect from the 4R series of movements, but with the addition of a fourth hand to track another timezone. The movement is automatic, features hacking seconds for precision time setting, and has 24 jewels scattered throughout to keep the movement running smoothly. It beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and will stay running for approximately 41 hours when fully wound. The main difference between this movement and the other 4R movements is the GMT function. 

The big question here, is this a “true GMT”? On a “true GMT”, the hour hand is the one that can be jumped hour to hour, making your local time quickly and easily adjustable, while the 24 hour hand continues to track the time at home. The 4R34 is what’s referred to as a “caller” GMT, where the second time zone you’re tracking is displayed on the 24 hour hand and can be jumped around depending on what time zone you want to track. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a weak argument to prefer a “true” GMT over a “caller”. You can always leave the 24 hour hand set to your home time zone and then set the main hands to your travel time. You won’t get that satisfying jump, but the extra few seconds it’s going to take to set the watch isn’t a deal breaker if you’re stuck on the tarmac waiting for your plane to arrive at its gate anyway.

Seikos new SSK comes in three variants: a black dial and bezel with a red GMT hand, a blue dialed version with a two-tone black and blue bezel (cough…BATMAN…cough) and red GMT hand, and finally a really fun orange-dialed version with gold accents on the bezel and a polished GMT hand. This watch is expected to retail for right around five hundred bucks, making it a very attractive option in the world of affordable GMTs. If you’ve been looking to add a GMT watch to your collection that won’t break the bank, these are definitely worth taking a closer look. Stay tuned for more info on the release date and pricing and let us know what you think of this watch in the comments below.

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.