When you’re “the watch guy” in a social circle, it’s inevitable that you’ll get hit up for a recommendation from someone new to timepieces every so often. While I don’t know a single watch obsessed person who wouldn’t jump at the chance to indoctrinate a newcomer into this strange and wonderful hobby, that first recommendation is a real challenge, and can put you in a tough spot. Price is obviously a concern to any newcomer, and if you’re at all like me, you genuinely want this hypothetical person to have a great experience with their watch, so that watch number 1 eventually leads to watch number 2, and so on and so forth until you’re constantly refreshing the Worn & Wound homepage, following the #speedytuesday hashtag on Instagram, and fully prepared to wire a large sum of money to an internet stranger in exchange for a watch that you’re hoping against hope is all original and correct. Luckily, the Seiko 5 Sports collection exists, and presents an easy suggestion for the poor soul who has just started down this road, and isn’t such a bad idea for the more seasoned collector, either.
The new Seiko 5 Sports line is the product of a relaunch that began two years ago this summer, and now finds itself filling in gaps with watches in different styles and form factors. Much has been written about the position of the new Seiko 5 Sports line within the larger Seiko ecosystem, mostly regarding how the watch community writ large misses the ISO certified SKX line as an entry level, affordable diver. I’m on record as not really caring a whole lot about that, but setting the SKX and the fact that the Seiko 5 Sports collection essentially replaced it aside for a moment, I’m a big fan of this collection and what it represents to the world of affordable watch collecting. It’s a gateway wherein you can obtain a watch of a quality that exceeds its price point, with specs appropriate for everyday wear, and in a dizzying array of styles. The power of choice is key in watch collecting, and Seiko has just introduced a field watch option to the Seiko 5 Sports line, giving folks even more options.
These new watches shrink the case of the Seiko 5 Sports even further than the previous, bezel-less watches that came to market last year, with a diameter coming in at 39.4mm. The shape of the case has also been refined, with a straightening out of the lug profile into a more traditional, circular field watch shape (the distinctive barrel-like shape Seiko is often associated with is absent in this design). Dials include crisp Arabic numerals all around (except at 3:00, where you’ll find a day/date display), with lume filled hands a seconds hand with a contrasting colored tip for easy visibility.
As I mentioned up top, the variety in these new Seiko 5 Sports collections is an enormous part of the appeal, and the field watch entry doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The watch can be had on a bracelet with simple black or blue dials, and on fabric straps in shades of blue, green, and charcoal/black with both white and radium colored lume, all at $275. There’s also a version with a black ion finish that will be priced at a small premium of $315. A total of eight different watches will be available at launch, and if recent history with the Seiko 5 Sports line is any indication, we can expect additional colorways in limited runs and regional special editions in due course.
Like previous Seiko 5 Sports watches, these use Caliber 4R36 to keep time, which is a simple automatic movement of Seiko’s design with 41 hours of power reserve. It hacks and hand winds, and is perfectly appropriate for watches at this price point. These watches also come with the same 100 meters of water resistance as their predecessors, which has been the source of a consistent gripe for many who came of age in the hobby as the SKX was building its reputation. While these watches are certainly not suitable for diving, 100 meters offers plenty of protection for a daily wearer, even with what we assume will be the same push/pull crown as the other Seiko 5 Sports watches.
The new Seiko 5 Sports field watches are available this month from Seiko retailers. Seiko