A Comprehensive Seiko SKX007 Dive Watch Review
In this review, I try to provide a full reference for anyone who would consider acquiring this classic diver.
Seiko Diver’s 200m
SKX007 & Variations ( bracelet and strap options )
200 M Water Resistance • 7s26 21 Jewels Japanese Automatic Movement • Hardlex Crystal • Diver’s Bezel (Unidirectional) • Stainless Steel Case (42mm diameter, 13mm thickness, 22mm lugs) • Day/Date Display • Sweep Second Hand
The SKX007 is unmistakably Seiko, but as a classic diving timepiece it is often compared to the likes of the much costlier Rolex Submariner. Seiko prides itself on the consistent development of innovative and durable timepieces. In that spirit, this humble watch is a classic albeit much-refined descendant of the earliest Seiko divers, which dated back to the 1960s.
The SKX007 is very readable. All features of the watch face are geared for a simple engagement. The one-way bezel, the batons, and the hands are the most important parts of this watch for the purposes of diving. Seiko therefore highlighted these specific elements, utilizing sizes, shapes, and contrast in a way that is unified and straightforward. There are no numbers on the dial, only discrete circular hour markers that are begging to be noticed with the pronounced, arrow-like hour hand. The circle of the ‘sweep’ second hand, when it is luminous, is meant to indicate to a diver that the watch is working. The day and date display is care-free but naturally tucked away to emphasize diving components.
Under lit conditions, the day/date display beautifully takes the role of a baton on the dial. The compromise, however, is that the display has no lume and therefore leaves a gap in the pattern of luminous markers when conditions are darker. This is a relatively trivial hindrance for divers; with the faintest light, the watch face looks very uniform.
The day/date display has a second small disadvantage. It rolls over very slowly, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., alternating between the date, the day in an alternate language, and then in the primary language. It would be nice to have it swift and clear, but such a feature is unneeded in a diving tool. Wearers must get used to it early and respect the mechanism.
Hidden from plain view is the provocative double-grooved design of the bezel. The bezel is hefty enough to be operated easily by covered hands, and yet does not dominate the watch. In the dark of the ocean, the watch is honest and effortless. The luminance is superb.
While the SKX007 is undoubtedly built for purpose, it is a very handsome watch. It is simple and rugged. As outlined above, its looks are perfectly complementary to its practical use as a diver. The sexy bezel and crown impart sleekness to this robust classic. The crown is placed attractively at an angle for easy access. There’s a general sportiness to the watch case, a liveliness – but not to the detriment of its dignity. You could easily sport the diver to a corporate meeting, a black-tie gala, a sporting event, or a rave (OK, maybe not a rave). It is versatile; striking but never loud. In short, the singular delight of looking at the watch is as thoughtless as reading it.
The 21 jewel 7s26 motor runs smoothly, and it is always satisfying to have the pleasure of a low-maintenance Seiko automatic. Of course, the shortcoming of automatic movement at level is precision. I am in no capacity an expert in watch movements. Having said that, I’ve researched the 7s26, and the consensus is that Seiko has produced a mechanism here that is reliable, hardy, and engineered with great care. Wearers agree; The SKX007 reportedly loses less than 15 seconds a day. Unlike the Seiko Kinetic series, this watch will slump greatly in timekeeping if kept too idle. Some complain that the watch does not have a hand-winding option. The watch is also non-hacking, meaning that the second hand will continue to run while the time is adjusted. When you get the chance, hold the case to your ear and take pleasure from the ticks of the pulsating balance wheel.
Hardlex Crystal is more shock-resistant but less scratch resistant than sapphire crystal. In the case of casual and careful use, this should not pose a problem to the average wearer. It is far harder and more protective than a common mineral crystal.
The stock Jubilee bracelet (SKX007K2) may be comfortable, but it is not very attractive. The jubilee design was presumably chosen to match the toothed bezel, but there is still some sense of interference. More crucially, the jubilee condemns the hardy and simple SKX007 to a flimsy and outmoded style. It has no diver’s extension clasp, which is essential for over-suit wear. Even if that is not of your concern, it at least makes one doubt the motivations of Seiko to impart purpose and practicality, qualities that mark the watch head. Luckily, Seiko has extinguished this doubt with the rubber alternate. It’s likely a question of attracting both serious divers and those who appreciate these well-built watches but use them recreationally. If you were looking at the stock models at face value, I would say the stock rubber watchband (SKX007K) is a better bet. Even if it is a little too what we might call “foldy,” it absolutely fits the watch in style and purpose. There is an alternate, straighter version of the rubber watchband that might fare OK. If you are partial to a stainless steel bracelet, this watch is best matched with an oyster (commonly the “super oyster,” which I have on my own SKX007) or president theme.
So, the unconvincing bracelets are bound to an otherwise fantastic timepiece. This is likely partially responsible for the current and long-standing trend of SKX007 modifications† (or “mods”). NATO and other straps are quite popular, as well as modifications to the dial, bezel, steel, and others. Some of the closely related Seiko Diver models are cool alternatives.
Another probable reason for the rise of the SKX007 as a kind of cult sensation is its value. The Seiko SKX007 is available at my shop from as low as £125.00 (MSRP £250.00), which is a sound bargain for a well built , automatic , beautiful diver watch boasting 200m water resistance.
The Seiko SKX007 is a sturdy watch with a serious feel but a classic and desirable diver look. It is an excellent tool and can be worn at almost any occasion. Owing to mediocre stock bracelets and great value, the watch calls out for customization, and many wearers abide. It is for anyone who is looking for a watch that is affordable, strong, uncluttered, and reliable. Once you put it on, the Diver’s 200m becomes exceedingly difficult to dislike.