Seiko 5 SNK809 Review

When you picture a watch for under $75, it’s easy to think of the department store special. Row upon row of watches under glass, sitting in plastic holders that are impossible to open, all of them looking exactly the same. How can greatness be found there?

It’s possible if you happen to be looking at the Seiko 5 SNK809. This automatic stainless steel watch features a black canvas strap, hands that feature the classic sword-shape of the brand, and 21-jewel movements for impressive accuracy.

It’s rare to find that many jewels in an automatic movement at this price, so we decided to take a closer look at this extremely affordable watch. Here’s what we found.

#1. The crystal on this watch is very impact resistant. Seiko has included Hardlex mineral glass with the design of this automatic timepiece. This doesn’t change its scratch-resistance in our opinion, but it does make the watch more impact-resistant than most other timepieces at this price point. It literally takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

#2. The accuracy of this watch is virtually beyond compare in this category. We agree with the observations of those who have publicly reviewed this watch. Most days, with normal wear, you’re going to find that the accuracy of this automatic timepiece is to within a second or two of the actual time. We haven’t found another watch at this price which is this accurate.

#3. Its winding mechanism is a little touchy. We did find that the winding mechanism on this Seiko 5 was a little difficult to control. If you place a little more pressure than necessary on the timepiece, it is entirely possible for someone to use more power than necessary and accidentally break the watch. That would violate the warranty offered by the manufacturer, leaving the customer with what amounts to an expensive paperweight in that scenario. Handle with great care when winding.

#4. The water resistance rating on this watch is potentially questionable. Although this timepiece is rated to 30 meters for water-resistance, we would actually recommend avoiding any moisture with this watch. It’s really only splash-resistant and you won’t want to push the buttons of the watch if it happens to be submerged in water.

#5. The strap on this watch is a bit thin. The canvas strap is 18mm in width, which makes it a bit smaller than your average watch strap. This could make it difficult for some users to wear the watch. We found that although the fit of this watch was a bit snug, it also made the watch work with most clothing options and that was a nice feature.

#6. The hourly time on the inside dial of the face takes some getting used to seeing. The seconds are actually on the outer dial on this watch, with the hours on the inner dial. It gives the watch a unique look for sure, along with the date window that can be formatted in Spanish if you prefer, but it does take a little to get used to it – unless 55 o’clock is suddenly a thing.

There isn’t a better automatic watch at this price point than the Seiko 5 SNK809. If you want to upgrade to a mechanical watch, we highly recommend giving this timepiece an opportunity to be on your wrist.

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4.1 out of 5
4.1 out of 5
4.1 out of 5


4.1 out of 5