A Complete Guide To The World’s Best-Value Diving Watch

To comprehend just how a Japanese watch model that populates numerous webpages of just about every Argos catalogue manages to command the respect of the notoriously snobbish check out community, each individual Swiss CEO worth their salt, and in flip manages to make the SKX007 in problem in this article for these a ridiculously minimal price tag position, we refer you to Seiko’s abiding motto: “One step ahead of the rest.”

Very well, the brand unquestionably was in advance of the activity with the SKX007 diving watch – produced in 1996 – and it appears to be the rest of the industry is even now playing capture up. It is perhaps the most effective price automatic look at on the sector nowadays, and continually troubles watches 10 moments its price tag in phrases of its operation, stylishly uncomplicated design and prime create quality. If you’re searching for a rugged mechanical watch with serious pedigree that you can don just about every day, this could well be all you have to have.

The product of in excess of 3 a long time of technological interbreeding, the SKX007 could be Seiko’s most extraordinary waterbaby of all, simply because of, alternatively than despite it getting one particular of the world’s most affordable watches. For £349 (while on any offered working day, you are going to quickly obtain a new a single for a lot less, e.g. here, for instance) you get a bona fide, self-winding mechanical diving view that a lot more than meets this horological genre’s always rigid specifications.

In other text: 200-metre drinking water resistance hugely legible dial luminosity a screw-down crown shielded by ‘shoulders’ and offset to 4 o’clock to free up wrist movement furthermore the all-significant unidirectional timing bezel, which, if you accidentally knock it, only turns anticlockwise to dictate considerably less remaining dive time relatively than (likely lethally) a lot more. And which is assuming you’re somebody who essentially spends prolonged durations of time underwater, of class.

DescriptionSeiko 6217 Diver, 1965

It is as pure a offer as any self-respecting diver would want, or anybody with a vaguely actual physical lifestyle for that subject, who values robustness and peace of mind really should any drinking water-dependent activity or phenomenon confront them. A day at the beach for instance, or as mad-keen customers of the Seiko diving-look at cult will respect, a jungle monsoon. The reference. 6105, following all, was particularly famed for being worn by Captain Benjamin L. Willard – aka Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.

The Style

The dial itself is pure, practical minimalism, picked out in Seiko’s proprietary, famously torch-shiny luminous paint. Some will take issue with the black-on-white day/date indication (pedants like day rings to match their dials, thank you really significantly) but we choose it – it balances-out the lume at 9 o’clock. As for ‘DIVER’S 200m’ in crimson? Well, that is as racy as it receives, incorporating a sprint of retro flair to if not sober proceedings.


If you go for the steel bracelet above the increasing ‘concertina’ rubber strap solution, that’ll add a contact more classic cool, but it is a little bit clicky-clacky for our liking. Adhere with the rubber – it’s the expert selection and instantaneously adjustable, or, swap out the band for a NATO enjoy strap for entire on armed forces fashion.

The Develop High-quality

It is the most straightforward of watches we’re celebrating listed here – simplicity usually remaining the toughest trick to pull off with wristwatches. The considerably less that is likely on, the tougher the remaining aspects must do the job, particularly given the lifelong lifespan of a very well-produced check out. And goodness is the SKX007 perfectly-manufactured.


On-wrist and hands-on, the initially detail you respect is the sheer heft of the stainless-steel case – there is a large amount of helpful ballast in this article, machined and polished with extraordinary finesse, from the light curve of its 4 lugs or ‘claws’, to the two scalloped shoulders mounting to guard both facet of the crown.

The gnurl of the bezel is quickly gripped sporting gloves, but not jagged as to seem aggressive or extremely ‘techy’. And when you do twizzle it, a surprise: the bezel clicks crisply in half-minute notches, not whole minutes as you’d forgive any mechanical diver underneath £350. That is Seiko to an obsessive tee.

The Tale Of The Seiko SKX007

It is a gradual but regular spirit of innovation that has witnessed Seiko mature into the titan of watchmaking it is now – a manufacturer boasting vast production amenities dotted in the course of Japan’s mountains. A 7 days-extended Bullet Coach tour is essential to value the sheer extent of these abilities, and Seiko’s thorough self-reliance even stretches to synthesising its very own quartz crystals, developing large lozenges from ‘seed crystal’ in 14m-higher autoclaves – a facility resembling the engine room of the Starship Enterprise.

Elsewhere, nestled in the snowy woods of Morioka in the north, you are going to obtain the correctly named Grand Seiko, where by you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been wormholed to a Swiss watch atelier in the Jura Mountains. Ideal down to its 20 lab-coated watchmakers studiously tweezering with each other precision mechanical actions to rival any of Omega or Rolex.

Unrivalled quartz pedigree, exquisitely crafted horological masterworks… and then there are the diving watches.

Just a person yr immediately after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, even though Seiko was shrinking its quartz technologies to wrist measurement, the seed of a mighty subaquatic lineage was sown: the reference 6217. The enjoy encounter that introduced a thousand rigid-hull inflatable dive boats, if you like. It was Seiko’s initially diving look at, and with it the brand name strike a homerun.


Borrowing a great deal of stylistic cues from Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms, whose super-legible luminous monochrome dial and unidirectional rotating bezel established the SCUBA-worthy common as far back as 1953, 6217 was drinking water-resistant to a very respectable 150 metres down, and was the natural way pushed by a homegrown Seiko mechanical motion.

The SKX007 is a direct descendant of this vintage debut, albeit by using a panoply of variants, evolutions and sub-collections. So best was the 6217, and still so frenzied has its iterative lineage turn into, that the SKX007, in output since 1996, is quickly comprehensible still virtually extremely hard to genetically pinpoint.

The SKX007’s Diving Pedigree

There’s nonetheless extra expert clout to SKX007’s genetic make-up, which arrived about remarkably early-on in Seiko’s everyday living aquatic. 10 yrs right after the launch of its initially, and following 7 a long time of investigate, Seiko came up with yet another milestone: the world’s initial diver’s enjoy with a titanium scenario – its tremendous-tricky, lightweight metallic parts engineered to h2o-resistant tolerances fantastic to depths up to 600 metres. It was an unparalleled use of the product at the time and would mark Seiko out as major gamers in the diving watch environment.

DescriptionSeiko Prospex Tuna Photo voltaic Diver’s

Seiko may well be averse to actual names for its individual products, rather than strings of letters and numbers, but you can rely on their admirers to correct this, and usually with good humour. As a result, this 1975 skilled diver is now fondly known as the ‘Tuna’ – so nicknamed for its flat cylindrical situation profile, resembling a can of fish.

This hockey-puck condition has been adopted throughout a lot of Seiko’s diving selection ever since, such as the cult ‘Orange Monster’ and ‘Black Monster’ Automated Diver’s 200m released in 2000. And considering the fact that 2014 they’ve eventually been out there in the United kingdom beneath the brilliantly revamped Prospex banner – an abbreviation of ‘professional specifications’, which means as well as divers, the assortment also offers analogue devices for pilots, drivers and sailors alike.

DescriptionSeiko Orange Monster Automated Diver’s

Indeed, showing their have fantastic humour, 1 of the items in the goodie bags from Seiko’s new Knightsbridge boutique opening was a cleansing cloth contained by a tin resembling a tuna can.

From 1975 onwards, Seiko was also the 1st to put a quartz motion in a specialist dive watch, the initially to use a tough ceramic shroud for deep-sea diving, the 1st to use a hybrid analog-digital look at with an alarm, and so on and so on.

The Motion

Below the bonnet of the SKX007, you really do get a right Seiko-built self-winding mechanical. The 7S26 is, admittedly, the Japanese brand’s most primary calibre, machined, finished and hand-assembled at Seiko Instruments’ Malaysian plant in Johor, close to the border with Singapore.

But it’s solid as a rock, considerably like the relaxation of the SKX007. It ticks at a regular 21,600 vibrations per hour, winds amazingly competently many thanks to Seiko’s ‘Magic Lever’ procedure (two ‘pawl’ levers both force or pull all-around the winding barrel’s ratchet wheel, whichever way the rotor swings) and is incredibly straightforward and affordable to provider (it even involves plastic parts for factors like the day and day swap-above mechanism).


The only downsides to the 7S26 are that it is non-hand-windable (not so much a challenge thanks to aforementioned Magic Lever, right away ticking factors more than from a cold get started) and it is non-hacking, i.e. the hands do not cease when you pull out the crown to set the time accurately. But the latter is moot in any case, given the 7S26’s rather lousy precision.

Are you genuinely fearful about getting rid of up to 20 seconds or attaining up to 40 seconds a day for this pricepoint? You will only be out by a few minutes a 7 days, and you can still depend on the bezel to time your dive if you’re only submerged for 45 minutes or so.

A Diving Check out Of The Best Purchase

Coincidentally, as properly as staying SKX007’s delivery year, 1996 was also the 12 months Geneva’s Intercontinental Firm for Standardization signed, sealed and delivered its own verdict on what conditions a present day diver’s watch should really adhere to – the ISO 6425 common.


It is a now infamous measuring adhere for the many requires, faults, misinterpretations and misunderstandings the chattering look at lessons like to chat about, and only watches restless in the pursuit of perfection are granted it. Dependability, susceptibility to condensation, 100m bare minimum water resistance, thermal shock resistance, legibility, an indicator items are doing the job in total darkness (a luminous sweeping seconds hands, given that you talk to) – they are all elements that have to be abided by.

ISO 6425 has it all included and its stamp of acceptance is eagerly sought-right after. And guess what? Our humble Seiko passed the exam. But most effective of all, for fewer than £349 it can be all yours.