An Introduction & Brief History of the Seiko SKX009
The Seiko SKX009, the slightly aesthetically altered version of the famous Seiko SKX007, has truly become an icon not only amongst divers, but also the watch community.
The Seiko SKX00 series, (the 007 and 009), first came out in 1996 and were Seiko’s shot at making an affordable, reliable diving watch for real divers. It is safe to say that they accomplished what they set out to do, but also established a true icon!
It was inspired by some of Seiko’s 60s automatic diver’s watches models, which proved successes from the start.
The Seiko SKX009 is a variation of the original SKX007, with a dark blue dial and blue and red ‘pepsi style’ bezel. Those are the only differences between the watches, everything else such as the Seiko 7s26 movement remain the same throughout.
As a genuine diver’s watch, the Seiko SKX009 not only sports a 200 meter water resistance rating fit for scuba diving and anything leading up to it, but is also an ISO certified Diver’s Watch.
ISO 6425 (Diver’s Watch):
The ISO 6425 standard is only awarded to the most robust and reliable diving watches on the market.
Originally, I thought that all a watch labelled a ‘diving watch’ had to do was resist the appropriate amount of water pressure, but I was very wrong.
As well as depth rating (which must be at least 150 meters to comply with this standard), the watch has to meet many other standards such as the following:
- The presence of a unidirectional bezel with at least at every 5 minutes elapsed minute markings and a pre-select marker to mark a specific minute marking.
- The presence of clearly distinguishable minute markings on the watch face.
- Adequate readability/visibility at 25 cm (9.8 in) in total darkness.
- The presence of an indication that the watch is running in total darkness. This is usually indicated by a running second hand with a luminous tip or tail.
- Magnetic resistance. This is tested by 3 expositions to a direct current magnetic field of 4,800 A/m. The watch must keep its accuracy to ± 30 seconds/day as measured before the test despite the magnetic field.
- Shock resistance. This is tested by two shocks (one on the 9 o’clock side, and one to the crystal and perpendicular to the face). The shock is usually delivered by a hard plastic hammer mounted as a pendulum, so as to deliver a measured amount of energy, specifically, a 3 kg hammer with an impact velocity of 4.43 m/s. The change in rate allowed is ± 60 seconds/day.
- Chemical resistance. This is tested by immersion in a 30 g/l NaCl solution for 24 hours to test its rust resistance. This test water solution has a salinity comparable to normal seawater.
- Strap/band solidity. This is tested by applying a force of 200 N (45 lbf) to each spring bar (or attaching point) in opposite directions with no damage to the watch or attachment point.
- The presence of an End Of Life (EOL) indicator on battery powered watches.
(Source – Wikipedia)
What I personally find most impressive about the compliance of the Seiko SKX009 with this standard, is that it is not essential for companies to test for this standard.
This means that through choosing to comply with the ISO 6425 standard, Seiko had to pay much more money to get the watch certified with this, and still comes in at a very affordable price which is makes this a very special watch!
In my personal experience wearing the Seiko SKX009, I have almost nothing negative to say.
It is in my opinion one of the best everyday, casual watches as well as one of the best and most well regarded diver’s watches.
I have heard from many folks on watch forums who go diving with their watches, that in this day and age they’d leave their Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster behind, and strap on their Seikos, as the performance while diving is very comparable and they are too afraid of breaking/losing their expensive, luxury piece!
I personally wear the watch on a NATO strap from day to day, but if it is required for a slightly more formal occasion, I can always pop the included Seiko stainless steel jubilee style bracelet on.
Personally, I am not all too fond of the included Jubilee bracelet purely because it has hollow end links.
As I tend to wear my watches with quite a tight fit, my experience with hollow end links has been that the more I wear the watch, the more the fold over pieces at the bottom of the end links have bent, thus resulting in a loose, rattling fit with a feeling of low quality.
As a whole, the bracelet’s quality isn’t terrible, but personally I wear it much more on either a NATO, Perlon or Rubber Strap.
I have also heard from other collectors that they wear it on a Mesh strap for more formal occasions, so that may also be an interesting option to look into.
The Seiko SKX009 features a uni-directional, 120 click bezel which makes it superior to many other diving watches in this price bracket.
My experience with the bezel has been is that it’s quite easy to turn, has a precise feel to it and yet isn’t too loose.
Overall I very much enjoy the bezel, and the pepsi style is also something I have always liked a lot as its quirky and has a slightly vintage feeling to it.
The SKX009’s case is very sturdy and robust.
Its sides are polished, and the top is brushed with a blend between the two which in my opinion makes it look like a much more expensive piece than it actually is.
The caseback features a Seiko ‘tsunami medallion’, which is seen commonly on their diver’s watches. It is also marked ‘Scuba Diver’s’, which again can only be put there because of its compliance with the ISO 6425 standard mentioned before.
The crown is at the 4 o’clock position, tucked away nicely so it doesn’t dig into your wrist as much, as well as being less prone to impacts.
The crystal is a Seiko Hardlex crystal, which is their own improved version of Mineral Glass. Mineral Glass is more shatter resistance than a Sapphire crystal, but consequently more prone to scratching. Seiko’s Hardlex crystal is based on mineral glass, inheriting its shatter resistance, but at the same time having been treated to make it more scratch resistant as well.
The case is one of the features of this watch that I like best, alongside its simplicity and robustness.
The dial of the Seiko SKX009 is very simple and basic, yet very effective and readable.
Every five minutes, the markers are coated with Seiko’s super bright lume which is very legible in the dark. The hands are also coated with this lume, and the minute hand is an arrow-style hand, whereas the hour hand is a sword-style hand. This makes it very easy and clear to distinguish between the two, making this watch very legible in all situations.
The dial as a whole sits quite deep into the case, and there is a ring going around the side with a little line marking every minute.
On the right hand side where the 3 o’clock marker would be, there is a day-date calendar display with a white background, making it easily readable and almost compensating for the missing 3 o’clock marker.
There is a luminous pip on the balance end (tail end) of the second hand, which is white. The whole rear section of the second hand is painted black, contrasting the front, main end which is all white.
Under the 12 o’clock marker it states ‘Seiko Automatic’, and just above the 6 o’clock marker it states ‘Diver’s 200m’ in a light red colour, where the word ‘diver’s’ could only be used if the watch complies with the ISO 6425 standard.
The Seiko SKX009 is powered by a workhorse Seiko 7s26 movement which is automatic, and features a Day-Date calendar display.
This movement is used in multiple other Seiko’s, and while not the most accurate (+-15 seconds a day), it is incredibly robust and durable. The 7s26 movement utilises Seiko’s magic lever system, which winds the watch whether the rotor swings clockwise or anti-clockwise.
I have read online that people have had their Seikos with 7s26 movements and worn them for over 15 years with no service and they’re still running fine!
You should, of course, never do this, but it just goes to show just how good the movement really is!
Overall, I really like the Seiko SKX009, and it has become my daily wear ‘beater watch’. It has surpassed my expectations in so many ways, and it still dazzles me to this day how they could put so much into such a low price point.
Having said that, there are also some negative points about this watch, so I have outlined the Pros and Cons here:
- Simple yet functional design
- Vintage look inspired by 60s Seiko Divers
- 4 o’clock crown
- Seiko’s amazing 7s26 movement
- ISO 6425 Compliant
- Interesting History
- Extremely Robust and Durable
- Wears great on a NATO strap
- Stock jubilee bracelet isn’t great
- No hand winding feature on the movement
- Accuracy isn’t amazing
It is definitely safe to say that the pros hugely outweigh the cons, and this definitely is one I would recommend!
Where to Buy
The best place I have found to get the Seiko SKX009, which is where I got the one featured in this review!
Here is the best deal on Amazon.com (US)! Buy Seiko SKX009 Amazon.com
You can buy this watch on Amazon.co.uk by clicking here, that is where I got mine.
I hope you enjoyed this review of one of my all time favourites, the Seiko SKX009!
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