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The Complete Seiko Buying Guide: Every Current Model Line Explained

Seiko offers some of the best value in watches.

seiko watches
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The Seiko catalog is massive, its reach global, its diversity unrivaled. Seiko’s watches occupy many price points, from the rock solid sport watches you’ll find at Macy's up to handcrafted Grand Seikos costing five figures at swanky boutiques. Some of the tastiest Seikos lie in the middle tiers, particularly the bang-for-buck Prospex (sport/tool) and Presage (dress/retro) lines.

Seiko’s technology is equally diverse, with movements ranging from old-school mechanical calibers to GPS-enabled solar powered quartz units that set themselves when crossing time zones. Seiko, quite literally, offers something for everyone.

Seiko is constantly releasing limited editions and/or market-specific models, and watch nerds in the USA are particularly charmed by the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) designation. Seiko aficionados tend to huddle in one corner, sometimes around just one model, like the revered sub-$200 Seiko SKX007 diver or the handsome JDM-only Seiko Alpinist. The Seiko identity, catalog and even the names and ranges of sub-brands are constantly evolving.

Despite Seiko’s diversity, there are a few qualities that tie all Seiko watches together.

Value: Whether you’re buying a last-minute gift at the drugstore or dropping ten figures on a solid gold handmade Grand Seiko, you’ll be getting an impressive value.

Quality: Even the lowest-tier Seikos are well made and will typically outperform their price-point counterparts from other brands.

In-House Movement: From bottom to top, Seiko manufactures all of their movements themselves. You might sound a little silly pointing out that your $45 watch has an in-house caliber, but you wouldn’t exactly be bullshitting either.

Cred: If you showed up at an horological snob-fest with a Grand Seiko, even the snobbiest would acknowledge the value and craft. Pop into your local SCUBA shop with a Seiko diver and they’ll give you more than the time of day. Flash a budget Seiko at Mom, and she’s likely to approve of your frugality and good taste.

Below is a map through the enormous territory that is the Seiko ouvre.

Credor

seiko credor watches
Seiko

In 1974, Seiko created the sub-brand Credor to create watches made from precious metals. While it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly what sets Credor apart from Grand Seiko, the aesthetics are decidedly their own, and modern Credor exhibits a propensity to include enamel dials and to decorate their movements at a level that rivals the highest houses in watchmaking. Despite the appearance of independence, Credor is very much a part of the Seiko family.

Price Range: ~$1,798 to ~$85,396

Seiko
Credor Eichi II
seikowatches.com

Standout Model: Eichi II in Platinum
This time-only watch is insanely simple on the surface, but with a highly decorated Spring-Drive movement it is one of the most technically advanced mechanical watches around. The platinum model came out in 2020, and it features a porcelain in a deep blue color meant to evoke lapis lazuli.

Case Size: 39mm x 10.3mm
Case Material: Platinum
Movement: Spring Drive Credor 7R14 with 60-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 30m
MSRP: $57,000

Grand Seiko

grand seiko watches
Watchbox

Nominally splintering off from Seiko in 2016, Grand Seiko is still tightly related to the larger brand, so much so that occasionally Grand Seiko’s most storied craftspeople lend their time-honored techniques to the likes of limited-edition Seiko Presage models. These techniques include the Zaratsu steel finishing that produces sword-sharp hands and markers, multiple dial finishing and engraving methods, and impeccable in-house movement building. Grand Seiko’s movements range from the sophisticated 9F family of quartz calibers, to robust automatic mechanical engines, fast-paced Hi-Beat versions, and the acclaimed Spring Drive technology, which uses quartz precision to regulate a fully mechanical drive train.

Grand Seiko’s catalog is divided into Elegance, Masterpiece, Heritage, and Sport lines.

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Grand Seiko Masterpiece

Price Range: $42,000 – $185,000
On par with Credor in terms of finishing and prices but with Grand Seiko design codes, the Masterpiece line is for some of the most special, high-end watches the brand makes. You'll find bejeweled watches and precious metals as well as exquisitely hand-finished movements.

Grand Seiko
Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGZ007
grand-seiko.com
$79,000.00

Standout Model: SBGZ007
Released for the brand's anniversary, this model represents the special nature of the collection with a fully hand-engraved platinum case matched, a deep blue dial with a sparkling effect and the 9R02 movement finished to haute horlogerie standards.

Case Size: 38.5mm x 9.8mm
Case Material: Platinum
Movement: 9R02 Spring Drive manually wound movement
Water Resistance: Splash resistant
Price: $79,000

Grand Seiko Elegance

Price Range: $4,300 – $29,000
Grand Seiko Elegance prices end where many comparable haute horlogerie prices begin. You can get platinum, gold, titanium, or steel cases that house enamel, flecked, or beautifully engraved dials. Keep an eye on the unending stream of limited editions, too.

Grand Seiko
Grand Seiko Elegance SBGY007
grand-seiko.com
$8,300.00

Standout Model: SBGY007
This time-only watch is serenity on the wrist, with its pale blue, ice-inspired dial hovering above a badass hand-wound mechanical movement, which is crafted in-house using Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) for tolerances measured in microns.

Case Size: 37.3mm x 11.6mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: 9R31 hand-wound mechanical with 72-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: Splash resistant
Price: $8,300

Grand Seiko Heritage

Price Range: $2,200-$59,000
Honoring the history of Grand Seiko’s nearly 60 years of fine watchmaking, the Heritage collection embraces aesthetics of the past while driving the technology behind the dial into the future.

Grand Seiko
Grand Seiko Heritage Series 9 SLGH005
grand-seiko.com
$9,100.00

Standout Model: Series 9 SLGH005
Fascinating textured dials are one of Grand Seiko's signatures and this one is meant to reference birch bark. The SLGH005 watch has all the traits the brand is celebrated for, from zaratsu polishing to exquisite detail, and it's powered by a high-beat (5Hz, rather than the more common 4Hz) automatic movement.

Case Size: 40mm x 11.7mm
Case Material: Stainless steel (with matching steel bracelet)
Movement: Hi-Beat 9SA5 automatic
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Price: $9,100

Grand Seiko Sport

Price Range: $3,000-$14,800
The Grand Seiko Sport watches carry a level of finishing and performance that puts them alongside Rolex’s Professional models, and they do so typically for less money. From big, complex chronographs to classic divers and GMTs, these are thoroughbred tool watches.

Grand Seiko
Grand Seiko SBGN019
grand-seiko.com
$4,550.00

Standout Model: SBGN019
Most Seiko and Grand Seiko watches stick to functional simplicity with few complications, but there are some exceptions and the GMT fits right in with the Sport collection. The fixed 24-hour bezel and GMT hand provide a second time zone reference, while the Zaratsu hands slice their way across a deep-black dial to show local time.

Case Size: 40mm x 14.7mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel (with stainless bracelet)
Movement: 9F86 high-accuracy, in-house quartz with GMT function
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Price: $4,550

Seiko Prospex Line

seiko prospex watches
Seiko

Robust and stylish tool watches at incredible prices. As always, keep and eye out for interesting limited editions, and the occasional re-issue of a vintage reference, often costing thousands.

The Prospex collection (“Prospex” = “professional specifications”) is overwhelmingly populated by dive watches broken into various price tiers, sub-collections and even a few field and pilot-style examples.

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Prospex Divers

Price Range: $395-$5,500
The Prospex divers range from enormous quartz and solar-charging units to retro-styled mechanical divers that borrow elements from Seiko’s storied back catalog with options for just about any budget.

Seiko
Seiko Prospex SRPE05
seikousa.com
$595.00

Standout Model: “King Turtle”
Seiko’s 6309 Turtle was produced from 1976 to 1988, and the modern version is an excellent (if not exact) re-issue. The "King Turtle" is so nicknamed because of its addition of premium features like sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel and a few aesthetic tweaks to differentiate it — while costing only nominally more.

Case Size: 45mm x 14mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: 4R36 automatic with 41-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Price: $595

Prospex Land

Price Range: $525-$2,900
Watches from the Prospex line meant for outdoor activities on dry land offer durability, water resistance, charming design and a different side of Seiko from the dive watches that dominate its catalog.

Seiko
Seiko Prospex Aplinist SPB119
seikousa.com
$725.00

Standout Model: Alpinist SPB119
Another retro comeback, the Alpinist (reviewed here) is an evolution of the brand's first sport watch it made for "mountain men" of the 1960s. It stands apart in the Prospex collection for its elegant looks, rotating bezel and quirky but now classic design.

Case Size: 39.5mm x 13.3mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: 6R35 automatic with date and 41-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Price: $725

Prospex LX

Price Range: $5,000-$6,500
Go big with these hardcore sport watches that are equally bold in in size and price. With land, sea and air models and costing near Grand Seiko prices, the LX line brings a higher level of materials, construction and finishing than you'll typically find in the rest of the Prospex line, which is mostly lower-mid tier.

Seiko
Seiko Prospex LX SNR035
Prospex seikowatches.com
$5,500.00

Standout Model: LX SNR035
Big, legible, infinitely detailed, and profoundly technological, this Spring Drive-powered pilot's GMT isn’t attending many fancy destination weddings, but it might help you fly to one.

Case Size: 44.8mm x 14.7mm
Case Material: Titanium
Movement: Spring Drive 5R66 automatic
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Price: $5,500

Seiko Presage Line

seiko presage watches
Seiko

Price Range: $425-$2,400
Presage is the dress watch equivalent to Prospex: often affordable, still durable watches with styles that range from modern and elegant to classic and retro. Seiko also releases higher-end limited-edition Presage models that feature parts manufactured in the Grand Seiko studios.

Seiko
Seiko Presage SRPF51
seikowatches.com
$525.00

Standout Model: SRPF51
Staring at this sandy dial is like gazing at a serene Japanese garden — at least that's the inspiration Seiko notes for this interesting execution. The price-to-quality ratio is off the charts, and it makes for a great alternative to the everyday wearability and standout dial textures of more expensive Grand Seikos.

Case Size: 41.7mm x 12mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Movement: 4R35 automatic
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Price: $525

Seiko Recraft

Price Range: $275-$375
The Recraft Series watches dig deep into Seiko’s closet and come out with some snappy Mid-Century outfits. Affordable, fun, and stylish, they’re also mechanically excellent. There are a number of retro-cool models and colorways to choose from.

Seiko
Seiko Recraft SNKP23
seikousa.com
$275.00

Standout Model: SNKP23
This automatic mechanical watch sports a sapphire case back window so you can see the movement do its thing, but the real party is going on around front. A handful of funky dial options are available.

Case Size: 39.5mm x 11.8mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: 7S26 automatic mechanical with day/date
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Price: $275 (often deeply discounted)

Seiko 5 Sports Line

seiko 5 sports watches
Seiko

Price Range: ~$65-$260
In the 1960s Seiko debuted the Seiko 5 line, promising outdoorsy folks the following: (1) automatic winding, (2) a day/date window, (3) water resistance, (4) a recessed crown at the 4 o’clock position, and (5) a durable steel case. Today’s collection is the Seiko's entry point for mechanical watches and has been refreshed to fit the modern brand's image, making the same promise but with even better finishing, materials, and movements (look on Amazon and the like for older models, many of which are still available). It’s almost impossible to keep track of all the Seiko 5 Sports models, but you’re sure to find something that appeals.

Seiko
Seiko 5 Sports SRPD91
seikousa.com
$335.00

Standout Model: SRPD91
Shockingly good for its price
, the modern line's debut collection of dive-style (though only 100m water-resistant) watches are well represented by this military-themed model. The designs are straightforward and thoughtful, highly legible, comfortable to wear and just a little bundle of fun for the wrist.

Case Size: 42.5mm x 13.4mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: 4R36 automatic
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Price: $335

Seiko Astron Line

seiko astron watch line
Seiko

Price Range: ~$1,350+
In 1969, Seiko devastated the Swiss watch industry with an innovative quartz movement inside a watch called the Astron. Still aggressively pursuing the latest technology, today’s Astron line watches are 100% solar-powered, GPS-connected for near atomic-clock accuracy, and brimming with features.

Seiko
Seiko Astron 5X SSH063
Astron seikowatches.com
$2,500.00

Standout Model: 5X Series
The 5X not only changes time zones with you, but also allows you to swap home and travel times between the main and sub-dial at the push of a button (called Time Transfer). The movement also offers dual time and world time functions, AM/PM indicator, perpetual calendar (showing the correct day and date until the year 2100), as well as indicators for power level and GSP-sync. Did we mention it's ridiculously accurate?

Case Size: 42.9mm x 14.6mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: 5X53 solar-powered with GPS sync, Time Transfer, perpetual calendar and more
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Price: $2,500

Seiko Coutura Line

seiko coutura line
Seiko

Price Range: $350-$695
These solar-powered watches link up to atomic clock references for the most accurate timekeeping on Earth. The Coutura watches are sometimes diamond-studded, sometimes laced with carbon-fiber patterns, sometimes both. They’re always sleek and never retro. Ladies models are also available.

Seiko
Seiko Coutura SSG009
seikousa.com
$595.00

Standout Model: Radio-Sync Solar
This watch will automatically sync to atomic time references, correct its calendar until December 31st, 2099, wisely manage its own power reserves, and take chronograph readings down to 1/5th of a second.

Case Size: 44.5mm x 11.5mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel with integrated steel bracelet
Movement: 8B92 solar-powered, radio synced, chronograph, world time, dual time zones
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Price: $595

Seiko Diamond Collection

seiko diamond collection watches
Seiko

Price Range: $375-$650
If garish women’s jewelry is your thing, the Diamond Collection isn’t the worst place to look. Genuine mother of pearl dials, real diamonds, and robust technical specs at incomprehensibly low prices means that these little dazzlers offer classic Seiko value.

Stand Out Model: All of these watches stand out.

Seiko Core Range

seiko core watches
Courtesy

Price Range: $40+
Think of this as the widest net Seiko casts onto its global consumer base. These are the one’s you’ll find on the rotating displays at Target and on millions of wrists around the world. With models ranging from huge solar chronographs to retro-styled men’s dress watches to little sparkly pink things that, apparently, also tell the time, the Seiko Essentials (also called Core) range is worth sifting through for gems. (This range is difficult to search for via the Seiko website, and Amazon is generally the best bet for finding these types of watches.)

Seiko
Seiko Essentials SUR373
seikousa.com
$330.00

Standout Model: SUR373
Maybe you don't need automatic mechanical movements, and rather just want a solid watch with the superiority of quartz in a classic, practical package. You could do a lot worse than this model with a titanium case and bracelet that feels aesthetically connected to the brand's Presage and even Grand Seiko lines.

Case Size: 40.2mm x 11mm
Case Material: Titanium
Movement: 6N52 quartz
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Price: $330

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