“Seiko is moving upmarket! They’re going to discontinue the Seiko 5! No one will be able to find affordable, mechanical Japanese watches anymore! What do we all do?!”
Nahhhhhhh. Bullshit. Seiko is totally still making the Seiko 5. In fact, there’s even a press release on Seiko’s global English-language website detailing the new watches and their specs, which is wonderful, considering that the most information we generally receive detailing the current Seiko 5 catalog at any given point in time comes from perusing Amazon sales pages and angry watch forum rants from disenchanted recent college graduates.
So what do we have here? Let’s see. The new Seiko 5 Sport Collection, available in September, 2019, will consists of 27 different executions across 5 styles: Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street and Sense. Each iteration will have several features in common, including a day-date display; the now-iconic arrow-shaped minute hands and distinctive hour markers; unidirectional rotating bezels; the Seiko automatic cal. 4R36 movement with optional manual winding and a 41-hour power reserve; a Hardlex crystal; and a steel 42.5mm stainless steel case back, 13.4mm thick with a transparent case back and 100m of water resistance.
Sports models will include a steel bracelet with three-fold clasp and secure lock & push-button release, while the Suits models will feature a bracelet with a sliding clasp. The Specialist series will feature a silicon-calf hybrid strap, and the Street and Sense series will feature nylon straps.
Why is all this exciting? The Seiko 5 is the bedrock of the affordable watch movement — produced continuously in myriad iterations since 1963, the existence of the Seiko 5 line ensured that just about anyone anywhere could get himself an affordable, mechanical watch that would potentially last a lifetime. With these new executions, Seiko is revamping the 5 with modern specs, beefing up the cases and offering more value for similar money.
The watches will cost between 280 and 340 Euros, or roughly $314 to $381 at MSRP, which, while more expensive than many models in the current Seiko 5 catalog, are still perfectly fair prices considering their feature sets. Moreover, Seiko 5s rarely seem to sell close to their MSRPs, so the working assumption should be that these prices won’t represent what they trade for regularly. The new models should debut in October.
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