“Seeing two SKX007(s), my friend?”
Fret not. I can assure you there’s nothing in your drink, okay? By now, most of you would’ve heard/seen/read about or maybe even bought one of the million variants under the relatively new Seiko 5 Sports umbrella. Seeing as how this is a quickie, I’ll spare you guys the technical rundown and all that jazz of both models.
After all, there are plenty of reviews out there that dive (pun intended) into the nitty-gritty of these watches. I particularly enjoy reading this review of the SKX007 by the folks at Worn & Wound. On the other hand, should you need more deets on the new Seiko 5 Sports range, we covered the Malaysian launch of it in this feature here.
“So, what exactly are we gonna’ be talking about, then?”
Mainly, the glaring differences between these two and which one, in my opinion, you should go for. Although both look like carbon copies of each other, digging beneath the surface would reveal two different watches designed for very different target audiences.
So, without further ado, let’s shine the spotlight on what I reckon is the biggest change on the 5s over the SKX007. The movement. In the SKX007, we get the impossible-to-kill, in-house 7S26 caliber. Produced since 1996, the non-hacking, non-handwinding movement has 21 jewels and beats at a steady 3 Hz. Power reserve is quoted at 41 hours but do allow for variations. As for its accuracy, there are reports stating a rate of -20/+40 seconds per day. However, owners all over have posted wildly different feedback in terms of their own SKX’s accuracy.
What about the 5 Sports a.k.a. the 5KX? This one comes with the 4R36 movement which, on paper, looks to have similar numbers as the 7S26. Power reserve? That’s a healthy 40 hours while the beat rate is the same. Accuracy is rated at roughly -35/+45 seconds per day. However, the 4R adds on two very important features – hacking and hand-winding capabilities. With that said though, the SKX one-ups the new 5KX with a 200 m water resistance rating over the latter’s 100 m.
“… and there lies the biggest hint at what makes the SKX007 and 5KX different.”
If I were to generalize it, the 5KX is aimed at those who never intend to go diving with their watches. Heck, it’s probably aimed at people who wouldn’t even want to swim with it for prolonged periods of time. An everyday, casual watch with the aesthetics of a diver, if you will. Now, some quarters might scream “PRETENDER!” but to be frank, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a diver-esque watch.
Sure, you lose the higher water resistance, lumed pip and ISO rating but you also gain daily conveniences in the form of drilled lugs, hand-winding and hacking capabilities and an exhibition caseback. As for the screw-down crown on the SKX, sure, it’s regarded as superior to a push-pull crown. However, this weirdo finds it much more convenient when it comes to winding a watch equipped with the latter. Less screwing and unscrewing, more pushing and pulling.
Elsewhere, the 5KX also gets applied hour markers whereas the older SKX makes do with printed ones. Both, however, get lots of Seiko’s LumiBrite (that’s Seiko’s proprietary lume) so visibility when the lights go out is sure to be spectacular.
“What about how they wear? Any difference in pricing?”
Long story short, they both wear great on my 6-inch wrist. Not only are they on the smaller side for divers, measuring in at just 42.3 mm, the lug-to-lug figure of 46 mm is a godsend for the noodle-wristed. Both watches also share the same case thickness at 13.4 mm. Come on guys, they’re divers, okay? No one’s getting a watch that’ll “slip under the cuff”, so to speak.
Now, the price tags. The Seiko SKX007 has been discontinued so RRPs (recommended retail prices) are not quite relevant anymore. However, a quick check online would reveal that in Malaysia at least, the 007s are trading hands at around the RM1,000 mark. The 5KX? Or with this specific model, the SRPD51K1? That’ll cost you RM1,120. As you can see, even when it comes to the cost of securing one, they’re as near as makes no difference.
I know I’m gonna’ make it sound like this comparison is a cop out in terms of conclusion and that everyone’s a winner, bla bla bla… But it’s not. Do remember, it was mentioned earlier on that this will boil down to what you want in a watch if you’re looking at these two. If you need a proper diver, the SKX takes the win. However, if you want the looks of a diver but fancy having the mod cons of a newer movement, it’s the 5KX. Me? I’m not a diver so I think you guys know where I’m putting my money down…