Affordable Automatic: The Seiko SNK Series

Seiko SNK807 Hands-On Review

Seiko SNK807-1

What is it? The Seiko SNK80X line is part of the “Seiko 5” series of watches. It’s a 37mm field watch style timepiece with an automatic movement, day-date display, 30m of water resistance, and shock resistance.

Where you can get one: You can snag one on Amazon for just under 65 bucks here.

Seiko SNK807-2

Today, we’re taking a brief look at the Seiko SNK807. Each watch in the series has a model name starting with “SNK80”, followed by either a 3, 5, 7, or 9 to denote different color dials. The 3 is cream-colored, the 5 a forest green, the 7 a pleasant mid-tone blue, and the 9 being black. All of the models are based on the same 37mm case that has both matte and polished sections. Flip the watch over, and you’ll find a display caseback that shows off the Seiko 7S26C movement inside. You’re definitely not going to find any high-level finishing, chamfered bridges, Côtes de Genève, or a tourbillon inside. What you do get is a good look into how the utilitarian movement functions.

Seiko SNK807-4

Most of the movement is covered by the large rotor that winds the watch up. Depending on the orientation, you can get a good view of the balance wheel pulsating back and forth. While the 7S26C isn’t the fanciest movement out there, newcomers to the world (hell, even enthusiasts like myself) will find it interesting to see the inner workings of the watch. It’s a small reminder that there’s a tiny time telling machine on your wrist all day, and to me, that’s really cool.

Seiko SNK807-5

By modern standards, the SNK807 is a pretty small watch. The case measures in at 37mm wide. For me, there’s nothing wrong with a smaller watch. It’s comfortable to wear throughout the day, and stays out of the way during any activity I may partake in (even if most of the time it’s just me typing away at my keyboard). The value of the SNK series is pretty incredible on all fronts, except for the included canvas strap. My first order of business was to swap it out for a nato-style strap shown in the photos. The lug width is 18mm, so there are plenty of options out there from many different strap makers that will accommodate the watch. The included strap both looks and feels cheap, and in my opinion drags down what is otherwise a great little watch. Even if you sink 15 bucks or so into a new strap, the whole package clocks in at a surprisingly reasonable $80.

Seiko SNK807-6

On my 7″ wrist, the SNK807 wears really well. The case is relatively flat and the lugs are nowhere close to the edges of my wrist. Since the case is so thin, a double pass nato hardly affects wearability. Another thing I love about the watch is the blue dial. It’s the perfect shade of mid-tone blue with a matte finish. The little pop of color on the seconds hand stands out just enough so that you can easily read it at a quick glance. I also like the hand set in relation to the indices. The outer set of indices are marked in 5 minute intervals, going from 5 to 55. There’s a small inner ring closer to the center of the dial with hour markers on it. The longer minutes hand just reaches the minute markers, while the shorter hour hand is lined up with the inner ring. While there’s a lot of information on the dial, the hands and layout really make it easy to read. There’s some lume dots every 5 minutes, and some lume applied to the hands, but it doesn’t glow super bright or super long. Wearability and legibility are both balanced nicely. In my opinion, they’re right where they should be for a field watch – not too large on the wrist, while maintaining readability at a glance.

Seiko SNK807 Header-1

There are plenty of other watches in my collection, some costing TONS more than the SNK807, but there’s something about this little field watch that just works. There’s a certain charm about this little field watch that leads me to wear it at least once a week. If you’re looking for an affordable entry into the world of automatic timepieces, definitely consider the SNK series. Even if you’re not a beginner, you can still appreciate the value of this excellent little piece.