Monday, October 31, 2016

Seiko 5 SNK805K2 Automatic Military Stainless Steel Watch with Olive Green Dial & Canvas Strap – A universal watch - Everyone can use it, A Review (plus Video)

My love affair with military watches with green dial continues. This time around, I caught the Seiko 5 SNK805K2 in the net. Got it via Amazon Prime. Interestingly, the watch has its origins in Malaysia! It travelled to the US, stayed there for a while and then took another long haul trip back where it was made. What a homecoming.

Since the Seiko 5 sub-brand was first launched back in 1963, it quickly made a name for itself as Seiko offer a selection of affordably priced watches with a combination of far bit of water resistance, automatic movement and day & date display in a single window. The SNK805K2 maintained the standards and is one of the most cost effective mechanical timepiece currently available in the market.

The movement is housed in a 37 mm diameter by 11 mm thick stainless steel case with a Hardlex crystal protecting the dial. The lugs are 18 mm wide. The case is bead-blasted for a matte finish. The small push-in crown is located at the 4 o’clock position and is partially sunk into the side walls of the watch casing. There is a sloping fixed bezel that is the same level at the Hardlex crystal. The screw-down display case-back is also protected by Hardlex crystal.

The watch comes with the standard 3 hands as well as a date and day complications sharing the same aperture at 3 o’clock. The date and day complications are in dual language and over a white background. My only gripe about the location of the aperture is that it replaces the markers and numbers on the second and third scales. To me this creates a visual imbalance for the dial.

The watch has a Flieger-B type dial with three different scales. The outer most is a minute scale denoted by small line markers. The middle scale is the 5-minute markers denoted by Arabic numbers with a triangle for the 12 o’clock position. Then a white circle is drawn on the dial before the final scale which represent the hours, also in Arabic numbers.

The olive green dial has 5 rows of text and graphics on it. The first two, the brand and logo are located on the top half of the dial. The third and fourth rows have the words “AUTOMATIC” and “21 JEWELS” respectively. The final row of text is along the bottom peripheral of the dial in very small fonts. This last line has the manufacturing coding reference for the watch.

The two main hands are shaped like Greek swords and painted with LumiBrite, a luminous paint created by Seiko. The seconds hand is thin like a foil and painted white for about two thirds of the way. The final third of the hand is painted red. At the other end of the seconds hand is a balance ball painted with LumiBrite.

Other areas of the watch painted with LumiBrite are the hour markers on the outermost scale.

The screw-down display case-back allows you to view the 7S26C automatic movement. The 7S26 variant is the workhorse of Seiko and had been serving its legion of fans since 1996 as a mainstream automatic watch movement, replacing the Seiko 7002 in many cases. Although earlier Seiko calibers featured quickset date, the 7S26 adds a counter-clockwise quickset day feature as well. This particular variant, the 7S26C began appearing in 2011. This movement is non-hacking and not capable of hand winding. It has the following functions; Hours, minutes, seconds, all located centrally; day and date complication with rapid calendar advance; automatic bidirectional winding; and Diashock* system. It has 21 jewels and the mainsprings can keep 40 hours of energy reserve on a full charge. The caliber operates in the 21,600 BPH or 3 Hertz range.

* the Diashock system in the Seiko movement protects the balance staff against violent impacts and making it less fragile and more accurate.

On the rotor as well as around the outer edge of the display case back is stamped (or printed) information about the watch. I am actually proud to see “MALAYSIA” prominently stamped on the rotor as well as printed on the Hardlex crystal.

The watch is capable to withstand water pressure of up to 3 ATM or 30 meters (99 feet).

The whole package is paired with a rather thick green nylon strap with signed buckle and metal strap bands. The buckle holes are reinforced with leather strip. Overall, the watch weighs in around 59 grams.

The Wearing Experience

More than 20 years ago, a 37 mm watch would have been deemed to be fairly sized. Today, watches with these dimensions are called ‘boy size’. On my wrist, it does look small. However, this opinion was based on the fashion of today.

You do need your nails to pry the small crown from its push-down position. Due to the size of the crown, some might find it too small to manipulate. In the first position, one can adjust the day and date by turning the crown clockwise or anti-clockwise. To adjust the time would require the crown to be in the second position. I don't find any problem adjusting the watch with the small crown.

The nylon strap is of a higher quality that the current Seiko standard nylon straps given with their more current military styled watches. It is thicker (double layered) and more lasting that the newer versions.

From a practical point of view, it is a universal watch. Everyone can use it; male, female, kids. The information on the dial is clean and easily readable. Below is a video of the watch on my wrist.

The Packaging

The box that came with the watch is unlike any that I have seen from Seiko. Generally Seiko watches would be shipped in white boxes for this particular piece, it came in a navy blue box. The brand is printed prominently on the top of the box.

The top of the box comes off completely revealing an angled storage space. The watch rests on a large white pillow. All the documentation is stored below the pillow.

In total, costs me USD57.16 (handling and shipping was another USD21.73 but this amount also includes the cost for a book I also bought with this order of USD16.16).

Photo Gallery



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