The Seiko 5 Sports, the universally accepted “go-to watch collection” the world over, has just been completely revised by Seiko. The launch of the new Seiko 5 Sports for 2019 includes 27 different models sorted into five styles: Sports, Suits, Specialist, Street, and Sense. Let’s dig in and discover all the details and advancements of the new Seiko 5 Sports collection.
Upon first impression, each of the five “styles” within the new Seiko 5 Sports collection looks rather handsome and likable. The cases are, in all instances, stainless steel, in some instances with “rose-gold color coating” or “black color hard-coating” thrown in to make things that much more exciting. Every style within the new Seiko 5 Sports line comes with the same size and shape case, and they all measure 42.5mm-wide, 46mm lug-to-lug, and 13.4mm thick — big kudos to Seiko for providing all these measurements.
The cases are always water-resistant to 10 bar (100m) and the fronts are always Hardlex crystals — not as scratch-resistant as sapphire crystals, but then again, not as costly. The casebacks are always transparent, as now, with the 4R36 caliber, there is a movement with ample capabilities to justify a bit of showing off — more on this later.
By far, the highest number of references can be found within the Sports style — with the interesting motto of “Go beyond the norm.” Steel bracelet options, including a blacked-out model, coexist peacefully with references on nylon straps. There are some truly fantastic-looking pieces in orange, in metallic green, all-black, black and yellow, and blue and red, as well as the obligatory monochromatic silver, black and blue options.
There’s no way around it — the new Seiko 5 Sports Suits style is absolutely bang on. If these were more expensively made and said Tudor on their dials, they’d be all the rage. Although the faux-patinated lume is not everyone’s cuppa, they are certainly suitable (pardon the pun) for creating a more casual-dressy look to what otherwise would flat-out be a dive watch.
A clever play with colors serves as another reminder that these watches were not designed by the — at this point completely — colorblind Swiss. There’s an olive green version, one in dark blue that goes exceedingly well with the sand-colored Lumibrite lume, and there’s one with a burgundy dial and bezel with gold-colored frames for the hour markers and hands, presented on a Milanese bracelet.
The new Seiko 5 Sports Specialist style has a Prospex vibe to it, even though the silicone straps appear to have patches of leather stitched to their upper surfaces. The spec-list only quotes these as silicone and the images are dark — but, upon a closer look, some leather(y) segments reveal themselves. The real differences here are in the case coatings: one in bare stainless steel, the other in “black color hard-coating,” and the lastin “rose-gold color coating.” I reckon, with a more upscale aftermarket strap, this gold-colored version (SRPD76K1) would really look the part.
The new Seiko 5 Sports Street style is, bar none, the most youthful and playful of them all. All three versions rely on the blacked-out case matched to a nylon strap. There is an all-black Jean-Claude Biver-tribute version, while the two other versions feature deep blue or red hands and markers.
Last, but not least, the new Seiko 5 Sports Sense style is indeed the most sensible of them all with what appears to be some nature-inspired elements. The two references come in saturated, healthy green and autumn-evoking brown, with an orange or green seconds hand. The dials appear to display a random, creased texture, further enhancing this natural look. The straps and bezels are coordinated in their colors to the color of the dial. If you are the outdoorsy type and don’t want to find yourself looking at a boring monochrome watch, well, Seiko now offers a few watches that will look a whole lot more at home out in the woods — indeed, a sensible thing to do.
Ticking away in the new Seiko 5 Sports collections is the Seiko 4R36 movement, an automatic movement that offers hand-winding and hacking seconds — treats that have not always been common in Seiko 5 Sports watches of old. Accuracy in, again, a very un-Swiss way, is an honestly quoted +45 to -35 seconds per day — meaning that these watches will not win any observatory competitions anytime soon… Far from it, in fact. But with hacking seconds, meaning that the running seconds hand stops when the crown is pulled out, performing a bit of a correction every few days shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Power reserve of the Seiko 4R36 movement is approximately 41 hours — but, then again, there is hand-winding to replenish that with ease, should it be necessary. For those less familiar with affordable Seiko watches, hand-winding and hacking seconds are often unavailable movement features, so having them present in the new Seiko 5 Sports collection is notable.
Prices for the new-for-2019 Seiko 5 Sports collection will range between 280 Euros and 340 Euros in Europe, or about $300 to $380 in the United States. Prices will mainly depend on the type of bracelet or strap and the style of case, i.e., whether it is coated or not.
The Seiko 5 Sports is an extremely important collection to Seiko and the attention and depth with which they addressed its complete overhaul testifies to that. A solid — albeit inaccurate — automatic caliber with hand-winding and hacking, paired with a robust case and creative dials, lend the collection an entirely different character through some creative play with colors. Add all that up, and the Seiko 5 Sports will see no hardship remaining among the dominant forces in the competitively priced sports watch segment. Oh, and there’s a new logo, too. Browse through the different new Seiko 5 Sports references on the dedicated Seiko website here.