The Seiko Diver SKX007 and Seiko 5 SNK809 are two incredibly popular watches—and for good reason. They’re stylish, affordable, and built to tight tolerances by a brand with a tremendous history of competence. When compared to other watches in their categories they’re frequently hundreds of dollars less expensive than the competition, while keeping time to the same degree of accuracy. As a product with these attributes it’s no wonder they have become the go-to watch for an individual gaining an interest (or addiction) in mechanical watches. Add to this the popular modding community and not only are they affordable entry level watches, but ones that can be heavily customized with affordable options that include: hands, dials, chapter rings, bezel inserts, full bezels, crystals, cases, and even movements.
I started with the smaller SNK809 and recently added the SKX007 to my collection. This was primarily due to the increased water resistance, superior lume, a rotating timer bezel, and a collapsed lung that gave me far too much down time. Many folks think that the SNK809 is too small, however I have large wrists (6’6″) and still find the watch to be elegant and similarly sized to most vintage watches. If you like the SKX007, but find it to be too large, take a look at the SKX013, which is an identical design with a 5mm smaller case.
At their core the SKX007 and SNK809 are the same: they both house a 7S26.1, 2 The movement has three hands, a day & date window in the three o’clock position, and the crown in the 4 o’clock position (good for left hand wearers). The movement is non-hacking, which means the second hand doesn’t stop when the crown is pulled, but that level of precision is unnecessary in an era of cell phones and quartz watches. If you’re buying one of these automatic time pieces, it’s likely partly for the romance of strapping on a totally mechanical watch that winds itself—no batteries involved—and will last for the rest of your life. It’s almost a novelty, products lasting for the foreseeable future.