Seiko SKX007: Ode to the Most Iconic Seiko Diver

May 15, 2020
Seiko SKX007: Ode to the Most Iconic Seiko Diver

The Seiko SKX007 Diver has been one of the most favourite beater watches among enthusiasts. It’s the perfect everyday watch that you can wear to work or do sports with. It is even stylish enough to go with your casual or semi-formal wear for all sorts of weekend activities. 

In short, the Seiko SKX007 is your go-to watch. It is the sort of watch you enjoy wearing. At the same time, because you know it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, you also don’t mind it being scratched, soaked, or lost — hence the name ‘beater watch’. 

Coming from a Long Line of Rich Diver Heritage

The SKX007 is just one of Seiko’s hundreds of diver watches that cater to different styles and preferences of watch enthusiasts. In fact, its history goes back to the mid-1960s when Seiko first introduced its first professional diver watch, the Seiko Ref. 6217, or most popularly known as the Seiko 62MAS. The Seiko 62MAS delighted fans with its durability, mechanical movement, and 150m water resistance.

Seiko SKX007 on Wrist
Photo from Pinterest

Not long after, Seiko followed it up with another iconic diver, the Seiko Ref. 6105, a diver watch made famous by Martin Sheen’s character, Captain Willard, in the Vietnam film Apocalypse Now. This was also one of the reasons this watch was a big hit among the U.S military in the Vietnam War — besides the fact that the watch was accessible, affordable and very durable.

To cut the long story short — after a long history of different upgrades and evolutions — the SKX007 Diver was born. In 1996, Seiko introduced its best diver watch yet, a revolutionised descendant of the original Seiko 6217 and its recent predecessor the Seiko Ref. 7002. The 7002 was discontinued the same year Seiko introduced the SKX007. 

A Durable, Practical and Affordable Diver 

The Seiko SKX007 boasts a mechanical movement, 200m water resistance, high luminosity for dark dives, a screw-down crown with ‘shoulders’, and a reliable unidirectional bezel. To truly understand its beauty, let’s take a detailed look at the watch’s specs. 

1. Case

The stainless steel case assures you of its solid durability. At 43mm in diameter and 13mm thickness, the Seiko SKX007 Diver can be a bit bulky for some, but perfect as a dive watch. This also makes the watch more rugged and sporty for those who prefer ‘manly’ watches. The solid stainless screw-down caseback ensures its high-performance water-resistance of 200 metres. Using Seiko’s scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, the watch is durable and can last you a long time with proper care. 

Seiko SKX007 Dial Up Close

2. Dial

Against the black dial of the SKX007, you’ll see mixed-shaped, large white hour markers for maximum readability: namely, an inverted triangle at 12 o’clock, capsule-like shapes at 6 and 9 o’clock positions, and large dots for the rest of the hours. At 3 o’clock sits the day/date aperture with black day/date text, with the exception of ‘Saturday’ and ‘Sunday’, which have blue text to mark the weekend. 

The hands of the Seiko SKX007 are quite unique, with each one in a different shape from the others. There’s a syringe-shape for the hour hand, an arrow-shaped for the minute hand, a very thin second hand. The dial looks fairly clean and straightforward. Aside from the hands and hour markers, you can see a stationary chapter ring along the edge of the dial. The Seiko logo and the words “Automatic” are at 12 o’clock, while the orange text “DIVER’S 200m” is at 6 o’clock. 

Seiko SKX007 Crown Up Close
Photo from WatchGecko

3. Crown

Instead of its usual spot at 3 o’clock, the crown of the Seiko SKX007 Diver is located at the 4 o’clock position. A nice, little detail that watch enthusiasts love about this watch. Despite the crown being big, though, it doesn’t look too protruding because its crown guard covers the whole extent of the crown. This whole design seamlessly blends well with the overall look of the watch.

4. Bezel

Almost blending in with the dial, the black bezel of the Seiko SKX007 is also made of stainless steel, painted with a black metallic gloss that shimmers against the light. For easy, non-slip grip, the outer edges of the bezel are ribbed and polished. 

At 12 o’clock on the bezel, you’ll find an arrow marker with a luminous dot at the centre, as well as Arabic numerals for every 10 minutes alternating with lines and dots for minutes and seconds. With its very legible markings, it’s very easy to read even in low light.

Seiko SKX007 Stainless Steel Bracelet

5. Strap/Bracelet

The Seiko SKX007 Diver comes in a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber diving strap. Some people like to wear theirs on a NATO strap. The bracelet is 22mm featuring 5-link design. The main outer links are large and have a brushed finishing so the bracelet doesn’t look too flashy. Meanwhile, the inner, smaller links have a polished effect for a bit of interesting contrast. If you’re gonna wear this watch for diving, it is advisable to replace the bracelet with the rubber strap for more convenience and functionality. 

Seiko Caliber 7S26 Movement
Photo from Strap Code

6. Movement 

As simple and beautiful is the SKX007 Diver on the outside, the inside is just as exquisite. The watch is powered by the Caliber 7S26, which has 21 jewels and beats at 21,600 frequency per hour. The movement also features the Diaflex unbreakable mainspring, which is a special material that prevents breaking from over-winding. It also boasts the Seiko Diashock shock-proof as well as the ‘magic lever’ — a unique winding system developed by Seiko in 1959 that allows winding by both clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation. 

The one thing, however, that most enthusiasts don’t like about this watch is that it has no manual winding features. So when the watch stops, you’ll have to wear it and swing it from side to side to make it start running again. But with its robust power reserve of 40 hours, you have ample time before the watch’s power runs out. 

Available Seiko SKX007 in the Market

Although the Seiko SKX007 Divers have been discontinued, for now, you can still find a few of these models online. Check out these two gems available on Amazon.

Seiko SKX007K2 Diver with Stainless Steel Bracelet

Seiko SKX007K2 Diver

 

A real classic, this Seiko SKX007K2 Diver comes in a 43mm stainless steel case and a matching bracelet complemented by a black dial. The big, luminous hands and large, white hour markers are visible against the black dial. The dial is clean and minimalist enough, with only a day and date window at 3 o’clock adorning it. At 4 o’clock, you’ll see the crown with its protective guard, perfectly blending into the whole design of the watch. Inside, this Diver runs on the automatic Caliber 7S26 movement, giving it 40 hours of power reserve. Furthermore, it is water-resistant up to 200 meters.  

Seiko SKX007K Diver with Black Rubber Strap

Seiko SKX007K Diver

Suave in its all-black ensemble, the Seiko SKX007K Diver comes with a black rubber strap and a beautiful black dial. The 43mm stainless case is complemented by a black unidirectional bezel. The black dial features the iconic and luminous big arrow-shaped hands and white dot hour markers. The day of the week and date window sits at the 3 o’clock position, while the Seiko logo and the words “Diver’s 200m” are seen at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively. Running on the automatic Caliber 7S26 movement, which beats at 21,600 vph, the watch has a power reserve of 40 hours. Just like the rest of the SKX007 series, this particular Diver has a water resistance of 200 meters. 

Your Best Seiko SKX007 Alternatives

We never know whether Seiko plans to stop the production of the SKX007 Series for good, or if they’re just taking a break and will revive it in the coming years. But for now, if you’re looking for great alternatives to this iconic Diver, we have the following watches to recommend. 

Orient Mako II

Orient Mako II, Seiko SKX007 Alternatives

Although slightly smaller than the SKX007, at 41.5mm, the Orient Mako II can be your best alternative to the SKX007. It has the same clean, no-nonsense design that is both pleasing and functional. The case is also made of stainless steel. But unlike the SKX007, its dial is vibrant blue, not black. And instead of the thick white hour markers, the Mako II has Arabic numerals at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock and stick indexes in between. At 3 o’clock, you’ll also find a day and date window, just like the SKX007. Covering the face of the watch is a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, complemented by a black unidirectional bezel. The Mako II is powered by mechanical hand-winding Caliber F6922 movement, which has a power reserve of 40 hours. Just like the SKX007, it also has a water resistance of 200 metres.

Seiko SKX009K2 Diver

Seiko SKX009K2 Diver, Seiko SKX007 Alternatives

If the Seiko SKX009 looks familiar, this is because it comes from the same Series as the SKX007. It has the same 43mm stainless steel case and a jubilee stainless steel bracelet. The dial is pretty much similar: black with big, white hour markers and luminous hands. The day and date window is at 3 o’clock and the logos are in the same position as the 007. Its screw-down crown is also located at 4 o’clock. However, the biggest difference lies in the bezel. The 007 has an all-black bezel, whereas the 009’s bezel is two-tone — red from 0 to 20 minutes and blue from 20 to 60. Just like the 007, the SKX009 also runs on the same 7S26 automatic movement with a robust 40 hours of power reserve. And, of course, it is also water-resistant up to 200 metres. 

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver BN0150-28E

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver BN0150-28E, Seiko SKX007 Alternatives

Looking similar in design and functionality as the SKX007 is the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver. It has the same 43mm stainless steel case and a black dial, with a matching black rubber band. The black dial also displays white, large dot markers and big hands. Except that its minute hand is in white and red, as compared to the SKX007’s all-white and silver. Also, its date window sits at 4 o’clock, not at 3 o’clock. But just like the SKX007, the Promaster also has a black unidirectional bezel and a screw-down crown located at 4 o’clock. Unlike the mechanical SKX007, however, the Promaster is powered by the Citizen Eco-Drive technology, which gets its power from any light source. To top it off, it also has water-resistance up to 200 metres. 

Bulova Archive Series ‘Devil Diver’ Oceanographer

Bulova Archive Series ‘Devil Diver’ Oceanographer, Seiko SKX007 Alternatives

Last but not least on our list of alternatives to the Seiko SKX007 is the Bulova Devil Diver Oceanographer. If you wonder where it got its nickname ‘Devil Diver’, well, it comes from its 666ft water resistance rating (or 200 metres). This Oceanographer watch comes in a 40.5mm stainless steel case with a sapphire crystal, a black-bluish dial and a matching stainless steel bracelet. The bezel has two-tone: red and black. And the crown is located at 3 o’clock. Just like the SKX007, the Bulova Devil Diver has a minimalist dial with visible hour markers and big hands, with only the logos and a date window at 3 o’clock adorning it. The Miyota 281D automatic movement powers this devil of a watch.

Ode to a Classic

Trends come and go, but the classics always remain — such is the case of the Seiko SKX007 Diver. No matter how many new, technology-savvy divers come, watch enthusiasts will always fondly look back on the good old 007, which taught them how to appreciate what a real diver is all about. 

 

Interested in another Seiko icon? Why not check out our feature on the legendary Grand Seiko Snowflake? 

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