Ever since I formally grew to become a watch nerd in 2014—that means once I began spending an uncommon period of time studying and researching about watches—Seiko has at all times been the model I’ve at all times gone again to. Regardless of how lengthy I’d stray from it by indulging in goals of proudly owning a Rolex Explorer 1 or different high-end Swiss timepieces, Seiko has at all times been extra of my sort of brand name—reasonably priced and distinctive. The very first watch I laid my eyes on in 2014 was the SKX013. However I did not pull the set off once they had been nonetheless being made and due to this fact cheaper.
I regretted this resolution till two months in the past when the primary pictures and specs of the brand new Seiko 5 GMTs got here out. I assumed it was the right transfer from Seiko: utilizing the long-lasting SKX case design and including a GMT hand. I could not have dreamed of a greater beater watch and Seiko fulfilled my goals that even I used to be not aware about. So let’s check out the black dial Seiko 5 GMT SSK001!
The Seiko 5 GMT SSK001 Spec Sheet
I do not know why however I was intimidated by the scale of the SKX007 and 009 which I assumed could be too huge for my skinny wrist. This concern did not even come to thoughts once I made the choice to accumulate the Seiko 5 GMT SSK001. Coming in with a diameter of 42mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 46mm, a thickness of 13.6mm, and a lug width of 22mm, the SSK001 matches somewhat properly on my 16cm (6.25”) wrist. It does command a sure wrist presence, nonetheless, it does so in simply the fitting means. Fortunately, the watch is sort of gentle because of having a jingly Jubilee bracelet and a pressed clasp. Talking of which, I am keen on the clasp, though many moan that it is not of the milled selection. (A pressed clasp is, in my expertise, extra snug than a milled one because it sits flatter on the wrist.)
The large aesthetic departure from the outdated SKX line resides in the truth that the markers are utilized (not painted,) and that the aluminum bezel insert on the friction-fit bezel is roofed with Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex, making the insert appear like ceramic. The crystal atop the dial can also be made from Hardlex and comes with beneficiant quantities of anti-reflective coating. Moreover, the crystal is provided with a cyclops which makes studying the date a breeze. (I am not even 40 and I recognize that little element.) Aiding within the total legibility of the watch is the applying of Seiko’s proprietary Lumibrite which glows inexperienced and vivid (pun supposed.)
Contained in the Seiko 5 GMT SSK001—and that is the large star of the present for me—is the 4R34 GMT motion. In typical Seiko vogue, this motion beats at 21,600 BPH (3Hz,) it has 24 jewels and comes with 41 hours of energy reserve. That is numerous specs for the modest price ticket of $475 (480 EUR) which many would argue is not. This makes the SSK001 (and its colourful siblings the SSK003 and SSK005) the primary in-house GMT automated watch beneath 5000, which is one thing that we had been all dreaming of seeing for a very long time. Seiko did it and I for one suppose that they did a reasonably darn good job at it.
A Very Good-looking Watch
As talked about above, the hour markers are utilized and include extremely polished surrounds. So do the hour and minute arms. Mixed with the Hardlex crystal affixed on the bezel, the Seiko 5 GMT SSK001 shines and the best way it does fluctuate primarily based on from which angle you take a look at the watch. From the perimeters, all reflections change into extra subdued and the mirror-finish on the second half of the bezel insert majestically seems. From different angles, it is a reflection present (in a great sense!) and the whole bezel insert appears pitch black. So there are numerous issues taking place visually, whichever angle you take a look at the watch. Fortunately, Seiko went for a matte dial and never a shiny one to steadiness issues out.
A definite visible attribute of the outdated SKX and its trendy replacements is the design of the hour markers and arms. For the dearth of a greater description, the arms are very “SKX” like (I often examine the design of the arms to one thing else we’re accustomed to) in that they’re legible and include pointy bits, akin to the tip of a musket. (The form of the hour hand appears like a truncated Sword hand whereas the minute hand appears like an precise arrow.) The road on the tip of the arms may also be discovered within the hour markers on the cardinal positions. The one on the 12, extra particularly, is an inverted triangle whereas those on the 6 and 9 o’clock are rectangular. The remainder of the hour markers are round.
It might be exhausting to overlook the broad and flashy pink GMT hand. Critics say it is a Rolex GMT hand (and so they add to this comparability the date magnifier) however I’d say that whoever got here up with this design first, it really works so very properly on the SSK001. It has a definite pointy finish and reaches additional than the minute hand, creating extra distinction between the 2. The GMT hand factors confidently on the relaxation the place we will see one of many two 24-hour scales. The second is printed on the bezel, making it attainable to trace two extra time zones along with native time.
Random tidbit: I believe the SSK001 (and the SSK003 and SSK005) are the primary Seiko watches with a triple Hardlex development. The proprietary Seiko materials may be discovered on the bezel, atop the dial, and on the case again, letting us see the simply-finished 4R34 motion.
Final however not least, the end exhibits a pleasant steadiness of polished surfaces on the case aspect, the middle hyperlinks of the bracelet, the coined-edge bezel, and the case again. In all places else the end is of the brushed selection. This implies the Seiko 5 GMT SSK001 doesn’t seem too toolish (by having brushed surfaces solely) nor does it look too dressy (by having polished surfaces solely.) This side of the watch’s development provides to the flexibility of the SSK001, which additionally may be present in its performance in addition to cheap dimensions.
Performance, Performance, Performance
The Seiko 5 GMT SSK001 is a watch stuffed with performance. I dedicated a few specs in the beginning of the assessment to bolster this level. Not solely does it include a GMT complication which is beneficial to individuals who like me have household in several time zones and/or whose purchasers reside in several components of the globe. It additionally shows the date which is a must have as I wish to understand how far I’ve gone within the month. It additionally comes with 100 meters of water resistance (with a push/pull crown) which is sufficient water resistance for 99% of the conditions I discover myself in. Lastly, the 4R34 motion is a sturdy piece of mechanical engineering which retains good time (+ 4 sec/day for me.)
Seiko hit a house run with the brand new line of Seiko 5 GMT watches. They preserved the well-loved case design of the outdated SKX and adorned it with utilized indices, a triple Hardlex development, a poppy GMT hand, and a date magnifier. The icing on the cake is the GMT complication which provides performance to an already purposeful timepiece. Though some would moan concerning the lack of a sapphire crystal and click on bezel, I believe that Seiko is giving us numerous bangs for our bucks with this new launch. As many do, I hope that the 4R34 motion will seem on different fashions of the Prospex line.
You’ll be able to learn extra concerning the Seiko 5 GMT SSK001 on Seiko’s web site right here.