Dive watches have always been at the top of the watchmaking scene. These watches are often luxurious, high-utility, and exceptionally well-made, which contributes to their reputation as one of the best types of watches in the industry. Because of their exorbitant prices, most dive watches tend to be quite inaccessible and hard to get for the average, casual watch user. However, there are a number of dive pieces that are worth considering, especially since they have more affordable price tags while still being incredibly reliable and classy.
The Seiko SKX007 is a great example of a dive watch that is offered at a very budget-friendly price. It may not have the same exceptional dive watch features compared to other dive pieces like Rolex’s Submariner or Sea-Dweller, but you are bound to be surprised at how versatile the Seiko SKX007 is in terms of function and style. Indeed, this is a watch that embodies how Seiko manufactures its watches with undying passion and creativity. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Seiko SKX007, its specifications, and everything it has to offer.
Case, Bezel, and Crown
The Seiko SKX007 comes in a 42mm stainless steel case, which is the perfect average size to fit wrists of all sizes. This is paired with a stainless steel unidirectional bezel which is fitted with a black elapsed time scale that allows wearers to carefully track the amount of time spent underwater. In addition, the edges of this bezel are gear-shaped, providing wearers with a better grip so they can turn the bezel easily even if they are in a diving suit. The bezel is also attached to a layer of Hardlex crystal, which protects the dial from scratches, impacts, and light glares, ensuring that you will have a clean, unimpeded view of the watch face.
Another unique thing about the Seiko SKX007 is the positioning of its crown. Instead of placing it at the standard 3 o’clock position, Seiko chooses to place the crown of the SKX007 slightly further down, at 4 o’clock instead. Not only does this give the Seiko SKX007 a more unique style, but it is also more comfortable on the wrist. Placing the crown at an angle ensures that the well-sized crown will not dig into the wearer’s wrist and allows for more freedom in terms of wrist movement. This crown is also carefully screwed down, keeping the watch’s inner mechanisms safe from any moisture or dust and giving it a substantial 200-meter depth rating.
The Seiko SKX007 boasts a straightforward black dial that emphasizes simplicity and legibility. Having a clear and precise dial is important for dive watches due to the nature of the tasks these watches are typically involved in, and this is true of the Seiko SKX007 as well. For instance, it is very easy to read the time on the Seiko SKX007 with just a glance, thanks to its bold geometric hour markers and large syringe hands. At the 3 o’clock position, you can also find a rectangular day-date aperture. The hands and hour markers are also coated with Seiko’s LumiBrite, giving them a bright blue glow that illuminates the watch face well both in the dark and underwater.
This Seiko SKX007 is equipped with the brand’s in-house Caliber 7S26 automatic movement. This is an entry-level watch movement that was manufactured for and frequently used in Seiko divers. Although the Caliber 7S26 has since been discontinued, it proves to be just as effective as other newer movements from Seiko. The Caliber 7S26 has a 41-hour power reserve and comes with Seiko’s innovative Diashock technology, which protects the watch from violent impacts or shocks and ensures the watch stays precise, adding to the Seiko SKX007’s durability.
Dive watches are typically paired with either an anti-corrosive stainless steel bracelet or a rubber band, to better withstand the trips underwater. The Seiko SKX007 offers a variety of bracelet choices that you can consider, including the standard choices of a professional stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap in black which provides optimal comfort underwater. That said, Seiko also offers the SKX007 with black fabric or polyester straps, which gives the watch a more casual aesthetic and greater freedom in style.
As mentioned before, the Seiko SKX007 is an affordable timepiece that functions seamlessly as a reliable, sturdy dive watch. For just $369 USD, you can get your hands on this comfortable, reliable, and versatile dive watch.
Alternatives to the Seiko SKX007
1. Seiko Prospex Tuna Safari Ref. SRPF81K1
Another excellent model from the Seiko Prospex collection is the Seiko Prospex Tuna Safari Ref. SRPF81K1, which is reminiscent of another Seiko dive watch, the Seiko Prospex Tuna. Both timepieces possess cases that are said to resemble cans of tuna, hence the “Seiko Tuna” nicknames. The Seiko Prospex Tuna Safari, in particular, has an oversized 46.3mm hard-coated stainless steel case which promises incredible durability both on land and underwater. This is paired with a comfortable black silicone dial and a unidirectional rotating bezel in black and muted yellow with an elapsed time scale, so wearers can time their dives and decompressions.
As a dive watch, this Seiko piece has a very straightforward dial that facilitates optimal legibility, which is extremely important for divers underwater. Its black dial is adorned with blunt stick hands and large hour indices, all of which are generously coated in luminous material, and a small date window placed unusually between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock markers. To make things sweeter, the watch has a 200m water resistance capacity, so you could easily bring this as your companion on your next scuba diving adventure.
The Seiko Prospex Tuna Safari Ref. SRPF81K1 is priced at approximately $489 USD. It is a great alternative to the Seiko SKX007 for those who want something similar to the SKX007, but with a slightly different style and colorway.
2. Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79030B-0003
Yet another viable alternative to the Seiko SKX007 is the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Ref. 79030B-0003. Simple, compact, and very durable, this watch is considered on par with dive watches from the likes of Sinn and Panerai. It hails from the Tudor Black Bay collection, which consists of a range of luxury dive watches that caters to professional scuba divers. This is an excellent choice for those who want a more prestigious dive watch that they can bring to their next dinner party too.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Ref. 79030B-0003 comes in a slim 39mm stainless steel case with a gleaming satin finish that gives the watch an unmistakable luster. This is paired with a comfortable black and white fabric strap and a stainless steel unidirectional bezel, fitted with a metallic blue elapsed time scale insert. This bezel goes perfectly with the watch’s matte blue dial, which is decorated with bold geometric hour indices and large snowflake hands. These indices and hands are coated with white luminous material, providing a satisfying contrast against the blue backdrop. This Tudor watch is powered by an in-house Caliber MT5402.
Since the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Ref. 79030B-0003 is a luxury watch, it is only to be expected that it has a higher price tag. You can get your hands on this watch for approximately $3,699 USD.
3. Gucci Dive Ref. YA136204
As far as quartz watches go, the Gucci Dive Ref. YA136204 takes the cake in terms of being a durable and trendy dive watch. What makes this timepiece even more remarkable is that it is a deviation from Gucci’s usual focus on stylish designer watches. So, the fact that the Gucci Dive Ref. YA136204 is able to maintain such impressive reliability is an admirable feat.
This Gucci Dive watch has a sizeable 45mm stainless steel case paired with a black rubber strap. This meshes well with the black dial and ceramic rotating bezel with an elapsed time scale, which completes the watch’s sleek and classy style. The dial is decorated with rectangular hour indices, thick Breguet hands, and an elongated date window that replaces the 6 o’clock marker. As a dive watch, this piece has a solid 200m depth rating.
The Gucci Dive Ref. YA136204 retails at approximately $999 USD.
To this day, dive watches are known to be luxury status symbols and are frequently associated with people of high standing. As such, the budget-friendly price point of the Seiko SKX007 has led to some skepticism from casual watch fans, who assume its affordable price also equates to poor or cheap quality. However, this could not be further from the truth.
In reality, Seiko saw through this problem of luxury dive watches being sold at remarkably inaccessible prices and designed the hardy yet inexpensive Seiko SKX007 specifically as a solution to this problem. Despite not being as pricey, the Seiko SKX007 is just as durable and reliable as many of its dive watch peers, offering excellent features to match them.
Although the Seiko SKX007 has been discontinued, it is still possible to get your hands on this watch through the second-hand market. As long as you keep a careful eye out for any counterfeits or fakes, you will surely have no problem getting your hands on Seiko’s legendary affordable diver.
Images courtesy of WatchShopping, unless stated otherwise.
Featured image courtesy of Seiko Official
If you are still left undecided, have a look at our Certina DS Action Diver review—it might be right up your alley!