The return of the prodigal son?
Seiko has become famous over the years for being able to produce high-quality watches and offer them at low prices, a strategy consolidated for many years and that made the brand what it is today. It was also the gateway for many mechanical watch enthusiasts, there were countless automatic models produced by the brand at prices below €100 that not only showed the much-desired quality but also an attractive design, we are talking about the old Seiko 5 line and there were many models produced, to be part of this line the watches had to have 5 features: automatic movement, day-date window, water resistance, diaflex mainspring, and be durable and shock-resistant. But today the reality is completely different and Seiko’s strategy seems to have changed, long gone are the times when it was possible to buy a Seiko 5 (or any other Seiko) under €100, today it is difficult to buy any model of the new Seiko 5 line below €250 (and we are being optimistic). We will not enter into the discussion of whether the new strategy is right or wrong, as this is a long debate and one that has had space on many other stages.
Today what we bring here is the succession of Seiko’s most famous watch field, the old Seiko 5 SNK, who doesn’t remember him, which despite having been discontinued a few years ago and as with his brother SKX continues to be missed but we are still managing to find some for sale (although more and more difficult) at inflated prices, a topic that we had the opportunity to address in another article about which we leave the link here.
The Seiko 5 SNK, in addition to the 5 inherent characteristics, featured a modest 37mm case, the automatic movement Caliber 7S26 shared by many other models of the brand, including the aforementioned SKX, and also featured an open case back through which it was possible to observe the internal movement. The SNK was initially presented in four variants: black, blue, green, and white, which came with a nylon NATO strap in the color of the dial, and there was also a black variant that came with a steel strap.
Afterward, and almost a decade ago, Seiko launched the Seiko 5 SNZG, the successor to the SNK, but it never managed to assert itself and remains today a shadow of one of the brand’s bestsellers, the new SNZG at the time did not present any great visible aesthetic changes, but its 42mm case was exaggerated compared to the 37mm of its predecessor, we realized that Seiko has tried to fill a niche that complained about the reduced dimensions of the SNK but 5mm more proved fatal, the price still which also suffered a slight increase, around €35 more, but was never one of the reasons for its “failure”.
Seiko now comes up with what should be the successor to the “heavy heritage” of Seiko 5 SNK, we are talking about the new Seikos 5 SRPG27 and which extends in an odd number to SRPG41 with an additional edition of even number SRPG42. Exactly, if done well the counts are 9 the number of variants of this new model.
What does this model bring again, starting with a case with consensual dimensions, a middle ground between the 37mm of the SNK and the 42mm of the SNZG, the new case now has a 39.38mm steel case, which will fit on most wrists and leaving no one behind, it seems that after all Seiko listens to her audience and also learns from their mistakes. On the dial, there are no major changes to register, the classic double scale, a big 12 hours scale, and a small 24 hours scale, that comes from the previous SNZG that replaced the previous Flieger type B dial of the SNK, day-date window at 3 o’clock, lipstick hands and indexes filled with Lumibrite, brand name applied on the dial followed by the logo 5 printed at 12 o’clock and “Automatic” printed at 6 o’clock. The variants are offered in black, blue, olive green, gray, blue gradient, green gradient, and brown gradient dials, there are also some differences in the accents of the various variants, some come with gilt accents and Faustina. There are also some different strap options, four variants come with the traditional nylon NATO straps in the color of the dial, two come with a stainless steel bracelet, and three variants, the ones with gradient dials, come with a leather strap.
Internally, there is the “new” automatic movement Caliber 4R36, which presents clear evolutions compared to the old 7S26 of the SNK, namely manual winding and hacking features.
Prices should vary between €280 and €320 (variants in brown and green gradient).
We really liked the new “SNK” and we think it could be a good replacement for the late Seiko 5 SNK, we particularly liked two variants the SRPG41 and SRPG42. The first one features a case with a “super hard coating” finished that gives it a darkened hue, which is not the usual black PVD and therefore doesn’t give it the usual stealthy looking. It comes with a brown gradient dial that together with the Lumibrite’s cream tone gives it a beautiful vintage look which is enhanced by the black grain leather strap, and for sure this is my favorite. Our second choice is the SRPG42 which comes in a bronze coating case and a green-black gradient dial, which looks very similar to the dial of the previous Seiko Alpinist, with gilt accents and a grainy brown leather strap, though both the variants are around €40 more expensive than the other variants we believe justify the difference in price.
Collection: 5 Sports
Reference: SRPG27 (black dial on bracelet), SRPG29 (blue dial on bracelet), SRPG31 (gray dial on strap), SRPG33 (green dial on strap), SRPG35 (black dial on cream strap), SRPG37 (black dial on strap), SRPG39 (blue dial on leather strap), SRPG41 (brown dial on leather strap), SRPG42 (green dial on leather strap)
Dial: Black (SRPG27, SRPG35, SRPG37), blue (SRPG29, SRPG39), gray (SRPG31), green (SRPG33, SRPG42), brown (SRPG41)
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Dimensions: 39.38 mm diameter, 13.22 mm thickness
Crystal: Curved hardlex
Case Back: See-through
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet (SRPG27, SRPG29), textile NATO strap matching with the dial (SRPG31, SRPG33, SRPG35, SRPG37), black calfskin leather strap (SRPG39, SRPG41), brown calfskin leather strap (SRPG42)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day-date
Frequency: 21,600 Vph
Power Reserve: 41 Hours
Price: € 280 (SRPG27, SRPG29, SRPG31, SRPG33, SRPG35, SRPG37, SRPG39), € 320 (SRPG41, SRPG42)
Availability: June 2021
Limited Edition: No