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A Classic Divers Watch, The Seiko Diver SKX007

Seiko SKX007

We recently took a look at the Seiko 7002, the underwater diver’s watch which quickly became a favourite for all watch fans, even those that stay firmly on land. Given the rich history and masterful engineering of the wider Seiko range, we wanted to take a look into another classic, the Seiko Diver SKX007.

But before we do, for those that didn’t see our first article in the Seiko series, here’s a brief breakdown of the history of Seiko

The premier Japanese brand has been creating both beautiful and functional watches since the late 1800s, with the first wristwatch rolling out of production in the 1920s. The extension of the word ‘Seiko’ roughly translates to the “House of Exquisite Workmanship” which is fitting given Seiko’s aim to create watches as stylish as its competitors with the everyday wearer benefiting from a functional and robust design.

The Diver SKX007 is one of the diving industry’s most iconic watches. Steeped in rich history, its roots date all the way back to the 1960s, when it began as a completely mechanical watch and took its inspiration from other early diving watches to provide stunning design, alongside robust and cutting-edge underwater technology.

Fast forward over 50 years, the Diver range is still as popular as ever, with the SKX007 taking on numerous updates to ensure all models maintain their classic and much-loved look and feel whilst being equipped with more modern specifications. Let’s break it down and explore what makes it such a fan favourite all these years on…

The Dial

Seiko Dials are instantly recognisable worldwide due to the simple and bold design style the brand is known for. The SKX007 doesn’t break the mould, with it’s simple black face contrasted against white, lume-filled hour markers.

The 12 o’clock position is marked with a large triangle lume with the 6 and 9 positions marked with larger ovals to simplify reading. The SKX007 also features a day/date indicator at the 3 o’clock position, incorporating dates 1-31 as well as weekday abbreviations.

Seiko SKX007 Dial CloseUp
Seiko SKX007 Dial – Source: Beyondthedial

The black/white design of the SKX007 is arguably what makes it one of the most successful and iconic diving watches on the market, enabling the wearer to maximise accurate timekeeping in underwater conditions. Naturally, the hands on the dial also stay with the design theme and again, as with all markings, incorporate a lume finish to promote readability in the darkest of depths.

Whilst many changes have impacted the Seiko Diver range of the past 50 years, this iconic Seiko design has held strong and has made it a popular ‘beater’ watch for those who have no association with diving. It has an understated class that make it attractive and functional all in one package.  

The Bezel

As with all diving watches, the ability to track time underwater is crucial to ensure the safety and timekeeping of the wearer. For this reason, the Bezel is often a key component of the watch and the SKX007 is no exception.

A unidirectional, 120-click, stainless steel Bezel accompanies the iconic Seiko Dial, again working to a contrasting black and white design style. Single markings are found for each minute and both bar and with numerical markings for 5 and 10-minute intervals respectively, the Bezel is completely functional – allowing the wearer to track their time in great detail. 

Seiko SKX 007 Illustration
Image Source: Quora

These markings are housed onto a black aluminium insert and bring in another lume-filled marker, at the 0/60 minute point to again ensure full operation in darker surroundings. The bezel strikes a great balance between being smooth and easy to operate whilst ensuring accidental movements are avoided during active use.  

The Strap

As the range has developed, many different straps have been created specifically for diving and non-diving use of the SKX007. For those using their Seiko for active sports use, the traditional rubber strap is a favourite, combining flexibility and robustness without breaking the bank for replacements.

For those wanting to use their SKX007 on land, the use of stainless steel Jubilee or Oyster straps are common and gives added durability to the already tough SKX007. As with all watches of this age and application, you’re unlikely to find a watch still with its original strap but the market variety does guarantee there is something for everyone.   

The Stats

We’ve already covered many of the awesome specs of the SKX007, but for those of you that like the details, here are the legendary Seiko’s specs:

  • 7s26 Mechanical Movement
  • Certified ISO Diver’s Watch
  • 200m (660ft) Water Resistance
  • Hardlex Crystal
  • 41mm Case Diameter
  • 13.25mm Height
  • 44-48hr Power Reserve
  • 80g Weight

So, you’ll probably agree that the Seiko Diver SKX007 is truly the real deal when it comes to classic diving watches. But often, it all comes down to the numbers – let’s take a look at how you can pick up your very own SKX007!

The Cost

With the SKX007 now out of brand new production, the pre-owned market is the place to go to get your hands on this Seiko Diver. Naturally, the prices fluctuate greatly depending on specification, condition and age, so expect to pay higher for the premium pieces.

As of October 2018, prices start for a good condition Diver with a traditional rubber strap around £150 – 180. This gives most buyers a way to get into the Seiko market with a classic and good quality stainless steel diving watch. Exceptional condition pieces or those with specific mods can often be found for around £300 and typically incorporate an Oyster or Jubilee strap.

The Verdict

Seiko watches sometimes get overlooked from the glamour of competitors such as Rolex or Tag Heuer, but their place in the market is assured and the popularity of the SKX007 has still not waned 50 years on.

Whether you’re looking to dive deep into the ocean or will be staying on dry land, the Seiko SKX007 is a great choice that combines classic and elegant design alongside durability that won’t leave you concerned when wearing. At a very modest price point between £150 – 200, there really isn’t an excuse not to get your very own SKX007!

Now you’ve finished reading, why not take a look at the Watch & Bullion store, to see what we currently have in stock!