Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 Review & Complete Guide
In 2019, Seiko presented a new 5 Sports collection of dive-inspired watches. However, the introduction of this new model line also meant discontinuing one of the most popular collections of affordable automatic watches, the SXX.
But how do you go about replacing an icon?
Replacing an iconic model that has been in production for more than two decades is always a sensitive topic. It is crucial that the successor lives up to the expectations and does not go too far away from the original.
Although a lot of people were disappointed with the news of the discontinuing of the SKX, the new 5 sports collection was well-received. Seiko succeeded well in making a watch that stayed true to the original, whilst improving the technology and build quality.
Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 Review
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The Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 looks very similar to the original SKX. It has a classic dive watch case, a unidirectional rotating bezel, and a simple and clean dial. What makes this watch stand out is its combination of gilt and gold elements which creates a nice contrast against the black dial and bezel, and also gives it an appealing vintage touch.
At its core, the SRPD57K1 is identical to the new black version reference srpd55k1 (which we have reviewed here), but the difference is that this watch has contrasting gold markers and accents instead of silver/steel.
In this article, we are looking closer and reviewing the Seiko 5 SRPD57K1.
The Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 case
The watch is presented in a 42.5mm stainless steel case with a lug-to-lug measurement of 46mm. The case has a thickness of 13.4mm. With that said, the watch is not huge, but it does have a sporty and robust presence on the wrist – as we would expect from a sports watch.
The top of the case is circular brushed but the sides of the case are polished. For easy removal and change of strap and bracelet, the case has drilled lugs. The combination of brushed and polished elements enhances the perception of quality and makes it appear more premium.
Sitting on top of the case is of course a unidirectional bezel in true dive watch fashion. The bezel has a knurled edge with 120 clicks. The bezel has a matte aluminum insert with gold-colored 60-graduation markers. Since the bezel sits quite tall, it allows for easy grip and operation.
Photo: H2hub Watches
On top of the case, the watch uses Seiko’s Hardlex crystal. It would have been nice if Seiko would have used sapphire crystal, but at the same time, this would also affect the price, so the question is if it is worth it. Hardlex crystal has still proven to be much more durable and scratch-resistant than regular mineral glass, so it will still do a good job.
In traditional Seiko 5 fashion, the crown is positioned at 4 o’clock. The crown is protected by crown guards which seamlessly extend from the case.
The crown is a push-pull and not a screw-down like a predecessor, which is an interesting move from Hodinkee. This also has an effect on the water resistance of this timepiece. The Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 has a water resistance of 100M, which is less than the 200M of the SKX, which partly can be attributed to the crown. It may seem like a huge decrease in quality, but we see Seiko’s reasoning like this:
The vast majority of people who will wear this watch will probably not come closer to water than when washing their hands. At the same time, it can also be worn when swimming or diving – just not deep diving. Having said that, its water resistance is good for the vast majority of people. And the fact of the matter is that the SRPD57K1 is not meant to be a full-on dive watch. Seiko has a ton of other watches for that.
The Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 dial
The dial of the Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 has a classic and traditional layout, just as we expect from a dive watch. This means large indices, great legibility, and minimalism.
In traditional Seiko 5 fashion, it has a day and a date window positioned at 3 o’clock.
The clean black layout with gold accents results in a lovely warmth and vintage-inspired look. Being a dive watch, it has large applied markers with a generous amount of Lumibrite applied to them. The markers have metal frames that have been made in gold color. The hands are also broad and made in gold color. Just like the markers, they have a generous amount of Lumibrite. This ensures that both the hands and markers glow long and bright in the dark.
The watch has a back chapter ring with the second markers printed in gold color. Gilt is not something for everyone, but it does make for a vintage-inspired look. It seems that either you love it or you hate it. But regardless, the unity of gold accents from the bezel, dial, and hands, gives a complete and well-through-out look.
The watch keeps the dial printing at a minimum, and only includes the Seiko logo, the Seiko 5 logo, and an ”Automatic” text. This keeps it clean, refined and focused on the most important thing – legibility.
The Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 movement
The watch is equipped with the Seiko in-house caliber 4R36. This is an automatic and mechanical movement which is a huge improvement from the movement used in the predecessor (SKX).
The movement has 24 jewels and beats with a frequency of 21600VPH.
If you turn the watch around, you’ll be able to see the movement through the screw-down case back with a Hardlex see-through window. The movement is not decorated or finished, but that is not its purpose. Instead, the movement is meant to resemble the ethos of the watch, which is robust and durable. The fact that it lacks decoration may at first be disappointing, but if you consider its price and what this watch stands for, it’s not a big deal. The tool-like industrialized look goes very well with the ethos and overall design of this watch.
The movement is robust and sturdy and built like a workhorse. In fact, this movement will continue to tick for years to come without needing any service.
- Crystal: Hardlex
- Power reserve: 41 hours
- Movement: Seiko in-house caliber 4R36
- Diameter: 42.5mm
- Lug-to-lug measurement: 46mm
- Thickness: 13.4mm
- Jewels: 24
- Frequency: 21600 VPH/BPH
All in all, the Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 is a great sports/dive watch that offers exceptional value for money.
Seiko is one of the most appreciated brands when it comes to qualitative affordable entry-level timepieces. The Seiko SKX has gotten an almost legendary status and the follow-up, the SRP collection released in 2019 is meant to be an improvement and refinement of this loved and appreciated timepiece.
If you are looking for an affordable and high-quality dive watch equipped with sturdy and reliable automatic movement, the new Seiko5 sports collection SRPD is one of the best choices out there. And the Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 is n turn a great alternative within that range with its classic and vintage-inspired touch.
The Seiko 5 SRPD57K1 is available to order on Amazon.
Main photo: Ethos Watches