Seiko 5 Sports Black - SRPD79K1 - Seiko “5KX” Unboxing & First Impressions
With the release of the new Seiko 5 Sports range titled SRPD, and newly nicknamed the “5KX” by collectors, we have seen a LOT of hate flooding the scene, and like usual, a lot of herd-like mentality of everyone joining in the bashing without experiencing, handling or owning the watch. It has caused a lot of controversies and with some speaking out positively about this range and some destroying it on its merits and price, I will discuss all these in FAR more detail in my upcoming “In-Depth” review of this watch. But what I will say in this Unboxing & First Impressions is I do not believe this is trying to compete with the SKX, yes, I said it… All the people comparing it and saying they discontinued the SKX to provide this, I disagree. You could argue that the SKX came into existence in 1988 with the Seiko 6309 range which later developed into what we know as the SKX, this was affordable, ISO rated, automatic diving offering that has a cult following and everyone and their pet goldfish has one… And that is what I am getting at, everyone who ever wanted an SKX has either owned one, has one or has many, modded them, has one stored away etc… And it is not like we cannot find them anymore, sure the price has gone up, but look hard enough there are TONS still out there that you can buy right this second if you do not like the SRPD range… So, to compare them is pointless, if you are there arguing you should get an SKX rather than this new offering then fair enough. This range I believe is Seiko offering alternative options to collectors, especially because of the massive modding scene, this range offers the ability to buy a “Modded” Seiko from them directly and not have to do anything. If you are into modding then get an SKX and knock yourself out, whereas if you cannot be bothered with that and just want a fun watch then the SRPD range is for you… And guess what, buying an SKX and spending multiple hundreds more and then modding it is not something that interests me personally, so when this range was offered, I was straight on the phone to order one!
Now that, that is out of the way… We can begin this Unboxing & first impressions! I would like to say a massive thank you to Allan and the team over at James Porter & Son, a retailer based in Glasgow, but ship all over. (https://www.james-porter.co.uk/) They made the experience great and easy, I paid for this watch so it is no way a watch for review and I paid the same as everyone else so again no sponsorship, just my opinions and a recommendation to them for their retail offering.
I went with the all-black PVD, “Hard Coating” as Seiko calls it, SRPD79K1. I initially saw this on Bruce Williams YouTube channel, and he had purchased a lovely Uncle Seiko waffle style Rubber Strap that just looked incredible on it, so I did the same!
When opening the box you are presented with a new style of box then what we are used to, a silver-tone cardboard box with the Seiko logo and the Seiko 5 logo which is a cross between an S and a 5, which I think was purposeful for the Seiko 5 Sports range. Instruction manual and guarantee card, which James Porter & Son fill out, a small detail but worth mentioning as most retailers skip this. Inside the box is a soft cushion with the watch attached, simple and effective packaging rather than anything too large and over the top.
The watch comes paired on a matching black NATO with a black coated Seiko signed buckle. This NATO is reasonable quality, but I never intended to keep it on that strap anyway. The watch retails for £280, with that you get 100M Water Resistance and the hacking and hand winding Seiko Calibre 4R36, we will go in more detail soon.
When taking the NATO off to replace it with the Rubber Strap I had purchased from Uncle Seiko I realised a point of cost-cutting that had been made, the spring bars and lug holes. The spring bars fitted are very thin and have an awful amount of leverage at each end, to match the holes have been reduced in case to accommodate this less desirable spring bar, see the photo of the spring bars attached and the ones provided by Uncle Seiko which match the spring bars used in the Prospex line. I did not have any luck fitting the thicker spring bars into the case, so I have resorted to using the ones provided with the watch, not the most reassuring but hopefully they will be ok.
So, there we have it, the watch strap fitted and out in the daylight on the wrist! And it looks epic, yes it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I think it looks damn cool and I have wanted an all-black watch for some time.
I will be going into much greater detail in the “In-Depth” review once I have given this watch some serious wrist-time, I am interested in seeing how it looks after a year of wear and how the coating holds up too. One thing is for certain though, I love how it looks on the wrist and it is exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but I didn’t expect that.
The watch has a case size of 42.5mm which on paper looks like a large dimension but having only a 46mm lug to lug length it wears very compact on the wrist, if you have ever worn an SKX you will know this case shape and wrist feel well. As mentioned the watch features a 4R36 which has both hacking and hand winding, a day/date at 3 o’clock, 40+ hours of power reserve, a beat rate of 21,600 and an estimated accuracy of +45 to -35 seconds a day, a huge range which I have not had any 4R36 run to, all have been within 10 seconds and this is no different, showing a reading of +10 seconds a day. All this allows for a thickness of 13.5mm which is perfectly acceptable considering the other dimensions mentioned. The watch has a water resistance of 100M and has no screw-down crown, a point mentioned by most as we have “Diver Styling” but not an actual Diver Watch. I don’t dive, closest I get to water is a shower so I don’t really care about this, sure on “Principle” it matters but for an actual wearer who doesn’t dive I do not care one bit, plus if I was ever to dive I probably wouldn’t even wear a watch anyway… But that is me!
I LOVE the all-black case, black dial, dark handset, black lume… This watch is pure stealth and exactly what I want with a black watch, legibility in low light is pretty rubbish but I purchased it for its looks and not its functionality and usability, crazy I know, but I’m self-aware enough of what I like to know this was an aesthetic purchase. The watch features an all-black bezel with dark silver numerals and markings which contrast perfectly again the black, no lume on the bezel at all, which again has been a point of contention for some, bezel action is good. All black dial with polished black markers surrounding the black lume, this watch has lume filling like my Turtle with a lot of lume and it looks full which is a nice look. Seiko logo at 12 o’clock which is applied, again giving a nice contrast, and the new 5/S logo underneath, I am personally a fan of this new logo. Day/Date at 3 o’clock, a surround on this would have been nice, looks like it should have had one and it has fallen off so definitely a negative for me. And “automatic” at 6 o’clock in an attractive font, all-round I love the dial, it is simple and not overdone. But… Surprise, surprise… Seiko has misaligned the chapter ring, frustrating that this has almost become an expected part of owning a modern Seiko.
Overall, I am very happy with this purchase and look to be keeping it in the personal collector for the foreseeable future, is it perfect? No… But I knew that going in, so I was prepared and because of that I come out the other side with a smile enjoying my new watch. I look forward to giving this some lengthy wrist time and report back with a full in-depth review in the coming month! Keep an eye out.
Specs & Availability
Dimensions – 42.5mm Case Size / 13.5mm Thickness / 22mm Lugs / 46mm Lug-Lug
Case Material – Stainless Steel w/ Black Coating
Strap/Bracelet – Black NATO – Aftermarket Uncle Seiko Black Waffle Rubber
Dial - Black
Lume – Black Lumibrite
Water Resistance – 100 Meters
Movement – Seiko Automatic 4R36
Price - £280 RRP
Availability – Available Online (https://www.james-porter.co.uk/5-spts-black-nato-auto.html)