Seiko SKX007 is a mechancical watch that was launched in 1996 but has already been rumored to have stopped production sometime in 2017. It is very typical for Seiko to just discontinue a popular watch that is at the peak of its success and to stop it abruptly. Doesn’t make sense from a business point of view. But it’s value in the secondary market has risen since then.
But there are also reports that Seiko (because it doesn’t confirm or deny public impression about the continued availability of their products) was forced to pause the manufacture of the 007 variant at certain times. It seems their factories also have limits when it comes to watch production.
The impression is they stopped production of the 007 in 2017 to meet the production demand of their other variants. Due to this manufacturing stoppage, there is a perceived shortage of the 007 in the market. Its popularity makes the shortage so obvious that watch enthusiasts go to all sorts of conspiracy theories.
It is an ISO 6425 compliant watch which is surprisingly low priced even though its precision is within a margin of error of only 1 second per day. This universal standard sets minimum compliance for a watch to be called a Diver’s Watch.
Seiko is known to churn out timepieces that are of top quality but are content just being sold in the low to medium range in the market. It wants to maintain an image of affordability to the mass market but also at the same time, having an iconic image of reliability and sturdiness which makes them also desirable for luxury watch collectors who also want Seiko Variants in their collection.
SKX007 MADE BASIS OF OTHER ENTRY LEVEL DIVE WATCHES
The SKX007 did symbolize this reputation of Seiko. The 007s image as a low priced but quality dive watch has inspired the creation of online content with titles like Affordable Dive Watches That Aren’t The Seiko SKX007. By this title alone, the 007 has created an entirely new niche in the mechanical watch market that delivers the message that Quality Need Not Be Expensive. All other entry level dive watches are compared to it. Not only the solid specs of the 007 and its ISO certification deserve attention, it also looks great on different straps because of its flexible black and white steel color design.
The SKX007 reputation as a low priced but quality mechanical Diver’s Watch was just like the brouhaha that was created by the Seiko 5 which was bruited to be a $75 watch which looks like a million bucks!It seems these collectors are predicting a time when Seiko watches will become legendary themselves, befitting the stature of Swiss watches today. The Seiko SKX007 for one, has stopped production (presumably), and this halting has even added to its stature as a growing icon in Diver’s Watches.
The SKX007 is a proud descendant and ancestor too (other Seiko Diver’s Watches came after it) of a long line of quality mariner’s watches. This long history started in 1965 when the 6217 was launched and 150 meters became the reference and boasting dive level when it comes to Diver’s Watches.
It has its share of celebrity status because a worthy predecessor, the 6105, was seen on the wrist of Martin Sheen in the movie Apocalypse Now. But the 6105 has since stopped production since 1977. Why the recurrence of halting production in their Diver’s Watch Series?
Then there’s also the 1975 600 meter Pro Diver. It’s the first watch ever to have a Titanium case. But the 1980 Porsche Design Titan Chronograph (by another company) put one over Seiko by not only having a titanium case but also a titanium bracelet that’s integrated with the watch. But Seiko ignored the competition and just kept on marching forward.
Then there’s the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver which has the mechanism to make sure there’s sufficient power reserved to make sure it doesn’t break down in the middle of a dive. It’s self winding Spring Drive movement and the power reserve that was mentioned ensure a very high degree of accuracy which is within 1 second per day error.
Those are very impressive ancestors for the SKX007 to retain upon and also to draw inspiration from.
The immediate elder brother of the SKX007 is the Seiko 7002 wherein they closely resemble each other. They both share a water resistance rating of 200 meters. It was produced until 1996 when it was replaced by the SKX007.
They both are, as we know, not anymore in production but they command a following in the secondary market.
Special mention should be given to the SKX007 because it is a ISO compliant mechanical Diver’s watch with an entry price level to boot.
The SKX007 is absolutely minimalist but functional. There is nothing unnecessary on the watch, just pure Japanese efficiency.
Its case is a heavy and solid mound of stainless steel. But it is very well made, you wouldn’t think it’s price is entry level. Just adding spice to the oft mentioned phrase: a quality worth its price (and even more).
The rounded flanks rise elegantly to form the crown guards. The SKX007 can’t be hand wound, like the Seiko 5, and must be shaken gently in order for the hands to move.
But on YouTube, there are people showing videos wherein they sell hacking devices so you can hand wind your SKX007. It seems this inability to hand wind is one drawback of the 007.
But the crown is set at 4 o’clock which avoids it from pressing irritatingly into the back skin of your wrist.
The 007 shows its quality in its bezel, which is pleasantly quiet when you rotate it in half minute increments.
The triangle tip, with its inset luminous pearl, always lines up perfectly on the index mark.
The dial, while being very simple, which is exactly what minimalists want (unadorned subtleness), is quite large and has bright lume plots. Try it. Put off the lights in your room to see how they glow. Seiko dive watches are notorious for being glaringly bright in the dark.
The seconds hand has white paint on its body and dot of lume (short for luminous phosphorescent glowing solution) on its tail. The same with the white day and date windows. This watch is the essence of low light glow in the dark.
Not being anymore in production, when buying in the secondary market, some 007s come with a rubber bracelet, others with the jubilee style bracelet which is the original. This metal bracelet is more than adequate. It has a tendency to rattle, like the OEM bracelet of the Seiko 5, when its size is 2 fingers more than the size of your wrist.
Like previously mentioned, some 007 owners like to experiment with the bracelet, so that’s why on the secondary market, they sometimes come with a rubber or NATO strap.
Going back to the rubber bracelet, it is comfortable, and almost all owners will agree, but it also has a Diver’s wetsuit extension which is quite purposeful, especially if you dive a lot.
Inside the factory of the 007, its nuts and bolts, is the legendary caliber 7S26 which the reputable watchmaker, John David, described in admiration:
He said that Watches cannot avoid their being machines. No matter what, their nature as machines will always come out. They may be works of art, but first things first, they are still basically machines. They are creatures of engineering innovation and there is something mysterious and captivating about these small pieces of precise and mathematical wizardry that are churned out by their master artisan, the watchmaker. And these small masterpieces are amazing, because being aside miniature things of beauty, they are also functional and they are very efficient and helpful in their very purpose of existence: timekeeping.
This is just an explanation of the whole description by legendary watchmaker and mover John Davis. For Davis, yes these watches with the 7S26 movement, including the 007, are works of art, courtesy of the industrial revolution. There is beauty in machines.
When John Davis was asked as to what watch can he gauge as having engineering excellence, he answered
that engineering excellence can’t be measured in terms of how much is the price of the watch. There is as much engineering excellence in an entry level Seiko or ETA for a few hundred, a Rolex for a few thousands, or several thousands for a Patek right up to the artifacts of horology in the half million dollar range. For John Davis, it’s reliability, accuracy and longevity and serviceability which are important to him for a watch to be appreciated.
So there you go… Right from the master watchmaker himself. This is indirectly a tribute to the engineering excellence of the SKX007, despite being an entry level Diver’s Watch.
Aside from the stirring tribute of John Davis to the internal organs of the 007, it is interesting to note that the materials inside are sturdy and bullet proof. Its Magic Lever winding system is a work of art by itself and the very essence of mechanical concepts. This is because the very moment you take the watch with your hand, it runs almost immediately at the slightest available movement.
So now it stopped production, and you cannot buy a Seiko SKX007 anymore from your local watch or Seiko store. But with a watch that has functional excellence and linkage to a great history in the annals of Seiko history, you can find it at any secondary market online within the price range of $170 to $200. Unbelievable but true.
There is nothing you can think of at this point, no watch at its price level, that can compete with the 007, head to head. One exception could be the G-Shock, which is also a great watch in its uniqueness. But one glaring fact is the G-Shock is not ISO 6452 compliant, and that’s one big drawback for the G-Shock already.
You can truly say, without insult, that the Seiko SKX007 is a solid rebuke to the overpriced, over embellished luxury dive watches of other brands. It is sending a message that, woe to the watch buyers, you overpriced giants in the watch industry. You are frying the customers dry when all they want is an affordable watch that is quality made and reliable. You can’t fault Seiko for making a watch like this to make more people with less cash more happy.
ALTERNATIVES OR HEIR APPARENTS TO THE SKX007
1) Seiko SKX013.
The SKX007 is a great watch from all angles, but some people don’t like its 42 millimeter case size. It’s too big for them, or it’s not in proportion to their lean frame. Because for some people, everything that adorns their body should be in proportion.
A great watch, they say, that’s very similar in looks and function to the 007 is the Seiko SKX013. The 2 watches look like twins actually but the 013 has a smaller 37 millimeters case. On the wrist of a thin framed person with fashion vanities, a 013 wears much smaller because of its reduced diameter and shorter height.
If you look closer, you’ll see they’re not identical twins after all.
There are minimal noticeable differences in the hand set, the dial and the bezel. But in a general sense, it looks and performs like a small version of the 007.
2) Seiko Mini Turtle.
The abrupt passing away of the SKX007 gives rise to the question whether there will be a successor to its iconic legacy.
In 2017, Seiko came out with the SRPC3/4x or simply, the Mini-Turtles. Obviously, they are offshoots of the bigger Turtles of yesteryears – the 6309 of year 1976 and the reissued SRP77x of year 2016. But other than the Turtle name, the similarities stop there.
Because of the quietness of the Seiko camp, people are just prone to impressions or predictions or guesses, but the Mini-Turtle looks more and more like a successor to the SKX007.
It seems like the Seiko people let their products do the talking, or maybe, their ads too, which are all over. They don’t make official announcements about the discontinuation of their products or the launch of new products. But it seems it’s not a big deal with watch enthusiasts who like to do “watch talk” and keep guessing about the next big one in horology.
The genetics of the 007 and the Mini-Turle are more intertwined, more than the blood types of the Turtle and Mini-Turtle are adaptable.
Both the 007 and the Mini come from the same ancestry, more specifically the 6217 or the 62MAS (1965 to 1968), and all through the next generation of Seiko Diver’s up to the 6309 or the Turtle (1976 to 1988).
The 007 have similarities with both the Turtle (day-date, markers, crown and case style) and the Mini-Turtle (crown, date and case style), and similarities with both (hands, pip and size). But the reality is, the Turtle is also deceased, having been killed in 1988, so the heir apparent really seems to be the Mini-Turtle.
But from the low price of the 007 of around the $200 price range, the Mini-Turtle sells for $340, a rather far cry of a price. This just sends a message that watch enthusiasts got a pretty good deal with the 007 for over two decades, so it’s but fair to appreciate the price through the Mini-Turtle. These are all just impressions of Seiko fans, but there’s a fairly decent amount of truth in it.
IT CAN NOW BE DEEMED TEMPORARY: THE DEMISE OF THE SKX007
Seiko people are quiet all the time. They just keep on churning out quality watches. You just don’t know what will come out in the physical stores or online stores because they don’t announce officially the demise of a Seiko variant.
Now it can be announced, although not officially from Seiko – SKX007 is alive and kicking. Although in the form of variants. They are the SKX007J and the SKX007K1/K2
Just when everyone was mourning the demise of the 007, Seiko quietly slipped out of its cave and came out with two 007 variants. One of them, the SKX007J, is supposedly made in Japan. It also has inside it the reputable Seiko 7S26 movement which drew raves from watchmaker John Davis whose wisdom about horology is widely followed by watch enthusiasts.
It keeps nearly perfect timekeeping and also has a day and date window. It also has a shatterproof Hardflex that’s worth it for the low price of the watch, but it smudges easily.
The low point of the 007J is that it has no hand winding or hacking.
The bezel here is metal this time and not ceramic. It seems that Seiko has realized that the original 007 was a real bargain and it’s now making a tradeoff with regards to components of the 007’s offspring.
On Amazon, the J is not cheap. It retails for $570 which nearly double the price of the 007 original. Is Seiko offsetting the price difference that they lost on the 007? What happened here? So those who still have their original 007, hold on to them because by all indications, its price will skyrocket.
2) SKX007K1 and SKX007K2
From the reports, the K stands for Korea, or as in Made in South Korea. But some people say it’s a misnomer and K doesn’t really stand for anything because it’s either made in Malaysia or Singapore. Seiko keeps on being mum about these details.
All the features on the J are also on the K and both, when featured on Amazon and elsewhere, come with rubber straps, which is one difference which they have with the original 007 which came with a metal bracelet. The K1 comes with rubber straps and the K2 comes with a jubilee bracelet.
No hacking and hand winding here too, but the mere fact that the J and the K variants are automatic watches at a low end price is a blessing enough.
In Amazon, the K1 is priced at $300 and the K2 at $420, both higher prices compared to the original price of the daddy 007 which was originally priced at $200. Did Seiko price them to offset inflation?
The J is supposedly more expensive at $570 because it’s made in Japan? Who can answer this please? Seiko is so quiet.
THE COMMON FEATURES OF 007J AND 007K
Now that the original 007 has stopped production, you could be trying to find one in the secondary market. If you already have one, hold on to it because it will become a legendary watch in time.
Now, for the offspring, the 007J and the 007K, they are practically the same watches. Their differences are so subtle. They share a lot of features :
1) Stainless steel case.
The J and the K both come furnished with steel cases that have the similar brushed and polished effect.
On the top, the steel looks brushed, and the sides are shiny. This style make the watches recognizable. Their bezel has a noticeable snug fit on the outer boundaries of each watch.
Both J and K have a measurement of 42 millimeters diameter and a thickness of 13 millimeters. They are designed for men, but they are not too big compared to other dive watches.
The back of both watches is made of stainless steel. It is held in place securely by screws that ensure that water doesn’t seep in while you’re diving underwater.
The lugs have a width of 22 milliliters. This feature improves the profile of both the J and K.
2) The hour, minute and second hands.
The hour hand is in the shape of a rectangle with the end being an arrowhead which has a thin pointer jutting out from its tip.
The minute hand looks similar to the hour hand except that it’s longer (as usual) and doesn’t have the arrowhead at its end. But it also has a thin pointer.
The second hand is in the shape of a lollipop. It’s long and thin but there’s no noticeable pointer at the end.
To make it look different, the second hand has 2 colors. Its pointer is white and the counterbalance is black.
On the outlines of all the hands, Seiko put in a silver finish which shine when they catch light passing by.
3) Time Markers and Indices.
On both the J and the K, the hours are marked by big white circles except at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions.
At the 12 o’clock position, instead of the big white circle, there is instead a white triangle facing downward. It has a thin pointer at the tip which is also facing downwards.
At the 3 o’clock is where we locate the day and date complication. The lettering is in black for most days except on the weekends when the colors that show up are blue for Saturdays and red for Sundays. It returns back to black come Monday up to Friday.
The minute and second markers of both the J and the K are located at the stationary ring that surrounds the dial of the watches. The markers are denoted here by short white vertical dashes, which becomes a bit thicker every 5th minute or second.
4) Hardlex Scratch Resistant Crystal.
The glass of both the J and the K are the same.
It’s a scratch resistant crystal, as the description alleges, but it does smudge and scratch quite easily. But it doesn’t shatter easily compared to other types of crystals of the affordable variety.
This means you need to wipe the crystal more often than not. But be rest assured that unless the impact is really solid, the Hardlex will hold up.
5) The 7S26 Automatic Movement.
Both the J and K variants of the SKX007 uses this internal technology that has 40 hours of power reserve. Nearly 2 days is meant for the watch to operate without being used.
The watch’s power is charged through your kinetic movement of your wrist. The moment you let go of the watch, it slowly loses charge and also the time becomes less accurate.
The crowns of both the J and the K are similar in appearance and function and are both located at the 4 o’clock position.
They look large, but because of the crown guards, they don’t look intimidating at all.
The crowns have fine teeth on their edges that make it easy for holding to turn them. If you want to set the time, pull out the crown fully and change the time.
If you want to change the day or date, pull the crown only half way. For the date, rotate it clockwise. For the day, rotate it counterclockwise.
Don’t forget to push in the crown when you’re done.
To avoid damage when adjusting, it’s best to take off the watch.
7) Bezels both Metallic and Unidirectional.
The bezel is the rim that surrounds the transparent cover which holds the watch crystal. It could be static or rotatable.
In the case of both the J and the K, their bezels are both metallic and unidirectional. This means they could be rotated both left and right.
These bezels both have ribbed surfaces which makes them easy to grip for turning.
Both watches have a black bezel.
8) Strap Options.
The J only has the rubber strap option while the K has a choice between the rubber band and the jubilee metal band.
Both the rubber and the metal band are 22 millimeters thick.
If you go diving, you should use the rubber strap obviously.
The rubber strap is available in black only.
9) They have both Diaflex Mainspring and Diashock
The Diaflex Mainspring has the function of preventing the springs of the watch from breaking up while winding. The Diashock is the shock absorber of the watch wherein it guarantees that even though there is an unexpected impact, the hands of the watch will still be working efficiently.
10) They both have 21 Jewels.
Both the J and the K have the same 21 jewels in each watch. They make sure that the important parts continue to move fluidly in the internal environment of the watch. They also reduce friction and thus, accuracy of time is preserved.
11) Both are ISO 6425 Compliant.
Both the J and K fulfill the ISO standard for a dive watch. The ISO standard is just 100 meters but these watches still function well up to 200 meters.
Another ISO compliant feature are their backsides which are screwed down so that water doesn’t enter into the watches.
Being luminiscent in the dark is another ISO compliant feature for dive watches that the two 007 variants are generous with.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT BETWEEN THE SKX007J AND THE SKX007K?
In fact, very subtle differences which are the following.
On the J, at the 6.30 position, below the text DIVER’S 200m there are the words 21 JEWELS. Then there are also the words MADE IN JAPAN and 7S26.
On the K, there are no words below the text DIVER’S 200m.
2) Backside of the Case.
On the J, you’ll find the words Japan WP on the left of the watch’s model number.
On the K, you’ll only find the words WP.
The J has only the rubber strap option, while the K has 2 options for straps: rubber and jubilee bracelet.
The rubber strap is perfect if you go diving with either the J or the K. But for a more elegant look for the L, go for its jubilee bracelet option.
The ancestral watch, the Seiko SKX007 has been discontinued, for reasons unknown. If you have one, hold on to it, because its legacy will continue for several decades to come. No one knows when Seiko will resurrect it, but there are already heir apparents, like the Seiko Mini-Turtle, but it really is different if you still have with you the original and ancestral, but ISO compliant SKX007.
Now here’s where Seiko makes watch enthusiasts crazy when they suddenly introduced the SKX007 variants, the J and the K. But they’re much more expensive, and are playing on the popularity of their Daddy watch.
So what’s on sale now on the main watch market are the SKX007J and the SKX007K. The original 007 can only be had on the secondary market.
It’s your choice, but the SKX007, in whatever variant, is a good buy.