Seiko 5 SNZF15 Sea Urchin Review
I am always surprised at how far Seiko have taken the Seiko 5 range of watches.
If you don’t know them, they started out as an affordable, reliable sports watch idea, and have since become a Seiko sensation.
They include an automatic movement, day/date, decent water resistance, protected crown and a whole lot more.
The SNZF15 (aka Sea Urchin) is very similar to the SKX007 and SKX009, both classic Seiko dive watches, but somehow just different enough to stand out.
The Sea Urchin Features
I have mentioned most of the important features above, but let’s list them out to make it plain for us all:
- Seiko Caliber 7S36, 23-jewel automatic (self-winding) movement
- Hardlex (scratch-resistant) mineral crystal
- 42 x 13 mm stainless steel case
- 100m / 330ft water resistance
- Day/Date window at 3 o’clock
- Recessed crown (for added protection)
- Uni-directional dive style bezel
Nothing super fancy here, but solid, reliable, actually quite amazing specs for a watch that often retails below a few hundred bucks.
The face is a little reminiscent of the classic Rolex Submariner, but then again, what dive watch is not these days. Rolex set the bar on that one, and everyone else has been copying every since.
That means there are large lumed circular hour markers, with bars at 6 and 9 o’clock and the double triangle at 12.
The hands are hard, lumed and easily to read too, as is the minute train on the outside of the dial. Another interesting detail on this watch is the sharper angle on the outside minute markers (hard to see in the picture). They tend to angle up more steeply than most Seikos.
The Seiko 5 logo is proudly displayed at the top, and the specs are clearly displayed at 6 o’clock.
The one thing I would say is that the day coloring in this model, although nicely matching the pepsi bezel, is very hard to read. The day, in white, is a little more intelligently designed. Not that I need to read them quickly or underwater!
The Case & Strap
There is good and bad news with this strap, but always remember we are talking a low price-point watch.
First, it has a nice polished clasp with a safety, which is not something all watches at this level have.
It is also micro-adjustable, to help you fit it to your wrist.
It’s a standard 3 link style band, made of stainless steel, but where Seiko have saved some money is in using foldover (hollow) links instead of solid ones. Not a huge thing, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
The case is very solidly designed, with polished sides and brushed steel lugs. The crown is recessed nicely to protect it, at 3 o’clock too.
The back is a display (see-through) case which is great to see on such a watch. Although you will only notice it when you are not wearing th e watch, it’s fun to see the rotor swinging (to charge the watch) and the parts doing their tick tock.
To be honest, it always astounds me that Seiko can produce such a watch at this price, with an automatic movement in it.
Sure, it’s not at the same level as a Rolex or Omega, but it’s super reliable, used on tonnes of different Seiko models, and has decent specs too:
- Automatic (self-winding)
- 41+ hours power reserve
- Day/Date complication