Kick-start your collection with this watch


I have always had watches, but recently became more serious about starting a collection. My intention was to start my collection with a mechanical watch, however, I was on a limited budget; so I started looking around, did a bit of research, and finally zeroed on the Seiko SNK809. This Seiko model is very popular among many watch enthusiasts and recommended as a starter for your watch collection.

When I first opened the box, the dial felt small, but once it was on my wrist, it fitted well and looked good. As you can see, I went for the black one, but it does come in other exciting colours – Beige (SNK803), Green (SNK805), and Blue (SNK807). The beige is a good option if you are not into black.

The watch comes around AED 350 – 390 ($95 - $106) in UAE, however, you can also find it between $88 - $100 in various online shops. Yes, it can be less than $100 depending on where you buy it from, for example, in the US, you may find it for less than $80, and the piece offers a good value for the price.

This watch is part of the Seiko 5 collection and satisfies the 5 attributes – self-winding automatic movement, resistance to water, a day-date in a single window, a recessed crown, and durable case.

Getting into the specifications, it has a 37mm watch case with an in-house automatic movement (7S26 calibre), day-date complication, and 40-hour power reserve. The movement is a classic lower-end version from Seiko with an accuracy of -20/+40 seconds/day, but it is what you get for the price. Nevertheless, it works well, and I use it as one of my everyday home watches. The watch comes with an 18mm canvas strap, stainless-steel buckle + loops, and Hardlex crystal. I felt the real kicker in this one was the exhibition case-back which is a surprise for such a low-cost watch, and really makes it unique as an entry watch for an aspiring watch collector. The entire design does give it the field/pilot-style look with its watch-face having the hours and minutes highlighted in the dial. The numbers do seem cramped up in the small watch-face, but still legible.

Obviously, it does come with a few faults such as the 30m water resistance, which is not much, and this is also obvious considering that the recessed crown is not screw-type. The Hardlex crystal is not the strongest in the market and is bound to scratch if you accidentally brush or hit it against something hard. The lume wears off in a minute or so, and after an hour, it’s pretty much gone. However, these are small flaws that can be forgiven for a watch that is around $100 and, in some cases, less than $100. Finally, the watch is small for me and is not something I would use as an everyday going-out watch, but it has a reputation for being long-lasting, so a watch that I would pass on to my son for his first one.

Overall, this is a good choice to start your watch collection and get a feel of mechanical watches - It does have the history/heritage, popularity, affordability, and is good-looking.