Seiko SKX013 Community Review

By: Greg Bedrosian

The Seiko SKX needs little introduction. Its design has endured decades and it’s a staple among watch enthusiasts. There are many variants of the SKX. The two most common are the SKX007 and SKX009.

While it would have been simplest to use a SKX007 for this community review, I felt that that the Seiko SKX013 would be the better choice. I thought the smaller 38mm case size would be a better gender-neutral option. Could it walk the thin line? Would the SKX013 feel too small for a men’s watch and too large for a women’s watch?

I also felt the classic combination of a black face and black bezel would pair well with the different personal styles of the reviewers. I also decided to include a few NATO style straps in various colors to help the reviewers integrate the Seiko SKX comfortably with their preferred wardrobe. I did offer the stock Seiko jubilee as well.

It was important to have as diverse of a group as possible. The community reviewers included both men and women. The guest reviewers ranged in age from 22 to 67. Their professions where no less diverse: IT, finance, educators, health care, attorneys, and everything else imaginable.

One of the funniest questions that I got from a first-time community reviewer was, “Do I write [something] like in the J. Peterman catalogue? I was wearing the very watch that I was going to return… like that?”

Below are the unfiltered impressions of the SKX013 from the community reviewers along with their initials, age, strap choice, and current daily watch.


“CL” 22:
Strap Choice: Jubilee
Daily Watch: Seiko SNZG15

I’m the proud owner of a SKX007, I wear it a few times a week if I am not wearing my Seiko 5 sport (my everyday watch). Naturally this was an awesome test drive for me right off the bat. My SKX007 is also on a jubilee bracelet as was the SKX013 while I was test driving it. The jubilee is my favorite stainless-steel bracelet option for it’s unique look and comfort. One thing I LOVE about Seiko SKX013 watch is the tapper on the band; it tapers to 18mm at the clasp. This will be one thing I will look for in my next big watch purchase. It’s an awesome feature that looks good and feels even better. One major thing on the SKX013 that catches my eye is the Arabic date wheel. For fun I switched the day to Arabic (even though I can’t read it at all). I thought it was be different and a nice switch up from the everyday watch. I also love the position of the crown on the Seiko SKX’s tucked away at 4pm it doesn’t dig into the wrist and allows for max comfort. Overall this watch is a 10/10. If you don’t have an SKX…. GET ONE!


“PM” 27:
Strap Choice: Pink NATO
Daily Watch: Apple Watch Series 4 GPS + Cellular 44mm SS

This was a simple one. Bottom-line, not the Seiko SKX013 is not the watch for me. Could be a good addition to the watch box, but far from what’s needed for a daily driver. The face itself it simple, tells the time & that’s about all. In this day & age, you’ve got to have some sort of differentiation amongst the other watches out there. This design decided to make the face smaller & bump the height. I’d say I have average sized wrists, but the face was just too small. Not too small to read or anything, just too small for my liking. A good selling point for this watch would be the ease of band swapping & the plethora of available bands to swap with. That being said, I wouldn’t invest in a single additional band, if I wasn’t convinced that this watch could make its way into my daily life. I have somewhere between 8-10 additional bands for my AW just to put things into perspective.

I know a watch is good, when it doesn’t make its way back into my watch box at the end of the night. A good watch stays on your nightstand. The Seiko SKX013 ain’t no nightstand watch.

“DH” 40:
Strap Choice: Navy / White NATO
Daily Watch: Fitbit Flex2

I’ll start by saying I am not a ‘watch guy’. I used to have a few basic Citizen and Seiko watches with the stainless steel Jubilee type bands but haven’t worn them in years. I didn’t move away from wearing a watch for any particular reason. As I got older I simply stopped wearing the jewelry (watch, bracelet, necklace) that I wore when I was younger. The only item that remained was my wedding ring… which was probably a good thing. My neighbor, who is a ‘watch guy’ asked if I would try out his Seiko SKX013 for a short time and give my opinion of the watch and the changeable, stylish straps that he sent along with it.

Just like everything else, I procrastinated and forgot to wear the watch. After a few gentle reminders, I wore the watch to work a handful of days and gave it a good test drive. The first day of wearing the Seiko SKX013 was interesting. Not having worn a watch in years I had to get used to the weight and presence of this piece of jewelry on my wrist. I’d say after a morning of adapting to wearing a watch again it was like an old hat. First and foremost, it was comfortable to wear. I liked the style of the watch, the look of the black face with stainless steel outline and the feel of the interchangeable band. The face/head was the perfect size and instruments for telling time were right up my alley. The Seiko SKX013 was easy to set and held the time to the second I set it to the whole week. I for one can appreciate such accuracy. Overall, I was pleased by the experience of wearing this watch and glad I accepted the assignment. Dabbling in the world of wearing a watch again has me considering investing in a good time piece and I’d say the Seiko SKX013 would be a good starter for this potential ‘watch guy’.


 
 


“HP” 28:
Daily Watch: None
Strap Choice: Beige / Navy NATO

Let me preface this review by saying that I am really not much of a watch person. I am more of a minimalist when it comes to accessories, especially wrist adornments, as I can’t seem to get over the slight annoyance I feel when typing away at the old 9 to 5 with something on my wrist. I also have the world’s tiniest wrists, so if and when I do wear a watch, I want it to be very low profile, and fairly short in length. Therein lied the issue for me with the Seiko SKX013. The case extended beyond the width of my wrist, for a bulky look and feel. The interchangeable bands is a nice bonus for versatility, but ultimately the length and slightly high profile of the SKX013 were the sticking points for me. I also generally prefer a white face with gold tones for a more formal and feminine watch look.


“GB” 35:
Daily Watch: Steinhart Ocean One 39 GMT
Strap Choice: Black NATO

What a great watch! The smaller crown [case] was perfect for my thin wrist and even though it rises pretty high, it generally didn’t bother me unless I was wearing a collared shirt with a tight cuff. This was also my first experience with a NATO strap, and I loved it in nylon. Even though I was offered a number of colors to choose from, I ended up keeping the black strap on for well over a week of every day wearing since I like a simple and clean look. This is truly a watch I could “watch fast,” to borrow a phrase from the biz! I wore it to the office, all weekend, and with the nylon NATO strap it was really comfortable for hiking in the cool fall Denver weather. I held on to this loaner so long that eventually it came down to returning it, or ghosting its owner… don’t worry, I did return it!


“AL” 29:
Daily Watch: None
Strap Choice: Blue/ Red NATO

It was a dark night, filled with doubts and worries. I had a meeting with top executives to pitch my new million dollar idea of Velcro that doesn’t make a sound when you remove it. I hopped over a puddle out of my taxi to a dark lit street. I was riddled with anxiety. Am I too early for my meeting? My phone had died and the cold, rainy streets were empty. I looked down at my sharp SKX013 watch with a matte black legible dial; I have arrived on time! The rain was no match for this watch. It was a little heavier than most watches that I’ve worn, but the weight reminded me it was there for me in times of trouble.

The versatile watch is perfect for an evening on the sofa or any sort of business meeting.

“TB” 38:
Daily Watch: None
Strap Choice: Blue/ White NATO

“Get this off my wrist at the next stop light. It feels like it’s choking my wrist.”

“MM” 34:
Strap Choice: Blue / White NATO
Daily Watch: None

It was easy to change the strap. I like the way that it looked with a button-down shirt and the sleeves rolled up. I could see myself wearing this watch with this strap on vacation on the beach. I’m a bigger guy and would have preferred a bigger watch. It felt like a girl’s watch on my wrist. I liked the black thing [bezel] and blue strap look.


“GB” 67:
Daily Watch: Victorinox Quartz Field Watch
Strap Choice: Black NATO

I recently had the opportunity to try the Seiko SKX013 men’s dive watch for a few days. I selected a mil spec black ballistic nylon watch band rather than the stainless steel band that came with the watch, thinking the replacement band would be more appropriate if one were taking the watch for a sail, swim, or dive.

I normally wear a lower profile watch with a leather band, and so I was skeptical about the Seiko. Would it look too gimmicky? Would it stick up too high from my wrist? Would it look too big on my wrist? Would the ballistic nylon band be comfortable?


 

The results of my two-day trial surprised me in a positive way. The watch was comfortable to wear, the face was easy to read, and I never felt that it was out of place as I wore it around town. It would not be out of place at work. I appreciated the brightness of the phosphorescent dial at night.

I did not get a chance to swim with it, but I did take it into the shower. Of course it kept working, but the test was really a test of the band to see how comfortable it was when wet and how quickly it dried. It passed the test with flying colors.

While I am not in a hurry to buy myself a Seiko SKX013, I would certainly consider it in the future if I needed a watch that could live in the water but would still be appropriate for work and casual days around town.


“GE” 29:
Daily Watch: Seiko SRPB53 “Samurai”
Strap Choice: Various

I tried out the Seiko SKX013 and switched out several versions of the strap. I am new to wearing a watch every day and currently wear a Seiko with a black rubber strap. The Seiko SKX013 felt inferior to me. While smaller, the height of the watch still felt large since it had a strap in between your wrist and the watch itself. The benefit of the strap is the sturdiness and I did enjoy the comfort of having the leather strap entirely around my wrist. The leather strap was my favorite and I also tried several color combinations of the other straps. These didn’t offer anything for me – I don’t want to match the watch to any clothing and like simplicity in my life. It seemed a little too Ralph Lauren. For me, the price is reasonable for a “beater” watch but I still feel that my current Seiko is a perfect everyday watch that is nice enough to wear with a tie but durable and casual enough to wear hiking.


“RE” 44:
Daily Watch: None
Strap Choice: Blue and Red NATO

First Impressions: Damn this thing is small.

As soon as I held the Seiko SKX013 I knew my sausage fingers would have issues. It looks small and ill-formed on my wrist. It didn’t seem to fit comfortably at all although that could have been a strap issue. The lugs were difficult to work with both because of size and location. Lastly, the lume was never bright enough when I needed it most. It just seemed out of place by modern watch standards and if you hadn’t of told me its age I would have said that it was a women’s watch.

My final impressions. Damn this thing is small. My Dog liked it more than I did.

“SS” 35:
Daily Watch: Apple Watch Series 3 42mm Space Gray
Strap Choice: Multiple
The Seiko SKX013, a review by an amateur watch enthusiast who doesn’t own a “watch”. Growing up, I mowed lawns to earn money for just about everything, and there was one watch at the store I had my heart set on. It was an all-black Timex digital watch with green trim on the face, and the brightest blue indiglo light that I had ever seen. Oh the memories …being a poor kid in the mid 90’s was such a magical time.

Fast forward 20+ years and I am an adult obsessed with clothes and fashion but always slacked on my accessories. It could be because I’ll spend so much money on a nice pair of Red Wing Iron Ranger boots or on countless pairings of nice denim jeans, shirts and jackets to bring it all together. I usually wear an Apple Watch mostly for fitness tracking. It wasn’t until a colleague turned friend of mine opened my eyes to what watches really were. Could this be an accessory to my everyday clothing choices? What would adding something mechanical to my all-digital world would feel like?

In the past year I have been sitting on the sidelines quietly contemplating what watch will be my “first” real watch. I was loaned The Seiko SKX013 to try it out it and see what I thought. Well the first day I wore it I fell in love with the sensation of it on my arm! Aside from the immediate flare it added to my work attire, it felt good on my wrist and was even better to look at. At 38mm it was the perfect size for me. It didn’t feel too large or flashy and was easy to read. The black and white face was clean and simplistic, just what I wanted in a watch. It came with a few watch bands also. I started with the Barton NATO brown suede band first. There is just something about brown leather that always lures me in, plus it matched my beloved Red Wing Iron Rangers. After that I went with the white and blue striped nylon NATO strap. It was very casual and could go with just about any pair of jeans or shirt combo you come up with but also works with something a little dressier for the office if you need it too. The bands change in the matter of seconds without any tools, so you could potentially change them throughout the day if you so choose to. This feels like a great watch for the price point and an easy way to get into the Seiko family. Although I enjoyed my time with it, it didn’t grab me enough to be my first. Only time will tell what watch will be able to capture my heart and make it on my wrist.

Conclusion

It’s easy to tell the time: Yes
Would I #watchfast it: Yes – hardcore on the jubilee bracelet

5 Things I love about the Seiko SKX013

  • The 20mm jangly jubilee bracelet with perfect taper
  • The seconds hand is not a reverse lollipop
  • The bright Seiko lume
  • The SKX013 preserves the classic SKX007 DNA
  • It’s a true GADA (go anywhere do anything) watch

5 Things I hate about the Seiko SKX013

  • The dial is unusually small
  • The smaller bezel can be difficult to read at a glance
  • The lack of hacking & manual winding
  • The tall height compared to the diameter
  • Fewer aftermarket mod options vs the SKX007

If you have any questions about the SKX013 or about how I conducted the community review, please contact me on Instagram using the link in my bio.


Check Out The TBWS Podcast

Wrist Watch Podcast