Seiko 5 SNK793 Review: Keeping It Casual and Classy in Blue

By: Jason Tricoli

With Baselworld 2019 behind us, we have seen Seiko continue to evolve their business strategy. We saw the return of the Sumo Prospex Diver, with a new 6R35 movement and a sapphire crystal (with an increased MSRP of ~$950 USD to match). Also introduced was the Prospex LX line, which included the SNR033: a batman bezel, spring drive GMT. But with an MSRP north of $5,000 USD, the Prospex LX line is now a close rival of the Grand Seiko line.

If all of these releases are anathema to your budget, I invite you to take a few deep breaths and join me in the wonderful universe of the Seiko 5. It is sometimes easy to forget about them with the flashy new releases, but Seiko continues to quietly produce a diverse line of affordable, automatic watches.

Today I would like to share one of those watches with you, the Seiko SNK793.

Quality and Size of The Case & Crystal

The body of the Seiko SNK793 case is nicely brushed, sandwiched between a high polished bezel and screw-down case back. An unsigned, polished crown is recessed into the case at the four o’clock position. The brushing on the endlinks of the bracelet match the case fairly well. The hardlex crystal is flat, and rests level with the bezel.

Seiko SNK793 Size and Crystal

    • Case Diameter: 37mm
    • Lug to Lug Case Length: 43mm
    • Lug Width: 18mm
    • Thickness: 11mm
    • Crystal: Hardlex Mineral

The case finishing is great, especially considering the price. My only complaint is that operating the watch via the crown is a bit tricky due to the fact that the crown is both small and recessed. However, the smaller size of the watch is welcome on my 6.75″ wrist.

How’s The Seiko SNK793 Dial In Person?

The dial is the highlight of this watch. A deep, dark, midnight blue, the dial often appears black. However, when this Seiko 5 catches the light, the center of the dial is a sunburst midnight blue. This is framed by a deep blue matte finish beginning at the innermost edge of the applied markers.

The hands are simple batons in high polish, slightly angled left and right down the center, and filled with white lume. The second hand is white and a bit too short for my taste, but the trio of white surfaces on the handset make this Seiko SNK793 easy to read from many angles and in many lighting conditions.

Speaking of the applied markers, they are beautiful on this watch with each one having three major surfaces. As such, they catch the light in interesting ways throughout the day. The 12 o’clock applied maker is slightly larger than the rest. This watch has no chapter ring, rather the minute track is printed around the edge of the dial. As such, Seiko’s dreaded alignment problems are not present here. The day and date complication, with a high polish frame, resides at the 3 o’clock position.
 

Featured Insights

Seiko 5 SNK793 Watch

$85 on Amazon

 

Case

• 37mm x 43mm x 11mm – A perfect size for smaller wrists, with a combination of brushed and polished finishes and a recessed 4 o’clock position crown

Dial

• A deep midnight blue dial that often appears black, but will reveal a sunburst of deep blue in the correct lighting conditions. The applied hour indices reflect light in a variety of interesting ways

Strap

• 18mm – The pressed metal lightweight links result in an audible jangle when wearing the watch on the bracelet, recommend changing to a different strap

Movement

• Seiko Caliber 7S26C – no hacking or handwinding, but a generally reliable workhorse movement, however, this one not living up to the full 40 hour power reserve

Overall

• You get an interesting dial for a very low price. If you are looking for a dressy Seiko 5 and consider the cost of a strap in the price of the watch, this is a great option

The lume on this watch did not impress, with a very small dot for the hour markers. However, since the Seiko SNK793 is more dress styled piece, the weak lume is not a deal breaker.

Talking Straps

The included Seiko SNK793 bracelet is definitely the worst part of this watch. The pressed metal links are very light and the whole bracelet is very jangly. The bracelet jangling is clearly audible when I wear it throughout the day.

Fortunately, this can be very easily solved by putting a different strap on the watch. It looks sleek on the simple black strap pictured above and I believe it would look great on a variety of different straps. With an 18mm lug width, there is a wide variety to choose from.

Seiko SNK793 Movement

While you can find some Seiko 5 models with the 4R family of movements, this watch features the 7S26C.

Seiko 7S26C Specs

    • BPH: 21,600
    • Power Reserve: 40 hours
    • Stated Accuracy: -15 ~ +25 sec/day

This movement neither hacks (when the seconds hand stops moving after the crown is pulled into position) nor handwinds, but it is a proven and reliable movement. Unfortunately, on this particular model, I have found the power reserve doesn’t seem to be lasting the full 40 hours.

Closing Thoughts on the Seiko SNK793

This is a great little watch. To me the dial and the applied indices make the watch dynamic and fun. Paired with the correct strap this Seiko 5 SNK793 punches way above its weight considering the cost. I am a pretty big stickler for a hacking movement, but I think I could make an exception for this one. It felt right at home on my wrist both around the office and relaxing at home. At 37mm, it is a great size for smaller wrists. This would make a great starter piece or a stepping stone to exploring dress watches.



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