So I’ve always liked watches but have always bought and used them serially.
When one died or the strap broke, I was on to the next one.
For many years I used a Pro Trek PRW 1300 black solar for both my work and leisure – it is still working and sits in my bathroom. I still have a soft spot for it and if they re-issued it I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
Then in 2015 I started looking around on the Internet at micro brands and my hobby slowly grew, and grew and grew.
Illumination was the main driver and I hunted out tritium illumination. I didn’t dare look at what most people consider ‘grail’ watches as I couldn’t afford one. I bought a Nite Nato; a PVD tank of a watch that had one annoying feature – the crown. At the 3 o’clock position, it really liked to dig into my wrist.
Even though I have never been in the military, one thing that all my watches had – and still have – is their utilitarian/military nature. I just like the look.
I’m no diver but will usually hunt out a watch that can take hard knocks, are easy to maintain and work well despite the weather and/or conditions. A good bezel is always a bonus, and it just has to sit well on my wrist without the desire to chew my skin. My collection has slowly grown.
Then I started looking on Instagram, bought aftermarket straps – particularly from Darren at @zulualphastraps – fitted those & started talking with him and other, much more serious watch collectors. They suggested some podcasts – such as Scottish Watches and Tenn & Two amongst others.
(editors note: one out of two suggestions aint bad, but you may need to replace some of those friends)
Now I primarily look for automatic movements, with a good lume, whether tritium or SuperLuminova and an offset crown if at all possible. The bezel has to be well-fitted & the action precise.
So how did I choose the SRPD79K1..? Through word of mouth on podcasts & @ScottishWatches. I checked the dedicated Seiko website. 27 variations but the Street Style Black on Black just jumped out. My watch purchases are always based on an emotional response to the look of a watch. After that, I start the research.
It did help that Scottish Watches had a code for the Seiko 5 Sports at James Porter & Sons, who I must thank them for their excellent customer service.
I managed to order it off their website via an Instagram post, but it was already sold out. I was contacted very quickly by James Porter who updated me as to when they expected to get the SRPD79K1 back in stock & offered a refund if I wanted. I held out & am glad I did, as they came up trumps.
I have now worn the watch every day for a week, at home and at work. It’s comfortable to wear, though on the nato strap Seiko supplied sits quite high off the wrist – so I am waiting to get an aftermarket one. Even off the supplied strap, it sits some 13.4mm high, although without accurate digital calipers (note to self…another watch related purchase…) I cannot question that – it feels higher to me. It sits high due to the hardlex glass, screw-in display case back – through which you can see the 4R36 automatic movement beating away. The stainless steel, black hard-coated body of the watch is 42.5mm in diameter, 46 mm top to bottom, with 22mm lugs.
The lumibrite markers are not as bright as other Seikos – which is understandable as the watch is basically a blacked-out watch. If the watch has had enough sunlight to excite the lumibrite on the dark grey hands and markers on the dial, you will see a darkish green glow – but not for long. The hour markers & hands are edged with a silver coloured metal, with the second hand in a lighter silver tone. The dial also has a day/date function at 3 o’clock position
It has 100m water resistance, but the crown is not a screw-down one.
The uni-directional bezel has a soft yet firm action, with 120 muted clicks & very little play if pushed against the direction of travel. The movement is losing very little time each day, though I haven’t measured it in detail.
This is my first decent Seiko watch. I’d say that ‘you’ buy the SRPD79K1 for how it looks & not the lume. Despite the height it sits well on my wrist & I think it would make an ideal first automatic watch.