The Sense subfamily within the Seiko 5 Sports collection possesses what are undoubtedly some of the boldest timepieces ever created by Seiko; the SRPD85 I review in this post serves as evidence of this.
Candidly speaking, before I put this watch on my wrist I would have never imaged myself enjoying a watch with so much brown on it. Yet, the Seiko 5 Sports SRPD85 exemplifies how the proper execution can make an unexpected success of an unusual concept.
Via the following categories, I delve into the aspects that make the Seiko SRPD85 such a unique timepiece and one that I’m certain will expand other collectors’ range as it did for me:
Use these links to jump further down or keep scrolling to read the entire review.
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Seiko SRPD85 Specs & Price
- Style: Sense
- Case Diameter: 42.5mm
- Case Material: Brown PVD on Steel (Hard Coating)
- Crystal: Seiko Hardlex
- Water Resistance: 100M / 330ft
- Dial: Brown, Textured, Lumed (Green LumiBrite)
- Strap: Brown NATO
- Movement: Seiko 4R36, Automatic
- 41-Hour Power Reserve
- Day & Date
- Hacking/Stop Seconds Function
- Wind via Crown
- Retail Price: $335
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The Seiko SRPD85’s Case
If you’re at all familiar with the Seiko 5 Sports collection, or even with the SKX, you can expect the same case dimensions from this SRPD85. They are as follows:
- 42.5mm case diameter
- 46mm from lug-to-lug
- 13.4mm at thickest point
- 22mm between the lugs (22mm strap size)
The quirky aspects of this SRPD85 start to pop out as soon as one begins to analyze the case. What at first glance may have looked like standard stainless steel from a distance reveals its true nature.
The case clearly has a very light brown coating. It’s not nearly dark enough to appear bronze or outright brown, but it’s definitely noticeable. This same coating is found throughout the entire case, bezel, crown, and even on the metal components sewn into the strap.
While the case coating is unorthodox, the surface finishes are not. This SRPD85 possesses the familiar brushed texture on top of the lugs and contrasting high-polish finish on the flanks of the case and crown guards.
The diver’s bezel on this SRPD85 boasts a textured outer circumference intended to improve grip. Inside, there’s a brown bezel insert with a silver diver’s scale.
It’s possible that a more creative editor would assign this tone of brown a different name, perhaps smokey topaz or carob (I found these on Google.) Evidently, my personal palette has reached its limit at this point, so I’ll be sticking with brown.
5 Sports SRPD85 Dial Details
Moving on to the dial, we see the brown theme continue. The internal raised minute track is brown with printed minute markings that are themselves also in silver to match the bezel colors.
It is at this point that we reach the dial whose texture can only be compared to that of a stucco wall. And yet, I like it. A strange design choice indeed, but it imparts just enough contrast and texture to be visually intriguing. Moreover, applied onto said dial are white hour indices with plenty of lume inside of each.
At center axis are shiny brown-colored hour and minute hands, both of which are also fully lumed. Most importantly, accompanying the hour and minute hands is a bright teal seconds hand that is perhaps the highlight of this entire piece. The contrast is stark and yet the teal tone, while in a small dose, looks awesome against the brown, white, and silver that make up the face of the watch.
Brown NATO Strap
This SRPD85 is presented on a matching brown NATO strap.
During the first half dozen or so wears, the fabric of the strap can be slightly stiff, though not enough to be outright uncomfortable. As with everything, the strap molds to your wrist with time and wear.
I found the matching keepers of the strap to be a nice detail. Like the case, these are also metal with a brown coating, as is the tang buckle at one end. The other end is plenty long with many different holes, so this NATO strap will undoubtedly fit a wide range of wrists.
SRPD85’s Automatic Movement
Beating inside this Seiko 5 Sports SRPD85 is an automatic (self-winding) Seiko 4R36 movement. The caliber has a 41-hour power reserve, is accurate to +45s/-35s per day, and can be observed through the see-through case back.
Additional functions for this movement aside from the day-date complication mentioned earlier, are stop-seconds (hacking seconds) and crown-winding features. These are standard in most movements today and are one of the aspects that have helped the Seiko 5 Sports evolve into a modern watch collection.
On the other hand, it must be mentioned that while the movement can be wound through the crown, the crown no longer screws into the case. This means that the water resistance tops off at 100m or 330ft. While these depths are far deeper than many humans visit in their lifetimes, many erroneously interpret them as attestations to a dive watch’s quality or pedigree.
Seiko 5 SRPD85 Review: On-the-Wrist
In the introduction, I alluded to the fact that I never thought I could be a fan of a brown-themed watch. While this still holds mostly true, as a self-anointed watch nerd, I can now clarify that I am a bigger fan of skillful execution of unusual design concepts in wristwatches; I think this is exactly what you get with the SRPD85.
From the beloved SKX case made even more special by its calculated coating, to the decision to use a matching NATO strap as opposed to a bracelet or other strap material, and to the uniquely-textured dial with the striking splash of color in the seconds hand. Every aspect of the SRPD85 was not only deliberate but also the ideal combination of restrained and brash.
I can confidently say I couldn’t have come up with this amalgamation of colors and textures myself, yet after wearing the SRPD85 for over a month, I am that glad Seiko did.
"A unique watch within the Seiko 5 Sports collection worthy or more than just a second look."
Do you see yourself ever wearing such a unique timepiece? Let us know your thoughts on the SRPD85 in the comments below! Otherwise, check out some of our other popular watch content: