Seiko 5 Sports SBSA001 Blue Dial And Bezel Steel Dive Watch

Of the varied styles and color palettes offered within the Seiko 5 Sports watch collection, this SBSA001 seems to be one of the most subdued.

However, upon closer inspection, I found that its deep blue dial, matching blue bezel, and full steel bracelet make it an ideal GADA (Go Anywhere, Do Anything) watch.

In the following review, I take a deep dive and explain why I think this is true via the following categories:

  1. SBSA001 Specifications
  2. Case & Bezel
  3. Blue Dial
  4. Steel Bracelet
  5. 4R36 Movement
  6. On-The-Wrist Review

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Seiko 5 Sports SBSA001 Specifications

  • Style: Sports
  • Case Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Crystal: Seiko Hardlex
  • Water Resistance: 100M / 330ft
  • Dial: Sunray Blue, Lumed (Green LumiBrite)
  • Bracelet: Stainless Steel
  • Movement: Seiko 4R36, Automatic
    • 41-Hour Power Reserve
    • Day & Date
    • Hacking/Stop Seconds Function
    • Wind via Crown
  • Retail Price: $295
Seiko SBSA001 Steel Watch Blue Accents On Bracelet

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Note: The model used for this review, the Seiko SBSA001, possesses a specific reference number that denotes it as a Made in Japan iteration. This same style is available under a different reference, SRPD51, when it is not made in Japan. The differences between a Japanese market version of this model and the international market version are minimal and only cosmetic. Throughout this review, I’ll note when there is an aspect unique to this Made in Japan model.

Seiko 5 Sports SBSA001 Case Details

When it comes to case dimensions, Seiko did not take any risks when designing the SBSA001, or any of the other divers in the 5 Sports collection for that matter. Indeed, they stuck to the tried-and-true specification that marked one of the most popular Seiko sports watches ever, the SKX.

Therefore, the dimensions of the SBSA001 are: 42.5mm in diameter (3 to 9 o’clock), 46mm lug-to-lug, 13.4mm thickness, and 22mm between the lugs (strap size).

Stainless Steel Case Details Of Seiko SRPD51

The case, crafted entirely of stainless steel, boasts a polished finish on its sides and a satin finish on its top. The lugs curve down aggressively and are marked by lug holes that allow for easy strap changes.

Blue Diver’s Bezel Details

This being a diver’s watch style, the SBSA001 has a knurled steel bezel that rotates unidirectionally. Inside of the bezel is a metal insert that is dark blue in color with silver minute markings. Lastly, protecting the face of the watch is a scratch-resistant Seiko Hardlex crystal.

I’ll soon get into the details of the dial, but it’s worth noting that the metallic blue color of the bezel does a great job of matching the blue of the dial. If this symmetry was amiss, it’s likely that the entire look of the watch would have been ruined, however, Seiko has wholly avoided this.

SBSA001/SRPD51: Blue Sunray Dial

It may have been a bit misleading to refer to the SBSA001 as subdued in the introduction to this review. I say this now because the highlight of this watch, its blue sunray-textured dial, is not to be overlooked.

Seiko SBSA001 SRPD51 Blue Sunray Dial Closeup Details

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get the texture, sheen, and complexity of the blue tone to come through in pictures. Even in person, you’ll have to spend some time up-close with the watch to appreciate all its hues.

Along with the attractive color are also perfectly symmetrical, applied hour indices. These are matched in finish by the oversized hands at center which, just like the indices, are generously filled with Seiko Green LumiBrite luminous material.

This being the SBSA001, there’s also a small print at 6 o’clock that states: MADE IN JAPAN. This is one of the characteristics of a M.I.J. Seiko 5 Sports, along with the fact that the Day function is both in English and Japanese.

Three-Link Stainless Steel Bracelet

The SBSA001 and SRPD51 are both sold on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet with a button-release folding clasp. Like the case, the bracelet is brushed on its top surface and polished on its flanks.

The clasp is rather secure and confidence-inspiring; it simply cannot be opened by accident. Even depressing just one of the two releasing buttons will not allow it to open. Therefore, any concern of this clasp inadvertently opening and the watch flying off your wrist is completely assuaged.

Seiko Stainless Steel 3 Link Bracelet On SBSA001

When it comes to sizing the bracelet, there are friction pins that hold the removable links together. There are also 4 micro-adjustment positions in the clasp for achieving the perfect fit.

SBSA001 Self-Winding Movement

Visible through the crystal caseback of this SBSA001 is the automatic Seiko 4R36 caliber that powers the watch. This movement is widely recognized as a workhorse movement ideal for sports watches as it can handle the bumps that they often face.

Seiko SRPD51 With Auto 4R36 Movement Through Caseback

As far as technical specifications, the 4R36 movement boats:

  • 41 hours of power reserve
  • +45/-35 seconds/day accuracy
  • 24 jewels
  • Hand-winding via the crown
  • Hackings seconds (Stop seconds)

While not the most accurate, this movement is one of the best that you’re likely to find within this price category. And, for daily use, it’s likely more than apt enough.

SBSA001 Overall Review

Earlier, I mentioned that the SBSA001/SRPD51 is an ideal GADA timepiece; its robust steel case/bracelet and workhorse movement both support this argument. Yet, perhaps most important are the design and overall looks of the watch.

In the time I wore it, the SBSA001 was a pleasure not only to wear (as it was quite comfortable) but also to look at. Most noticeably were the dynamic blue hues of the dial. These reflect the light in unique ways depending on where you are and from which angle you’re looking at the watch.

Seiko 5 Sports SRPD51 Blue Dial Dive Watch Steel Case

Additionally, the blue hues and full steel construction seemed appropriate in just about any setting I attended. Indeed, it might not make the best companion for a tux, however it just as well complements a sports jacket as a pair of shorts.

The only reservation I have is regarding the price. More specifically, the price of the SBSA001. This being the Made in Japan version, the model commands a premium that I’m not sure is completely worth it; at least it isn’t to me. Some collectors find this sort of characteristic quite important whereas I don’t necessarily care for the origin of my watch, at least not at this price point.

Fortunately, the SRPD51 offers basically the same exact look for a much lower price so, if you’re concerned about the price, I definitely recommend trying out the SRPD51 instead of the SBSA001.

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"The outstanding blue sunray dial, the tried-and-true Seiko sports watch design, and a robust movement make the SBSA001 an ideal Go Anywhere, Do Anything watch."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

Let me know in the comments what you think of this SBSA001 or other Seiko 5 Sports watches. You may also check out some of our other watch pages below:

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