Seiko SKX011J Orange Dial Steel Dive Watch On Rubber Strap

Even if you came to know SKX watches only recently, it’s probable you’ve already learned of the thriving customizing culture that surrounds these models. However, it can seem an intimidating task to change the dial or bezel insert of your SKX if you’ve never come close to ‘modding’ a timepiece.

Enter, the SKX011. With its loud orange dial and gold-accented bezel, it proves to be a brighter alternative to the subdued black and dark blue dial colors of the popular SKX007 and SKX009. In this review, I’ll be reviewing the SKX011 via the following sections:

  1. SKX011 Specifications
  2. Case & Bezel
  3. Orange Dial
  4. Rubber Strap
  5. 7S26 Movement
  6. Overall Review

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Seiko SKX011J Specifications & Price

  • Style: Dive Watch
  • Case Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Crystal: Seiko Hardlex
  • Water Resistance: 200M / 660ft
    • Screw-Down Crown
  • Dial: Orange, Lumed (Green LumiBrite)
  • Bracelet: Black “Wave” Rubber Strap
  • Movement: Seiko 7S26, Automatic
    • 40-Hour Power Reserve
    • Day & Date
  • Retail Price: N/A (Discontinued)
Seiko SKX011 Japan Watch Wristshot

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Note: The model used for this review, the Seiko SKX011J, is a Made in Japan model as is denoted by the “J” in its reference number. This same model is available under a similar but different reference, SKX011K, when it is not manufactured in Japan. While the “K” version was introduced before the “J” version, it was only produced for a short period of time before the Japan version became the only iteration for sale. Nowadays, both models are discontinued and can only be purchased from second-hand vendors.

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 SKX011J Case Details

Seiko 42mm SKX Orange Dial Stainless Steel CaseThe SKX011J boasts a time-tested Seiko dive watch case profile that is most easily recognized by the crown and crown guards at 4 o’clock.

This being said, this SKX011 like all other SKX models has slightly oversized case proportions:

  • 42.5mm in diameter (“3 to 9 o’clock”)
  • 46mm from lug to lug
  • 22mm between the lugs (strap size)
  • 13.4mm thick

While the case is crafted entirely of stainless steel, Seiko plays with different finishes on the metal to make the look of the watch a bit more intriguing. Indeed, the top of the case is brushed while the case flanks and crown guard have been polished to a mirror finish.

The aforementioned crown at 4 o’clock screws down securely to the case to provide an airtight seal; this also means the watch is waterproof down to 200m of depth.

One inconvenient aspect of the SKX011 is that it doesn’t have lug holes. For a watch that is known for its versatility on different straps, this is a slight disappointment. It’s assumed that while designing this watch, Seiko truly had no idea that collectors would spend so much time and effort on customizing nearly every aspect of it.

Black & Gold Diver’s Bezel

Taking a closer look at the bezel on this SKX011J, we arrive at one of its discerning aspects. All Seiko SKXs have a textured, unidirectional diver’s bezel. However, the SKX011 is marked by its lustrous gold-on-black bezel insert.SKX011J Steel Diver's Bezel With Black and Gold Insert

The unique bezel does a proper job of adding a bit of flash to an otherwise utilitarian timepiece. Surprisingly, this gold also pairs quite well with the bright orange dial. I’d have never guessed that gold and orange could look so good together but alas, it is true. Speaking of that dial…

Seiko SKX011J Orange Dial

Without a doubt, the main reason most collectors opt for an SKX011 is the emergency orange dial.

As I alluded to earlier, this orange is a long way from the traditional SKX dial colors. Even without the sibling comparison, the orange is a unique and appealing look in its own right. Also marking the dial are printed black minute markings, black-outlines luminous hour indices, various bits of printed black text, and polished, gold-toned center hands.

SKX011 Japan 42mm Steel Case On Rubber Wave Strap

All in all, the SKX011’s dial is not only quite handsome (in its own loud way) but also incredibly legible. Ultimately, Seiko designs watches intended to be functional, and legibility is indubitably one of the main concerns in a truly functional watch. With the SKX011J, Seiko takes it past simple legibility into handsome functionality that’s been proven over and over by this specific model’s commercial success.

Lastly, protecting the face of the SKX011 is a scratch-resistant and shatter-proof Seiko Hardlex crystal. While often the first component that most modders substitute for sapphire as soon as they can, the Hardlex does a proper job of safeguarding the SKX011.

Black Rubber Strap

The OEM black rubber “wave” strap of the SKX011 is perhaps the single aspect of the watch where the ethos of a professional dive watch becomes a detriment. Allow me to explain.

Black Rubber Strap On Seiko Steel Diver SKX011

One would expect a professional (commercial) diver’s watch to have a strong band that will not break easily even after hundreds of hours of use and countless impacts. The SKX011’s strap certainly meets these requirements.

On the other hand, this makes for a rather rigid and bulky strap that can be uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time. The “wave” design is iconic to Seiko dive watches and many collectors seek it out, however, I was not able to get over the discomfort factor in the time that I wore the SKX011.

With this in mind, changing the strap on the SKX011 is very easy and the watch’s look lends itself to be used on multiple different straps or aftermarket bracelets.

Seiko SKX011J: 7S26 Movement

Powering this Seiko SKX011 is a self-winding (automatic) Seiko 7S26 movement. The 7S26 caliber was introduced in 1996 with the SKX line of watches and possesses a 40-hour power reserve with an accuracy of +49/-20 seconds per day.

Solid Steel Caseback On Seiko SKX007J

The movement is not incredibly accurate but it certainly gets the job done. Moreover, this is the type of movement that will run for years with minimal maintenance and in lieu of any impacts that it may take. It does have the downside of not having a hand-winding function but alas, this is also a downside that can be modded away by changing it out for a different movement.

SKX011 Overall Review

Taking into account all of the details, advantages, and disadvantages covered in this review, I think the SKX011 is more than worth the current market price. Depending on when you’re reading this, it’s possible that they’ve shot up in price but at the time of writing, they’re hovering around $300-400.

Wristie Of Seiko SKX011J With Black Bomber Jacket

For this price, you’re getting a great-looking, solidly-built, highly-serviceable, and versatile automatic diver’s watch. Moreover, you’ll be buying your way into an online community of SKX collectors that will gladly take you in and show you the ropes to modding. If you’re not interested in DIY customizations, you can be sure that your SKX011 will give you plenty to talk about with other watch collectors that you meet in the flesh.

Many watch collectors would agree that the SKX is a staple of any collection whether you’re a big fan of them or not; I’d have to agree. I’ve personally gone through various love-it/hate-it phases with this SKX011 and other SKX models and have been glad that I held on to them each time. There’s something special about the look of them, as well as the way they wear, that will keep you coming back even after years of wear.

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"For those interested in the SKX aesthetic with a bit more flash and color, the SKX011 is the perfect choice."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

Let me know in the comments what you think of the SKX011 or my review of this popular dive style. Otherwise, browse some of our other popular wristwatch guides:

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