The SKX series of watches are universally loved for their sporty look, diving qualification, and customizability. However, what’s hardly mentioned is that the standard 42.5mm case diameter can be overwhelmingly large for many normal-sized wrists.
If you find yourself in this latter group, then the 38mm case of the SKX013 is likely to be a perfect fit. More than just a smaller SKX, I’ll be reviewing this model’s quirks through the following categories:
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Seiko SKX013 Specs & Price
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Seiko SKX013 Case Size & Finish
The case is where the SKX013 differs the most from its larger siblings. It is 38mm in diameter (3-to-9 o’clock), 44mm from lug to lug, 13mm thick, and 20mm between the lugs (strap size).
Naturally, the SKX013 retains the trademark Seiko diver crown & crown guard at 4 o’clock on the case, but these features have been made proportional to the rest of the case. Moreover, the crown being of the screw-down variety helps the watch attain a 200m water depth rating.
The 38mm case possesses a dual-finish. It is satin-brushed on the top of the case and high-polish on both flanks.
Upon closer inspection, the shape of the SKX013’s case is markedly different. The SKX013 is sharp and compact with shorter lugs that also have sharp ends. This design gives the SKX013 a crisp, attractive look that is not often highlighted as one of its advantages.
SKX013’s Bezel Details
The bezel of the SKX013 is a unidirectional steel bezel with a textured outer surface. It possesses a black metal insert that has a silver-toned diver’s scale, full 60-minute markings, and a luminous pip at the 12 position.
The SKX013’s Black Dial
The SKX013 has a black dial that, depending on the light, can border on dark gray. This tone is surprisingly pleasing and reminiscent of vintage dive watches.
Surrounding the entire dial is a slanted minute track with printed white minute calibrations. There are also large hour indices with white luminous fills. The luminous used here is green Seiko LumiBrite.
Whether in the day or at night, legibility will be a non-issue with the SKX013. Also aiding in the legibility department are the large metallic center hands, themselves possessing white luminous fills.
Emblazoned on the bottom half of the otherwise dichromatic dial is “DIVER’S 200m” in bright orange which makes for a charming accent. Other than this, the only other aspect of the dial is the rectangular day-date window at 3 o’clock that is constituted of black font on a white background.
Steel Seiko Jubilee Bracelet
A stainless steel Rolex Jubilee-style bracelet earns this classic Seiko diver the full reference SKX013K2. When sold on the black rubber “wave” strap, the reference is SKX013K1.
In my opinion, the Jubilee bracelet is the better option of the two OEM bands. The steel construction of the bracelet matches the case & the bezel of the SKX013 and also makes for comfortable wear. The bracelet can be a bit “jangly” but this is a fact with all Seiko Jubilee bracelets and is one of those quirks about the SKX013 that at first I disliked but grew to appreciate.
Lastly, the bracelet is secured by a folding clasp made of stamped steel. And if this bracelet is not to your liking, the steel case and black face make the SKX013 compatible with just about any other strap in the world.
The SKX013’s 7S26 Movement
The 38mm SKX013 is powered by a self-winding (automatic) Seiko 7S26 caliber.
This movement boasts a 40-hour power reserve as one of its advantages, along with durability and serviceability. At -35/+45 seconds per day, the movement isn’t incredibly accurate but is good enough considering the price point of the watch.
Moreover, if you befriend a local watchmaker, it’s likely they’d be able to regulate the movement to improve it’s accuracy.
On-The-Wrist Review Of The SKX013
It’s difficult to speak to the positive aspects of the SKX013 without mentioning its siblings seeing as this midsize SKX is often recommended for those who find the “regular-sized” SKX to be too large. Yet, in its own right, the SKX013 is an outstanding watch.
If the design of the SKX is deemed perfect by some, I find the SKX013 to be better than perfect. This may be due to the 38mm case fitting better on my wrist, or due to the fact that I find the sharp case profile to be incredibly attractive. I’m also a big fan of its dark dial and the symmetry of the face, even if the same is thrown off slightly by the crown.
The standard Jubilee bracelet is quite comfortable and can be configured for a near-perfect fit. And with its workhorse movement, the SKX013 is sure to stay on the wrist through any adventure without drawing too much attention to itself.
"Often offered as an alternative to its larger siblings, the SKX013's unique characteristics make it the best of the bunch. Hopefully Seiko produces a similar, albeit modern, iteration of this SKX013 in the near future."
What are your thoughts on the Seiko SKX013? Let me know in the comments below!