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Seiko has long manufactured affordable and durable sports watches enjoyed by collectors around the world. Recently, they introduced the Seiko 5 Sports – a collection that leverages time-tested designs with modern upgrades.

In this guide, we’ll review the first iteration of the Seiko 5 Sports watches, the SRPD references. We’ll also take a look at the Seiko 5 Sports model family as a whole, analyze why it was introduced, and explain how it’s intended to carry the brand’s value proposition for the foreseeable future:

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Seiko 5 Sports Watch Reviews

Use the links below to view the individual reviews of some of our favorite Seiko 5 Sports watches. To browse our entire collection of Seiko watch reviews, click here.

SRPD75

SRPD75-Review

  • Green Bezel & Dial; Mesh Bracelet
  • RRP $295 [Browse on eBay / Amazon]
Read Review

SRPD53

SRPD53-Review

  • Pepsi Bezel; “Oyster” Bracelet
  • RRP $295 [Browse on eBay Amazon]
Read Review

SRPD76

SRPD76-Review

  • Coated Steel; Dual-Material Strap
  • RRP $350 [Browse on eBay / Amazon]
Read Review

SRPD87

SRPD87-Review

  • Blue Sunray Dial; NATO Strap
  • RRP $295 [Browse on eBay / Amazon]
Review Coming Soon

SRPE21

SRPE21-Review

  • Black Bezel & Dial; Dual-Material Strap
  • RRP $295 [Browse on eBay / Amazon]
Read Review

SRPD81

SRPD81-Review

  • Hard-Coating Case; NATO Strap
  • RRP $335 [Browse on eBay / Amazon]
Read Review

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What Is The Seiko SRPD?

It can be argued that 2019 was a turning point for Seiko, or at least for their price-conscious automatic sports watch offerings. OK – that’s a mouthful, so let’s explain.

Seiko SKX Pepsi 009 SKX009 Wristshot

Seiko SKX

For more than two decades, watch collectors seeking a relatively affordable and reliable automatic watch with engaging looks were always pointed in one direction: the Seiko SKX.

First introduced in the ’90s, millions of SKXs were sold and worn by satisfied customers over the years. Thousands of others took it a step further and began customizing their Seiko divers at home, a trend that created large online ‘modding’ communities.

All was good and well until the second half of 2019 when production of the SKX ceased and a new collection was announced: the Seiko 5 Sports. This new model family launched with SRPD as the core of each reference number; the remaining digits speaking to the dial/bezel color and type of strap/bracelet.

Seiko 5 Sports Watches Green Orange Blue Dials

L to R: SRPD75, SRPD59 (SBSA009), and SRPD51 (SBSA001).

Like the SKX it replaced, the SRPD collection of watches also featured models made entirely in Japan. These Japanese-market versions are denoted by an SBSA reference. It’s worth noting that the Japanese versions are exactly the same as those made outside of Japan except for minimal “Made in Japan” printings on the dial.

What does the new SRPD have to do with the older SKX other than the fact that one started when the other ended? Well, not much except that:

  1. The SRPD has an almost identical design to the SKX, and
  2. The SRPD price point is basically the same as that of the SKX (when it was in production)

Essentially, if the SKX had not been discontinued, Seiko would’ve had two directly competing products within its own catalog. The watch business is competitive enough without having your own offerings facing off with each other.

Seiko SKX and 5 Sports Orange Dial

SRPD59 (SBSA009) and SKX011

The Japanese watchmaker’s intentions were more than clear. The SRPD was taking over its affordable diver category and the SKX was no more.

Seiko SRPE

As explained above, the SRPD model number speaks to the first series of watches that formed part of the Seiko 5 Sports collection.

All of the first Seiko 5 Sports models were diver’s watches with SRPD reference numbers, but the 5 Sports collection would come to encompass more than just diving styles. For instance, the SRPEs are also part of the 5 Sports family and they possess fixed bezels and a smaller 40mm case.

After the SRPE (2020) came the SRPG, SRPH, and so on. Some are divers, others are field watches, and others can be categorized as general sports styles. The naming convention appears to speak more to production/release order rather than the individual watch’s style.

Seiko 5 Sports Watches Variations SRPG SRPE

Seikowatches.com

The Seiko 5 Sports SRPD

The end of the road for the SKX was a source of disappointment for many collectors.

A beloved icon had been terminated. In its place, a less-than-worthy substitute contrived by bigwigs in some cushy boardroom.

Seiko-5-Sports-SRPD95-Wristshot

SRPD95

So, what made the new Seiko 5 Sports watches irredeemable? Mostly the fact that the water resistance had decreased from 200m to 100m and the crown was no longer of the screw-down variety.

Other than this, all of the other changes from SKX to SRPD were genuine improvements. For example, the movement was upgraded to a more modern caliber. The different elements on the dial are much more refined. A sleuth of new bezel/dial colors were also introduced and more bracelet options were added.

This editor believes an objective perspective should prevail. The Seiko 5 Sports models are better watches than those it replaced. Not only this, the sheer number of new color combinations offered by Seiko in the 5 Sports collection is a clear nod to the modding community that personalized their SKXs after purchase.

The massive Seiko corporation listened to its base. Customers were going through the trouble of buying aftermarket parts to personalize their watches. In response, Seiko upgraded the movement and introduced an ever-growing palette of color combinations to satiate all tastes.

On the other hand, it’d be unfair to dismiss some of the disheartened Seiko fans. Watches are objects with which we develop emotional attachments. When they’re discontinued or otherwise suspended, it’s understandable for devoted collectors to speak out.

Seiko SKX009K2 & SKX013K2 42.5mm and 37mm on Jubilee

Some solace may be found in the fact that the new Seiko 5 Sports designs will draw more collectors into the hobby. And, perhaps most importantly, it’ll make the second-hand value of existing SKXs increase. This effect can already be noted in SKX watches listed for sale online.

Seiko SRPD Price

Of the Seiko 5 Sports watches that have been released to date, all have been in the price range of $295-$350 with some special editions reaching $450. In the future, if additional complications are introduced, namely chronographs, it’s likely for this price range to increase.

Seiko 5 Sports Subcollections

In just a few years of production, we’ve already seen Seiko use the same foundation or watch “system” to offer sports, diver, and field styles.

By varying the case coating, bezel type, dial color, and band options, dozens of similar-yet-different timepieces have been introduced. Limited and special editions have also been showcased including a partnership with graphic designer GUCCIMAZE.

The versatility of the Seiko 5 Sports line makes it a sturdy foundation for the brand to continue innovating. Perhaps most importantly, the varied designs will undoubtedly appeal to a larger audience and, more critically, a younger demographic.

Seiko 5 Sports Watches Image

Seiko 5 Sports Marketing Campaign. Seikowatches.com

Yet, while Seiko’s 5 Sports offerings are numerous, they are not ad-hoc. The brand has crafted 5 different sub-collections into which they categorize each new model. They are as follows.

Sports – Go beyond the norm.

The Sports subcollection is the heart of the new Seiko 5 Sports catalog. It contains classic sports styles with mostly traditional dial/bezel colors like black, blue, green, and gray. Pepsi bezels are also included in this group.

The band options, once more, are largely traditional: 3-link steel sports bracelets and NATO (fabric) straps that match the dial’s color.

Suits – The power of refinement.

As the subcollection’s name and motto imply, the Suits styles are intended for more formal encounters.

The trademark of the collection, at least at the time of writing, appears to be the mesh or Milanese style bracelet. Seiko achieves this both in stainless steel and (interestingly) in rubber.

Seiko 5 Sports SRPD95 Rubber Milanese Strap Watch

SRPD95

Rubber is usually the antithesis of formal when it comes to watches but this rubber variant works well; it’s also very pliable and comfortable. The stainless steel version of this bracelet is quite a looker, too, and is not to be overlooked.

Specialist – A look for all times.

The Specialist subfamily is where Seiko starts to have a bit more fun with the Seiko 5 Sports.

The watches included in this collection are presented largely on straps, whether it be “pebbled” calfskin or a cool new dual-material (rubber/leather) option.

Seiko SRPD76 SBSA028 Made In Japan

Of note within this family is the SRPD76, a “rose gold” coated steel watch with a black dial, matching rose gold indices and hands, and the aforementioned strap variety.

Street – Do it your way.

Seiko-5-Sports-Street-Watch-Black-Coating-SBSA025The Street subfamily is perhaps the part of the collection most intended for younger tastes. Markedly, it includes watches with matte black coatings (for a “murdered out” look) and the “cement” series that are marked by gray textured dials. Full rose and yellow “gold” coated options are also found in this group.

What makes the Street subcollection more apropos for younger generations? Well, t-shirts, sneakers, and athletic pants are probably the best pairing for these styles. We shy away from calling the style “casual” as the price tags on the most popular sneakers could make a bespoke shoemaker blush.

Sense – Creativity is all about the detail.

The Sense subfamily is where Seiko takes the most creative liberty; evidently, the manufacturer uses the category to carry the most eccentric versions of the Seiko 5 Sports.

Seiko SRPD85 Brown Watch Textured Dial Wristshot

SRPD85

All of the Sense watches released to date have been marked by rotating bezels; however, this is about as far as the similarities go. After that, each watch has a very unique personality. Whether it be due to colorful NATO straps, brightly colored and/or textured dials, coated steel cases, two-tone bezel inserts or else, each model is intended to draw the attention of an entire room towards your wrist.

For some collectors, these loud designs will be largely undesirable. However, some iterations such as the SRPD85 depicted here are worthy of a second look; honestly, who knew a mostly-brown watch could look so good?

The 5 Sports’ Movement: Seiko 4R36 Automatic Caliber

As alluded to earlier, the movement beating inside the Seiko 5 Sports is a significant upgrade, if not the most important aspect of the new line. Nevertheless, it is not necessarily a new Seiko caliber.

The Seiko 4R36 movement was introduced in the early 2010s and employed throughout the brand’s catalog. Yet, the 4R36 never made it down to value proposition dive watches like the SKX.

Seiko-5-Sports-4R36-Self-Winding-Movement-DetailsGiven this, many SKX owners would purchase aftermarket movements and retrofit their watches with them. The most common aftermarket movement used was the NH36 made by TMI, a Seiko subsidiary. The 4R36 and NH36 are structurally identical, however, the 4R36 is only made for Seiko watches whereas the NH36 is sold to other brands to use in their offerings.

This is yet another example of Seiko adapting to what they observed in collector communities, essentially using common modding practices as inspiration for its new generation of sports timepieces.

Notable specifications of the Seiko 4R36 movement include:

  • Automatic (self-winding)
  • 41-hour power reserve
  • +45/-35 seconds/day accuracy
  • 24 jewels
  • Day and date complications
  • Stop-seconds (hacking seconds)
  • Can be wound through the crown (hand-winding functionality)
  • 21,600 bph

Where To Buy Seiko 5 Sports Watches?

Seiko 5 Sports watches, in any of the countless varieties we’ve referred to here (and more!), can be purchased through a number of different mediums. Naturally, the first sources are the brand’s own websites, Seikowatches.com and seikousa.com.

Yet, new releases are regularly replacing existing models in the online Seiko 5 Sports catalog. When your desired model disappears from the official store, it’s best to turn to online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. These marketplaces bring with them not only endless selection but also good value, seeing as how even new Seiko 5 Sports watches can often be purchased at a substantial discount off the retail price.

Seiko 5 Sports On Amazon
Seiko 5 Sports On eBay

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