The Seiko 5 sports SRPH29 (read the full SRPH29 review), SRPH31, and SRPH33 are the newest Seiko pilot-inspired watches that refresh and may replace older Seiko 5 models. These three new models take design queues directly from the older Seiko 5 SNK lineup consisting of the SNK809, SNK803, SNK805, and SNK807, which are some of the most popular Seiko 5 watches on the market.
With just a quick glance, it’s easy to spot the similarities between the newer Seiko 5 SRPH series and the older Seiko 5 SNK series, but what are the differences? Some of the upgrades that set these newer models apart are larger dimensions, a brushed case, a new dial design and handset, color schemes, and an upgraded movement – this time with hacking and hand winding. Let’s break it down a bit more in-depth.
- Automatic with manual winding capability
- 21,600 vibrations per hour
- Power reserve: approximately 41 hours
- 24 jewels
- 60-minute track marked in five-minute increments
- Day/date calendar
- Luminous hands and markers
- Screwdown see-through caseback
- Case diameter: 39.4mm
- Stainless steel case
- Green nylon strap with orange lining
- Water-resistant to 10 bar, 100 meters (330 feet)
- Caliber 4R36
Who Are The New Seiko 5 Sports SRPH29, SRPH31, and SRPH33 For?
The new Seiko 5 Sports SRPH29, SRPH31, and SRPH33 are for anyone who is looking for an affordable, and high-quality automatic pilot watch that is easily legible and has a rugged ‘tool watch’ aesthetic.
While it’s not the most refined watch to wear in a business setting, it would make a great weekend watch for someone outdoorsy, as the brushed case will hide scratches from your adventures. Its sub 40mm diameter will suit any wrist near perfectly, and fit comfortably for someone looking for an everyday watch that looks cool, without being intrusive.
Overall, these new Seiko 5 Sports watches are a great choice for anyone who wants a solid, reliable, and affordable tool watch.
Larger Dimensions – 39.5mm Diameter
While not immediately apparent from product photos alone, the new, larger dimensions will make this watch wear entirely different than its predecessor. Coming in at 39.5mm in diameter, the SRPH series will wear quite a bit larger than the relatively smaller, and almost ‘vintage-sized’ 37mm case of the Seiko 5 SNK809.
I’ll be sure to do an in-depth review and size comparison of the SRPH29 vs. SNK809 once my SRPH29 I’ve placed an order for gets delivered.
New Brushed Case
Having owned the SNK809 for quite some time, one of my favorite features was always the uniquely sandblasted case finish. It gave the watch a rugged tool-watch look incomparable to anything else in its price range. The new Seiko 5 Sports ‘SRPH’ lineup features a new brushed finish that is a bit more uniform, and I believe will hide scratches much better.
Although I, personally, prefer the older sandblasted finish, it’s a personal preference at the end of the day, and neither is technically better or worse.
Dial & Design
Along with the modernized, larger sizing, comes a revamp to the overall aesthetic of the watch itself. This means a dial that is relatively similar to its predecessor, but has a few upgrades.
Like the SNK series, the SRPH series has easily legible minute and hour markers on an outer ring and an inner 12-hour inner that allows you to easily read the time at a quick glance.
Further, the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock hour marker positions are marked with contrasting colors – using orange to denote these specific hour markers, and white for the rest, allowing you to quickly orient the watch on your wrist.
This contrasting color is matched on the tip of the second hand, which is painted just barely to meet the end of the dinner hour track. While the previous SNK809 also had a red-painted, contrasting second hand, it was painted past the hour marker, breaking up the visual flow of the watch. This new addition is a very subtly well-done design touch, in my opinion.
Further complimenting the new dial and larger dimensions is a new, beefier handset that compliments the watch perfectly. This is a huge improvement over the rather skinny diamond hands on the predecessor SNK809.
4R36 Movement with Hacking & Hand-Winding
Looking past the visual differences of the SRPH29, SRPH31, and SRPH33 vs. the SNK80X series, we must take a look under the hood. The newer models now feature an upgraded caliber 4R36 movement, which is just barely more accurate than the previous 7S26, but comes with the modernized features of hacking and hand-winding.
The 4R36 movement is a reliable workhorse with a 41-hour power reserve, perfect for daily or weekend wear.
Three New Models – SRPH29, SRPH31 & SRPH33
The Seiko 5 sports SRPH29 features a forest green dial, and contrasting orange hour markers, and second hand, while the SRPH31 features a blue dial.
The SRPH33, on the other hand, features a rather distinct and bold gunmetal grey case, with a black dial and pumpkin-orange hour markers and hands. In my opinion, this design doesn’t suit the watch as well as the other two, though it may be that the bright orange against the black dial adds quite a bit of contrast, making the watch more legible than ever. And admittedly, the gunmetal grey case does offer a unique touch to an otherwise rather straightforward and tested watch design.
Each watch comes on what appears to be a Cordura strap in their respective dial colors (green, blue, or black) with a bright orange contrasting lining. In the past, I wasn’t a huge fan of Seiko 5’s watch straps, often regarding them as cheap, and rather disposable.
Recently, Seiko has upped their game just a bit, and the straps seem to match the quality of the watches just a bit better – meaning they may not be the best straps in the world, but they’re decent enough for the relatively affordable price you pay.
MSRP & Value
The new Seiko 5 Sports models SRPH29, SRPH31, and SRPH33 retail at $275, though will likely be available cheaper in the near future. I think at $200 these watches are very competitive with other offerings, and the extra cost is a fair price to pay for the upgrade over the previously more affordable SNK809.
There are other field watches in this price range worth considering, such as the previous Seiko 5 Field Watches, but none have that distinct pilot watch aesthetic.
The new Seiko 5 Sports watches take the already wildly popular Seiko 5 SNK watches to the next level. With a more refined dial, larger dimensions, and modernized movement, the watch feels very 2022, in line with the rest of the Seiko 5 Sports offerings. I look forward to getting my hands on one first-hand and will be sure to make an in-depth review of my experience with the watch when I do.