Seiko threw us on a roller coaster of emotions when they discontinued the beloved SKX in 2019. Shortly after, they released a series of new, Seiko 5 Sports divers that built on the heritage and design of the SKX, while falling short in some of the ‘soul’ that made the watch so well-loved in the first place.
Now, Seiko announces a new lineup of SKX-inspired automatic GMTs. Meet the new Seiko 5 Sports GMTs!
Seiko 5 GMT Models
The collection features 3 variations, a black dial and bezel (SSK001), a ‘Batman’ with a two-tone, blue and black bezel (SSK003), and sunburst blue dial, and an orange dial with a two-tone, black and grey bezel (SSK005). Each features a 24-hour bezel-bezel, as well as a fixed 24-hour chapter ring (please ensure they’re properly aligned, Seiko!), and a cyclops to magnify their date wheel.
Knowing Seiko, and their propensity to iterate on their successful models with more and more variations over the years, it’s highly likely that we’ll see some new colorways in the future. As a Pepsi SKX009 lover, I’d love to see Seiko’s spin on the Pepsi GMT.
The all-black, SSK001 variation certainly is reminiscent of the SKX007 in some ways, although, the contrasting pop of red from the GMT hand and the ‘GMT’ text on the dial help to set it off.
The indices appear applied rather than embossed, more similar to the Seiko 5 Sports diver counterparts than that of the SKX.
The SSK003 certainly has the Rolex ‘Batman’ GMT color scheme but differentiates enough with its sunburst blue dial that Seiko has nearly perfected in the affordable watch category, and again, its red contrasting GMT hand.
The orange SSK005 is arguably the most unique of the bunch. No other orange GMT comes to mind, although that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. This model references some of Seiko’s sportier dive watches, including the bright orange Seiko monster, and even the lesser-known orange SKX variant, the SKX011.
This new release takes the design heritage of the SKX and adds an automatic GMT function, with only a minor increase in overall case dimensions.
Coming in at 42.5mm in diameter, and 13.6mm thick, the 4R caliber platform used in this watch adds surprisingly little in terms of bulk while adding a 4th hand to track an additional time zone.
SKX Style Jubilee Bracelet
Further, we see Seiko’s very intentional nod to the SKX lineup with the jubilee bracelet, included in all three of these models. The jubilee bracelet included on the SKX, as jingly, jangly, and rattly as it is, is absolutely foundational in the look and feel of the original SKX models.
A jubilee bracelet is perfect for the warmer months, as it’s cool on the wrist (literally, and figuratively) and water-resistant, should you wish to take advantage of the GMT’s 100 meters of water resistance.
GMT Movement & Bezel
Each model uses the new, in-house Seiko 4R34 GMT movement which iterates on the 4R35 movement used in the recent Seiko 5 Sports divers.
The 4R34 uses a “caller” or “office” GMT, meaning the GMT hour hand cannot be independently operated. Instead, it has a jumping hand that is fixed to hourly increments, and an extra time zone can be tracked by setting the bezel ahead, or behind, to match the hand.
This type of GMT tends to be more affordable to manufacture, however, is a welcome addition, considering the watch’s price point.
Price & Availability
These new GMTs will be available in July and will cost $475.
This is a reasonable price point that makes this one of the most affordable GMTs on the market, ideal for travelers who don’t want to put their more expensive watches at risk, especially with the rise of watch theft.
- Brand: Seiko
- Model: 5 Sports GMT Series
- Diameter: 42.5mm
- Thickness: 13.6mm
- Dial Color: Black, blue, orange
- Crystal: Hardlex
- Water Resistance: 100m
- Bracelet: Jubilee
- Movement: 4R34
- Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
- Power reserve: 41
- Winding type: Automatic (hacking and hand-winding)
Despite discontinuing the SKX, it seems Seiko has not given up on its heritage.
The new Seiko 5 Sports GMT will become some of the most affordable GMTs, with enough unique color variations, and overall design queues to set it apart from other Seikos and other GMTs on the market.
A stainless steel GMT watch in fun and bright colors may make this one of the best watches for Summer, as tracking another time zone can be especially useful when on vacation. The vibrant colors chosen are a bit casual, in the best way, and will pair perfectly with a bathing suit pool or beachside.
Look forward to the new Seiko 5 GMTs from Seiko in July for $475.
Not quite an SKX replacement, but a very welcome addition to the collection. Let me know what you think in the comments below!Anthony