With the discontinuation of the Seiko SARB035 and SARB033, many watch collectors have continued to seek an alternative to this pair of extremely expensive-looking, yet affordable Japanese watches.
While Seiko hasn’t necessarily announced a direct replacement to their SARB dress line, they’ve certainly released quite a few watches that are comparable – and even some with a few improvements made.
Here’s a list of 8 watches that I think make excellent alternatives to the discontinued Seiko SARB033 and SARB035.
Seiko Prestige SARX035 & SARX033
Essentially an upscale SARB033, the SARX035 is another Japanese domestic market release that is just as stunning as its predecessor.
With a few slight changes, such as a slightly more geometric bracelet with brushed and polished center-links, and a slightly larger 40mm case. The SARX035 is an excellent replacement to the SARB033.
The white dial alternative SARX033, is equally as striking, with its stark white dial, and painted blue hands that simply pop through the crystal clear sapphire crystal.
Find the SARX035 and SARX033 on Amazon here.
Seiko 5 SNKL45 & SNKL41
The Seiko 5 SNKL45 and SNKL41 are the cheapest SARB033/SARB035 alternatives on this list.
Don’t let their affordable price tag fool you, however. These Seiko 5s still offer incredible value for the money, and like most Seiko 5s, they look much more expensive than they really are.
While Seiko has seemed to have abandoned sub 40mm watches in their modern releases, the 37.5mm of the Seiko 5 SNKL45 and SNKL41 will get you roughly the same dimensions as the SARB when worn on the wrist. Perfect for those like myself who prefer a more classic sized watch instead of wearing an overly large dinner plate on their wrist. Also a great choice for those with smaller wrists as well.
While the finishing of the brushed and polished surfaces on the case of these Seiko 5s might not be quite as good as the more expensive Seiko SARB, they’re still very good when compared to other watches in this price range.
Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC087
While the Seiko SARB033 and 035 have officially been discontinued, Seiko hasn’t stopped releasing amazing watches altogether.
In fact, their modern Prospex Alpinist lineup is some of my favorites yet. If you’re someone who loves the versatile nature of the SARB, but wants something a touch more sporty, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC087 will certainly speak to you.
While not a direct replacement for the SARB033/035, the SBDC087 has some of the design queues that we know and love from the SARB, and expands upon them in a slightly larger 40mm case.
With a case shape and rounded bezel very similar to that of the SARB, the SBDC087 is a watch that would work just as well for an outdoor adventure as it would when worn with a suit, paired with the right dress strap.
It’s complemented by a powerful 6R35 movement, an improvement over the SARB033/035’s 6R15.
It even has 200m water resistance, yet another functional improvement over the SARB, making it even better as an everyday wear.
Overall, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC087 is a watch that passes equally as dressy or sporty, depending on the strap you wear it on. It’ll never look out of place, and will never be the wrong choice when you go to grab it from your watch box – just like the Seiko SARB.
Check out the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC087 on Amazon.
The Seiko SZSB012 is like the Seiko SARB033 from an alternate universe.
Coming in slightly larger at 39.9mm, and without any lume whatsoever, it wears quite a bit differently on the wrist vs the SARB.
It also has a slightly downgraded 4R35 movement. While not technically as good as the Seiko SARB’s 6R15 movement, the 4R13 movement has the upside of being more affordable and common. This means it’ll likely be cheaper to have the watch serviced than its 6R15 counterpart.
Overall, if you don’t mind an ever-so-slightly larger dress watch, the Seiko SZSB012 may be for you.
Seiko 5 SNKL23
Easily one of the most affordable alternatives to the Seiko SARB is its Seiko 5 counterpart, the SNKL23.
Essentially the little brother of the two, the SNKL23 still packs a punch, with all of the minimal yet elegant design cues of the SARB and Grand Seiko, with a slightly less impressive build quality.
That lessened build quality also comes with a huge upside: a much more affordable price tag.
If you’re looking for the SARB033 look on a budget, the SNKL23 (Amazon) is for you.
Seiko 5 Sports SRPE55
Treading the line of both dressy and sporty, the new Seiko 5 Sports lineup is quite an interesting mashup of various watch styles.
It has the bold legibility of a dive watch like the Seiko SKX, but its simplicity and rich sunburst dial can also make it functional as a modern everyday dress watch.
While not completely comparable to the Seiko SARB033 and SARB035 in terms of dress watches, the Seiko 5 Sports can be a great sportier alternative for those who want something a little more appropriate for everyday wear.
Check out the new Seiko 5 Sports on Amazon.
The Tissot Visodate has that same classic dressy/sporty vibe as the SARB033, and comes in either black or white dial variants.
The simple and minimal design is backed by an impressive Swiss automatic movement with hacking and handwinding.
Check out the Tissot Visodate on Amazon.
Hamilton Khaki Field
The Hamilton Khaki Field is another amazing-value watch that simply punches way above its price point. I’d argue its one of the few watches that competes with the SARB033/35 in terms of value, dollar for dollar.
It’s more of a ‘field watch’ aesthetic, so if a more rugged and tough vibe is what you’re looking for, the Hamilton Khaki Field is a great alternative.
Check out the Hamilton Khaki on Amazon.
While the Seiko SARB033 and SARB035 have been discontinued, there’s no shortage of amazing versatile and affordable watches.
Seiko themselves continues to release watches like the Prestige SARX033/035, and SARY057 that share many similar design elements as the Seiko SARB in a slightly varied package.
Some of their Seiko 5 or Seiko 5 Sports options are even more affordable than the SARB and look just as expensive.
Options like the Tissot Visodate and Hamilton Khaki aren’t necessary direct replacements for our beloved SARB, but offer an interesting alternative, each with their own flair.
No matter what you go with, any of these watches are great value for the money, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.