Sometimes, discontinued watch models are the ones you crave the most. There is an X factor that you can't really put your finger on. Is it the rarity of the timepiece? The chance its price might go up?
The Seiko SNXJ line was beloved by fans around the world, but was unfortunately discontinued back in August 2014. Thanks to its low price and wide availability, there is still a very liquid pre-owned market on sites such as eBay.
This article will lay out everything you need the know about the Seiko SNXJ89, SNXJ90, SNXJ92 and SNXJ94. Those are four variations that share the same components, with different colors.
Due to its unusual shape, the case diameter of the Seiko SNXJ can be difficult to measure. This explains why most people disagree on the official diameter of this watch. Different sources report the diameter to range from 31,4mm to 38mm.
From my measurements, the case diameter of the SNXJ89 hovers around 36mm.What's certain is that the SNXJ line fits perfectly on men with smaller wrists (think 5.75''-6.75''). As most Seiko automatic watches, the case is on the thicker side (12mm).
Inside the stainless steel case, you can find the revered Seiko 7S26 movement. This automatic caliber beats at 21,600 bph, uses 21 jewels and has about 40 hours of power reserve. While it isn't the most precise movement (-15 to +25 seconds per day), it is known for its durability.
You can view the nice-looking 7s26 movement through the transparent case back, which uses the same Hardlex (mineral) crystal that is used on the front side.
As is the case with most entry-level Seikos, the bracelet is the weakest link (pun intended) of the timepiece. I really recommend you switch the bracelet for something of higher quality.
Elephant in the room, the Seiko SNXJ is a Rolex Datejust homage. I mention this straight away because this is a deal breaker for some collectors. To me, a tastefully done homage is a great way to pay respect to the original model, without buying a fake.
The Seiko SNXJ is just that: an homage. Not a copycat, not a fake, but rather Seiko tipping their hat to Rolex, one reputable watchmaker to another. It gives you the opportunity to have a classic looking watch for a fraction of the price. Because let's admit it, most of us don't have the budget for a Rolex.
No matter which model of the SNXJ line you choose, you get an epurated dial with few elements. They share black rectangular hour marks, black hands and a framed day-date display. The day is written in black font from monday-friday, blue font for saturday and orange for sunday.
In the upper part of the dial, you can find the classic Seiko 5 logo, with the mention ''automatic'' a few centimeters below. Also, the SNXJ line is equipped with applied indices, and bright lume pips at the extremities of the dial.
A characteristic that distinguishes the Seiko SNXJ from other watches is its side profile. As you can see above, the thick 7s26 movement protrudes the case back in what some would call a bizarre way. To me, this gives the SNXJ even more charm.
The SNXJ89 is the dressier model of the bunch. The all white dial, in combination with the stainless steel bracelet, case and bezel, give an angelic look to this timepiece. Wearing this shows you're a man of class and elegance.
In contrast with the white dial, the black indices pop out even more than it does on other models.
The SNXJ90 is the sibling with a bit more bling. The changes start with the bracelet, which now contains gold-tone links in the middle. Additionally, the bezel sports a gold color too, as does the crown.
The gold-tone makeover continues inside the dial, where you can find touches of gold on the hands, as well as a gold frame around the day-date. Even the Seiko 5 logo was revamped to have a gold hue.
With the SNXJ92, the gold-tone madness takes over the dial, which is now fully painted in a yellow- goldish shade. To mitigate the gold overdose, the minute and hour hands are switched back to the black ones.
Although I prefer the SNXJ89, I must say the indices and hands still match very well with the dial. Apart from what I stated above, this model is identical to the SNXJ90
Not all that glitters is gold. This is certainly true for the SNXJ94 model, but at a quick glance, this watch does look much more expensive than it really is. This variation doesn't play, the stainless steel bracelet is now fully covered in a gold color.
Pretty much everything else on the timepiece has the color gold, except the hands, indices and day-date display. While this model isn't for everyone, it certainly developed a certain following over the years.
The Seiko SNXJ line is known for the variety of mods that are available to customizers. People love tweaking their SNXJ to suit their own style.
Of course, the band is the first thing most collectors upgrade on their new timepieces. A new strap or bracelet is a great way to improve drastically the looks of a watch, and the Seiko SNXJ is no exception to this rule.
A leather band is a great way to add more class to an already classy watch. As you can see above, this SNXJ89 owner uses a light brown strap, and the results are amazing.
Below, you can find my two favorite leather strap brands, which are available in different colors. If you happen to get a Seiko SNXJ, you will need a 20mm band.
This brand is my go-to for watches under 250$. It has everything that you need for a very affordable price.
Notably, the leather is both durable and comfortable. Also, you get a super functional quick-release system that allows you to switch bands in a matter of seconds.
Barton is an unparalleled brand when it comes to affordable leather straps. While the price remains reasonable, it still costs around twice as much as the Fullmosa.
Their full grain leather bands are extremely sturdy, nice to the touch and the material is of high quality. Additionally, you also get a quick-release system, so why not get two colors?
The Reddit user above decided to mod his SNXJ94 model with a red an green NATO strap. Personally, I think it looks really good, but this post was very polarizing. It seems like there are as much people loving it as there are people hating.
The people disliking it argue that such a strap is out-of-place on a dress watch. To me, the NATO strap is a perfect way to personalize your timepiece to fit your own style, no matter which type of watch.
If you didn't like the multicolor layout of the SNXJ94, you might prefer a more conventional approach. This Watchuseek forum user went with an understated black nylon strap to completely change the look of his SNXJ89.
This mod will require a bit more work, but if you are dedicated, it will certainly be worth it. To change the hands, you will need to open the screw-down case back. If you're unsure about how to proceed, I recommend this great tutorial.
Above, you can see the mod done on a SNXJ89 by a Seiko 5 club member. He decided to add more style to his watch by changing the standard minute and hour hands for some triangle ones.
The possibilities are endless, as you can use pretty much any sort of hands. You just got to make sure you buy the good size, by calculating the length correctly.
While your case is open, you might want to use the opportunity to lume the new hands, or relume the pips to change the color, or add more brightness. You can find plenty information on the best lumes in this article.
The mineral crystal that comes with SNXJ models is good, not great. If you want to step it up a notch, you can change it for a sapphire crystal.
This addition will give you the confidence that you can bump your watch from time to time without fearing to get a scratch. If you plan on using your SNXJ for a long time, I can't recommend this mod enough.
The last mod that is quite popular with SNXJ model is to change up the dial. Once again, this mod will require a bit of handy work, and you might preferer to get it done by a professional.
Above is a prime example of a fully modded SNXJ89. Not only did the owner mod the hands, he also changed the dial for a black one. This dial was picked from a Seiko SARY057, which is a watch very similar to the SNXJ.
Even though the Seiko SNXJ was discontinued in 2014, it doesn't mean it wasn't a good watch. Seiko simply removed it from its catalog to make place for different models, and because the 7s26 was on its way out.
I think now is the best moment to get your hands on any of the SNXJ models, since they are still relatively cheap, and available in good numbers. Even though i don't recommend buying watches as investments, I do think this one has a very good chance of gaining in value in the years to come.