The Seiko 5 lineup has built quite a name for itself over the last few decades. This collection seems to be the go-to timepiece for newcomers in the watch game and veterans looking for an affordable beater.
Even though you will get high-quality components no matter which Seiko 5 you get, it can be hard to find one that will suit your style perfectly. With hundreds of variations to choose from, it's easy to get lost.
In this article, we're going to take an in-depth look into the Seiko SNXS to find out if it has everything you need.
The small shape of the Seiko SNXS is pretty common for the Seiko 5 line. For instance, it shares the same case diameter and lug-to-lug length as the famous SNK809.
What's special about the SNXS is that it is equipped with a stainless steel bracelet, even though it has a small frame. This is a nice distinguishing feature, as most small timepieces are equipped with leather or nylon straps.
The 19mm lug width is a bit unusual, but finding uneven width straps isn't as hard as you might think. Additionally, some SNXS owners reported that they were able to equip a 20mm band with a bit of elbow grease.
30m / 3 bar
Hands & Indices
The Seiko 7S26 is both legendary and very basic at the same time. It's nothing fancy; a 21 jewels, 21,600 bph automatic movement with a 42 hours power reserve.
What makes it so special is the fact that Seiko can offer it for a mind-blowing low price, and still have above-average reliability and good enough accuracy.
Unfortunately, the in-house 7S26 caliber doesn't have sought-after functions such as hand-winding or hacking, but this is a small price to pay when you take into consideration the affordability of the SNXS.
Even though the 7S26 might seem unrefined in surface, it still packs a few cool technologies, such as Seiko's Diashock system (will keep working even if you drop it), the Etachron regulator (easy adjusting), and bi-directional rotor (efficient winding).
The crystal on the SNXS is the same one found on any entry-level Seiko watch. The Hardlex composite's scratch resistance is just a notch above the competition when it comes to mineral crystals, but it won't remain flawless for very long.
At least, mineral crystals have a few advantages, such as being less prone to shattering, and the surface isn't as reflective as sapphire.
On the SNXS, the Hardlex crystal has a flat configuration.
Once again, the SNXS's water resistance is on par with every other cheap Seikos. The push & pull crown only allows for 30m of water resistance, which is ok for a few splashes here and there, but nothing more.
This is no big deal considering the low price of the Seiko SNXS and the dressy nature of the timepiece.
Luminous phosphorescent is a pretty rare thing for dress watches, so it is a nice feature that distinguishes the SNXS from its peers. You get Seiko's Lumibrite application on the hands & indices.
As you can see above, the lume is pretty bright, especially for a dress watch.
The SNXS features a polished stainless steel bezel that is fixed to the case. You get a nice beveling which reflects quite a bit of light.
A peculiar design trait of the SNXS is that the bezel starts above the crystal, so you get a couple of millimeters of clearance between the glass and the top of the bezel.
The dial of the SNXS might look pretty normal at first, but in reality, this is where you can see Seiko's great attention to detail. You get an amazingly finished sunburst dial that will shine and change colors under different lightings.
Other easy to miss elements that give a charm to the dial are the applied Seiko logo and the nice beveling of the framed day-date display.
Hands & Indices
The hands & indices are simple yet elegant, and they're very reminiscent of the Rolex Datejust. They are both baton-shaped, and the indices are applied to the dial, which can be rare on affordable timepieces.
The case of the Seiko SNXS is fully made of stainless steel, which is polished all around. What's so cool about this case is the way the sides are curved to seamlessly fit with the lugs, which are narrow and pointy.
This makes the SNXS wear a bit smaller than you might think, but I believe this contributes to the uniqueness of the timepiece.
On the other side of the watch, you get a Hardlex exhibition window, which allows you to look through the no-frill 7s26 movement.
If you've read any of my entry-level Seiko reviews, you might think I'm beating a dead horse, but the bracelet is once again the worst part of the SNXS. The main problem is the folded links, which make for a light, rattly, and hair-pinching bracelet.
At least, the bracelet wraps around the wrist nicely so it is comfortable, but I still strongly advise you to get a third-party bracelet or strap. The reason is quite simple: the OEM bracelet is fully brushed, which clashes with the polished case in a sacrilegious way.
If you're looking for something subtle and elegant, the Seiko SNXS73 is the watch you should go for. On this model, you get a simple monochrome look: everything from the dial to the hands & indices has a silver shade.
While it does look great in its original form, it is one of the hardest Seiko SNXS to pair with anything else than a silver bracelet. This means you might want to steer clear from the SNXS73 if you planned on getting a colorful strap.
The Seiko SNXS75 keeps the same monochromatic silver theme as the SNXS73, but the hands & indices now have gold trims to make them stand out a bit. It's a great way to add some life to the dial without making the watch stand out too much.
The SNXS75 is perfect if you want a slightly colorful watch without bringing too much attention to your wrist. Also, the gold trims add a few options when it comes to bracelets/straps, such as a gold trim bracelet or a gold-lined nylon strap.
As is the case for most Seiko watches, the blue dialed version is always one of the most popular with collectors and enthusiasts. The SNXS77 gets stylish silver trims all around, with an alluring blue dial and white indices.
The colorful nature of the SNXS77 makes it an absolute strap monster, so you can equip it with pretty much any kind of band or bracelet and be satisfied.
The Seiko SNXS79 is also an extremely popular choice in this collection, so it can be quite hard to put your hands on it. Is the dial black? Is it grey? This will entirely depend on how the light hits your SNXS79 at a given moment, as the dial is extremely iridescent.
This model is also very classy, and in my opinion embodies what a timeless dress watch should be: black dial, silver case & bracelet, and simple hands & indices.
If you love attention to your wrist and comments about your watch, stop your search, you've found what you need. The Seiko SNXS80 is fully covered in gold paint all the way from the bracelet, to the case, dial, hands, and indices.
This one seems to be the least favorite of the collection, which explains why you can still easily find brand new models. The reason is simple: a lot of people dislike buying gold color watches if it ain't real gold.
As I mentioned earlier, the bracelet is the biggest letdown of the Seiko SNXS. If you want to keep the original styling of the watch while removing the cheap feel of the bracelet, you simply need to get an aftermarket one.
For example, the SNXS79 owner in the right picture kept the same Oyster styling for his bracelet, but he got one with solid links and a polished finish.
The left picture also shows a great example of an SNXS79 owner which liked the look of a stainless steel bracelet but preferred the Jubilee style.
To some collectors, a leather band is absolutely essential for a dress watch. In my opinion, the SNXS looks great with a leather strap, but some dislike the style because of the pointy lugs.
Above, you can see two beautiful combinations: an SNXS79 with an embossed black leather strap on the left, and an SNXS77 with a light-brown grainy leather band on the right.
A nylon strap is always a fan-favorite when it comes to the Seiko 5 collection. It is a great way to give a casual look to the SNXS while also increasing the comfort tenfold.
Once again, some might think that a nylon strap looks a bit out of place on the SNXS, but I think it gives it a distinctive look.
Even though the Seiko SNXS isn't the most popular modding platform, there are still a few tweaks & alterations you can do to make your watch more unique.
The most popular mod is the case swap, which is shown in the picture above. People will use the Seiko SNK809's case since it shares the same exact 37mm diameter/43mm lug-to-lug dimensions.
This gives your SNXS a more normal lug shape, which makes it easier to pair with a number of straps & bands. The only problem you will encounter is the brushed finish of the SNK's case, but this can be solved by polishing the case either yourself or with the help of a professional.
Another mod available for the Seiko SNXS is the dial & hands swap, but it is much less common. The problem with this swap is that you will need to open your case and detach the hands from the movement, which can be tedious if you're not experienced.
This explains why there're so few examples of dial swaps on the internet, but above is a great example. This SNXS79 owner swapped the dial & hands to make himself an affordable Tudor Black Bay homage.
The Seiko SARB033/035 is one of the most popular timepieces for Seiko enthusiasts. It has a legendary reputation as being one of the best bang-for-your-buck dress watches out there. This doesn't mean it is cheap though, it is currently priced at around $350-$400.
If money isn't that much of an issue for you, the SARB will obviously be the better choice since it rights every wrong of the SNXS.
The mineral crystal is replaced by a sapphire crystal, the water resistance is bumped up to 100 meters, the bracelet has solid end links, and the 6R15 movement offers hand-winding and hacking, as well as being much more accurate.
In conclusion, the Seiko SNXS is a great watch if you're on a tight budget and you want something dressy that will stand out from the lot.
It does come with a few inconveniences that are typical to entry-level watches, but they can easily be overlooked considering the low price.
If you want to buy one, I suggest you act quickly, as almost every model of the SNXS lineup has started selling out recently, meaning the price will certainly go way up.