The Seiko SRPD is a brand new Seiko 5 that was launched in September 2019. The release of the SRPD created a lot of reactions in the watch community, both positive and negative.
Even though Seiko made no connection between the SKX and the new SRPD, collectors quickly made the assumption that it's the official successor. Although the specs are a bit different, the SRPD has almost the same shape and design as the SKX.
In this article, I will detail explicitly everything there is to know about the new Seiko 5, and we'll try to see if it has what it takes to live up to the high expectations.
As I mentioned in my intro, the resemblance between the SKX and SRPD's case cannot be ignored. Even though the SRPD gains an additional 0.5mm of case diameter, the 46mm lug-to-lug length is exactly the same.
The short base of the new Seiko 5KX means it will look great even on men with smaller wrists. I would say the optimal wrist range for this watch is from 6" to 7.5".
When it comes to thickness, the SRPD is slightly thicker (+0.4mm) than the SKX, but it is very manageable. Also, the 22mm lug width is the same, and it balances out the bigger case pretty well.
Automatic w/ Hand-Winding
+45 to -35 Secs/Day
For the SRPD model, Seiko finally upgraded the outdated 7S26 movement. Instead, this new Seiko 5 sports is equipped with the in-house 4R36 caliber.
Even though this is a movement that's been in production since 2011, it's still a large step-up compared to the 7s26. The reason is quite simple: the 4R36 offers the highly sought-after hacking and hand-winding features.
As for the rest of the specs, they're pretty similar to the old 7s26. The accuracy is estimated to be +45 to -35 secs/day, which roughly translates to +-10 seconds per day in reality (about the same as the 7s26.)
Also, there're no differences in power reserve (41 hours) or frequency (21,600 bph). The only other major difference is the number of jewels, which is bumped from 21 to 24 (with no real gain in accuracy nor reliability).
If you're not aware, the 4R36 is the exact same movement as the NH36, which is the unbranded version sold to dozens of watchmakers such as Invicta, Vostok, etc..
It is also structurally similar to the 6R15, which only has a better mainspring and balance spring (increasing accuracy and power reserve).
I think it was a very good move of Seiko to use the 4R36 for this new Seiko 5, considering this is a very common swap for the SKX (more detail on that in my "Best SKX Mods" Article).
As is the case for any low-to-mid-range Seiko watch, the crystal is made of their proprietary Hardlex composite. This mineral material is a bit more durable than your average mineral crystal, so scratch-resistance shouldn't be an issue.
On this model, Seiko went for a flat crystal, which is to be expected from modern timepieces. This leads me to believe that the domed sapphire crystal swap will once again be very popular for this new Seiko 5.
Water Resistance/ Crown
Now, this is where we get down to the nitty-gritty of the controversy surrounding the new Seiko SRPD. As you might know, the SKX was a proper ISO-certified dive watch, with a water resistance of 200 meters.
On the other hand, Seiko uses a push-pull crown for the SRPD, meaning it is no longer ISO-certified, and it can only handle 100m of water resistance. A lot of people are disappointed by this fact, as they think it is a travesty to wear a diver-inspired watch without the hardware to back it up.
In contrast, a large majority of the community is perfectly ok with this 100m water resistance since 99% of us never actually use our dive watches to their full capacity. Also, the 100m WR is the norm for the Seiko 5 sports collection, so there's really no reason to complain.
As I mentioned earlier, the Seiko SRPD tries to replicate the styling of a diver's watch. This means they have no choice but to offer above-average luminous phosphorescent.
This is why Seiko put a thick layer of their proprietary Lumibrite application on the hands and hour marks. As you can see above, the comparison with the SKX shows that the SRPD's lume shines just as brightly, and is as durable (lasts for several hours).
A small disappointment is that Seiko didn't put a lume pip on the bezel, rendering its function useless in the dark.
Once again, Seiko used a 60-minutes rotating bezel for the new SRPD. This one uses a 120-clicks unidirectional mechanism, which in my opinion is very sharp and has barely any play.
Even though Seiko didn't mention it, the insert is almost certainly made of aluminum, which is quite easy to scratch. This means the ceramic insert swap should be popular on this model too.
One aspect of the SRPD that seems to be unanimously loved by enthusiasts is the number of color layouts available. As of today, there are already dozens of variations to choose from, and certainly more on the way.
On the great majority of models, you will either get a sunburst or matte finish, which makes for a very easy-to-read dial. Also, the applied indices are framed with a silver lining, which increases legibility under heavy sunlight.
In the middle of the dial, you get an applied Seiko logo, as well as the new 5 logo (which is painted, as is the case for the "Automatic" script). At the 3 o'clock position, you get the signature day-date window, which is unframed on the SRPD.
The Seiko SRPD wouldn't be a proper successor to the SKX without a chapter ring. On this model, the chapter ring is a bit more profound, which adds some depth to the dial of this new Seiko 5.
Of course, there are still a few issues of chapter ring misalignments here and there, but as a whole the QA has gotten a lot better so most examples will have a near-perfect chapter ring alignment.
What's cool about this chapter ring is that Seiko adapts the color depending on which dial you choose, so there are tons of variations.
The applied indices used for the SRPD are exactly the same as the SKX's. They are classic-looking circles with ovals for the 6/9 marks and a triangle for the 12 o'clock mark. Of course, these are strongly inspired by traditional dive watches such as the Rolex Submariner.
The hands are also exact replicas of the ones found on the SKX. You get a sword hours hand, an arrow minutes hand, both having a syringe tip.
The bezel displays a 60-minutes counter which is customary for diver watches. This is supposed to help you calculate your diving time, but it won't be used for that purpose considering the 100m water resistance.
The design of the bezel is quite special, the best way I can describe it is a cross between a sub and a coin-edge pattern. As you can picture above, it is pretty cool looking and distinctive.
As usual, the finish of the case is pretty impressive for a mid-range watch like the SRPD. Seiko went for a brushed look for the lugs, and a reflective polished finish for the case sides.
They even went through the trouble of chamfering the edges of the case, which goes to show the great attention to detail of Seiko.
For a $300+ watch, I must say the bracelet that comes with most SRPD models is pretty weak. It is clearly an upgrade compared to most Seiko 5 models, but I still think it gives a cheap feel to the watch.
At least, Seiko used a drilled-lugs layout which allows you to swap the bracelet very easily. A lot of third-party companies such as Strapcode have already created high-quality bracelets specifically for the SRPD.
It's also good to note that certain SRPD variations are offered with rubber, mesh, or nylon straps, which are more comfortable than the bracelet.
The Seiko SRPD51 is offered with a blue-on-blue configuration (dial and bezel). This layout always looks great with a stainless steel bracelet, so it is quite popular.
The Seiko SRPD53 is obviously the SKX009 replacement. It features the beloved Pepsi Bezel with the same blue dial as the SRPD51. Considering its popularity, it is a hard to find model.
The Seiko SRPD55 features a black-on-black configuration (dial and bezel). This color scheme makes the SRPD55 the closest successor to the SKX007, even though the latter has lighter (almost greyish) colors.
The Seiko SRPD57 uses the same black bezel/black dial combination as the SRPD55. This time, the bezel's numerals, as well as the logos and "Automatic" script, are painted in gold color.
The Seiko SRPD59 is the successor to the SKX011, a rare collector's favorite. This model gets the same bright orange color for the dial and numerals as the first iteration.
The Seiko SRPD61 is already a very popular version of the new Seiko 5. The reason is quite simple: the green-on-green layout, also called the "Hulk", is a classic design in the watch community (usually on Rolex watches).
Like the SRPD61, the Seiko SRPD63 has a green-on-green layout. This time, the color is a bit darker, and the indices/hands are framed in a rose gold hue.
The Seiko SRPD65 has the same black-on-black layout as the SRPD55, as well as the same silver trims. The only difference is the bracelet and case, which now have a gunmetal grey color.
The Seiko SRPD67 uses a very cool and original tan color, which is painted on the dial, hands, indices, and chapter ring.
The Seiko SRPD69 really sticks out of the bunch since it uses a red shade for the dial, bezel, and chapter ring, which is quite rare. Also, the hands/indices are framed in gold paint, and the indices have a tan color.
Like the SRPD51, the Seiko SRPD71 has a blue-on-blue configuration. There're a couple of differences though - the chapter ring is now white, the hands/indices are tan, and the dial is matte.
The Seiko SRPD73 uses a mix of all the designs we've seen above. For example, you get a black bezel, grey dial, tan hands/indices, white chapter ring, and a mesh bracelet.
If the Hulk model is too green for you, the Seiko SRPD75 offers a nice balance with its green bezel and grey dial. You also get the tan hands/indices and white chapter ring.
The Seiko SRPD77 is the first watch on this list with a textured dial. This greened-out version offers what I would describe as a veiny pattern, with green trims around the hands.
If you're a fan of dark colors (not to say a goth), the Seiko SRPD79 will be perfect for you. Everything from the strap to the case, dial, bezel, and hands, are fully blacked out.
If the SRPD79 is too dark for you, the Seiko SRPD81 is a good compromise. On this model, you get bright blue numerals, indices, and hands, giving a bit of life to an otherwise very dark timepiece.
You want attention to your wrist? You want to stand out from the lot? How about a bright pink watch? The Seiko SRPD83 is perfect for collectors who love attention-grabbing watches.
The Seiko SRPD85 shares the same textured dial as the SRPD77. This time, most components are painted in a "chestnut red" color (which looks brown to me).
The Seiko SRPD87 might look familiar to you. This is because it's the same exact watch as the SRPD51, except for the bracelet which is replaced for a blue nylon strap.
The Seiko SRPD89 has a simple color configuration (black bezel, brown dial), but it already seems to be a fan-favorite. It's hard to find from retailers, and the pre-owned price often has a big markup.
The Seiko SRPD91 is almost identical to the black-on-black SRPD55. The only difference is the gunmetal case & bezel sides, as well as the olive nylon strap instead of the bracelet.
The blue bezel insert/matte blue dial found on the Seiko SRPD93 is the same as the SRPD71. The only difference is the bracelet which is now replaced with a deep blue silicone strap.
The Seiko SRPD95 is the same watch as the SRPD73, except for the black silicone strap.
In conclusion, I think the new Seiko 5kx is a very good timepiece offered for a reasonable price.
For 99% of consumers, I think the 100m water resistance will be plenty. Also, the movement as well as the general build quality have been upgraded, which I think is a big plus.
If you're still unsure about getting the Seiko SRPD, I encourage you to look at the pros & cons list below.