Seiko is a Japanese watch brand that has been in operation since the 1880s. Seiko started making wristwatches around World War I, and the brand rose to prominence during the 1970s with their ubiquitous quartz watches. But while many equate the watchmaker with inexpensive, battery-operated timepieces, Seiko makes what are perhaps the most precise and reliable mechanical movements for the money.
Seiko watches are distinctly Japanese, with a particular emphasis on artistic finishing techniques and highly-accurate movements. Ask any collector to name the best timepiece under $1,000, and chances are they’ll tell you to buy a Seiko. The elegant Presage line is well suited for the office, and their diving watches are collected by enthusiasts of all ages and at all income levels.
Seiko: Iconic Models
With so many watches to choose from, it’s hard to name just a few key Seiko models. The Seiko 5 Sports is the first mechanical timepiece for many watch novices. The Seiko Presage line is a go-to for young professionals who need a watch to wear with a suit. And on the sporty side, you have diving watches with loveable nicknames like the Seiko “Turtle,” Seiko “Tuna,” Seiko “Sumo,” and Seiko “Monster.”
Are affordable Seiko watches still good quality?
One of the main reasons why so many watch fans love Seiko is price. The value proposition for these watches is clear, and a high degree of design and precision is put into every timepiece, even those that only cost a couple hundred bucks. Most models fall below the $1,000 mark, making them ideal entry-level watches. There are so many models to choose from for every budget. The Seiko 5 Sports is available for under $200 on Chrono24. You can find the Seiko Prospex and Presage for under $500. All three models are excellent in terms of quality and are perfect for those looking to buy their first watch.
Serious watch nerds with higher budgets should check out the Grand Seiko brand, and for the upper echelon of collectors, there’s the little-known but highly-revered Seiko subsidiary Credor.
Seiko: A Cheap Brand?
In terms of brand perception, there’s not really anything bad to say about Seiko. Because prices are quite low, Seiko serves as a first introduction to watch collecting for many enthusiasts. That being said, it’s a brand that you can keep buying and appreciating no matter how long you’ve been involved in the hobby. Here, low prices do not mean you’re sacrificing quality at all. Simply put, no one is too good for a Seiko, and if you’re just starting out, they are the #1 brand I would recommend.