In the era of expensive dive watches made by many Swiss watch manufacturers which claim 1000 meters water resistance and great durability, the most common dive watch that you will see on the wrists of people on a dive boat will be a simple Seiko.
Seiko over the years has made very competent, affordable and durable dive watches which have found favour with American troops fighting in South East Asia to dive instructors. The main attractiveness is the price and ruggedness, both of which allow the wearer not to be wary of treating it with kid gloves like they would a expensive Swiss watch.
The SKX line from Seiko has been the best dive watches ever to have been produced by the Japanese watch-making giant. The SKX series descended from the first ever dive watch made by Seiko and at its heart is a 21-piece self-winding watch movement which has been exclusively designed by the parent company and built in-house.
Seiko is one of the top watch making companies in the world and their cheap watches are available around the world. The dive watches sold by the company are also quite famous. Though they are available in various configurations they all look very similar. So, if you are on the look out for something exclusive then better look somewhere else. What differentiates the SKX from other dive watches in the same price range are its toughness, build quality and a movement which is manufactured in-house.
When you first look at the SKX you can make out from the distinctive design that it is a Seiko. The dial markers and hands are oversized and they glow intensely after the sun sets. The crown position which is at 4 o’ clock position is a trademark Seiko touch. The long vented rubber strap lends a “you mean business” look to the watch. A stainless steel strap is also available.
The dive bezel is in subdued black and white colour in the SKX007 while in the SKX009 it is red and blue. The only-for-US-market SKX 173 is pretty identical but rectangular dial markers adorn it.
There are many stories how Seiko dive watches sustained tremendous abuse and still survived. That is the reason why, and quite fittingly so, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) wore a Seiko dive watch in the movie “Apocalypse Now”.
Seikos can go on for years without ever needing maintenance and they are resistant to just about anything this side of a nuclear blast! This phenomenal durability, though, comes at a price in the form of lack of accuracy. They can gain 20 seconds in a day! But if you are paying $200 don’t expect to have everything.