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Seiko Skx013 Review – A Look At Seiko’s Best Dive Watch?

September 29, 2021

Great divers have amazing dive watches by their side. So, which watches are most worth your time? The SKX013 is a good place to start. Not only is it an incredible timepiece, but it’s pretty affordable too. Read ahead as we run through everything you need to know about it in our Seiko SKX013 review. 

The Watch - At A Glance

Before we dive in, we think that giving the below table a read is a good move. 

Preview
Seiko SKX013
Seiko SKX013K2 Black Dial Automatic Divers Midsize Watch
Water Resistance
660 feet (200 m)
Movement
Japanese automatic
Strap
Polyurethane
Bezel
Stainless steel
Colour
Black
Case
39 mm
Crystal
Hardlex
More Information
Seiko SKX013
Preview
Seiko SKX013K2 Black Dial Automatic Divers Midsize Watch
Water Resistance
660 feet (200 m)
Movement
Japanese automatic
Strap
Polyurethane
Bezel
Stainless steel
Colour
Black
Case
39 mm
Crystal
Hardlex
More Information
SKX013

The Watch - A Review

Design

If you’re looking for a watch that looks expensive, the Seiko SKX013K2 is right up your alley. It looks like the Rolex Submariner. You’ll easily fool people into thinking you bought a watch with the price range of a small car.

It comes in a shiny stainless steel body. We don't know if it was brushed or not, but it looks it was. This helps it catch light better. The black on its face contrasts its silver exterior.

You can't miss the toothing on its bezel. We'll discuss more about it below, but it's something a lot of Submariner homages have.

It has an oyster case. Such cases are seen in more expensive devices. It also gives it a bit of a retro-flair as older units were widely built with them.

As you'll learn below, it is a small watch. We're actually fans of smaller watches - they look more dainty and exquisite. When compared to the Submariner, it's almost its size. Its Swiss counterpart stretches 1.57 inches (40 mm) across.

Movement

Unsurprisingly, it rocks an automatic movement. If you should know anything about Seiko watches, it's that they widely have Japanese automatic mechanisms . To be more specific, it comes with the 7s26 movement. Although we’re fans, we’re not too keen about its lack of hacking or manual winding.

Even for a first time watch collector, self/manual winding is easy to figure out. You probably have no idea what hacking is, though. It's when you're able to half a mechanical timepiece's seconds' hand. This lets you sync it to a more accurate clock, like an atomic one.

You get 21 jewels inside its gears. Before you get too excited, they are not real. They are pieces of glass manufacturers shape to look like the real deal. They're placed between gears, keeping friction at bay. The more of them present, the smoother your watch will run. 17 is the norm, so having 21 means the Seiko SKX moves like butter.

You’re probably wondering about its power reserve. Well, it comes with a 41-hour reserve. 38-40 hours is the norm, so it's not that special.

Automatic watches are pinnacles of craftsmanship. They have many fine gears in motion; it would be cool to watch them at work. The 013 doesn’t come with an exposed back, unfortunately.

Water Resistance

You can’t review the Seiko SKX013 without talking about how great of a dive watch it is. It can handle 660 feet (200 m) underwater. Being a superb diver, it’s  ISO 6425 certified. You'll be able to hit the water without a worry in mind. 

It has a a jubilee bracelet. It’s made out of high-quality stainless steel. It won’t rust. It’s shiny and dresses outfits up more than rubber does. Who wouldn’t want that? 

Rubber goes hand-in-hand with diving as well. It doesn’t carry the risk of corroding and most importantly, is very easy to clean. No surprise, the device comes with a variant with a black rubber strap; the Seiko SKX013J.

Seiko loves its luminous paint, LumiBrite. It is known as one of the best phot luminescent pigments around. It captures all kinds of light sources and shines bright for 3-5 hours. The company says that it works up to 10x harder than regular lume.

They were generous with the paint, slathering it all over its face. They lathered it on its hands too.

What’s more: 

Its bezel insert rotates. It lets you track your oxygen supply underwater. It ticks as it turns, acting as a timer.

Dial & Display

Are you a fan of sapphire windows ? We are too, which is why we were bummed that the SKX013 doesn’t come with the display. Instead, it has Hardlex crystal in-place. Hardlex is Seiko’s own creation. It is basically an improved version of mineral. They say that it’s better, which is true to an extent. 

Although not as tough as sapphire, the glass lets you handle the pressures of diving. The company could've made it more resistant by doming its front. Unfortunately, you don't always get what you want. Doming it would've also made the unit look more expensive. It's a feature widely seen in Swiss and German counterparts.

There aren’t any Arabic numerals on its dial. Instead, you get large, circular markers. They’re easy on the eyes and are covered in more than enough lume. The markers are white, so they pop against the dark dial. Such in-your-face markers are common with diving pieces - they make the units easier to read when submerged.

There are large watch hands as well. You’ll be using the watch deep underwater, so the SKX013 covered all bases, ensuring that you get an easy-to-read, luminous device.

How do you feel about calendar-features? There's one on its dial. It's located in the 3 o' clock position; you won't be straining your neck. It reads the day as well as the date. It's appreciated as the watch is so small. Seiko did a good job fitting it into its petite dial.

Case & Bezel

If you have a large wrist, you might look like a giant with the 013 on. Its case size is 1.45 inches (37 mm). To many, this is a deal breaker.

Like its steel jubilee bracelet, its stainless steel case is made from high-quality metal. It keeps rusting at bay, but the build isn't something to write home about. It’s pretty common in water-resistant watches. 

We were intrigued by the position of its crown, however. It’s in the 4 o clock position, making sure that you never feel the pain of slamming a crown into your wrist again.  We're fond of the number of grooves it has. There are so many that the button is easy to work. It has a nice pull to it too, Seiko did a good job with its construction.

You’ll notice that it is a screw down crown. This is to prevent water from seeping in.  What's also good is that it comes with a protector. You won't ever have the contraption snagging onto your wet-suit.

We have to talk about the grooves across its bezel. They’re eye-catching, but do they have a purpose? We mentioned them earlier, and they make its bezel easier to turn. You turn it clock-wise , having it tick as it turns back into position. If you remember, it acts a timer to tell you when to get out of the water.

The ticks are loud. This is a sign of a good dive watch.

Other than this, there’s nothing much to say about its bezel. It’s made from the same steel as its case if you were wondering.

Strap & Clasp

Thick stainless steel straps cause you to sweat. Thankfully, the watch has a band that's not thick. There are a few steel links in-place. As mentioned, they're made from very good-quality metal.

Its bracelet contributes to a good chunk of its weight. This is normal with jubilee straps. The watch comes in at 0.3 ounces (8.5 grams). Is that a lot? No. It won't weigh your wrists down.

When you flip it over, you'll find a deployant clasp present. It's super secure. When deep underwater, it makes sure the SKX013 won't fall off your wrist. There are many sub-types of deployant clasps. What's the one on the timepiece? It is the push-button type. It is as easy to work as its name suggests.

Seiko lets you interchange clasps, so you can swap the one on the 013 for something more dainty like a butterfly one.

Alternatives

I think that we can both agree that the SKX013 is an amazing dive watch. Although pretty sweet, the diver has a bunch of alternatives that are just as great. Let’s stack it up with three of them below.

Seiko SKX007

When talking about the SKX013, an SKX007 vs SKX013 review is a must:

With one look at the two, you will not be able to tell the difference. The SKX007 is also for small wrists. It is larger than its sibling, though. It has a 1.57 inch (40 mm) case.

It looks good. It comes with a shiny stainless steel build and matte black face. You'll be proud to be the owner of it - it looks much more expensive than its price point. It also comes with brushing on its exterior. The effect makes it catch light superbly.

We’re met with a dial that has large rhomboid markers, full of luminous paint. If you loved seeing LumiBrite on the 013, you’ll love it on the 07. Like its counterpart, you get the lume all over its hands. No, there isn't any on its seconds hand, though.

It comes with a 7S36 caliber movement. You’re already familiar with it as we met it in our SKX013 review. To be honest, we still don’t know how to feel about its lack of self-winding and hacking.

And towards the right side of its dial, there is a calendar. The feature makes timepieces more convenient. It reads the day as well as the date.

Being so similar to its brother, the SKX007 is also a spectacular dive watch. It can handle 660 feet (200 m) underwater. It’s ISO 6245 certified, so you have nothing to worry about. 

Its crown is the screwed down type. Speaking of screwed down, its case back is sealed shut. If we didn't mention it earlier, the back-panel on its sibling is like this too. The cherry on top is the fact that there's a crown protector. You won't be snagging your wet-suit onto it. The protector also prevents regular clothes from getting latched on.

Take a look at its bezel:

It ticks as it turns. There's expert toothing on its edges, letting you grip it good. As the watch is bigger than the SKX013, the grooves are larger. This gives you extra surface to grab onto.

in the bracelet department, you're getting a deployant clasp. The push-button type is in-place. Jubilee bracelets tend to contribute to the majority of the weight in timepieces. We discussed this earlier. So, how much does it weigh? The SKX007 comes in at 0.39 ounces (11.05 grams). This isn't very heavy. You won't feel like your wrists are being weighed down.

You also don’t have to worry about its crown poking and probing you. It’s in the 4-o’clock, which you know we really like.

Yes, hardlex is on its face. It's not the toughest, but it lets the unit handle the pressures of diving. We would've loved if Seiko domed its display, however, they decided to let us down again.

At the end of the day, both watches are eerily similar. The only thing they differ in is size

SKX009

Also from the SKX series, the 009 is a medium sized watch. Its case is 1.65 inches (42 mm). In our opinion, it is the perfect size. You’ll see hardlex crystal on it. This isn’t a shocker as most of  Seiko’s budget watches come with it. 

You’re probably intrigued by its bezel. No, it isn’t red and blue just to spice things up. The red marks the ‘danger zone’ a diver faces. It reminds you to surface before your oxygen supply runs out. The 09 is pretty famous for the pepsi feature.

Being a Seiko SKX013 alternative, it’s no surprise that it can handle quite the dip underwater. It’s resistant up to 660 feet (200 m), so get your scuba gear ready.

It’s also no surprise that its crown is screwed down. This ensures that you never have to worry about water leaking in. The fact that it’s ISO 6425 certified helps as well. Yes, its case is sealed too. There is even a crown protector present. The contraption is in the 4 o' clock position like its counterpart's. You already know how we feel about this.

Its polyurethane strap comes with thick grooves. They feel great on your wrist. They let air come in, preventing sweat from collecting. Although its rubber strap is easy to maintain, you may want to switch things up. No need to look any further, the SKX009 comes with a variant that rocks a shiny stock jubilee bracelet.

Of course, it has LumiBrite all over its dial. With one look at it, you’ll notice this, as its markers are tainted a lime green. Speaking of its markers, they’re identical to the ones in the SKX013. The pigment is lathered all over its hands. They're quite thick, so they hold a lot of the lume.

What about its movement? The 7S26 we’ve seen time and time again is present.  It's alright for every day use- we're not mad at it.

We love that a calendar is present. It's in the 3 o' clock position. You won't be straining your neck trying to read it. You won't be straining your eyes either. The calendar is bolded well. It reads the day as well as the date. Considering its face is much larger than the SKX013's, its calendar is easier to read. The larger face makes the time easier to read as well.

Oris Women's 73376524154MB Watch

When it comes to women's watches, not many of them are dive-ready. Thankfully, the Oris 7337 exists. Like its Seiko counterpart, it is a superb option if you have a small wrist.

It's on the smaller side as it's for women. Its case stretches 1.41 inches (36 mm) across. If you have weak eye-sight, reading it might not be the easiest.

Other than its size, the first thing you'll notice about it is its bezel. There is sharp toothing all over it. It's eye-catching and also helps you turn it better.

Unlike its Seiko counterpart, it's not a homage to the Submariner. Its design is not reminiscent of it at all. To be frank, we don't think the 7337 looks very expensive. This is head-scratching considering it's pricier than the SKX013. .

The watch does not have any Arabic numerals. You'll be telling the time with rhomboid markers. They're on the larger side, but they're not as big as the SKX device's. This means they don't hold as much lume. Not just on its markers, but there is also pigment on its hands. They thankfully hold a decent amount.

Now:

What is the pigment present? It is Swiss Luminova. It's a powerhouse and is known as one of the best. It's seen in more expensive options.

Looking across its dial, you won't find a calendar. We're disappointed as the feature makes watches more handy. Oris might've excluded it as its face was too petite.

You'll be the owner of a device with a crown protector. All the entries so far come with the feature. You're more than familiar with it. Of course, it rocks a screw down crown. This shouldn't be a surprise when you find out what its water resistance rating is.

It's a device that can handle 1000 feet (300 meters) underwater. If you're wondering whether it comes with features like helium valves, the answer is no. Such units tend to cost an arm and a leg.

Its body is made from surgical grade steel. It helps it handle the sea with ease. The material is also responsible for it being so shiny.

If you flip it over, you'll be met with an exposed back. There is sturdy glass on its rear, preventing water from entering. The see-through case lets you peak at its gears in motion. Like the 013, it is an automatic. However, it doesn't host a Japanese automatic mechanism. Instead, you're getting a Swiss movement.

Swiss movements are made with more craftsmanship. That's why watch communities on Youtube, Reddit and all over the place revere it. We sadly don't know the name of its specific mechanism. That being said, Oris is known to use in-house movements. This ensures quality.

Conclusion

When we said that the Seiko SKX013 is an amazing dive watch, we weren’t exaggerating. It lets you dive 660 feet underwater, is ISO 6425 certified, and checks all the boxes you may have. 

We're especially fans of its appearance. It's affordable but looks like a million bucks. This is thanks to Seiko making it a homage to the Rolex Submariner. The SKX watch is eerily similar to it, but it's not an exact copy - don't worry. A major difference is their hands.

However, is the SKX013 Seiko’s best dive watch? Its alternatives are similar, so they’re just as good. But it has a cult following with watch enthusiasts. It's one of the more popular Seiko pieces on the market. The SKX009 gives it a run for its money in terms of popularity, though. Its pepsi bezel really caught people's attention.

We're fans of the 013, but we don't think it's the best. If you look around, you'll find alternatives that are a bit more expensive, coming with better resistance ratings and more premium features. We discussed such a diver. It is the Oris 73376524154MB. We had to include it on our list as it's a great diver for small wrists, and there's not many of them around.

But if you're looking for an affordable watch Seiko always has you covered. The SKX013 comes jam-packed with goodies for its price. Don't forget that it looks good too. It is an amazing Submariner dupe.

Author
Thomas Vanderlaan
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears. As the years passed, his passion grew. Although he worked a hectic career as an automobile engineer, he’d always collect watches during his spare time.
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