Now we’re moving the dial up, with our choices for the 15 best Seiko
15 Best Seiko
Watches Under $500
Historically, Seiko has a hand in every horological development, even leading the charge during the quartz revolution in the late 70s. This is evident in the sub-500 category, where you’ll find watches with a gamut of functions including automatics, radio sync timekeeping, solar power, and chronographs.
We ensured that a diverse array of functions, styles, and constructions are represented. As generous as Seiko is at this price point, we had a lot to work with! Let’s get to it!
- Seiko Prospex Samurai Wave
- Seiko Kinetic Watch SKA763P1
- Seiko Diver SKX007J1
- Seiko Pepsi Diver SSC019
- Seiko Black SNAF37
- Seiko Presage SRPB41J1
- Seiko Prospex PADI “Tuna” SNE499
- Seiko Adventure-Solar SSC081
- Seiko Prospex Radio Sync Solar SSG015
- Seiko Coutura SSC700
- Seiko Coutura SSG019
- Seiko Prospex Golden Turtle SRPC44
- Seiko Gold Dress SGF206
Fun and practical, this professional diving watch features a unidirectional bezel, 200m of water resistance, and Seiko’s hackable 4R35 automatic movement. The special edition wave graphic decorates the bright blue dial, which makes the SRPD23K1 as visually delightful and distinct as it is useful.
This sophisticated watch is unique inside and out, featuring Seiko’s Kinetic technology that uses movement to power up an electric generator. It’s also built out of titanium, which is stronger and lighter than steel, and also rare at this price point. And at 39mm, this uncommon timepiece comfortably fits most mens’ wrists.
Seiko’s classic and well-loved high-value diver! It features the robust 7S36 automatic movement, and a quintessential dive design with Rolex-esque indices. Pair it with a stainless steel Oyster-style bracelet to get a Submariner homage that also stands on its own, or with an accordion rubber strap for a tool aesthetic that matches the practical look of dial.
The SSC019 is not just a great Seiko chronograph, but one of the coolest Pepsi bezels out there. It’s exceedingly multi-dimensional, featuring a different layer for the date, the indices, and the seconds. The crown even has a red ring around it, which is a model-specific touch that proves these chronograph divers aren’t just cookie-cutter color variations.
The SNAF37 is a high-gloss racing watch, complete with a perforated leather strap reminiscent of vintage racing straps. Both the dark blue tachymeter bezel and multi-layered face shine bright, featuring several surfaces for light to hit. Running on an accurate Japanese quartz movement, this sport watch is a modern take on a classic racer.
From the gradation pattern on the dial to the dignified sword indices, elegant lines run throughout this formal timepiece. Seiko’s Presage line is the dress watch answer to Prospex, a mid-tier bang-for-buck subline beneath Grand Seiko and above the budget core. This exquisite timepiece is a quintessential Presage watch, boasting a simple but memorable aesthetic and an automatic movement.
The SNE499 gets its nickname from the blue can-shaped shroud protecting the watch case, adding sturdiness and a submarine-like bulk. The face is decorated with an extravagant wave pattern and raised indices, which feature a unique bicolor green-and-blue lume. Despite its massive 47mm size, the lugs tuck under, providing little hangover, making this diver suitable for smaller wrists than expected.
This watch’s dial is necessarily busy and oversized because it’s a true adventurer’s timepiece, packed with functions. In addition to the solar-powered chronograph, it also comes with a single-time alarm, compass, date display, and an overcharge prevention function. This sporty and rugged survivor’s tool is a handsome statement piece for casual looks.
This hyper-accurate pilot watch receives radio signals from atomic clocks, which resolves the problem of losing or gaining time. At 12.9mm, it has a slim profile by radio watch standards, and features a fanciful Wonderland-esque font on an otherwise sporty face. Go for this Prospex if you want a tool watch with some visual and functional quirks.
The Coutura line has a magic-meets-science aesthetic to it, which is clear with the SSC700. It’s a sophisticated gold-toned dress watch, but is large in size (44mm) and showcases all of its functions like a sport watch. It comes with a solar-powered chronograph, LumiBrite half-skeleton hands, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
The Seiko Coutura is impressive and uncommon both in design and function. Aesthetically, it's a wild mix of organic and machine-like designwork, from the leaf and spider web textures in brilliant blue to the industrial subdial and angular integrated bracelet. Function-wise, it runs on light power and a radio-controlled timekeeper for military precision.
This timepiece is an excellent standard Turtle, but with a bold and retro color palette. The gold-toned oval case and gold outlined hands have a striking luster, especially under the sun. Remember that this isn’t just a fashion watch though, as it boasts professional features such as 200m of water resistance, ISO compliance for scuba diving, and the 4R36 caliber.
This fan-favorite puts all of the classic elements of a traditional dress watch in one beautiful timepiece. The Datejust-esque pie-pan bezel and Jubilee bracelet provide enough surfaces for light to hit, giving you that extra sparkle. Meanwhile, the brushed dial and baton indices add a classy simplicity to balance out the fancy all-gold construction.
Seiko’s Affordable Luxury
From cool functions like radio sync timekeeping to classically elegant designs, Seiko watches under $500 have a lot to offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had more to offer within the sub-500 constraint than any brand out there.