5 Reasons Why Seiko Should be Your Go-to Quartz Watch

by Karlton Miko Tyack  |  in Watches

Unlike some crossover brands, Seiko gives their quartz watches special attention. More than a mechanism for their practical budget offerings, they’ve gotten creative with this reliable movement, building innovative technologies from it.

We’re going to explore five reasons why Seiko should be your go-to quartz watch brand. Some Seiko 5 and SKX fans may not realize how equally interesting Seiko’s quartz watches can be. 

In fact, some might even be thinking, “Wait… Seiko makes quartz watches?”

closeup of seiko quartz watch with blue face

Does Seiko Make Quartz Watches?

Yes! In 1969, Seiko introduced the world’s first mass-produced quartz watch, beating the Swiss to the punch. Today, they build basic quartz movements, such as their 7N calibers which are accurate within ±15 seconds per month.

More interestingly, they employ a variety of quartz-based technologies. A few of these include:


Solar recharges using light from any source. To achieve this, Seiko Solar watches are built with a solar cell. 

This includes GPS Solar, used in their Astron 5X movements. It synchronizes to the GPS satellite’s atomic clock for even greater accuracy.

Another solar quartz movement, the Radio Sync Solar receives calibrations from stations all over the world. This is great if one satellite is more obstructed than another. It also levels up the watch’s reliability factor, offering precision of one second every 100,000 years!


Kinetic, which powers its quartz movement using the movement of the wearer’s wrist. This is achieved using an oscillating weight, similar to an automatic watch. This unique technology first came out in 1988, and was referred to as Seiko AGS, or Automatic Generating System. 


Spring-Drive, which uses the precise vibrations of its quartz oscillator, but is powered by a mainspring like a mechanical.

Many consider the Spring-Drive its own movement, separate from quartz. This is perfectly fair, but Seiko couldn’t have developed it if they hadn’t mastered both quartz and mechanical movements! It’s definitely a quartz-based innovation.

Are Seiko Quartz Watches Good?

Yes. Even the aforementioned 7N movements with ±15 seconds/month accuracy have a five-month battery life. Not bad for budget watches!

Meanwhile, solar movements never need a battery change. They also come in a variety of designs, from dress watches to dives to chronographs.  

As far as how good they get overall, Grand Seiko’s 9F quartz movement is considered to be one of the best out there.  Which leads to a common question…

Why are Grand Seiko Quartz Watches so Expensive?

The 9F movement is unique in the quartz world in that it’s hand-crafted and very complex. Two craftsmen work on each mechanism, one specializing in the movement and the other focusing on the date indicator. 

Seiko also grows their quartz crystals in-house, which takes anywhere from two to six months. Each crystal block is hand-inspected for flaws, then the quartz crystal oscillators are tested for frequency regularity over the course of 90 days. 

Those suited for the 9F movements, which have an accuracy of ±10 seconds per year, are then chosen to power Grand Seiko quartz watches.

With artisans delicately attaching the hands to dial, these are some of the most refined, well-built, and beautiful timepieces out there! 

How Long do Seiko Quartz Watches last?

The watch itself can last you over 30 years! The battery will need replacing every 3-5 years, depending on the caliber. It’s recommended that you always use official Seiko batteries to replace dead ones.

How much is a Seiko Quartz watch?

Basic Seiko quartz watches can cost a little as $150. The Grand Seiko 9F watches are anywhere from $2000 to ~$5000.

So now that we’re caught up…

5 Reasons Why Seiko Should be Your Go-to Quartz Watch 

Seiko Offers a Variety of Quartz Movements

Choose any of Seiko’s quartz innovations to suit your needs. 

If you’re a world traveler, the radio sync solar movements might be best suited for you. If you don’t want to worry about battery replacement, and don’t get much sun where you are, Seiko Kinetic movements don’t require light power or battery changes. 

Seiko’s History and Heritage with Quartz Watches 

Seiko takes quartz watches seriously, likely due to their history with it.

They not only introduced the world to the 1969 Astron (the world’s first quartz watch, as mentioned), but it was this watch that sparked the quartz revolution and changed the watch industry forever. 

And, as you know now, they’ve continued to innovate on the quartz front! 

More Versatile Sizing than Mechanicals

This applies to all quartz watches, but especially with Seiko since they have the widest variety of offerings out there.

Quartz movements are smaller than automatics. This is great for small-wristed gents, or for those seeking a classic dress watch. When worn and fitted properly, evening watches must be slim enough to slip under a dress sleeve.

You Get What you Pay For

With Seiko, you’re never being tricked. Their simple sub-200 quartz watches are no-frills but well-designed, accurate, and long-lasting. Meanwhile, a Grand Seiko watch is truly artisanal (as discussed earlier!), as well as reliable.

There’s a Seiko Quartz Watch for Everyone 

In fact, let’s take a quick look at five models we love…

  1. Seiko Gold Dress SGF206

    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.

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  2. Seiko PADI Kinetic GMT SUN065

    A special edition diver developed in partnership with The Professional Association of Diving Instructors, this high-functioning, 47mm tool watch also has a bonus GMT hand! It runs on Seiko’s Kinetic technology, so you’ll charge up its quartz movement simply by wearing it around town.

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  3. Seiko Prospex SSC701

    This diver features a radiant multi-layered blue face, which beautifully contrasts the hard-coating of the case. As a Prospex, it boasts a professional 200m of water resistance. And with its solar quartz movement, you can count on accurate time, and never having to change the battery.

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  4. Seiko World Time SPL060

    The SPL060 is a whimsical yet refined timepiece featuring a sunray-finished dial, a delightful map pattern subdial, and an alarm function. The textured calfskin strap and the cities-of-the-world inner bezel give this watch an air of distinction. 

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  5. Seiko Coutura Radio Sync SSG021
    $695.00 $276.54

    This unique chronograph’s subdials boast vibrant blue highlights against an authoritative looking black-ion case. It runs on Seiko’s Radio Sync Solar, which receives radio signals from atomic clocks in the US, Europe, China, and Japan, resulting in laser-accurate timekeeping.

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    02/14/2023 10:28 am GMT

Seiko’s Wide Range of Quartz Watches

If any brand can turn doubters on to quartz watches, it’s definitely Seiko. This reliable and accurate movement can be a lot more interesting than just the practical budget option.

Even just within their quartz offerings, Seiko offers a gamut of creative technologies and designs!

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