Seiko SKX031K “Submariner” review


Watch History


Pop quiz folks – what resembles a Rolex Submariner watch, says “SEIKO” on the dial, has a screw-in crown and costs a fraction of the price of the watch that it pays homage to?

No prizes for guessing, it’s none other than the Seiko SKX031K – Seiko’s timeless tribute to the Rolex Submariner. The SKX031K has been around for over a decade (it debuted in 1996 with the introduction of the 7s26 automatic caliber) and sales of this model appears to be still going strong despite its age in the market.

It took me several months to consider one of this timeless classics from Seiko, albeit its design isn’t entirely original (after all, it is a homage to the Rolex Submariner) and I thought the SKX031K would fill the gap between my 200m, ISO-certified Seiko divers and my dressy Seiko 5 timepieces rather nicely.

The SKX031K and its Pepsi-bezeled SKX033K are Seiko’s only tribute models to the Rolex Submariner. There are several watch companies that also produce homage Submariner watches. Invicta, AMF, Sandoz and Orient are some of them that have these look-alike models.

Rolex Submariner  Orient 2ER00001B

Top: A genuine Rolex Submariner (left) and a homage Orient “Submariner” (right)


In case you didn’t know, a homage watch is not a replica or fake watch. Basically a homage watch borrows some design influences from the original watch without infringing on copyright and trademarks of the patent holder. To the untrained eye, both the Orient and the Rolex appear similar but there are subtle variations in detail between the two.

For the rest of this review I will enclose the term "Submariner" (in quotes) to denote a homage Submariner.



Seiko’s own “Submariner” in detail

Unlike the other homage watches, Seiko’s SKX031K tries to retain as much design originality as possible while giving the “flavor” of the Rolex Submariner. Probably in an effort to avoid copyright infringements, Seiko decided to use the hour and minute hands from their SKX007/SKX009 diver instead of the famous “”Mercedes-style” hour hand.

The watch company also altered the dial design of their “Submariners” in a way, perhaps to protect themselves from legal infringements.

This is to say that Seiko doesn’t have the Mercedes-styled hands in any of their products – in fact they have incorporated such hands in a few Seiko automatic models that don’t resemble the Rolex Submariner.

To my initial confusion, Seiko offers two versions of the Submariner. I found out that there was also the mid-sized version of this watch – the SKX023K which to the uninitiated, could easily be misconstrued as the full-sized SKX031K.

In fact, I almost purchased an SKX023K by mistake at one watch store. I didn’t have the photo of the SKX031K Sub in my PDA for reference and had to rely on my memory alone. 🙂

Fortunately, I recalled the SKX031K sharing the same hour and minute hands as the evergreen SKX007 diver and politely told the store owner that it wasn’t the watch I was looking for.

I found out that few authorized Seiko watch dealers in Malaysia sell both models simultaneously. Unless you do a proper side-by-side comparison in the same store, you may not notice the not-so-obvious differences between the two.

Before we continue with the review, let’s first scrutinize the characteristics of the SKX031K and its smaller cousin, the SKX023K.

SKX031K2 SKX023K

Above: The SKX031K (left) and the junior sized SKX023K (right). Pics courtesy of


As you can see from the photos above, both the SKX031K and SKX023K appear to share the same dial layout with the same styling of hour indexes, dial fonts, framed calendar window and bezel markings. The unofficial nickname for the SKX031K is of course, the “Submariner” while its junior cousin is simply referred to as the SKX023K. Going by popular culture, the Seiko “Submariner” is the full sized SKX031K.

From what I’ve noticed in the watch forums, more Seiko enthusiasts prefer the normal-sized SKX031K to the mid-sized SKX023K.


In a nutshell, here are the trivial differences between both watches:

Feature SKX031K SKX023K
Case diameter 40mm Less than 40mm
Hour/Minute hands Sharply pointed arrow tips Shorter hands with rounded arrow tips
Second hand White painted Chromed finish, unpainted
Minute markers Located on a separate almost vertical, dial ring Printed horizontally on the dial
Crown and crown guards Large Small
Lug width 22mm 20mm


Also as a noteworthy mention is the vast dissimilarity between the SKX031K Submariner and the mid-sized SKX013K, which is actually a boys-sized ISO-certified 200m diver. Yeah, I used to get the model numbers mixed up too. 🙂

To illustrate the SKX013K diver, here are two photos of the watch. The SKX013K, being an ISO rated diver’s watch, retails for much more than the SKX031K “Submariner”. You could say that the SKX013K is a miniature version of the full-sized SKX007K diver.

 SKX013K2 SKX013K

Top: As you can see, the SKX013K is more like a junior SKX007 diver. This is a true diver’s watch, unlike the SKX031K.



Model Lineup

At present there are only two color variations of the Seiko “Submariner” – the black SKX031K and the dark blue dialed SKX033K with the blue/red “Pepsi” bezel. These two models are Seiko’s continual best-sellers, particular in the Asian market, which explains why after a decade they are still produced by Seiko’s overseas factory in China.

SKX031K2 SKX033K

Above: The SKX031K black “Sub” and its only other sibling, the SKX033K Pepsi “Sub”. Pics from


You may be interested to know that Seiko used to have the “Made in Japan” versions of this watch, also known as the SKX031J. The “J” versions (along with the Pepsi SKX033J) appeared in the mid 1990s but for some reason was later discontinued, leaving only the “K” models in production today.


Skx031J (Medium)

Top: A rarely seen SKX031J. Note the extra dial text “21 Jewels” and “Made in Japan” on the dial.


The Seiko SKX031K and 033K both come in a variety of strap options:

Availability of Seiko “Submariners” on bracelets or rubber straps usually depend on the authorized Seiko dealer’s decision to bring whichever model that they feel is more saleable. From my personal observation, the SKX031K/033Ks on sale in Malaysia usually are fitted with the Oyster-style bracelets. I don’t recall having spotted any that came on the Z-22 rubber strap.



Look and feel

The SKX031K is a rather handsome watch albeit Seiko’s efforts not to make it look too close to the Rolex Submariner. It is exudes both classiness and sportiness and is equally at home at formal functions and for casual outings.

What else can I say? With the SKX031K, you get a taste of the classic Rolex Submariner for a fraction of the price. 🙂

The dial is easy to read and I like the framed index markers which matches the framed calendar window. The white painted second hand ensures good visibility even in the dimmest environment. The screw-in crown is sort of an unorthodox feature for a 100m-rated, sports watch.

Did I already mention that the SKX031K is a sports watch? Although some people refer to it as a “diver”, it’s actually a diver-like sports watch.

SKX031K_1905 (Medium)  SKX031K_1684_resize

Top: Pics of my SKX031K “Submariner” with a lume dial shot on the right

The SKX031K’s form factor falls somewhere in-between a large diver such as the SKX007K (if you could call the 007K large, that is) and a diminutive Seiko 5 dress watch. It is definitely small when compared to the mammoth looking Titanium or Stainless Steel “Samurai” divers and the SBDC001 Sumo certainly dwarfs it.

The watch seats well on my wrist and doesn’t flop around. Its modest thickness of only 11mm makes it easy for you to wear it under long sleeved shirt cuffs.

SKX031K_6175 (Medium) SKX031K_2608 (Medium)

Top: The framed, chromed index markers of the SKX031K makes it extra special (left). Another angle of my Seiko “Submariner” (right), showing the 22mm folded link bracelet.

The Seiko “Sub” dial and hands are coated with medium-grade LumiBrite. It’s about as bright as the SKX007K diver and falls short of the fierce luminosity of the SKX779K Monster. Visibility in the dark is quite acceptable – certainly better than the lume used on basic Seiko 5 models.

What I find a bit odd is that Seiko used "10 Bars" instead of the usual "100m" to denote the watch’s water resistance. Japan Domestic Market (JDM) Seikos typically use Bars instead of meters for their non-diver models. The SKX031K is definitely not a JDM model (although this watch can be found in a few specialty watch stores in Japan) but an international market model. Seiko always uses meters in place of Bars for their non-JDM, non-diver models.

I’m out of educated guesses and can offer no explanation. Only Seiko Japan’s marketing people may be able to shed some light on this strange practice.

The bezel is the bi-directional, 60-click type which means that you can only measure elapsed time to the nearest minute. The bezel rotates with positive clicks, not too loose or firm but unfortunately the markers aren’t aligned precisely. I believe this is a common complaint with the Seiko “Sub”.

It would have been better if Seiko had chosen a uni-directional, 120-graduation bezel instead with a luminous dot on the 12 o’clock triangle marker (in the SKX031K, the marker is unfortunately not lumed) – after all, most of their Seiko 5 Sports 200m models (which are not ISO-rated divers) are endowed with 120-click, single direction bezels.

 48A2-JG bracelet 44G4-BE bracelet

Above: The solid link, 48A2-JG bracelet clasp (left) vs the 44G4-BE‘s clasp fitted to the SKX031K (right)

The factory bracelet is unfortunately the folded link (44G4-BE) type with a simple flip-lock safety catch on the clasp, presumably to cut costs. It’s a shame that considering the Orient 2ER00001B comes with solid links. The mitigating factor is that the 44G4-BE bracelet’s clasp has a good number of micro adjustment holes which makes tweaking to your wrist circumference a snap.

I think it is possible to retrofit the SKX031K’s bracelet with Seiko’s better (48A2-JG) 22mm solid link Oyster bracelet that comes standard with the Seiko SNA225P 7T62 quartz chrono. The end pieces from the 48A2-JG will not fit the SKX031K’s lugs due to different profiling. You’ll have to remove the 48A2-JG’s end piece links and use back the SKX031K’s original end pieces to circumvent this.

However, the downside of the 48A2-JG’s bracelet is that it only has two micro adjustment holes, which makes perfect sizing rather tricky.


SKX031K_0242 (Medium)1106773905

Above: The SKX031K’s screw-in crown up close (left) compared to the Orient 2ER00001B‘s crown (right)


The knurled crown is flanked by a pair of softly beveled crown guards. The guards are not as sharp like the original Rolex Submariner or even the Orient 2ER00001B “Submariner”. For a 100m rated non-diver’s watch, Seiko thoughtfully included a screw-in, locking crown. I’d say that Orient’s "Submariner" has a better looking crown and guards – closer to the Rolex Submariner’s.

I like the SKX031K’s crown – it’s easy to grip and not that fiddly to screw it back in, using the popular “reverse-threading” trick.

The caseback is a rather plain affair, with a highly polished surface with the traditional Seiko “wave” symbol in the center. When I bought the watch, the Seiko protective blue sticker was was glued onto watch and I had a tough time scraping it off. The end result was in lots of minor scratches in the process.

Fortunately since the caseback is a polished, mirror finish, I managed to remove the marks using Autosol, a well-known German-made metal polishing product. It should however be noted that Autosol is a super abrasive compound and should never used on brushed finish surfaces of a watch, e.g. the clasp of a bracelet, which is usually brushed.



Above: The Autosol metal polish works wonders on scratches on smooth, mirror finishes. Do NOT use this on brushed finishes!


It’s worth mentioning that of all the stainless steel backed watches in my collection, the SKX031K sometimes gives me a rash if I wear it for too long without taking it off. I remember reading another SCWF member echoing my sentiments – he experienced the same problem too.

Seiko’s watches are supposed to be made of 316L Grade stainless steel but I wonder if Seiko used an inferior quality stainless steel with unusually high nickel or chromium content for the 7s26-0040 models. Some people are allergic to nickel or chrome on their skin but I’m not sure which element is responsible for the rash on my wrist.



SKX031K Custom Mods

There are not many owners of this watch who mod the SKX031K, compared to 6309-704x and 7s26-0020 divers. I guess like me, most prefer to leave the watch as it is. However, for your personal enjoyment here are some photos of modded SKX031Ks that I’ve collected from the Internet.

Most of the modifications below are subtle, involving a simple swap of watch hands but a few adventurous owners went for all-out dial replacements. Many off-the-shelf parts from the Seiko 7s-caliber family (such as certain Seiko 5 models) can be used in place of the original components.

Third party mod suppliers such as Bill Yao, Noah Fuller and Yobokies can also provide aftermarket custom parts for the SKX031K.


(All photos herein belong to their respective copyright owners)

IMG_0101v (Medium) 1444561519_30831eab89 (Medium)
seikomatic 100_3342 (Medium)
custom-skx-031-2 SKX031-6309
skx031sammi (Medium) pmmm9




As usual with my watch reviews, here are the measurements of the SKX031K:

IMG_4767 (Medium) IMG_4765 (Medium)

Top: Wrist shots of my SKX031K, with the Saturday indicated in a nice bright blue font




Compliments from non-WIS folk

I still find it strange that I get the odd compliment on this humble Rolex Sub-lookalike from my acquaintances, although I’d be happier to wear a "better" watch like my SBDC001 Sumo for example.

Case #1

Sometime in late 2004, I attended an office luncheon with some of my friends. I was wearing the SKX031K at the time. Ironically, the compliment came from a woman, who was a colleague of my friend. I noticed that she was staring at my SKX031K for about 30 seconds until she finally spoke up.

What’s that watch that you’re wearing? It looks very nice! Could I see it a bit closer?”

It took me several seconds to regain my composure and sheepishly showed her the Seiko “Submariner”. Perhaps she had mistaken it for that world famous Swiss marque that starts with an “R” and ends with an “x”. 🙂

It’s not what you think it is – it’s actually a cheap Seiko automatic watch, really!”, I stammered in embarrassment.

She looked at it for a little while and said, “Well, that IS a very nice looking watch that you’re wearing. I really thought it was a Rolex!”

Bingo! Just what I had anticipated what she was thinking. 🙂

I jested, “Are you thinking of buying one like this for your boyfriend or for yourself? I bet it’ll look good on your wrist too!” Now it was her turn to feel embarrassed so she said nothing more. 😉

Case #2

Another real life experience was very recently, when I happened to be wearing my SKX031K "Submariner". A new acquaintance of mine, who is an entertainment industry lawyer by profession regularly goes to the same local Starbucks joint that I do. We’d be there four times a week at night, bringing our laptops along to do our work sitting at separate tables.

When he had finished his work, he would usually come over to my table and have a chat with me. My friend knows that I’m into watches and he had seen me wear a different watch each time. However, he’s not much of a "watch person" and didn’t seem to be the least interested in my watches.

It struck me as odd when he saw the Seiko "Submariner" that he appeared to be more interested in what I was wearing. I took it off my wrist and showed it to him – "This is what we call the Seiko Submariner". He expressed surprise, saying that he initially thought it was a Rolex Submariner.

I took the opportunity to show him the hordes of SKX031K photos I had in my laptop and told him that it was a homage watch. He asked me how much it cost and his eyes widened slightly in amazement when I told him how much I paid for it. Obviously it was much less than he had expected.


I find this watch interesting as it serves well as a daily beater or the occasional wristwear. Although I don’t wear the SKX031K as often as I do nowadays but it’s a keeper for me. Would I buy this watch again? Yes, unreservedly.

When I think about it, you don’t actually need a real Rolex Submariner to draw attention towards you when a humble USD115 Seiko also does the same job – and it’s not even a fake watch! 😉

The fact that the SKX031K is still in production after a decade since its first introduction attests to the popularity and continual demand for this homage Rolex Submariner, especially in Southeast Asian markets. If there’s something I noticed about the Seiko company, if they’ve struck gold with a particular model they’ll continue to produce it as long as there is sufficient, on-going demand.

I guess the SKX031K will go down in history as one of the "evergreen" Seiko m odels ever produced and I’m glad I own one. 🙂


Above: This is probably the best looking and flattering photo of a SKX031K I’ve seen so far. (Borrowed picture)


What I liked:

What I didn’t care for:

Quartzimodo’s Rating

Price: 4star
Looks: 4star
Build quality: 3star
Features: 3star
Value for money: 4star
Overall: 4star
Technorati Tags: ,SKX031K,,,7s26,

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Wow, great depth and a model review. I’ve just been looking harder at this watch the last few days. My SKX009 is very well made, and looks great, but it is top-heavy on my wrist (very tippy) and won’t fit under shirt cuffs, which basically makes it a non-work watch. The 031 is more Invicta 8926-sized, and that watch fits fine under cuffs. Like you, I am disappointed that it does not come with a solid bracelet, though on the low end Seiko often skimps on bracelets compared to several other makers. My other disappointment is that internet prices are a bit high, the only option for us Americans. I bought my ISO rated 009 for less than I can get an 031.

Hello cgrif,

Thanks for your comments. The 7s26-0020 divers like your SKX009K is obviously a “function-over-form” design therefore sits high on the wrist. It tends to tip over unless you wear the bracelet or strap really snug.

I wholly agree with you that the SKX031K should’ve been fitted with a solid Oyster bracelet in the first place. Seiko could have easily done it and I guess it was aiming for the low income, mass target group and not watch enthusiasts – so cost cutting was in order.

You can try to bid from the renowned eBay grey market vendors like Pokemonyu and Premierworld – if you persevere you’ll win the SKX031K at the price that you want. 🙂


Hi Quartzimodo:
Thanks for the very informative & interesting review. On a rare business trip,about 2 weeks ago I visited the Mustafa Centre in Singapore with the aim of buying the 031 but unfortunately it was out of stock. The 023 was available but I find it a tad too small and ended up with the 033 (pepsi version of the 031). Then just a couple of days ago I went to the shops in Pertama Complex, KL (TQ, again to your posts)and found that one of the shops had the 023 & 033 but was out of the 031 as well. So, any suggestions where I can get a 031 in KL or PJ ? Contrary to what I read in the internet, prices of these models of Seiko are quite reasonable in Malaysia compared to those in Singapore. That trip south was really quite unnecessary.

Hi Chan,

Thank you for your comments. The fact that you missed out buying the SKX031K “Sub” at the Mustafa department store either meant that it was a perpetual best seller or there just wasn’t enough stock to go around.

You’re likely to find the SKX031K at the older watch stores in KL and PJ. Newer stores usually don’t bother to carry models like the 031K and its counterparts.

I might suggest that you try to look for it at Syarikat Jam Waktu, located in Sungei Way Subang, off the Federal Highway or any of the watch stores in the PJ New Town/Old Town areas.

If all else fails, bid on the eBay stores I mentioned in my post above.

Hope this helps. 🙂


Thanks, any chance of finding the Orient submariner here ? Just retired my folex sub which I bought in HK about 4 years ago & which had been my daily beater. The accuracy was about 5 secs per day and it could be hacked, all for about HK320.

Hi Chan,

Yes, the Orient 2ER00001B may be found at some older watch stores in the Old Town part of PJ that are Orient dealers. You can also check out Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur. The black Orient “Sub” is pretty hard to find compared to its blue dialed counterpart. Maybe the black one is more popular.

Years ago I was told by a watch dealer that the Orient company was ticked off by the Malaysian Rolex distributor (Woo Hing) for allegedly copyright infringement but it could have been mere hearsay.

That said, the Orient’s lume is pretty weak compared to the Seiko SKX031K’s lume.

Happy hunting!



Is there any way to find out if my Seiko 7S26-0040 is a faked Seiko? Everything looks perfect in my watch but it only last about 14 hrs if I do not wear it and put it on the table. Does not the automatic movement suppossed to last aver 32 hrs when not in use?

Where can I sent it for inspection or perhaps repair if it is a real Seiko.

R Tazzi

Hi Mr Tazzi,

I cannot tell if your watch is a fake unless you send me pictures of your watch. (Use the “Ask Quartzimodo” contact Form to email me. For anti-spam reasons, I don’t publish my email address in my blog).

If your Seiko Submariner is a genuine one, I think your main spring is faulty – it may have got tangled up somehow. This may explain why your power reserve is low (I assume that you wear your watch at least 8 hours a day) about 14 hours only.

Send it to the nearest Seiko repair center in your country OR have it inspected by a professional watch repairman who is familiar with Seiko 7s automatics.

Good luck!


Hi Quartzimodo!
Thanks for great review! I am looking for watches like this. I like also Seiko Monster but this seems too big for me and I feel that SKX031K is good compromise for me. Design of the Monster is excellent and I also like its great lume which can last through whole night.
Do you have an idea whether lume on SKX031K will last this long too? I am not sure if Seiko used the same grade of Lumibrite for both watches.


Hi Adam,

Thank you for your comments. 🙂 Actually the Monster is no longer a large watch by today’s standards as Seiko has started a trend producing oversized diver’s watches. lol.

The SKX031K’s lume is the same type used on the SKX007K divers, only there’s less of it applied onto the index markers. The lume will last through the night, except that it wouldn’t be as visible as the lume on the Monster (or Sawtooth) models.

To answer your question, the Monster’s lume is more sensitive and glows brighter.

Have a great X’mas and Happy Holidays! 🙂


Hi Quartzimodo,

thanks a lot for your answer. Is the difference between Monster and SKX031K due to larger area of lume paint on Monster or rather due to thickness of the paint?

Brightness of the lume is not issue for me. I just want to be able to see whats time even in early morning. So it neednt to be bright but at least legible.

What you mean by “more sensitive”?


Hi Adam,

The Monster has thicker index markers than the Submariner therefore there’s more lume material per square inch. Paint thickness does affect the luminosity too but normally watch manufacturers regulate the thickness of the lume paint.

The Seiko Submariner is technically not a diver’s watch but a sports watch (unlike the Rolex Sub). The hands and dial markers are legible throughout the night but are not as bright as the Monster’s.

Seiko has two grades of LumiBrite – the standard white lume which gives of a deep greenish glow and the higher specc’ed one with the off-white, creamy hue.

The higher grade lume is used on Monsters, Sawtooth, Knight, the SBCB and SBDC-series Prospex divers. This lume is much more sensitive to light, which means you don’t need very strong light to charge the lume, compared to the other type of lume.

Hope this explains to your satisfaction. 🙂


Hi Quartzimodo,

thanks for excellent explanation! I understand now that Seiko puts better lume grade into its diver watches which have more robust build. However “semi-diver” lume should also be OK for me.
Do you have experience with Citizen’s lume? Is that comparable with Seiko’s? Citizen also have some nice pieces with good movement which I like.



Hi Adam,

Citizen uses two types of lume – the older green type (weak and dim) and the new blue superluminova type, on their new Eco Drive models (including divers).

The blue lume initially isn’t as bright as Seiko’s Monster-type lume, but they fade more gradually than Seiko’s LumiBrite.

Actually, there’s no hard-and-fast rule as to Seiko’s choice of their better grade LumiBrite. The stainless steel and Ti Samurais are considered “robust divers” but they’re not endowed with the Monster-like lume.

Yet, some of the latest Seiko 5 Sports 100m watches, which are not true divers come with the brighter lume. Go figure! 😉

Happy New Year to you, sir!


Hi Quartzimodo,

thanks again for your answer. Where did you figured out information about lume paint? I am not able to find anything on this for individual Seiko models.



Hi Adam,

I spent five years collecting watches and being in the SCWF forum. The subject of lume does come up from time to time. 🙂

One thing you must know about LumiBrite – it should last a lifetime provided that the dial and hands are never exposed to moisture or water.


Hi Quartzimodo,

Great and very useful reviews at all.

How is your wrist size actually?
I want to order one of the models I liked (skx171, skx013, skx031, skx023, and maybe szng45 : )
The problem is, I don’t want my watch to be oversized and my wrist is not large at all : )
So, your answer would be very helpful to me.



Hi Ernest,

My wrist is approximately 6.5″ in circumference, a rather common size by Malaysian standards. I can tell you that the SKX171K is of “medium proportions” if you compare it to the even larger Seiko divers (like the SBDC00x “Sumo” diver) or the trendy fashion watches from Nautica and Guess.

You should have no trouble with any of the 7s26-002x diver family, which the SKX171K is a member of. They’re all of the same dimensions.

Happy buying! 🙂


Just discovered your site – very informative 🙂

I wonder if you can go swimming with these non-ISO rated sports watches?


Yes, Calvin – you can go swimming and snorkeling with the Seiko Submariner. Don’t wear it for scuba diving though as the watch wasn’t meant for such activities. 🙂


I know that you’re a big Seiko fan, but which is actually a better made watch? The SKX031 or the Orient Submariner

BTW, I managed to get an SKX009J on Rubber for less than RM650!!!

Hi Ramzi,

I am a big Seiko fan but I also have two Orient world timer automatics too. 🙂 I would say overall both the Seiko SKX031K and the Orient CEM2ER00001B Submariner are on equal terms. The Orient Sub is much closer in styling to the Rolex Sub while the SKX031K has its own distinct flavor.

When the luminosity of both watches are compared, the SKX031K Sub wins hands down. Accuracy-wise, some people say that Orient automatics are slightly more accurate out of the box, compared to the 7s26 used in the SKX031K.

Hey, congrats on your Pepsi SKX009J. That’s a fair price to pay for the “J” version. 🙂


Quartzimodo Admin

I found both the black Orient submariner (21jewels)and the black Seiko SKX031 (23 jewels) in Ipoh! Now I dunno which one to buy!

The Orient Submariner that I saw looked SMALLER compared to the Seiko. Hmm… was wondering if there is something wrong witht the size? These things come in various sizes for our local market?

Hi Wochomi,

The black Orient sub is generally harder to find than the Seiko SKX031K (it actually has 21 jewels, not 23 as it’s a 7s26 powered movement), if you like both I’d recommend that you get the Orient first and the SKX031K later. AFAIK, the Orient Submariner (model # 2ER00001B) comes in only one standard size. It’s a homage to the original Rolex Sub and if you’ve ever see one, you’ll find that the Rolex isn’t really that large at all.

However, the SKX031K’s hands and dial are brighter in the dark than the Orient so if luminosity is a deciding factor for you, get the SKX031K instead.

Happy buying! 🙂


Hi Quartzimodo mate,
wow I am amazed how well are the watch reviews you made, well done maty and keep it going! 😀

btw, so for the diameter w/o crown, skx31> 2ER00001B = rolex sub?

And can you do a 2ER00001B review? thanks

Hi quartzimodo,

Is the watch size SKX31> Orient sub = Rolex sub then?

can you do a orient sub review?

Really love your reviews keep it going well done!

Hi Kevin,

Unfortunately I don’t own the Orient Sub but my long time friend, Eddie (pictured on the left in my gravatar) has one. I’d have to borrow his Orient Submariner in order to do an in-depth review. 🙂


I have that black dialled orient submariner for 6 years now. It has never left my hand since the day I got it. However i have change the bracelet to a nato strap because the bracelet is too flimsy and uncomfortable. The clasp even pinched my skin.

The accuracy have been amazing, at least for me. It gains 3 minutes every two month,which is acceptable as I have to change the date every two months and re-adjust the time while I’m at it.

I’d say if you want to buy this watch, go for it. Sadly for me, I’m so in love with big seiko divers watch but I can’t buy them because I’m a one-watch-one-time guy. Therefore, I have to wait for (maybe another 15 years?) my orient submariner to die before I can get my hands on those seiko divers.

Hi farid,

I hope you won’t mind my interjecting. The problem is that fifteen years is too long to wait. Nobody knows when Seiko will discontinue the watch that you like. Watches are not like technological devices (the longer you wait, the better and cheaper the future models will be). For example, in 1996 analog 8mm and VHS-C tapes were the reigning standards for consumer video cameras. These days videocams use DVD-R, DVD-RAM, hard disk and SD/Memory Stick Pro Duo card media and have gotten smaller, cheaper and have better features like full HD resolution.

If you’re shopping for a videocam, it’s unlikely that you’ll buy a used Sony Handicam from 1998. Watches are in fact, the total opposite. It’s not necessarily that a 2009 model Seiko would be better than one that’s from the 1970s. 🙂

That is quite true with what you said. Maybe one day the black monster will cease from productions and will turn out to be like the legendary 6309. Oh man, you are really good with your words to let me buy one,lol.

Anyhow, my last time visit to the watch shop has been dissapointing, looking back at the latest design from seiko. Most of them are like “designer’s watch” and they fail to amaze me. The only one that caught my eyes were some of the automatic divers from seiko and citizen. I guess if I didn’t grab them now, I might not be able to have them forever.

I really like your blogs and your style of review writing. By the way, do you have anything against orient? I can’t find any review on orient watches from you. Let me know why. Thanks for replying.

Hi Farid,

Not true that I have anything against Orient. They’re great watches, but I like Seiko’s styling better. In fact, I also own two Orients myself, but I only chose Orient’s Caliber 46 automatic world timer models. Since the long discontinued 6117 and 6217 world timer calibers of the 1970s, Seiko has never made mechanical world time watches. You can find radio controlled, quartz and Kinetic Seiko world timers, but not automatics.

I’ll do the reviews of my Orients, but not that soon.

Thanks for your compliments, appreciate it. 🙂

I’ve got one of the smaller of these Seiko Submariners, and while I am impressed with the look and feel of the watch (i wear it more than any other watch in my collection) it is really not the most durable as during a pool volleyball game the pin shot away from the bracelet, and I was left without a watch while vacationing in Margarita. Needless to say I had no choice but to snag a G-shock at the nearest mall, till I could get home to repair the little bugger.
Fantastic watch though, looks a lot more expensive than it is, bracelet is a bit cheap and not tough but looks great with a suit.

Any thoughts on the Invicta 8926c? I am interested in it, but after experiencing the phenomenal lume on my Seiko, and seeing that large Invicta engraving on the side of the casing, I am having second thoughts.

Hi Val,

The Seiko SKX031K was one of Seiko’s value-for-money gems but the company has decided to discontinue this model. It’s not often for a 100m water resistant sports watch that a locking or screw-down crown is fitted as one of its features. You can actually upgrade your Submariner by retrofitting the original hollow-link Oyster bracelet with the solid end link Super Oyster I bracelets from William Jean on eBay.

I bought one from him for my SKX031K and it’s like upgrading your car’s factory fitted steel rims with aftermarket aluminum alloy wheel – you won’t want to revert to the original wheels. 🙂

As for Invicta watches, some people like them but Invicta has been known for ripping off some Seiko watch designs (notably the Monster divers and the Seiko SNA225P alarm chronograph models). Generally Seiko enthusiasts like poke fun at Invicta in the watch forums. I’m not a fan of Invicta watches, therefore I never took any interest in this brand.


Hi, I had a seiko skx413, orange face in the old days in the caribbean, and I can’t find a replacement. Anyone know how to find one or maybe more realistic can I get a black face and replace it with the orange face and silver bezel?

Hi transpac,

Your SKX413K is a rare model. It’s not marketed under the Seiko 5 line (otherwise you’ll see the “5” logo on the dial) and is a 100m W.R. sports watch with a diver’s watch styling. You can try contacting Coserv at It’s Seiko USA’s service center which is located at Mahwah, New Jersey. They won’t sell replacement parts directly to the end customer but you can check with them if they have the Part No. 1624XY13 which refers to the orange dial. It’s best that you send your watch to an authorized Seiko dealer and have him order the dial for you.


Hi quartzimodo,

Got my pre-owned 031 sub and its a J, u know, w/ extra details in dial “21 JEWELS” and “MADE IN JAPAN”. Love it. Been hunting for it in the on-line pre-owned sellers for weeks. Also considering 007 but 031’s my 1st option.

Thanks for this reviews, got me known details on how to detect w/c are fakes and legit. TY

Hi George,

Congratulations! The SKX031K and SKX031J “Submariners” have been discontinued, with the made-in-Japan “J” version being pulled off the market many years earlier. IMO, there were more “K” versions made than the “J” ones, therefore you have a rare SKX031 with you. I’ve seen very, very few examples of the SKX031J while photos of the “K” version are plentiful. Your watch is likely to have been made between 1996 and 2000.


Q. you, sir, are clearly THE authority! I read your articles and remain miff’ed dating my watch. Hope you can help. 🙂

As I recall I received it in the mid to late ’60’s but…I suspect you can confirm or deny my recollection.

The watch is a DX 17 Jewels, Automatic, day, date, Model 6106-8207 SN: 0071120, with a dark green dial. There’s also a SMALL alpha-numeric code to the left and right of the “6” marker on the dial that reads “JAPAN 6106 -8239T. I guess that’s the dial’s ID.

Hi Quartzimodo,

Yeah, it’s kinda old with visible scratches and looks as if not cleaned for decades. Planning to buy new bezel and insert in Seiko. The bracelet is not the original oyster,its a jubilee. will also replace it w/ Nato.


Hi George,

Thanks for that bit of information! I had suspected the earlier SKX031J Subs had 22mm Jubilee bracelets fitted at the factory, but have never seen an example with the Jubilee. Scratches can be fixed if they’re not too deep. All you need is some Autosol automobile chrome polish and and polishing cloth. My own SKX031K had the blue sticker on its caseback which had set in. In the process of removing the sticker with my fingernail, I scratched its surface. I used Autosol and three days later (with careful, vigorous rubbing) I managed to remove all the scratches. 🙂


Hi Q!

Wow, great to know that those scratches can still be fixed w/ that Autosol thing. Will find one as well soon. So maybe that jubilee bracelet is the orig one huh, but will likely replace it since its kinda messy, very old. A black NATO I think will best fit in the sub.

Many thanks again Quartzi man!!

[…] (though i think this has been discontinued too). — it crossed my mind while typing up the Urchin Seiko SKX031K “Submariner” review again, it banks on the Submariner design. the Mako might break a sweat with these two… bracelet […]

[…] bezel. Before it was discontinued, Quartzimodo posted an excellent review of the Seiko Submariner here Price is $255 paypal shipped. If you've been looking for one of these, you'd know this is a great […]

Thanks for the very nice review.
I got my SKX033K2 after reading them and moded with Yobokies’ Mercedes hands / sapphire crystal and William Jean’s Super Oyster.

Hi Joel,

That’s great news. The SKX033K is the Pepsi bezeled version of the classic, black dialed and bezeled SKX031K and both have been discontinued. You’re lucky to find one and retrofit their original hands with the aftermarket ones from Yobokies (aka Harold Ng). William Jean’s Super Oysters are a godsend. Once you’re used to them, you’ll never want to revert to the original, cheaply made hollow link, Oyster bracelets.

In case you’re wondering, Seiko does not make bracelets. Instead it outsources them to the Stelux Company from Hong Kong and this arrangement has been in place since the 1960s. Seiko has a close partnership with Stelux. I’ve never really asked William which factory makes his custom Super Oysters, but I won’t be surprised if Stelux actually made them. 🙂

enjoy your SKX033K in good health!

Good Day!

I just bought a SKX013k2 seiko divers 200m
Q1: What year is made? (SN:145053)
Q2: Is this a scratch resistant?
Q3: Is this ok the model?


Hi Reynan,

I’m not sure if the SKX013K diver is still on production therefore there are two possibilities: your watch could either be from April 2011 or 2001.

The only way to be sure is to open up the caseback and look at the oscillating weight. If it’s marked as “7S26A” then its an old stock from 2001. If it says “7S26B” then your watch is from 2011.

There are no watches that are scratch resistant, so avoid scraping your watch against metal or concrete surfaces like pillars. The watch’s crystal is made from mineral glass and can be scratched if you’re not careful.

Yes, this is a good Seiko diver but it’s more of a boy’s size.

Enjoy your new diver in good health!

I’ve been searching for long for a new light watersports/dive watch, considered the rolex submariner but opted for its homage Seiko 031K2 for a simple reason: Aviators in cross country flying competitions, rather like rally cars, need to be able to mark forward expected arrival times for specific spots, which calls for a BI-directional function, as micro changes (+- 1 to 4 minutes)are frequently done. An additional feature that is worth goldust to aviators wishing this function. As far as I believe, most dive watches have exclusively uni-directional Bezels. Question please, what does the 2 in 031K2 stand for? Cheers

this is obviously a SKX013K but have you got any idea who the hands are made by? Who manufactures these gorgeous hands?
Secondly, if I found these hands, do you know someone reliable who would modifiy my SKX013K for me?

Hi Graeme,

The Seiko watch as seen on the Flickr page is actually the SKX031K “Submariner” and not the SKX013K, which is a 200m boys’ sized ISO certified diver’s watch. I’ve never seen those custom made hands before, therefore I don’t know who makes or sells them. You’ll have to ask the person who photographed that customized SKX031K.

Any watch dealer with experience in repairing automatic watches and changing dials and hands should be able to swap the hands, if you’re able to get those custom hands in the first place. While the procedure to replace watch hands isn’t that complicated, the watch repairer/technician should be meticulous in fitting and aligning the hour and minute hands so that they point to the dial hour markers properly. Good luck! 🙂


GREAT review! everything I wanted to know about this watch in a nutshell! Bravo! I must know…I love the mod with the green dial with arabic numerals! What model watch did that dial come from? Thanks in advance.

Hi Liz Moore,

Thanks for the comments and I truly apologize for the late reply.

I browsed through my entire private image collection of Seiko watches and could not find a Seiko 5 with that exact dial as in the picture. I found several look-alikes (green dial, military style hour index) but not the actual one. I finally did an image reverse search and managed to locate the source where I got the modified green Submariner from. Note that the owner himself who posted the article couldn’t identify the original model where it came from.

Since the post was made on May 2004, the Seiko 5 watch would have been an earlier model; perhaps from the late 1990s or early 2000s. There are other similar dials to that watch, e.g. the Seiko 5 SNX237K, SNK379K, SNX807K to name a few. The three models I mentioned are most likely to have been discontinued.


what is the model that supplied the green dial with arabic markers for one of the mods? thanks


Whilst window shopping at an old mall here in melaka, came across an NOS seiko sub 7s26 0050 K version (which i understand is the smaller version). Ask for the price after discount RM530. Check in the internet there’s one used J version for sale for RM400(all original except the bezel).

From a collectors point of view, which one would you buy?

Hope you can revert soon.

Thanks and Regards.

Hi Steven,

I would suggest that you buy the NOS piece rather than a “J” variant which had its bezel replaced (especially with an aftermarket one). The SKX023K/025K isn’t exactly that popular as it’s a mid-sized watch and it isn’t a true diver’s model either. The “J” moniker carries no value from the collector’s standpoint.

However, it surprised me to learn that the shop is asking RM530 for it because I once bought the Pepsi version (SKX025K) as a gift for just RM360 back in 2004. If it’s a truly NOS piece from that era, the retailer is making way too much profit, IMO. This watch comes with a cheap folded link bracelet (if not a 20mm rubber strap) and the average market price should be less than RM400.

I have no idea if the 7s26-0050 models have officially been discontinued but they are indeed hard to find these days. If you’re still aiming for this watch, don’t make any signs that you’re desperate to get that model as it would be to the seller’s advantage. 🙂

good luck!

Hi quartzimodo, great blog, great articles. I enjoyed reading through your articles, and when searching for some information on watches, your blog comes up over and over again on google.

I’d like to ask, since your ‘contact me’ form isn’t working, what do you think of the recent seiko solars? I currently have a Casio tough solar, but next watch thinking of either the seiko solar or a citizen ecodrive. I’d like to see your opinion on those two

Hello Ian,

Thanks for the compliments. 🙂 I took down the original contact form because once the plug-in interfered with with my blog’s performance, but will look into reinstating it.

Seiko has had its share of solar powered, analog watches before but they weren’t really selling compared to their regular quartz and Kinetic models. While they were pushing their Kinetic watches to the market, Seiko’s competitor – Citizen quickly dominated the light powered watch market with their ultra-successful Eco Drive technology. Two years ago, I was surprised to learn that Seiko made a sudden comeback with a slew of not just totally new solar models but totally new V-series solar powered calibers too.

For the first time, Seiko came out with solar powered models that offer a chronograph (Cal V175) and an alarm-chronograph (Cal V172) function. Citizen has long been making Eco Drive models with both a stopwatch and alarm function (e.g. the Promaster E210) with a good track record, so they’re probably not worried of Seiko’s reentry into the solar watch market.

I like two models from the Seiko Solar series; in particular the military styled, SSC137P and the SSC017P 200m diver but haven’t decided to buy either watch. In terms of durability in long term ownership, it’s too early to tell how reliable the solar panels that Seiko uses. Generally solar panels in watches should last for two decades before they may need replacing due to age.

Whether you’d go for a Seiko Solar or a Citizen Eco Drive should depend on your preference of the watch design and features rather than their underlying watch technologies. I have five Citizen Eco Drives myself and I chose them based on their looks and styling. My oldest manufactured Eco Drive is the limited edition, Promaster Tough 4×4 (the Asian variant of the little known Citizen Mission Antarctica) and it stopped working recently after 13 years. I haven’t sent it to the Citizen service center yet but I’m quite certain its rechargeable battery has reached its end of life.

hope this helps,


I had considered the rechargeable batts in the solar watches but did not consider the solar panel lifespan itself – I should have known this myself since I once considered using some solar panels for a home project but decided against it because it the lifespan of the panels did not seem to justify it!! And here I am not thinking about it in watches!

Thanks for reminding me about it and I have take it into consideration as well.

For me, the prospect of a virtually maintenance free watch would be great. Based on my experience with my Casio’s Tough Solar, I have been pretty impressed, as no matter how I store it (in the open) or wear it the charge is always on high and because of this I am pretty much sold on solar tech (this was of course, before I thought to consider the panel life on them), which is why I am looking forward to a solar Seiko or Citizen. I guess solar is one criteria for me, I have actually passed on quartz watches I really, really, liked that required battery changes.

Hi Ian,

I’m not sure whether we can directly compare the solar panels used in watches as opposed to household or industrial grade solar panels in terms of heat resistance. Quartz watches don’t react well to sustained exposure to high temperatures therefore it might be prudent not to allow any solar watch to bake in direct sunlight. There’s also the built-in rechargeable battery inside the watch which itself can deteriorate if its internal temperatures get really hot.

From my experience, it’s much safer to recharge a solar watch under a reasonably bright fluorescent table lamp overnight rather than placing it on the window sill in the mid-morning sun (heat is the real issue here). You don’t have to worry about over-charging as modern solar watches have built-in overcharge prevention. On the subject of solar panel lifespan, this is very seldom discussed in watch forums as nobody has related their long term experience with their solar powered timepieces to the point they had to replace the solar panels. It’s assumed that 20 years would be the minimum lifespan for Citizen Eco Drive solar panels and the internal battery would be the first component to fail before the solar panels do. 🙂

Good luck with your decision! 🙂

I feel as if I’m a decade behind in discovering your WISdom, Quartzi.

I’m a Malaysian that’s been residing out of the country for over 2 decades and definitely be interested in buying this Seiko “Sub” when I come home for a visit next year.

Any Seiko authorized dealer you know of that still carry this model in KL, saudara? Terima Kasih!

Hi Jeff,

Glad to know that someone appreciates the Seiko SKX031K Submariner but I’m afraid you’re several years’ too late to get a brand new one. 🙁

It is plausible that you’ll find a NOS (New Old Stock) piece lying unsold somewhere in some old watch store in Kuala Lumpur, but I don’t know which shop has still one. The SKX031K is a great looking and affordable watch that even non-WIS folk are attracted to it. There are several old watch stores along the Jalan Ipoh/Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman intersection where everyday passers, including bargain hunters such as immigrant workers from countries like Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh throng daily. When you consider tourists and back-packers browsing such retailers as well, chances are these authorized dealers would have sold their last pieces of the SKX031K ages ago.

You could go on a serious watch hunt for the SKX031K all over Malaysia, hopping from one small town to another – but are you willing to go through such an extreme measure? Watch dealers aren’t like car dealerships where they will try to clear their unsold stock by advertising or by word of mouth. I’ve visited random watch retailers in Singapore (including the huge Mustafa department store), Kota Kinabalu and Penang in the past few years and did not find the SKX031K either. You’ll have to be extremely lucky in order to walk into a watch store and find one for sale. 🙂


Apa khabar, saudara? Terima kasih banyak banyak for sharing your WISdom with me. I stumbled upon an Invicta 8926OB with a (Seiko?)NH35A movement yesterday and couldn’t resist the urge to pull the trigger.

I know….I know what you’d probably think of Invicta with its bogus Swiss horological heritage and many passed shortcomings but it looks so pretty with its Mercedes hour hand, the bling polished centre link, the oversized crown(on steroid), the close resemblance to the genuine “Sub”, the exhibition case back and the irresistible price point, of course.

For a serious WIS like you who travels all over the country to enrich your WISdom, you’d probably not succumbed to such temptation; but there’s still hope for me because the consumers have special rights to return his/her purchase more than 60 days, for a full refund – Christmas shopping return policy in North America.

In any case, I might still go for a Seiko SNZF17 even though it’s not a true dive watch, when I come home for a visit. There are a few Seikos that I’m thinking of buying which are SSC019 and SSC011. Please advise on the abovementioned diver styled watch and Seiko’s acquired solar technology.

Hi Jeff,

One of the reasons that the Invicta brand has a poor reputation is not because the company makes bad watches, but for its lack of originality. Once upon a time, Invicta even copied the Seiko Monster’s design which drew laughter from the Seiko collector community. I mean, it wouldn’t be so bad if Invicta made homage watches that looked like the Omega Planet Ocean divers, but the affordable SKX781K Orange Monster? It boggles the mind! 🙂

Seiko has never allowed its movements to be used by third party competitors, unless the brand has a special relationship with Seiko. Therefore the NH35A movement that the Invicta uses is definitely not from Seiko. Citizen’s Miyota company however, does sell some of its movements to other watch manufacturers. That said, the only two watch brands that are not affiliated with the Seiko company are the French based Yema and the J. Springs brands. Sometime in 2004, as ugly as they seem the Yema “Seaspider” diver’s watch was actually sought after by some Seiko collectors. This was only because the Seaspider was using Seiko’s excellent (and sadly discontinued) 4S15 hi-beat, hand-winding and hacking automatic movement. It’s like the South Korean Ssanyong automobile company which borrowed Mercedes Benz’ engine and transmission for a few of its models. e.g. the Mercedes S class-like, Chairman luxury sedan and the Ssanyong Musso SUV. They may not be as prestigious as the real Mercedes cars they’re modeled after but hey, at least there’s the dependable and robust Merc engine and geartrain inside them! 😉

That said, there’s no harm in trying out the Invita “Submariner” watch, if you really like its design. There are a number of Invicta fans out there and one or two watch forums dedicated to the Invicta brand.

The new Seiko Solar models are improved versions of Seiko’s earlier solar powered analog watches introduced in the late 1990s, with totally new calibers. I first caught sight of the V145 caliber, SSC017P and 019P models at Singapore’s Thong Sia showroom two years ago but only purchased the SSC017P recently. Although Citizen has been making Eco-Drive chronograph watches for years, Seiko’s SSC017P is one of its first solar powered, 200m true diver’s analog watch with a chronograph. Unlike the battery powered, 7T92 chronograph with a 12-hour measurement, the V145 is only useful for timing short periods up to an hour, just like the 7T62 alarm-chronograph models. Nevertheless the V145 makes up for it with a 24-hour AM/PM subdial although it is fixed to the main time and cannot be set independently to another time zone.

The white dialed SSC011P on the other hand, has the totally different V172 alarm-chronograph caliber. I find it odd that Seiko decided to use the same model prefix for a different caliber because traditionally they use the first three or four letters to denote a specific movement or caliber. In any case, the V172 is the solar version of the battery powered 7T62 with the same alarm-chronograph functions.

I quite like the Seiko Solar models, really as it means I won’t have to change the battery every 3 years or so. Once you start collecting Seiko quartz watches in a big way, you’ll be spared of the time, effort and cost of replacing their batteries. 🙂


This page is great and I very much appreciate it. I have a model 7S26-0040 which gets more attention than my TAG.
Anyway, I am hard on my watch band and I need a new one. I have searched Amazon, Ebay and other sites for this particular model with the 44g4 BE and nothing comes up. Am I over thinking this or what? Do I need just a 22MM curved Seiko band?
Thank you.

Hi Bruce,

Generally your nearest Seiko service center should be able to source the the original 44G4-BE stainless steel band for your watch. If they don’t have one in stock, they’ll order one from Seiko Japan and that could take months. Watch dealers usually don’t stock on replacement bands as these are very slow selling items.

Have you considered a better alternative to the OEM watch strap? A few years ago, I ordered the Type I solid linked Oyster band for my SKX031K Submariner from my friend William Jean. He is based in Canada and runs an eBay store here. It fits the watch like a glove and is a superb replacement for the cheap feeling 44G4-BE. Personally, I never liked Seiko’s 44G4-BE as it tended to snag on my wrist’s hair (we call this a “hair puller”) and its steel content contained impurities that sometimes caused rashes on my skin.

Here’s a good review of the Type II Oyster band written by a WIS friend of mine, Gabriel W. I also bought the same bracelet for one of my SKX007J’s (Note: Type II is unsuitable for the SKX031K; the Type I however is) and it feels better than the Seiko 48A2-JG bracelet I originally had. William Jean’s replacement Type I Oyster might be a bit more expensive, but it’s worth every penny IMO. 🙂

hope this helps,

Your detailed explanation and invaluable personal opinion on the Invicta “Sub” without being judgmental is greatly appreciated, Quartzimodo.

I must pay you a sincere compliment that you’re not a WIS snob that I normally read about from the typical WWW watch enthusiast communities.

To be frank with you(even though deep down inside, I know that I’m still Jeff) what impresses me with the 8926OB was the vintage lines of a classic dive watch, 120 clicks bezel, the hacking and hand winding feature of the TMI(whatever that stands for?) NH350A movement. I’m not really into chuncky watches, bling factor with the highly polished centre link of the bracelet nor supposedly macho oversized crown.

I still can accept the fact that Seiko SNZF17 is not a true dive watch because I’m not a diver – the non-screw down crown was not a matter, really. As a matter of fact, I like the well defined 12 o’clock marker of the SNZF17 more than the blobby SKX031’s.

I’m truly grateful that you took valuable time out of your day to educate me of your WISdom on Seiko’s latest solar technology. I feel so much more enlightened now!

Since, you’re a serious collector of Seiko watches, you might be interested in checking out an interesting vintage piece under the following link:


Hi Jeff,

Thank you for the kind words. Watches are highly personalized accessories to the owner and I don’t judge people if they choose to wear a Rolex or a Nautica boutique watch on their wrist. 🙂 However, I’d probably roll my eyes if someone proudly shows me they’re wearing a fake or a replica watch, lol. If you like the Invicta 8926OB, just order one and see if it’s a keeper. If not, you have a grace period to return it to the seller, which is a consumer’s privilege not practiced by Asian brick-and-mortar merchants. If you buy something here and get the case of buyer’s remorse, you’re stuck with the item. 🙁

The days when some 100m Seiko watches were fitted with screw-down crowns are over. The SKX031K Sub is a rare exception and so are some models like the SKS197P Seiko chronograph (Cal V657) which I own both. They’re unique as they had locking crowns – an unusual feature in a 100m W.R. Seiko watch. Today, only 200m Seiko 5 Sports automatics and have screw-down crowns, including true diver’s models. See my old article on water resistance, if you haven’t read it already. 🙂

BTW, the “Seiko” watch in the commercial sales link which you provided doesn’t appear to be genuine Seiko model. Bona fide collectors won’t even touch that one with a ten foot pole! I’ve never seen a Seiko dial like that and to my best knowledge, Seiko has never tried to copy the Rolex Submariner to a tee, that even the fonts on the rotating bezel are too exact to the real Rolex Sub. Other manufacturers like Orient, Sandoz, Invicta and AMF have sold models with bezels, crown, hands and crystals looking like the Rolex Sub, but not Seiko. You can clearly see how the SKX031K was designed in such a way that it doesn’t infringe on the Rolex Sub’s copyrighted design.

salam sejahtera,

Hi Quartzimodo,

Thank you for your further advice and invaluable opinion.

I’ve actually bought the 8926OB from a b&m shop and returned it after reading all the premature demise of that watch from Amazon’s review section. Your opinion kind of woke me up from my false dream of having a classic dive watch which might be very short lived.

In any case, I was determined to buy a SNZF17J(Made in Japan quality)through ebay but the seller from S’pore can’t even advise me of the ESTIMATED/approximate additional cost such as: import duty, custom brokerage and any other hidden charges for a simple USD130 watch. I was prepared to pay USD200 for the total cost but I would want to be shocked to received a payment for $500, instead even with free shipping.

It looks like I might have to get it from a b&m store like a S’pore Thong Sia shop when I return next year – bummer x 3! Do you know if a regular authorized retailer in S’pore/M’sia carries made in Japan’s Seiko models?

BTW, what do you think of Longines’ quality and their Master Collection model# L2.693.4.51.6 as a dress watch for black tie events?

Salam sejahtera,

Hi Jeff,

Sorry that the purchase of the Invicta 8926OB didn’t work out for you but sometimes you’ll have to take Amazon customer comments with a grain of salt. Unless of course, the customers who wrote the feedback are experienced watch collectors.

If there’s something I know about Canada, watches are taxed upon entry by your customs and excise authorities. Some years ago I bought a rare Seiko Kinetic on behalf of someone from Canada. He emailed me to inform me that he had to pay some import taxes upon collecting the watch that I sent him. He didn’t mind as he was already aware of this. In your case, it is NOT the seller’s responsibility to calculate whatever taxes and duties that will be imposed on the watch you’ve ordered, but the buyer’s responsibility. Check with the Canadian Royal Customs’ website as to the tax percentage imposed on watches imported into your country. 🙂

I do not think that you’ll be paying a total of US$500 despite taxes, for a US$130 timepiece. The seller cannot charge you extra for taxes incurred at your end, because it is the buyer that ultimately pays the import duties and not the seller.

The Thong Sia headquarters in Singapore does sell watches on the spot, but you’ll get very little discounts from them compared to a high street watch retailer. Malaysia’s Thong Sia HQ does not sell any watches; whatever is on the display shelves are for well, display purposes only. Due to the vast number of models and the limited display space at the Singapore Thong Sia HQ, only featured and high end Seiko models are sold there, e.g. Grand Seiko. It’s unlikely that Thong Sia will showcase the SNZF17K or most Seiko 5 models.

If you’re on a bargain hunt, head for the huge 24-hour Mustafa department store in Singapore. They have a huge section for Seiko watches – both with and without warranty (cheaper, grey import watches). I was there two years ago but was not allowed to take photographs of their watch shelves. 🙁

Seiko dealers in Malaysia do not carry “J” versions of Seiko automatics, but the regular “K” models. This is because they get their stock from Thong Sia Malaysia and the distributor only sells the “K” models. One or two stores might have something like the SKX007J but the watch will be a parallel import item and the seller can charge a ridiculously high price for it. It’s a different situation in Singapore, where some dealers are able to procure grey market models (the SNZF17J is a grey market variant), bypassing the Thong Sia Singapore distributor. Do note that grey market Seiko watches do not come with the official Seiko warranty whatsoever.

I’m sorry I can’t comment on Longines watches as I have no interest in them. The only Swiss watch that I was interested a few years back is the lovely Fortis B-42 Marinemaster chronograph automatic, but I didn’t have the money then although the local retailer offered one to me at a heavily discounted price. 🙁


Hi Quartzimodo,

The reviews I’ve got from Amazon weren’t from collectors, in majority. Nevertheless, I can’t deal with premature deaths of watches because one of the forums I’ve read had a picture of the watch with it’s crown detached – it’s as horrific as seeing a decapitated person.

I’ve worn a Tag albeit quartz for 20 odd years which is still going since the first time I put it on and I’ve never ever thought that it would expire, one day. I’ve had a Casio once that I don’t wear anymore, I’ve got a vintage Rado that I overwound and I’ve got a Lanvin that is too small but I’ve never had a watch that gave up its ghost, on its own accord.

I suppose I’ll take up your advice and check out the import duty from the authorities first. If not, I’ll have to buy it from Japan when I tour that country next. If that was the case, I might as well check out the “Shogun” SBDC007, at the same time.

In any case, your Journey Towards Wisdom reminded me of the nostalgia of growing up in Malaysia just like reading Lat’s The Kampung Boy. Syabas, saudara, keep up the good work!


hi Quartzimodo,
this review was instrumental in my decision making.

I’ve since acquired a used skx031, but the bezel gasket needs replacement. Any idea where I could source one?

Hi eu gene,

My apologies for the late response as I had problems logging in to my WordPress blog installation using the WordPress app on my tablet and my PC was also down for a week. 🙁
To answer your question, as far as I know Seiko makes replacement gaskets for the watch crystal, crown and caseback but for some odd reason they don’t sell individual gaskets for rotating bezels. When it comes to bezels, they all come in a complete kit e.g. bezel face insert, ratcheting ball bearings and of course, the gasket. If you want the original Seiko bezel gasket, you’ll have to order the complete bezel (P/N: 8601473A) through your local Seiko service center.

The other alternative is to look for third party gaskets on eBay, such as this one for example. I cannot vouch for non-Seiko gaskets so you’ll have to trust the seller on this one.

hope this helps and sorry for getting back to you late,

Today i got my skx031k2 and very interesting that i found this discontinued model from
Belgium online watch sellers. And they have left one more if s.o. wishes)) Nice watch and small sized!

[…] Seiko SKX031K “Submariner” review – Quartzimodo’s Time … – Dimensions. As usual with my watch reviews, here are the measurements of the SKX031K: Diameter: 40 mm (w/o crown), 43 mm (w/crown) Bezel diameter: 39.5 mm… […]

Hello Quartzimodo, thanks for this great review and I even like my watch more before I read this.
So I just bought an SKX031 off ebay and seller told me it was manufactured from 1996. I am still waiting for a seiko oyster band for it. So right now I put it on my pocket everyday as I mostly work standing most of the day. But I noticed that timekeeping gets behind like 50 seconds per day. Is this normal? Like right now on its 5th day, it has lost 9 minutes. Should I be concerned and adjust the time always or it makes a difference when i already wear this on my wrists?

And also, is the only way to wind this watch through wearing it by movement and no other way via its stem?

Hi Kirby,

Great to know that you’re enjoying your SKX031K “Submariner”. 🙂

Except for the high end Grand Seiko models, Seiko automatic watches are loosely calibrated at the factory and they’re always set to running on the fast side. Therefore it’s not unusual to receive one “out of the box” that runs between +15 to +20 seconds per day. As the movement settles in through the years, you may find your watch losing too much time over a period of 24 hours.

Rather than having to constantly synchronize your watch ever day, I would recommend to have your watch regulated (or re-calibrated). Since this watch uses a fairly simple movement, any competent watch repairer can perform the procedure – you don’t have to send it to the Seiko service center for this job. Look for a local jeweler’s store that advertises mechanical watch repairing service and ask them about the procedure. A good watch repairman should agree to have your watch calibrated at least twice within the period of two weeks.

The reason behind this is that mechanical watches may not respond to regulation tweaks immediately. You’ll have to wear the watch for a couple of days after the initial regulation to see if it runs too fast or still too slow. Unlike quartz controlled watches, mechanical wristwatches can be finicky to get them to run accurately. In any case, a watch that is two decades old will need looking into, e.g. cleaning of accumulated dirt and lubrication of its internal moving parts.

Wear and tear parts like the caseback and crown gaskets will need replacing at this point. Some vintage watch sellers on eBay may have had their watches serviced before selling but not necessarily regulated properly. Only upon opening the watch caseback your repairman can tell whether your watch needs to undergo cleaning and lubrication work, before regulating it.

Unfortunately, the 7s26 movement that your watch has is the fully automatic type, which doesn’t support auxiliary hand-winding. Fully automatic movements can only be wound by wearing or swinging the watch in your hand as they lack the necessary mechanism to wind the watch by the crown. Seiko has been making fully automatic movements since the late 1960s and they are usually the low cost type for “entry level” automatic watches. In the Seiko world, watches that have hand-winding capability are usually the mid-priced and top end models, while low end models for women (e.g. the Cal 4217 found in some women’s Seiko 5 Sports models) support auxiliary hand-winding.

The reason that the 4217 caliber is designed with a hand-winding feature is because its oscillating weight is so small that it doesn’t wind the main spring efficiently on its own, compared to larger diameter movements like the 7s26. When it comes to automatic men’s watches, Seiko views the hand-winding (and second hand “hacking”) feature as more of a luxury attribute rather than a necessity. Today, you can find contemporary Seiko automatic watches with the 4R36 and 6R15 calibers; and both come with hand-winding and hacking features.

hope this helps! 🙂


Thanks for your comments and advices. Actually I have already mailed this watch to have it checked by Seiko authorized shop here in Toronto. I just don’t have to time to go there as they are only open on weekdays. Anyway, they will contact me before doing any work upon my approval.

I would like to clarify what you said that a calibrated seiko automatic watch such as this is normal to be manually adjusted at least twice within a period of 2 weeks?
And also due to the age of this SKX031, how often does a main spring degrade to the point that it goes bad that it needs replacing? I just hope that this watch just needs cleaning and lubrication, but if it needs a main spring, then so be it.

This is my first automatic watch and I came across it when I watched the recent movie 13 hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. One of the military contractors there wore a Rolex 11460. So it boiled down to SKX031 which I could afford 🙂

By the way, is a mechanical watch 100% referring to automatic movements? How about the quartz-controlled watches? As far as reading about them, they are controlled by a capacitor that is being charged by a rotor and that provides a much accurate time than automatics. But does a quartz watch would also have a battery rather than a capacitor or could it have both capacitor and battery? I read a quartz watch needs battery replacement so is that any different with one that has charging capacitor?

Anyway, I am curious what will be my next watch. I currently have a Casio DW-6900. I’m quite of bit of a military equipment enthusiasts.


Hi Kirby,

A mechanical watch is somewhat like an old car that uses twin carburetors to feed fuel into the engine. If you know something about a twin carb setup, both carburetors need to be carefully tuned with one another, in order to achieve the best performance and economy from the engine. 🙂 Depending on the age and condition of the carburetors, it might require the car owner a second or additional consecutive trips to the garage to get the dual carbs in tune with one another – until the owner finally gets the desired or near perfect results that he/she expects. Experienced engine mechanics will usually tell the owner, “Drive your car for a couple of days and see whether the engine stutters or drinks a lot of gas. Come back and I’ll tune your carburetors again”. That was a common practice in the olden days.

Modern car engines use electronic fuel injection and are governed by an Engine Control Unit (ECU) which takes care of the fuel-air ratio adjustments. The ECU will easily compensate if the engine suddenly experiences sudden conditions in which the fuel mixture becomes too lean or too rich as you drive. Today’s electronically fuel injected engines have almost nothing to adjust and if needed to, the car mechanic will plug an ECU diagnostics computer into a special port in your car to verify that the engine’s running parameters are within the manufacturer’s factory tolerances. 🙂

By the same token, a quartz watch virtually needs no periodic adjustments while a mechanical watch will need recalibration or regulation from time to time (no pun intended). How frequent a mechanical watch needs to be regulated depends on the watch owner. Some people don’t really bother if their mechanical watches becomes slightly inaccurate (especially if they wear a different watch daily) but if that watch is their daily beater on their wrist and is keeping time badly, it needs to be regulated as soon as possible.

When it comes to regulating mechanical watches, the best way is to wear the watch as you would normally do for a week after the initial regulation attempt. A good watch repairman will give you this advice and to return the watch if it deviates from the initial accuracy that he had set. Different people wear their watches differently; if a mechanical watch is often subjected to shock on the wrist it usually gains time. One that spends a lot of time on the bedside table or in a pocket (depending on the position, crown up, crown down etc) will tend to lose time. For best results, mechanical watches should not be worn on the same arm that is used to hammer objects, wield a tennis or squash racket or even a golf club.

Even Seiko includes a precautionary advice in its owner’s manual for its high end automatic watches, including its Grand Seiko, Brightz, and Credor range of mechanical watches to refrain from wearing the watch when you play golf. While constant hard shocks imparted on such watches are unlikely to break the main spring, it can wreak havoc on the delicate escapement which in turn, affects its accuracy. Perhaps this is also a reason why right handed people tend to wear their watches on their left wrist; and left handed people are seen wearing their timepieces on their right wrist. 🙂

The longevity of the main spring of a watch generally spans over several decades, depending on how the watch has been treated. Then again, in some situations in also depends on the luck of the draw. I’ve had a brand new, but old stock Seiko 5 (a SKXM19K) that had a broken main spring after owning it for less than two years. I gave the watch away as the cost of repairing that Seiko 5 was nearly equivalent to buying a new one. Then again, I also have several pre-owned, vintage Seiko automatic watches dating to the late 1960s that are happily ticking to this day. That said, main springs rarely need replacement and if they do, it’s either a case of one that is unraveling erratically or simply a broken main spring.

Fortunately, the 7s26 movement is a very low cost type that you might as well have the entire movement replaced rather than repaired. Your authorized Seiko repair shop can order a new replacement movement through Seiko USA (Coserv) or you can buy a used Seiko watch (with any 7s26 movement) from eBay and have your repairman perform a simple movement transplant. The automobile maintenance analogy also applies here – if you own a very high mileage car that’s a model about 15 years old, it’s cheaper to have its entire engine replaced with a used one from a chop shop rather than pay for the labor charges for a total overhaul. 🙂

Mechanical watches can be either the automatic or the manual hand winding type. An automatic watch is in fact, a mechanical watch. The difference between the two is that a manual hand-wind only watch lacks a balance wheel that automatically winds the main spring (hence the term “automatic”). Therefore all automatic watches are considered mechanical watches, while not all mechanical watches are automatics.

Quartz controlled watches are called “quartz” as they employ a thin sliver of quartz crystal that vibrates at exactly 32,768 Hz or vibrations per second when an electrical pulse is passed through it. The very stable (and predictable) manner in which the quartz component vibrates makes it an ideal medium for accurate time keeping. Note that there are higher grades of quartz watches from Seiko available, such as the 8F56 series GMT Perpetual Calendar model. The 8F56 uses an even higher precision, quartz module that oscillates at 196,608 Hz – providing a far greater accuracy up to +/- 20 seconds per year. The industry norm for the average 32kHz quartz watch accuracy is usually +/- 15 seconds per month. Going up the ladder would be the high grade, 9F caliber quartz watches that Seiko sells through its Grand Seiko quartz lineup.

Please don’t get confused with the energy source for quartz controlled watches! While a “quartz watch” is universally accepted as a battery operated watch, in the early 1970s Seiko used to produce the EL-370, a short lived range of “electronic watches” that employs a hybrid electro-mechanical movement. In the case of the EL-370 Electronic, the timekeeping (or regulation) is still done by a mechanical escapement although its power source is a battery. The Seiko EL-370 watches weren’t known for their accuracy as they were basically mechanical watches, not quartz. It was an interesting concept at the time but in the end, regular quartz watches were more practical. Regular quartz watches are far more accurate than the Seiko Electronic watch while needing battery replacements measured in years, rather than months.

Today, quartz controlled watches are mostly the disposable battery type. The wrist motion based or Kinetic watch, is still considered as a quartz controlled timepiece. So are the light powered, Citizen Eco-Drive, Seiko Solar and Casio Tough Solar watches. Therefore the common quartz watch, solar powered watch and Seiko Kinetic watch have all one thing in common: a quartz regulator.

And yes, even the Seiko Kinetic will ultimately need their rechargeable batteries replaced sooner or later. I have three Kinetics myself that no longer have reserve power that would last beyond a week. Although I own a special Kinetic Energy Supplier (made by Seiko) to recharge the watches, two of them have poor performing batteries that no longer hold a sufficient charge to be practical.

There is also Seiko’s exotic (and expensive!) Spring Drive line of watches which are basically mechanical watches, but uses a quartz crystal as a reference to control the unraveling of the mainspring via a Tri-Synchronous Regulator. When the Spring Drive mechanism came out, watch collectors argued in various forums whether a Spring Drive watch should be considered as a mechanical or a quartz watch. Personally I would not classify a Spring Drive watch as a quartz watch; but then neither it is a traditional, 100% mechanical timepiece.

Seiko has made like-able military look, watches now and then but they don’t have a specific range of military-spec timepieces like Luminox offers.

Hope this post hasn’t been too overly long for you! 🙂


Quartzimodo, thanks a lot for the ton of explanation and a very perfect example of analogy you have mentioned there. Now I know what to expect of my automatic watch as I have said, this is the first time I have owned one. I will update regarding when it has been repaired.


Quartzimodo, I have already received the watch today from seiko service center. Movement overhauled and all gasket replaced and water tested.
Is it normal for the watch to be advanced by 5 minutes after adjusting the time and only 40 minutes had passed?
And also, for automatic watches when manually adjusting the time, is it bad to adjust backwards even say like moving – 1 hour?
I’m pretty sure this repair is covered by 1 year warranty.


Hi Kirby,

Great to know that you’ve gotten your SKX031K Submariner overhauled! 🙂

1. Your watch is running on the fast side. I don’t know if the technician who handled your watch had your movement regulated – if he had indeed adjusted it using either an analog vibrograph machine or a digital calibration equipment. Even if he had performed a regulation, it may have been a coarse adjustment and your watch was “accurate” at the time of the procedure, but became “out of tune” by the time it’s on your wrist. No pun intended. 🙂

Since your watch was very recently overhauled, you should ideally give it a while for the movement to settle in. Wearing your watch over a period of two weeks should allow the mechanism to correct itself. If it still runs as fast as it is, the watch needs fine tuning (a second regulation procedure). The more the number of regulation adjustments are done on your watch over time, the better its accuracy will be – up to a certain point which it cannot be made to run any more accurately than it was designed to (+/- 40 secs/day). Note that even brand new 7s26 caliber Seiko watches are always set to run fast from the factory.

Call up the Seiko service center and ask if your watch had been regulated after the overhaul job. Watch repairmen know that old watches tend to have their accuracy drift, especially after a major service work has been performed. They should be able to fine tune your Submariner again at no charge. It’s like sending your car for a wheel and steering alignment job to a garage. Even if computerized equipment was used to align your wheels, if your car drifts to the left or right in a straight line within a few days, a reputable garage or car dealer should re-align your car wheels at no additional charge.

It’s the same with good watch repair shops, including the Seiko service center. 🙂

2. Mechanical watches’ hands can be adjusted clockwise and anti-clockwise without any harm; unless it’s stated in the owner’s manual you shouldn’t do so. There’s one caveat though: the sweep second hand should NOT move in reverse when you adjust the minute hand backwards. This phenomenon can happen if the main spring isn’t wound enough, e.g. you picked up your watch from a complete stop but did not shake the movement enough times to wind the main spring. To prevent the second hand from being dragged anti-clockwise, swirl your watch continuously for at least a minute before turning back the minute hand.

BTW, service centers generally offer 14 days’ warranty for the repair work they have undertaken. A month or two maybe, but one year is stretching it too far. It’s only practical business; companies prefer that you buy a new watch that automatically comes with 1 or 2 years’ warranty. If they gave a full year’s warranty on repairs, consumers will prefer to keep using the same watch rather than buying a replacement. 🙂



Okay then, I will observe this watch for a while for now. But in your statement that a new 7S26 is on the fast side, this means this newly overhauled watch behaves normal but we’ll see more about that in 2 weeks.
I paid quite an expensive labor to this one so that explains why they give that year of a warranty.
When I opened the package yesterday (2-day mail delivery), the watch is advanced 15 minutes, so that I did is adjust it backwards to correct time and yes you are right, the second hand also moved backwards.
I hope nothing major and I didn’t mess up with its mechanism. Then the date is off a day so what I did is to adjust the date and time as what it states on the manual.
When I came home today, the watch is 12-minutes ahead (from 15 minutes yesterday) so it’s getting better.
So I did adjust again to correct time just now and made sure the mechanism is well wound enough and adjusted backwards and the second hand wasn’t affected this time. =)

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