The origin of Seiko starts with “K.Hattori”: a modest watch shop named after its owner and established in Japan in 1881. 11 years later, his business would expand into “Seikoha” – a name that would later be shortened to simply Seiko. Well regarded stopwatches eventually evolved into the first wristwatch developed and constructed in Japan. This first watch – the Laurel – came to market in 1892.
Since then, Seiko has been at the forefront of watch development. Known for both their accuracy and their quality craftsmanship, Seiko watches now cover the gamut of everything from diving watches to timepieces for the office. Let’s take a look at the best Seiko wristwatches in 2020 and contextualize which specs and features matter the most.
Quick Look: Best Seiko Watches for Men
- Seiko Prospex Padi Solar Powered
- Seiko SSC745 Watch
- Seiko Men’s SNK809 Black Canvas Watch
- Seiko Prospex X Padi Watch
- Seiko Men’s SSC139 Excelsior Watch
- Seiko Men’s Pilot Watch Alarm Chronograph
- Seiko Men’s SNK789 5 Seiko Watch
- Seiko SNN241 Watch
- Seiko SNKM97 Analog Green Dial Watch
- Seiko SNE331 Sport Solar Black Stainless Steel Watch
- Seiko SSC143 Solar Watch
- Seiko SGF206 Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Dress Watch
- Seiko Men’s SSC667 RECRAFT Series
- Seiko SUP880 Analog Display
1. Seiko Prospex Padi Solar Powered
Beautiful Dive Watch with Class
Another variation on the Seiko Prospex created in conjunction with PADI, this dive watch is a great choice to take out on the water, but it's perhaps a little more well suited for wearing on the street and at the office. The textured blue face of this watch is beautiful without being ostentatious, but there's still a strong eye towards the practical needs of a serious diver. The expressive markers are complemented by bright and bold numbering, and the dot and stick indices of the Seiko Prospex are all backed by some strong lighting. The heftier steel band also lends it a tangible and satisfying sense of weight.
2. Seiko SSC745 Watch
A Vision From the Future
When it comes to Seiko watches, men tend to get the greatest variety and availability of models, but the SSC745 is one of the best Seiko watches for men. It’s also one of the coolest looking Seiko watches for men - sporting a three-dial chronograph that can measure time in increments of a fifth of a second. The design here has an almost cyberpunk bent to it, and that's a choice that is sure to polarize customers one way or another. Part of the Contura line, this Seiko wristwatch is also solar powered for reliable and ecologically friendly performance.
3. Seiko Men’s SNK809 Black Canvas Watch
Great Craftsmanship that Impresses
Automatic timekeeping is back in a big way. And this watch is a great stylish timepiece you would wear it both casually and formally. The watch hands are silver toned, adding even more class to this watch. The black dial perfectly matches the watch strap. It has a nice outdoor appearance, with a finish that beats our other watches in this price range.
The great craftsmanship will impress you and its precise automatic movement makes it a watch you can count on. The perfect watch if you’re looking for a combination of great quality and multiple features.
4. Seiko Prospex X Padi Watch
A Dive Watch Made by Divers
The Seiko Prospex x PADI has been designed in conjunction with one of the largest organizations of divers, and the results are a dive watch that's a bit conventional in design but built on some strong fundamentals. From the unidirectional bezel to the brightly luminescent face components, this is more than just a cosmetic piece. It's Seiko's top model for underwater diving.
5. Seiko Men’s SSC139 Excelsior Watch
A Design From Another World
We've never seen a watch quite like the Excelsior. The gunmetal finish and black dial create an oversized model that looks like it was created by an alien species; and while it's a little ostentatious, it can leave a powerful impression in the board room or out at the club. The water resistance here isn't strong enough to use as a dive watch, but it's capable of doing just about anything else in or around water. All of the indices and hands are brightly lit to make sure that you can see just fine underwater or in the middle of the night.
6. Seiko Men’s Pilot Watch Alarm Chronograph
If you haven't worn a pilot watch before, you might find this timepiece a little overwhelming. It takes some getting used to, but it gives you a whole lot of data right on your wrist without having to worry about complex electronics. And if you find yourself working in the dark, you'll find that the markers are well illuminated. And all those numbers and lines scattered across the bezel and face of this watch all serve a purpose - or more than one purpose in most cases. From adjusting to new time zones to figuring out the direction you're facing, Seiko offers options with this watch.
7. Seiko Men’s SNK789 5 Seiko Watch
Setting the Standard for Class
The automatic stainless steel Seiko is classy and cultured all at the same time. The watch case is 36mm and has a timeless mineral dial window that’s uncluttered and fashionable. It has an automatic self-winding movement, which means it charges when you wear it. The round watch face features luminescent markers and hands as well as a date and day display at the 3-hand marker. All told, this Seiko wristwatch is a timepiece that will look sharp in professional settings but not be too loud by day.
8. Seiko SNN241 Watch
Elegant in its Simplicity
A stylish dress watch that’s still affordable – that’s one way to describe this Seiko men watch. It’s well-constructed with a stainless steel case that contrasts against the chocolate brown leather band, but there are also two chronograph sub-dials to provide you with more versatile and precise timekeeping. This is a high-class watch with great functionality. We love how sporty it is while still maintaining some degree of elegance. This brown watch is a stunner for both work and play.
9. Seiko SNKM97 Analog Green Dial Watch
A Flashback to the 1970s
Seiko wristwatches are often known for their distinctive designs, but few Seikowatches are as distinct as the SNKM97. It fuses a classic automatic movement with block numbers and neon green accents that add a retro-futuristic sensibility to it. If you want a watch with a specific sense of style, this could be the choice for you. More conservative watch shoppers should turn their attention elsewhere. The water resistance here is also above average, and the Hardlex glass should keep the face protected against scratches.
10. Seiko SNE331 Sport Solar Black Stainless Steel Watch
The style of this Seiko is dressy with a touch of military ruggedness. The black dial features luminescent markers and large hands, all protected by a strong and tough crystal watch face. The metallic finish on the watch case gives off a nice shine when the light hits it just right. With its solar powering, this Seiko doesn’t even have batteries to replace – and will last you for a lifetime. This is an excellent minimalist watch that’s not only functional but elegant enough to wear when you need to make a subtle statement.
11. Seiko SSC143 Solar Watch
You’ll look great wearing this solar dress watch. The three chronograph dials add even more functionality to an already impressive timepiece and include a 60-minute timer, a second timer, and an alarm. The silver hour markers stand out nicely when the light shines on them and the minute and hour hands feature Lumibrite so you can read the time easily in the dark. The two-tone style of the watch case continues down into the watch bracelet. The design is showy without being too flashy. This is an edgy watch that will last you for years to come.
12. Seiko SGF206 Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Dress Watch
Seiko knows how to come up with watches that are wonderfully functional and that look great. This gold-tone Seiko is one of those classic watches that are becoming rarer and rarer. The round watch face sits in a thin-edged bezel that sits snugly against your wrist. It comes with a three-hand function highlighting black hands and markers. The added date and day window is easy to read in all lighting. Like other Seiko timepieces, the watch face is protected with Hardlex so it’s resistant against scrapes and scratches. The finishing touch is the stainless-steel bracelet. You won’t be able to say no to a watch that delivers such a powerful image.
13. Seiko Men’s SSC667 RECRAFT Series
Seiko has reached back into their catalog with the Recraft watch. Inspired by their vintage designs but bolstered by modern sensibilities, this watch is an incredibly stylish choice that brings some utility into the mix as well. The black and silver design is aesthetically pleasing and generally understated. The three chronographs included offering a 24-hour watch, a seconds dial, and a 60-minute subdial. Meanwhile, the bidirectional bezel serves as a reliable tachymeter. This is a solar-powered watch, and it provides a respectable power reserve of half a year when fully charged.
14. Seiko SUP880 Analog Display
With a case size of 28.5mm, this analog Seiko watch is the perfect size without being too showy. Designed as a classic dress watch, with its black hands on a white dial, it’s slim and elegant. Solar-powered, this watch has a 12-month reserve of power once it’s fully charged. The timekeeping technology is a Japanese quartz movement, accurate and reliable for years and years. The leather calfskin watchband is soft and pliable, making it super comfortable to wear and making it suit the diving watch style of this timepiece's face.
- If you’re specifically looking quartz watches, see our top quartz watches guide.
- On a budget? See the best watches under $200.
- Looking to impress without spending 1000s, see our watches under $1000 guide.
Seiko Watches Buyer’s Guide
If there’s a specific type of watch you want, we’ve already put together some exhaustive guides to what you should look for. Instead, we’ll take this space to help you understand the collections that Seiko offers. Feel free to use our guides to compare them to other counterparts in our articles.
- Prospex watches are arguably Seiko’s most prominent. These are dive watches through and through, and they understandably put most of their emphasis on practical use underwater. It’s not the most well-known dive watch brand in the world, but Prospex watches are respectable choices beloved by the diving community.
- The Seiko 5 series is their streetwear collection. Seiko 5 models are some very cool looking watches, but they also offer some variety. The core design fundamentals in the Seiko 5 series may be the same from watch to watch, but there are tons of color and pattern combinations that range from muted to very loud.
- The Seiko Astron brand isn’t a smartwatch, but it understands the appeal. This is Seiko’s flagship GPS enabled watch, but it’s also the first watch on the market that can power GPS functionality solely on solar energy. They may be light on features compared to dedicated GPS watches, but that self-sufficiency is an exceptional selling point.
- Coutoura is for the watch geeks. Its designs are exuberant and expressive, and they draw from a variety of different influences to produce modernist designs that really stand apart from the competition. This is the largest series Seiko offers, but it’s also the most varied. What they have in common is that they’re often some of the best watches for men.
- Seiko Presage draws on the legend of founder Kintaro Hattori to produce timepieces that draw from Japanese sensibilities of elegance. A bit more muted and classical in style, these are the watches you’ll want to wear around the office.
- Seiko makes a lot of men’s watches, but it’s also got a whole line of women’s timepieces. The Lukia brand is playful – making use of some bold color, picture, and pattern combinations to emphasize faces that really stand out
Seiko is thriving in 2020, and that means it’s easy to find a model that matches your needs. But if you don’t find a men Seiko watch that meets your needs exactly, it’s also important to remember that Seiko keeps rolling out new models. Keep checking back here, and we’ll be sure to keep our list properly updated.