Seiko 5 SNK803 Review & Guide

Seiko 5 SNK803 Review & Guide

Photo: Gentleman Within

Seiko 5 SNK803 Review & Guide

The Seiko SNK803 is one of the most popular (and best) automatic wristwatches in its price category. Over the years, Seiko has manufactured millions of pieces of the SNK803 and it is easy to see why it is so immensely popular.

At a price of less than 100 USD, the Seiko SNK803 offers great value for money. We would argue that it is one of the best watches for the money when it comes to automatic watches.

The Seiko SNK803 is part of the Seiko 5 collection which means it must meet 5 criteria, which are the following:

  1. The Diaflex mainspring
  2. The Diashock system
  3. Automatic winding
  4. Day/date indication
  5. Water resistance

And the Seiko 5 SNK803 meets all of these criteria (and many more).

In this article, we are reviewing and going in-depth about the Seiko 5 SNK803 Automatic watch.

Seiko 5 SNK803 Review

As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.

The Seiko 5 SNK803 is a military-inspired automatic field watch powered by a mechanical movement developed by Seiko. It offers great value for money under 100 USD and is a great candidate for anyone looking for an affordable automatic watch.

Seiko SNK803 case

The watch features a 37mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 11mm. It is also relatively lightweight at 50 grams, but not lightweight enough to feel low quality. The watch is satin finished which adds to the industrialized, military, and tool-like look of the watch. The underside of the case is polished which creates a nice contrast and gives a greater feeling of quality and well-finishing. The satin finish is much better against scratches and dents as they are not revealed as much as with a polished watch. If the case would have been polished, it would have looked more elegant, which obviously wouldn’t go very well together with the ethos of this watch.

Due to its smaller size, it is popular among people with smaller wrists and those who have a preference for smaller watches. The watch sits nice and sleek on the wrist thanks to its flat casebook and thin profile. At times, you may even forget that you are wearing it.

The watch is equipped with a Hardlex crystal which resists scratches very well. At this price point, we can’t expect a sapphire crystal. Hardly crystals are Seiko’s own proprietary crystals which are harder and more resistant to scratches than regular mineral glass.

Seiko has developed this crystal to be great against sun glare to minimize reflections, despite not having an anti-reflective coating.

The crown is positioned at 4 o’clock instead of the standard 4 o’clock and is slightly recessed into the case. The 4 o’clock position of the crown is a standard feature of many Seiko 5 watches, and it has one practical benefit. Due to the position of the crown, it won’t dig into your hand. This allows for greater comfort when wearing it.

If you turn the watch around, you can see the movement inside through the see-through case back.

Seiko SNK803 dial

This model is available with a number of different dial colors, but this exact reference, the SNK803, has a beige/cream dial.

The watch has a circle on the dial. On the outer of the circle, we find the minutes printed, and on the inner of the circle, we find the hours. Placed at 3 o’clock are a day and date window. Visually, the dial is very clean and has good legibility. On the outer part of the dial, you can find dots on each 5-minute marking, which consists of luminous material in order to help improve legibility in dark and low-lit conditions.

The watch is equipped with a diamond-shaped hour and minute hands. The hands have luminova for improved visibility in the dark. It also has a seconds hand with a red tip. The opposite side has a luminous dot so you can also read the seconds in the dark. The dial does not come off as cluttered.

The dial has been sandblasted, which allows for a rich, matte, and textured finish. The matte dial reduces glare and reflections which improves legibility (apart from looking great).

Seiko SNK803 movement

The Seiko SNK803 is powered by the Seiko-developed 7S26B. This is an automatic mechanical movement equipped with a rotor.

The movement isn’t finished to perfection, nor features decorations. But remember, that is not the point. Furthermore, this is not a Patek Philippe. At this price point, we don’t expect it to be. The movement has a very industrialized look to it, which of course goes very well together with the theme of the watch.

The movement displays hours, minutes, seconds, day, and date. The movement has a power reserve of approximately 42 hours.

Seiko SNK803 strap

The strap is more or less the only thing some people have complained about when it comes to this watch (seeing that you factor in the price).

The strap is a beige canvas strap that matches the dial of the watch. It is quite basic and has a diameter of 18mm at the lug. There’s nothing special about the strap. It works, but the good news is that you can easily change it shall you wish to do so.


The Seiko 5 SNK803 Automatic watch is a timepiece that offers great value for money. In its price range, it may very well be the best automatic watch. It is sleek, stylish, elegant, and timeless. It can take a beating which makes it an exceptional everyday watch.

Plus, it features an automatic mechanical movement which is great news for watch enthusiasts.

The Seiko 5 SNK803 is available to order on Amazon.

Seiko 5 SNK803amazon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *