8 reasons why you need to collect Seiko watches
October 31, 2018
Starting today, you are a fool if you don’t believe in Seiko as a collectible watchmaker.
That is a big and startling statement especially the public know Seiko as a budget brand that is meant to be banged around and worn out. A lot would rather spend their hard-earned money buying Swiss Made pieces to start their collection and they may start to feel good, but will it be the best choice?
Truth be told, I believe Seiko will eventually be at the same level and reputation as the likes of Omega, Rolex, etc. when everyone see’s the true benefits of owning and collecting the Japanese watchmaker’s timepieces.
See below the 8 reasons why I believe everyone should start to collect Seiko watches.
1. Bang for the Buck
You know what they say, “Quality doesn’t come cheap”. But I think some Seiko watches are an exception to that rule. Seiko has created a handful of affordable but quality watches in different watch classifications and uses (example: divers, dress, etc.)
Seiko uses top notch stainless steel (316L: L stands for Low Carbon Content) for a lot of their diver’s watches parts that is generally used for most of jewelry and marine type of applications.
Their type of lume also competes with the best out there in the form of Seiko’s Lumibrite which is almost permanent, non-radioactive, and can last up to five hours from just two minutes exposure from sunlight.
Also, a lot of the newer Seiko’s now provide an enhanced protective layer on the watch case with its DiaShield coating. Essentially, DiaShield is Seiko trademark for DLC which is a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating on all watch surface minus the glass.
Knowing all these facts is reassuring that when you part with your hard-earned cash for a Seiko, you are sure getting a lot of bang for your buck.
You can check the our article for the 5 best Seiko under $500 for further reference.
2. Easily Serviced When Needed
Since Seiko watches are plentiful and a lot of people have used them (banged and abused at an extreme), it will come to know surprise that these watches will eventually be serviced and repaired.
What is good about Seiko is that they are easily serviceable by a lot of watch repair shops because of experience (number of watches that has been sent in already for service) and repairing and calibrating them is very straightforward for any experienced watch repair specialist.
Seiko’s popular calibers like the 7S26, 4R36, and 6R15 which come in with a lot of Seiko’s popular models are standard automatic movements with no real or special complications.
Watch repair technicians can quickly deconstruct and then rebuild these automatic movements with the right calibration for accurate and reliable time keeping.
3. Good Value Retention
The Seiko Turtle Zimbe commands a price higher than its SRP now
I say this because of experience in buying and selling Seiko watches in the last couple of years. Popular models like the Seiko SARB035, Turtle, and Alpinist have pretty decent value retention on the second hand/ pre-owned market.
People typically lose just about 15%-25% from their actual retail price when they decide to resell the watches. Now take this with a grain of salt because the urgency and notion to sell will always be a great factor. If one is in desperate to sell, he can really lose a lot of money from the resell.
However, when we start talking about the popular and limited (most especially numbered) watch editions from Seiko, then the real value retention happens. In most cases, owners of limited and numbered watches can see gains from their watch investments even just a couple of months.
But I guess the real value that Seiko provides is not from its financial returns to its owners but to its usage and experience. Value retention and financial gains just happens to come next for some.
4. True Horology Heritage
The Seiko brand has been around for more than a century (founded 1881). Needless to say, they are quite popular and known in just any walks of life.
In another article that I wrote, “3 ways to win the watch game on a budget”, I highlighted that heritage will be a great determining factor that will make your watch a true winner regardless of value.
Look no further as Seiko has been manufacturing and creating watches for more than 1 hundred years and they are generally affordable for the public.
Collecting them, most especially the vintage models, is not just financially rewarding, but is a true gesture of horology appreciation and acknowledgement for their history in watchmaking.
So, if you haven’t started in collecting Seiko’s, this would be a great motive to do so now.
5. Strong Parts Support from the Industry
One quick determining factor if any brand or product is popular is if it has a strong spare parts support on it.
Look into it as like the automotive industry and its aftermarket parts supplier. Japanese brands like Honda and Subaru are best examples of brands that are getting strong parts support from aftermarket makers because of their popularity in tuning and setting up.
The same goes with Seiko. It is one brand that other smaller manufacturers create spare parts for because of the market size. Companies like DLW Watches and DAGAZ Watch are happily focusing on that niche because you can make a living from the amount of people who would simply mod or upgrade their watches (cosmetically and some mechanically).
Another strong spare part contributor to Seiko is in the straps and bracelet departments wherein these companies just focus on creating custom and mass-produced straps for popular Seiko brands. Crafter Blue is an example of mass producer of straps for Seiko.
See my review of the Crafter Blue for SKX for more details.
So, there it is, having a strong spare parts support is testament that Seiko is popular for collectors and will be around for generations to come.
6. Will Impress Watch Snobs
Some people buy watches for telling the time, while others buy it for the aesthetics and looks. But there is still a great bunch of people who buy them because they want to impress. But the epitome of people to impress with a watch lies on watch snobs.
But what is a watch snob? Watch snobs generally look into the brand, history, and status of a watch. Most of the time, this translates into watches from the high-end brands from Switzerland and Germany.
However, owning and flaunting a Seiko usually gets that resounding nod from watch snobs simply because Seiko as a brand and manufacturer is real and genuine.
They can try to bash Seiko owners but at the end of the day, Horology love need not be expensive because watch prices are dictated by society and not by its actual heritage and functionality. Rolex prices have been increasing year by year and this is because of the brand value, supply and demand, and perception from society.
But watch per watch, a good Seiko can compete with Rolex in terms of functionality, quality, and heritage.
7. Use of "In House" Movements
A lot of people miss the fact that Seiko produces and manufactures their own watch movements.
I guess it probably stems from Seiko pricing their entry level automatic watches so affordable, that people probably think it is a mass-produced generic caliber housed inside that used in a lot of budget watches.
But Seiko is proud to design, manufacture, and provide its watches with “In House” movements and that is a sign of what a real watchmaker should be doing.
Think of it this way, if some of the famous and long-standing Swiss watch manufacturers use mass produced calibers (e.g ETA movements) and get top ratings and credits from the public, then Seiko should be celebrated more for purely creating their own movements from scratch in house.
It is always a great honor to build everything in house (watch case, dial, bracelet, movement, etc.) and not all watch manufacturers can claim to what Seiko does so effortlessly for the longest time
8. Global Seiko Support Groups and Clubs
I guess the last reason would probably seal the deal in convincing people to start to invest and collect Seiko watches.
Another serious sign of a strong brand or product is the presence of global groups or fan clubs supporting the hobby and passion. Such is the case with Seiko with their strong following in every continent.
A quick search through Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, etc. would reveal that there are dozens and dozens of Seiko groups and clubs worldwide. The people you find in these targeted groups and clubs show pure camaraderie, support, and the willingness to educate each and everyone the value and heritage of Seiko.
To top it all off, you can get fantastic watch deals from these clubs and groups and also have an excellent avenue to resell (if needed) some of your Seiko and non-Seiko watches.