The Seiko 5 world time models are among the first Seiko 5s that carry the 4R36 calibre, Seiko's new (as of this article) entry-level automatic calibre. It used to be that the lack of hack-and-wind was a characteristic of mechanical watches in this price tier. The introduction of such capabilities to this range of affordable watches is quite significant. In my opinion this grade of mechanical watches with these new calibres are going to give some serious competition to several entry-level swiss offerings for people seeking bang-for-buck deals.
An interesting note before we proceed with the review is the place of manufacture for this series. We know many luxury items are made in other countries other than Japan, and they work very well. However for those who are interested, yes this series can come from either Japan or somewhere else. And yes there is a price difference. Watch out for the "Made In Japan" letters if it matters to you.
Movement: Calibre 4R36, +45 to -35 accuracy per day. Hack-and-wind with 24 jewels.
Hardlex and display back.
10 bar water resist.
Magnetic resistence: yes.
Diameter excluding crown: 40mm - 41mm
Lug-to-lug distance: ~48mm
Bracelet lug width: 22mm
Many colour combinations of the Seiko 5 world-time are available, including a limited edition model. Seiko produces numerous designs in the affordable range, and un-surprisingly a few models turn out to be a cut above the rest. In my opinion the blue-dialed SRP125 is one such example.
Fitted with an attractive blue dial accompanied by a world-time bezel, the SRP125 looks good and is very versatile. Business attire? No problem. Sporty event? Works fine. Dressy or smart casual? Cool. Let's take a look at the dial again when we shift the position of the light source.
In the shade the dial fades to near-black. Bring it into the light and we see the reflective blue dial come into play. What we have is something that's quite attractive during actual wear for it's price range.
Let me compare it to a 44mm Hamilton.
The Hamilton edges out the SRP125 in finish and bracelet comfort. And of course sapphire is more scratch-resistant than hardlex. However that's all reasonable considering that the SRP125 is priced at a fraction of the Hamilton. When it comes to personal preferences in overall aesthetics, I think the SRP125 puts up a really good contest and has the advantage in price-performance ratio. For one thing it cetainly looks better on my wrist than the larger Hamilton and I spend much, much less time adjusting it during the day. (I've joined the anti-big-watch club.)
It is also worth noting that the SRP125 is somewhat weightier than it's accomodating diameter might suggest (See stated weight). The speciment I have switches the date near 12 midnight. The day is multi-lingual and cycles to English(my selected option) much later. However this should be no surprise to people who are familiar with Seiko's affordable day-date mechanical watches.
We have heard the expression of how a SARB is a "poor man's Grand Seiko". I've seen a few blue-themed swiss-branded watches around that look very versatile... and the SRP125 does seem to be like a reasonable alternative in the affordables category.
Here's the watch on my 6.75 inch wrist, followed by a few more photos to end the review.