I am writing to compare and relate these two watches - the SKX031J (L) and SNZE19J (R).
The reason is that for a variety of reasons they have become my favorite pair of watches for daily wear. They are similar but different. I have a hard time choosing which one to wear.
What I like about this pair is that the size and wear-ability, style, features, and the apparent quality for the price ratio is right up there.
First the size. They are both slightly smaller and thinner than the full sized divers like the SKX 007. I like how comfortable and natural they are to wear around the office and the home. They both fit well under a shirt cuff if needed and also fit close to the wrist so they do not appear as vulnerable to getting clunked around as larger or chunkier watches.
While both are sporty watches, they have individual twists.
The SKX031 is a light duty diver I’d say - not equipped to be a full spec diver. But with a screw down crown and 100m water resistance I can wear it in full confidence for any water activity short of heavy diving. It is certainly more than adequate for frequent swimming and snorkeling. While the crown rests at 3 o’clock, the case itself is shaped very much like the 007 case, organic and rounded corners. The rotating bezel is useful and clicks nicely – but strangely it turns both ways. The dial is my favorite feature. I like it better than the 007 dial. I had the hands on mine changed to chrome outline Mark II, but the dial itself is gorgeous. It is a rich charcoal black; I admire it often it is such a sweet shade. The dial markers and date window have chrome surrounds giving it a look more expensive than it is. Easy to read at all times with powerful lume. On my example all of the markers on the dial, chapter ring, and bezel line up perfectly. The 7S26 powered watch is accurate enough - I rarely reset the time.
The SNZE19 is a funny guy, it has a kinda sporty but hi-tech feel, it is marked as 100 meters, the bezel is one way rotating - but it has a nicely knurled pull-out crown. It is protected from blows – but it is also very easy to pull out. So while some may view it as a beach and occasional dipping sort of watch – I’d be worried about sand getting into the stem mechanism. So I keep it mostly away from the beach. But I love this guy otherwise. The case is conventionally shaped but has interesting character around where the lugs join the case. The ion bezel, whatever that is (Plastic?), is cool and seems scratch resistant; the black dial is very nice, lume great. If I had bone to pick about the dial it would be that the 6 and 12 markers on the dial are both identical. If the six o’clock marker were the same as the other hourly markers it would be perfect. Everything lines up on this watch as well. It has a very Hi-Qual feeling. It is not too big but still has presence on the wrist. Once a friend of mine did a double-take when he glanced at my wrist. For a second he said, he thought he saw a MarineMaster. The white on black date and day markers are cool. It has a see thru back, a trait of Seikos with the decently accurate 23 Jewel 7s36 ticker.
The SKX031 can come with steel or rubber bands. The SNZE I have only seen on rubber so not sure if steel is optional. Mine both came on rubber, but I now wear them both on Maratac Zulu bands. The SNZE is on a two piece 20mm black zulu so I can enjoy looking at the movement.
The SKX is on one of several optional 22mm Zulu’s, I enjoy switching them out. At any time it looks great on a bond zulu - can't go wrong with that. My coyote zulu matches my work belt and bug-out bag perfectly so I switch the bands often.
I highly recommend Maratac bands and I have developed a collection of them. A simple band switch can make an old favorite seem new again.
Neither of these watches use the “fat” spring bars.
Both of these watches have functioned and run perfectly from day one. They both seem to run longer when put down than ETA powered watches. Interestingly, only my one-way winding ETA/Valjous powered Speedmaster runs longer than my Seikos – at many times the cost! Seiko has really nailed down automatic winding it seems.
Really these are two of my favorite watches and I recommend them both for sporty but comfortable wear under a sleeve and as an alternative to a high profile diver for casual wear. They are both great bang for the buck, I would never feel “out-gunned” in the company of watches that are more expensive – but not necessarily any better. They are both nice, very well finished examples of basic Seiko 5 watches that are bit out of the mainstream.
The hardest choice I have to make with this pair is which one to wear tomorrow.