What Does Seiko 5 Stand For?
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Thread: What Does Seiko 5 Stand For?

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  1. #1
    Inactive Isthmus's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    NY, NY

    What Does Seiko 5 Stand For?

    Seiko 5 is Seiko's introductory line of automatic watches. It is also Seiko's oldest and longest continually used sub-brand. The "5" stands for the watch's 5 principal attributes:

    1. Diaflex (unbreakable mainspring),
    2. Diashock (Seiko's shock resistant design, equivalent to the Swiss "Incabloc"),
    3. Automatic winding,
    4. day/date indication, and
    5. Water resistant.

    The 5 logo has been applied to a wide variety of calibers and styles and is one of the few sub-brands still in use today. As an aside, there are some early 1980's intro level quartz models that attempted to capitalize on the recognition of the 5 logo and were branded as Seiko 5's, even though they did not meet the definition of the 5 logo. Apparently this did not work well and was not used for very long. Finding vintage seiko 5 quartz watches is generally uncommon.

    There is no site run by seiko that identifies or is dedicated to all of their seiko 5 branded models. Your best bet for getting an idea of what is currently available is to look at local catalogs for markets where such watches are intended (mainly south east asia and parts of latin america). you can also look at the websites of online sellers who deal in Seiko 5's such as Roachman, PMWC, and Boris Affordable Wrist watches (AKA seiko5ers). They will all have a fairly extensive collection of current production seiko 5 models.

    It is important to note that modern Seiko 5's all use 7s calibers. However the same is not true of vintage models. Over the decades the seiko 5 sub-brand has been offered in a very wide array of calibers, often at the same time. Also there are many cases of vintage models in which the same watch was offered both as a seiko 5 and as a regular seiko, with little or no other physical difference (sometimes they were branded in combination with other sub-brands, such as Sports, advan, speedtimer, DX, etc.)

    Generally modern Seiko 5's are solidly built watches but not built to meet any ISO standards for professional usage. The only exceptions that I know of are the new Frankentmonster which was built to ISO diver standards and the now out of production 40th anniversary divers.
    rodia77, cma3, sunny27 and 1 others like this.

  2. #2
    Member polaco23's Avatar
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    Aug 2008

    Re: What Does Seiko 5 Stand For?

    yet another thing i learn while on here! thanks Isthmus.

    always wondered what the hell the "5" on my diver was for????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: What Does Seiko 5 Stand For?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isthmus View Post
    It is important to note that modern Seiko 5's all use 7s calibers.
    great info, but the above is no longer true as it appears that Seiko is now using 4r36 movements in many 5 models? (e.g., SRP481K, SRP288, etc.)

    i think it's a bargain to see lower models inherit newer movements (although i can't speak for parts? stamped, etc.?)

    on the cheap-watch Gulf of Mexico

    p.s. i have an SRP481 and i use it for swimming in the morning

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  5. #4
    Member Sodiac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Maryland USA

    Re: What Does Seiko 5 Stand For?

    Just for reference, here's "The Seiko 5 Story" on the Seiko website.

    Too many watches, only two wrists and never enough time...

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