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Seiko SKX007 Dive Watch - Ten Interesting and Affordable Alternatives

Posted on September 30 2020

The Seiko SKX007 and SKX009 models are two of the most popular affordable dive watches. They are great value for money and are powered by Seiko’s own in-house automatic movements.

In late 2019 Seiko ceased production.

It’s taken a while for this to filter through as many dealers still had a supply. But there are less new ones available and no more in production. Now is a good time to move on from the SKX models and see what similar watches are available around the same price-point.
Seiko SKX007

Why was the SKX007 so popular?


The SKX007 was popular for a number of reasons. Essentially, it provided a lot of watch for the money. I bought mine for around £200 a few years back. For that I got a stylish, well made divers watch with a Seiko automatic movement and 200M water resistance.

The watch, when launched in 1996, was the latest in a series of entry-level Seiko divers - so it also has a bit of history. Interestingly, it was never meant to be a model for Western watch fans so it has always been a grey market import.

The important point though, is the place it held in the market. The specs and price meant, for many, that this was their first real diver. Or their first mechanical diver.

It also had a great aesthetic, having other iconic Seiko watches in its lineage. The crown at four o’clock was a nice, practical feature and the simple black dial with the red text was distinctive. In addition to all of this, there was a lively scene for the hobbyists who like to modify their watch. The SKX made a popular base model to customise - read more here.

There’s a number of reasons that led to the model being discontinued, from it’s slightly out-dated movement to Seiko’s promotion of its newer Seiko 5 range (more about Seiko 5 here). But that doesn’t mean that the market for this type of diver at this price went away. There’s still a big audience for the companies that offer a stylish, entry-level automatic sports watch.

SKX007 Alternatives


It would be tempting to just list the watches that Seiko produced to replace the SKX models - and many articles have done just that. Or they’ve just listed the Orient alternatives - similar Japanese watches made by a company partly owned by Seiko.

What I’ve attempted is to take the basic design ethos and features of the SKX - a mid-sized dive watch with black dial and bezel and an automatic movement - and I’ve looked at what other manufacturers are offering in that space. From there I’ve narrowed the list down to my ten favourites.

Don’t worry. I made sure to include one Seiko and this Orient.

 

Orient RA-EL0001B00B Dive watch

 

It was inevitable that I’d include an Orient watch in this list - Orient and Seiko are two Japanese brands that are are linked, but compete in the same space. Where Seiko had their entry-level divers, Orient has its popular Mako collection. Where Seiko have the very affordable Seiko 5 line, so Orient has their version - the TriStar line that I discussed here.

The temptation was to include a diver from the Mako line as an alternative, but there were two reasons to avoid this. Firstly, the Mako has quite a few design differences to the Seiko, and secondly, this Trition model has a better movement than the Mako.

Stylistically, the Triton has some similar features to the Seiko. The case shape, indices, hands and importantly, the crown positioning, are all close. It must be said, it is also reminiscent of Orient’s own Saturation Diver. Other than the power reserve indicator, this watch is very similar to the SKX007.

In many ways, it is actually superior. Remember I said that one of the reasons that the Seiko was discontinued was due to its use of an older, out-dated movement? This Orient on the other hand uses their own 40N5A automatic movement - a movement that is used in more expensive models than this diver. It also has a sapphire crystal.

It’s a very well made piece - there’s a tiny sapphire crystal to protect the lume pip on the bezel and drilled lugs to make strap changing easier. Nice touches that might not be immediately obvious. As for sizing, the dimensions are very like the Seiko.

  • Orient Triton RA-EL0001B00B
  • 43mm Diameter
  • 14mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Orient Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 Spinnaker Croft Dive Watch

 

I’ve already featured Spinnaker in a couple of posts as they offer quite a selection of watches at the price-point I like to shop in (see Panerai alternatives here). They are a newer watch brand, based in Hong Kong and owned by Dartmouth.

You’ll also be aware of a couple of other brands in their stable, the likes of Balast, Dufa and Avi-8 (more here). They’re affordable watches, produced in the far east, but readily available in the UK and US.

The Spinnaker range initially began as a series of designs based around sailing and the ocean. Although they’ve expanded that somewhat, the majority of their watches are still focused on this niche - so the Croft collection is quite typical for the brand.

Although the Croft doesn’t have a 4 o’clock crown, it still has a lot in common with the Seiko. At 43mm it’s just a little wider than the SKX and at 150M water resistance, it has a slightly lower depth rating.

What does the Spinnaker Croft have in common with the SKX007?

As mentioned, it is very similar in size and is powered by a Japanese automatic movement. The indices are similar, and although the hands are different, they’re still chunky like the Seiko. It’s far from being a direct SKX replacement, rather it’s a similarly priced stylish dive watch with comparable specs.

  • Spinnaker Croft SP-5058-22
  • 43mm Diameter
  • 12mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Miyota Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 150M Water Resistance

 

MWC Depthmaster 1000M Dive watch

 

MWC stands for Military Watch Company. As Authorised Dealers, we’re a little biased towards this Swiss brand. They’re primarily known for producing classic military watches, from the British Army G10 to their remakes of US watches from the Vietnam era (more here).

The Depthmaster is a more recent offering and part of their extensive Divers range. This particular variant is at the top of the specs they produce. The design is more spartan than the Seiko, as the MWC is aimed much more at the deep sea diving market (see 1000M dive watches here).

The crown is at 4 but little else is exactly like the SKX. Again, like the Orient, the changes are actually upgrades. This has the slightly better Seiko NH35A movement and a sapphire crystal.

It also has 1000M water resistance and a helium escape valve, the type used on watches provided to saturation divers.

The case is thick and heavy. The depth is 18mm and the width 44mm. Like most MWC watches this model is delivered with an easily replaceable canvas Nato strap. The ceramic bezel is a nice touch, as is the neat date window at 4 o’clock - again different to the 3 o’clock position of the Seiko.


  • MWC Depthmaster 100ATM/12/SS/AUT
  • 44mm Diameter
  • 15mm Thick
  • 24mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Seiko NH35A Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 1000M Water Resistance

 

Stuhrling Depthmaster Dive Watch

 

A recent pattern I’ve spotted has been that watches from Stuhrling have crept into my posts (more about Stuhrling here). When I’ve been looking at alternatives to a piece from a Swiss luxury brand there’s regularly been a similar styled Stuhrling model. So I've highlighted the odd watch of theirs as we've crossed paths.

In an industry where companies can sometimes boast of over a hundred years of history, Stuhrling is a new face. They’re a little under twenty years old and claim to have sold over fifteen million watches in that time. What is more, the watches that they launched the brand with were a tourbillon collection. That’s some feat.

Founder Chaim Fischer is based in New York, but the watches are proudly manufactured in Shenzhen, China. I say proudly because the website features articles detailing the reasons for choosing China, including videos of the watch manufacturing process.

The name of this watch isn’t the most original - it’s not the only ‘depthmaster’ on this list. This Depthmaster is the more conventional design of the pair.

Design-wise, there’s nothing I’d describe as unique or pioneering here. The indices are neat dots like the SKX007 and there are Mercedes hands. It’s a fairly straightforward divers watch in the Submariner vein. But it does it well.

Where it does score points is for the specs and cost. This watch houses a Swiss automatic movement and has 200M water resistance, while priced at a little over £300. As a black, entry-level diver it gives the Seiko a very good run for its money.


  • Stuhrling Depthmaster 883
  • 42mm Diameter
  • 14.4mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Automatic movement
  • Krysterna Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 

Momentum Dive Watch

 

Canadian brand Momentum focuses primarily on classic and field watch designs (more on field watches here). As well as their unique creations, the Momentum range also includes a number of watches that are instantly recognisable. There is a British Army G10 style infantry watch, a Submariner diver and a number of field watches.

This diver is a bit of a departure from the plainer models that dominate their range, but it is still very much a functional tool watch. It’s another example of a watch that is similar to the Seiko without having many specifics in common.

Yes, the crown is at 4 and the movement is a Japanese automatic, but other than that it’s all small differences. The overall result however, is a watch that is a direct competitor to the Seiko - this time with a price nearer £400.

It lacks some of the finesse of others on the list - I wouldn’t describe this as a desk diver. But it wins as a sporty tool watch in the same niche as brands like Traser and Luminox.


  • Momentum 1M-DV30B1B M30
  • 44.2mm Diameter
  • 15mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance

 

Invicta 30414 Dive Watch

 

Invicta - it’s Latin for invincible - is an American company with a large range of both quartz and mechanical watches. They’re usually powered by Japanese movements, although on occasion, they’ll use Swiss made.

The company is now American owned. But Invicta can trace its roots to Switzerland during the late 1880s. Its corporate headquarters are in Switzerland along with its customer service centre and its current president, who is a third-generation watchmaker, is Swiss.

The company's products are based largely around a stable of divers watches (more here). They are functional sports watches with features you would expect. Decent water resistance, rotating bezels, screw-down crowns and the like. The brand is renowned for high spec watches at an affordable price. I recently bought one new for less than £50.

 

 

This model, from the Pro Diver collection, is a bit of a monster. At 47mm it’s significantly bigger than the SKX007. It does have the superior NH35A movement, which isn’t bad considering this model is half the price of a Seiko.

There’s a little more colour than the other watches on the list and the case has a fairly uncommon asymmetrical design. The uncluttered dial is straight forward and if the size isn’t a deal-breaker this is a great watch for the money.

  • Invicta Pro Diver 30414
  • 47mm Diameter
  • 24mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Seiko NH35A Automatic movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 

Seiko 5 Dive Watch

 

What I specifically didn’t want to do in this post was to just create a list of alternative Seiko divers. But it is worth reiterating this point - Seiko has replaced the SKX models with watches from the Seiko 5 collection. So here’s my pick for an SKX-style divers watch from the current Seiko 5 range.

The similarities are obvious, from the case to the crown, hands and bezel. If I had to choose, I think I actually prefer this watch to the more popular SKX007. It has a nice vintage feel, with the cream markers and simple bezel consolidating this. It’s not over-sized and at current prices it’s the cheaper of the two.

There are variations with a silicone strap or a with a Milanese style bracelet that reinforces the vintage styling even more.

  • Seiko 5 SRPD73K2
  • 43mm Diameter
  • 13mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Hardlex Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 

Geckota S-01 Dive Watch

 

British watch company Geckota is one of those cool smaller brands that I love to discover. Like a lot of these niche businesses, the brand’s story is the founder’s story. In this case, self-confessed watch geek Jonathan Quinn.

Based in Tewkesbury, Jonathon began as Watch Gecko, selling unbranded watch straps. From there he quickly grew the business to the fully-fledged watch brand it is today - managing to become carbon neutral along the way.

The brand’s range is quite broad and includes divers, aviation and racing models.

This watch is probably the most expensive on the list, but when you take a closer look you can see why. It’s a carefully crafted piece, released in limited numbers. There’s great attention to detail and that has been coupled with high specs.

The movement is from Swiss manufacturer ETA and the water resistance is 300M. There are a sapphire crystal and a distinctive angular case that gives the watch its own charm. I love it.

  • Geckota S-01
  • 41mm Diameter
  • 13.9mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss ETA Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance

 

Rotary Super 7 Scuba Dive Watch

 

Rotary is another brand that I've recently taken a shine to (see more here).

 

Rotary was originally founded in Switzerland and still manufactures some of its watches there. This Swiss heritage stretches back more than 125 years, giving the company a real back story. Something that may not be obvious if your familiarity with the brand comes from seeing their more inexpensive watches on the high street.

For many watch fans in the UK, Rotary is seen as a bit of a home brand. Indeed, their head office is in London. This British connection goes back to the early days of the brand. Although founded in Switzerland towards the end of the 1800s, it was only a few years later that they opened their first UK office.

So they’re a brand that I grew up with but neglected. This year I’ve started to keep them on my radar and since then I’ve stumbled across a number of models that I’ve really liked.

Diver’s haven’t been the type of watch that I’ve associated with Rotary, but this Super 7 Scuba is an impressive watch. It’s a little like the Stuhrling in that there’s nothing particularly unique in the design. It’s about the basics being done very well.

The Miyota movement is an obvious bonus in a watch that retails for a little over £200. With that, the sapphire crystal and 300M water resistance, it’s a great all-rounder. The rubber strap version is more sporty than the stainless steel bracelet variation - the latter being a nice desk diver.

It’s not styled like the Seiko but would still make a suitable upgraded replacement.
  • Rotary Super 7 Scuba S7S001S
  • 42mm Diameter
  • 13.8mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Miyota 8205 Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance

 

Phoibos Eagle Ray Dive Watch

The final watch is from young Chinese brand Phoibos - it means ‘bright, shining one’. It’s yet another model that packs a real punch for an affordable watch. Very much designed to be worn in more formal settings. As the brand says, the aim with the Eagle Ray was to “create a tough dive watch that can also fit in when a dressier watch is needed”.

It’s, therefore, one of the smaller watches on the list - although 41mm is in no way small.

The design could be described and ‘tidy’ or ‘understated’, particularly when seen on the leather strap. It has a restrained styling that really works well if you want a watch that can be used in rugged environments but don’t want a sports watch.


The brand has opted for the popular NH35A movement and a sapphire crystal. With the 300M water resistance, we’re again looking at a watch that provides a lot for the money. The brand is quite a contrast from where we began with the Orient. Still a Far Eastern brand, but this time a young Chinese couple rather than a Japanese giant.

  • Phoibos Eagle Ray PY025C
  • 41mm Diameter
  • 13.2mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Seiko NH35A Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance

 

Conclusion

The SKX007 is iconic and popular divers watch - very much an affordable entry-level piece. It’s fun and reliable and easy to customise. It’s also a little dated and competes against some of the newer dive watches that Seiko has since brought to market.

Seiko has therefore decided to discontinue the model.

Despite its popularity, there’s nothing unique about the SKX007. Other manufacturers also produce similar entry-level divers watches, often with higher specifications or a cheaper price tag.

The ten watches on this list give you multiple options to the Seiko and are all valid replacements.

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