Seiko SNKF05K “BFS” Automatic review
- Date acquired: August 28 2007
- Production date: June 2007
- Source: Mee Sing Watch Store, Pertama Complex Kuala Lumpur
- Price paid: MYR400 (USD121)
- Status: In production
Sometimes I hate Seiko. I really do.
Especially when the company releases an affordable model that makes me want to buy one immediately and then I see an almost similar model with a different dial and both are equally attractive. I get torn between the two and here’s the dilemma: Choose one or buy both?
Well, that’s exactly what happened to me when I had just purchased a brand new, SNKF11K and also craved for the SNKF05K at the same time.
It’s also infrequent that Seiko throws at my face two newly launched, affordable and attractive looking models that in fact, I ended up buying both of them in a matter of two days apart. It’s certainly good business for Seiko but bad for definitely my wallet. Who said that watch collecting isn’t addictive? 😉
Actually, my first watch was the ultra-large SNKF11K with a cool looking sporty Arabic numerals. Hardly 24 hours worth of ownership I was really thinking “Heck, I should’ve looked at the blue SNKF05K too!".
I decided to check out one of my favorite watch near my former office where I usually buy Morellato straps from. There’s the watch again – the SNKF05K basking sexily in the overhead halogen lights of the small watch store’s Seiko display case and its radiant blue dial beckoning to me. 🙂
To cut a long story short, the sales assistant who knew me well made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It was the cheapest quote I had gotten from all the watch shops in the entire shopping mall. Without thinking twice I whipped out my credit card, had the bracelet sized for my wrist and paid for it.
I’m a sucker or Seiko watches with iridescent dark blue dials. Not the bright blue ones that you know it’s blue. It’s the deep shade of blue/indigo that borders on black. A horological equivalent of the chameleon – depending on the light and the angle the watch appears dark blue or even black. You get the idea. 😉
A beautiful photo of the SNKF05K with its bracelet extended. Pic courtesy of “Swedefreak"
The SNKF09K was launched in SE Asia in mid 2007 together with three other models sharing the same caseback type – the SNKF11K, SNKF09K and the SNKF07K
It has a twin in the form of the black dialed SNKF07K depicted below. To date there are no other dial color variations other than black. Maybe Seiko should have introduced orange and yellow dials but I guess the BFS series (“Big Freakin’ Seiko") was meant to be on the slightly conservative side.
The SNKF05K (left) and the black dialed SNKF07K (right). Photos courtesy of Chronograph.com
Look and feel
I chose the blue SNKF05K over its black sibling because the dial is absolutely radiant and shimmers in strong lighting conditions. In poor lighting it appears bland and almost black, which gives this watch a dual personality. As for the SNKF07K, well…black is black.
This large watch has a strong wrist presence and from a distance, it could easily be mistaken for some big-name Swiss watch. Personally it reminds me of one of the Ball watch models due to the large “12" and “6" Arabic numbers.
On my next visit to the store, I was surprised to see the watchmaker’s son, Jack wearing this exact model although he favors the more expensive Swiss brands. In fact, in all the years I’ve been to his store I’ve never seen Jack wearing a humble Seiko! 😉
The 24mm solid link bracelet felt a little strange to me at first, having never worn a watch with a bracelet that wide before. I would rate it as medium heavy.
Multi-angled views of the SNKF05K
The bracelet is top notch for a Seiko of this price range. The center links are ultra-wide with a matte satin finish with a rather bland look. What I find a bit odd is the fact that the end pieces don’t follow the lug’s contours leaving an unsightly gap between the lug and the bracelet. It appears as though the bracelet design was a rushed job.
The lugs are not too long therefore they are strap-friendly. Unfortunately the lug edges aren’t properly beveled or rounded – they feel a bit sharp to my thumb. Rough finishing at its best.
Other than the bracelet is comfortable to wear and is certainly no hair puller. Thankfully Seiko didn’t skimp on the clasp (like they did with the SKA013P Kinetic and SKX007 diver bracelets) and it’s the kind that everyone likes – the triple lock type with the twin push button release mechanism.
The fixed bezel is adorned with fine serrations which contrasts nicely with the polished case sides. The knurled crown is unfortunately the free-wheeling type (non-locking) and it’s not surprising as this watch was not meant to be a heavy duty sports watch, let alone a diver.
The unsightly gap at the lug areas (left) leaves a lot to be desired. However, the push-button clasp (right) is a class act for a Seiko watch at this price.
The lume is adequately bright (sorry, I haven’t photographed lume shots for this watch yet) for this sort of watch and reading the time in darkness is easy, thanks to the large dial. The “12" and “6" numerals are easily recognizable as they are larger than the rest of the hour markers. The outer chapter rings are not lumed – they’re painted markers.
What I liked about the dial is that the “12" and “6" numbers stand out from the rest of the wedge shaped hour markers. Although I also liked the military-style dial of the SNKF11K “Big Freakin’’ Seiko", I thought the chapter ring had minute numerals that were too prominent and that they somewhat compete with the main dial. Some people would call the SNKF11K’s dial “busy looking".
A close up view of the SNKF05K’s dial. In this picture it looks matte blue. Note the chromed sweep second hand
I got tired of the unexciting looking bracelet and decided to swap it for a nice aftermarket leather strap. Somehow with the bracelet the watch looks too “steely", for lack of a better description. Finding a 24mm strap is easy but matching one with the blue dial depends on the watch’s dial color and its overall looks.
Since I find brown straps very complementary with blue dials, I went for a classy looking, crocodile grain strap.
The SNKF05K’s physical statistics are similar to the SNKF11K.
- Diameter: 46 mm (w/o crown), 47.5 mm (w/crown)
- Bezel diameter: 43mm
- Lug-to-lug: 51 mm
- Thickness: 11.5 mm
- Lug width: 24 mm
These are the latest photos of my watch on a 24mm De Rivoli brand leather strap. After this transformation I don’t think I’ll revert to the factory bracelet – with crocodile grain band this watch really oozes of class. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂
Wrist shots of my SNKF05K. Note how the dial color changes with the lighting and angle of view.
- Caliber: 7s26B, 21 jewels (7s26B from Oct 2006 onwards)
- Caseback type: 7s26-02Z0
- Movement: Automatic, non-hacking
- Beat rate: 21,600 bph (6 beats/sec)
- Loss/gain: Less than 40 sec/day
- Power reserve: About 42 hours
- Calendar: Day/date, dual language (Eng/Roman)
- Crown: Non-locking type
- Construction: Stainless steel
- Crystal: Hardlex glass, flat profile
- Bezel: Fixed
- W.R. rating: 100m
- Luminous material: LumiBrite™
- Movement Malaysia, cased in China
If I had to buy the SNKF05K all over again, I would definitely not hesitate to. I weighed the subtle differences between this and my former SNKF11K and decided this is the better looking of the two. On a leather strap it’s got the charisma and finesse of an expensive Swiss brand, minus the price.
Other than the rough finishing of the lug ends, there’s not much nitpicking from my point of view. Not for a Seiko that barely cost me USD125! If you’re looking for a classy/sporty looking Seiko automatic without the Seiko 5 logo, look no further than the SNKF05K or its black sibling, the SNKF07K.
Highly recommended if you like large watches. 🙂
What I liked:
- Elegant styling, looks expensive
- Large 12 and 6 o’clock Arabic numerals with an easy-to-read dial
- Very good value for the money for a non-Seiko 5 automatic
- Latest version 7s26B movement
- 24mm regular lugs means strap mods possibilities
- Large form factor without being too thick
- High quality finishing for this price point
What I didn’t care for:
- Roughly finished lug ends (a bit sharp)
- Bland looking bracelet
- Lume is on the average side, could have been brighter
- Non-screw lock crown
- 100m W.R. rating (200m would have been nice)
|Value for money:|
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Both the 7s26 and 4207 are very good and quality low-end movements from Seiko. The 4207 is a much smaller automatic movement and is used exclusively for ladies’ Seiko 5 watches. It is the descendant of the older, date-only 4205 movement. Because the 4207 has a smaller main spring (and thus, shorter power reserve), to help wind the watch quickly it can be wound by the crown (hand-winding).
The 7s26 has no hand-winding capability but has a larger main spring. It is used mainly on men’s watches.
Hope this helps,
I recently bought a SNK639-K1 with serial No. 2O0051. Case code is 02E0, on dial ref 7S26-05P4 TG2 , on rotor 7S26C, on the rear on the glass 7S26-02E0 [A4] KY. Languages are Engl + Spanish.
Can you tell me…
1: Where the watch was made?
2: What does the following mean [A4] KY? and TG2?
Sorry for all these questions, but Seiko doesn’t give much info on all the codes.
1. Your Seiko 5 (SNK639K) was assembled in China, with the movement sourced from Malaysia. It’s definitely from October 2012 because glass backed Seiko 5 watches didn’t appear until 2004. Furthermore the 7s26C caliber only appeared sometime in 2010, if not 2009. Therefore your watch cannot be from the year 2002.
2. One article from the Poor Man’s Watch Forum (PMWF) suggested that “[A4]” refers to the proprietary watch opening tool that Seiko uses, although I have seen watch store technicians opening up my various watch casebacks using a universal caseback tool. Yet another source (which I can’t remember) mentioned that the so-called “A-code” refers to the case size.
I’m afraid I don’t know what the other letters mean. Seiko is not obliged to divulge their proprietary caseback codes to the public – including their authorized watch dealers. Then again, Seiko watch sellers are generally ignorant and don’t bother getting such information from their respective distributors. That is, if the Seiko distributor/service center staff also knows what the other cryptic alphabets mean. 🙂
Congratulations and wear your new Seiko 5 in good health! 🙂
Yes, I went by that handle on the old SCWF discussion board, which was hosted by Network24.com and I was one of the last admins there. The forum hosting fees were quite steep and the original founder (Dr Wayne Lee) no longer wanted to support the old forum. The replacement SCWF site (The Watch Site) was then set up by a few core members, including a distant friend of mine “Isthmus” from New York. He had since quit The Watch Site and like me, moved on to other hobbies. I switched to photography in a big (and expensive way) and am very active on Flickr. 🙂
I signed up as an ordinary member with The Watch Site when they started but posted only a few messages before losing all interest in the The Watch Site. I’m not sure who is running it today or whatever their internal politics have become. I don’t see any reason for your “banishment” from the forum – unless there’s some technical glitch or one of their admins have gone rogue and started banning people arbitrarily. You’ll need to login by opening a new account (assuming that the ban isn’t based on your IP address) or email one or more of their admins to find out why you were banned. Sorry, I don’t know who the current admins are as I haven’t logged into TWS in years. 🙁
How much did your straps cost? And which shop in KL did you get it?