The Seiko 5 Sports “Sports Style” Lo-Light Automatic Ref. SBSA023 took this all-black approach, with a little military flair, for the first time since its Skx days. It features an open back and now powered by Seiko's automatic caliber, 4R36, operating at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 24 jewels with a power reserve of 40 hours. This is a major upgrade from the previous 7S26 non-hacking and winding caliber that used for the old SKX007J1. You know what, since this JDM model features the day/date display, one can self-select the day display to Japanese kanji characters, or in English.
The Seiko 5 Sports “Sports Style” Lo-Light still holds a 100m water resistant stainless steel case done in full greyish gunmetal finishing, measuring at 42mm wide without the crown, a lug to lug length of only 46mm, and a height of about 13mm, with a lug width of 22mm. The whole dimension and case design are true to its predecessor, thus moreover the short lugs to lugs length mean this watch wraps around the wrist on all(small or big) wrist sizes like a glove making it extremely comfortable.
The bezel is aluminium and has large printed markings on it. It rotates buttery smooth into 120 positions has little to no free play in anti-clockwise direction. Sitting atop of the bezel is Seiko’s Hardlex. The finishing is outstanding, though it is in gun-metal colorway, its not dull but radiates glossiness with satin-brushed and polished finishings throughout the whole watch, giving it a tool watch touch with much added sleekness and ritziness to it.
The matte black dial gets some makeover while still utilitarian. Like for instant, the new Seiko 5 logo has the “5” tilted 45 degrees anti-clockwise. The Logo is then balanced off symmetrically with the bottom Seiko’s Sumo “Automatic” font style instead of the old orange “diver’s 200m” text. The large and SKX’s heirloom indices stay home and make reading easy as it always done so, so are the classic Seiko hour and minutes hands. The hour markers are now surrounded with metal trims, and hands are generously coated with Seiko's LumiBrite allowing it to glow brightly in the dark for hours.
The Seiko 5 Sports “Sports Style” Lo-Light Ref. SBSA023 comes with on an olive nylon nato strap with black buckle to fit the whole outdoor theme.
Seiko’s revival of the Seiko 5 Sports has repetitively filled the void of affordable and reliable mechanical timepiece in the market successfully. The new generation of heritage designed Seiko 5 Sports “Sports Style” Lo-Light Ref. SBSA023 is something new while still probably one of the most iconic dive watches in the history of dive watches. The gun-metal colourway transformed the heritage SKX diver look into something more contemporary with a modern touch to it. Given its cult status and price, it’s re-born status definitely good news and is once again available for all of us with the intention is to own a piece of dive watch history or to have a “go-anywhere, do-anything” watch that packs extraordinary value.