If you're looking for a high quality, affordable dive watch that's perfect for smaller wrists, the Seiko SKX013 might be your best bet.
Much like the Seiko brand, in general, the SKX is one of the most respected watches amongst watch enthusiasts and collectors.
It’s available in a couple of different colorways and sizes, my favorite being the black SKX013 (which is the smaller version).
This watch is the epitome of value (i.e., getting a lot for your money). It sells for $200-250, depending on where you buy it, which is an extremely reasonable price.
This was my first automatic watch, and I plan on handing it down to my kids.
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It’s a true diver – a 200m ISO rated watch. In fact, Robert Redford wears an SKX in the movie All Is Lost, an epic film about a sailor stranded at sea.
I’m not sure which SKX he wore, but the 013 is the perfect size for me. So many great dive watches are just too big and bulky for my smaller wrists.
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Don’t get me wrong – it’s not a thin or light watch. You feel it on your wrists. When you hand it to someone, they bounce their hand up and down and say, “Wow, it’s heavy.”
But that’s the nature of dive watches, and it’s not a bad thing.
Let’s look at the specs
There are multiple important specs of a watch. Let's take a look at the movement and the case and crown.
This watch runs on the 7S26 movement, which is automatic but non-hacking and non-hand-windable.
Sure, it would be better if it were hacking and hand-windable, but this is by no means a deal breaker.
Case & Crown
It has a thick stainless steel case with a rotating bezel, which you can rotate counter-clockwise to use as a timer.
The crown is a screw-down crown, which helps with water resistance.
Crystal & Dial
The SKX features Seiko’s Hardlex crystal, which is a proprietary type of hardened mineral glass that Seiko created in house. It's extremely impact resistant and shatter proof.
The dial is matte black and extremely legible. There’s plenty of lume to help you read the time and date in the dark. And, like many divers, there’s a depth to this watch face – a noticeable space between the glass and the dial.
The SKX013 can be purchased on a black rubber strap or a jubilee bracelet. Mine came with the jubilee bracelet, which was comfortable but noticeably cheap.
I ended up swapping it out for an oyster bracelet from Strapcode. This bracelet was made specifically for this watch, so the curved end links fit perfectly.
It’s noticeably higher quality than the stock jubilee bracelet, and I really like the look and feel. Its heft seems to match the watch a little better than the somewhat jangly jubilee bracelet.
Of course, you could put this little guy on a NATO or leather strap if you wanted to.
How to Wear It
I wear this watch everywhere. Dive watches are super versatile. The only time I wouldn’t wear this is with a suit. But it looks awesome with casual, smart casual or even business casual outfits.
Jeans and a button up? This watch is perfect.
Shorts and polo (or t-shirt)? Yes, sir!
Chinos, boots, sweater and a field jacket? Yup, that works too.
I’ve also worn this watch on the beach and in the pool. There’s something so satisfying about submerging it and swimming around with it on.
If you’re looking for an affordable, automatic dive watch that’s almost universally respected by watch collectors and enthusiasts at every level, the Seiko SKX is your best bet.
And if you have smaller wrists (say under 6.75” around), the SKX013 is, in my opinion, the clear winner.
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