Lily entrusted me with the task of choosing a watch for her dad’s birthday this year. The challenges I faced with this selection were twofold: firstly, it had to be something that he’d like to wear, and secondly, it needed to be reasonably priced. Most of the watches I write about are not cheap, and frankly even if we had the money to buy my father-in-law a really nice Swiss or German timepiece, it might not be something that he’d be into.
My final selection was a Seiko SNZG15K1. Many are unfamiliar with the brand’s collections that are available outside of the US – the Spirit and 5 lines are relatively inexpensive and feature automatic movements. These watches are a far cry from the cheap Seikos that you might find in a drugstore… in short, they offer an incredible bang for the buck. I can’t think of another sub-$150 mechanical watch that I’d rather buy.
Aesthetically, this is perfect for my father-in-law, who prefers understated things that can take a beating. The watch has a 42mm high-contrast face which make for great readability, and the nylon strap is a nice touch. The tang buckle has a matte finish to match the casing, and there’s a leather accent sewn into the band for durability. My only complaint is that the movement does not allow for hand winding (thus, it must be worn daily to continue running). But that’s a small gripe on a watch that’s an excellent value.
I mentioned that these Seikos are not available anywhere in the US – your best bet on acquiring them is through a proxy like Roachman or on eBay. I’m not looking for a watch right now, but I’d certainly be excited to add a Seiko to the collection in the future. For now, though, I hope my father-in-law enjoys this timepiece as much as I did picking it out for him.