seiko 5 military review

Seiko 5 Military Watch, My First Encounter with SBSA117

Could you really resist the temptation of this lovely design and wonderful functionality?

Date Published
November 10, 2021
Gnomon Watches
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I can’t get field watches out of my head, especially the Seiko 5 Military watches. Nothing beats the character and price of those watches as far as I know. As someone who loves to wander, I do need something- a wonderful timepiece- on my wrist.

When I was surfing on the internet and some online forums, people around the globe recommended the Seiko 5 for the young as watch enthusiasts. Many shared their stories on how these pieces were their early days’ sweethearts. That moment, it’s clear. I needed one of those. I wanted one in my field watches collection.

A couple of months ago, I encountered my very first watch from the Seiko 5. You guessed it right; Seiko 5 Sports “Military Style” Black – Nylon Ref. SBSA117. Its simplicity was enough to charm me. Moreover, this classic piece with contemporary appeal is one of my favorites to go gallivanting around the country.

At first, I had my doubts too. How come something this affordable is wonderful? Yet, the following reasons struck me with amazement. Let me tell you the two main reasons why this Seiko 5 military is the proper fit.

A good deal is always on the way

For someone like me, the sophistication in a timepiece is its eligibility. Not to mention, the price! Where else can I find an affordable automatic timepiece with no unnecessary details? When I glance at my watch, I want to know the present time. Its practicality is the first thing that I look into.

Though affordable, Seiko 5 watches keep the 5 must-have principles. It is powered by an automatic movement, displaying the day and date complication, a long-lasting case & strap, a recessed crown, and an acceptable degree of water resistance. I don’t lose out on anything with this watch around. How affordable this piece actually is? Under $300, then you can get this one stylish timepiece.

It’s pleasingly durable and versatile

It’s true. I’ve been hanging out with my Seiko 5 military watch for two months and it keeps on ticking. I’ve been with it traveling to many cities, you can imagine how much it hit something. I might be a careless person, but not with this timepiece. Sure, a few light scratches appeared someday. But, that’s all.

Seiko 5 Japan Seiko 5 Sports “Military Style” Black - Nylon Ref. SBSA117
Seiko 5 Japan Seiko 5 Sports “Military Style” Black – Nylon Ref. SBSA117

As I have a tight schedule, I want my go-to watch to be versatile. Its modern look and neutral beige nylon strap color indeed come in handy. I can put my regular outfits and that matches well under darker color spectrums. One thing about the nylon strap, it has a wide range of customization alternatives. I can pick a different one- any style and color- to tone with my other holiday and formal attire.

Now, let’s dive into the Seiko 5 Military review. I am going to show you the specifications of Seiko 5 Sports “Military Style” Ref. SBSA117 that successfully caught my attention.

Basic components

The Seiko 5 military indeed lived up to its expectations. The round outermost case shapes the watch into having a fine outline. With a diameter of 39.4mm, lug to lug distance of 48.1mm, and thickness of 13.2mm, the watch is adaptable to a wide range of wrist sizes. Also, the nylon strap makes it possible to suit many styles and wrist sizes. It takes days for the strap to soften for me. Yet, it’s comfortably lightweight.

Moreover, the case is made with stainless steel, on top of it is the hardlex crystal. They are enough to protect the watch from the heavy impact of being scratched and shuttered. As long as you’re not as sloppy as me, your next collection of this Seiko 5 goes well in harsh environments.

The dial, yes. It’s minimal in design. And that’s the good point of its eligibility. This Seiko 5 military shows direct Arabic numbers. The hands and indices glow the splendid color of blue under the night from the LumiBrite luminescent treatment. For those who don’t know, LumiBrite is clear of radioactive substances, shines brighter, and lasts longer than conventional luminous paints. Further, it’s one of the automatic mechanical watches with day-date complications and a push-pull crown at the 3 o’clock position.


Seiko in-house caliber 4R36, that’s the automatic movement from the watch. The movement’s new upgrades claim to have +45/-35 seconds per day accuracy with the options of hacking and hand-winding. In addition, Seiko’s diashock has been known to be worthy of an anti-shock system. The watch has 24 jewels, a beat rate of 21,600 beats per hour, and a power reserve of 40 hours. I love to wear my watch all day, thus I don’t need to worry about its energy thinning out. However, you can just shake this watch for tens of seconds to keep it running. Also, the exhibition case back displays the detailed inner working of the watch.


From the splendid LumiBrite treatment and the latest automatic in-house movement, the watch still holds a surprise. Despite the affordable price, it is resistant to water up to 100m depth. My worry about the splash and rain ceases to exist. Sometimes, I bring this watch to go swimming and diving. Right now, I have no hesitation to go under the water with Seiko 5 around my wrist.

Final thoughts

I don’t have much to say besides this Seiko 5 military watch is worth the money. If you’re fond of a minimalistic and military look, this watch is your cup of tea. Not to mention, its basic components, upgrades of technical specifications, and superb performance show the increase in overall quality. My final thought is, what are you waiting for?

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.

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