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Everything About Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series

June 29, 2022 5 min read


The Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series delivers on all fronts, from style to substance, plus its affordability.

GMT, or Greenwich Mean Time, is the time shown by the Shepherd Gate Clock at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, UK. That's the time measured at the Prime Meridian, which is a line that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western hemispheres at 0° (0 degrees) longitude.

What's Special About GMT Watches?

You might be wondering why you need a GMT watch. I mean, why the fuss about these Seiko GMT watches? What's so special about GMT watches and should you own one?

Well, since you've asked us all of these questions — well, technically, you asked us since you're reading this article - we have all the answers you need.

Firstly, just like the name implies a time zone, the GMT watch has functionality that displays both the GMT and the local time. The watch does this by a GMT complication - an additional hour hand, and a 24-hour scale.

For a better visibility, the GMT hand is often of a different color than the rest of the hands so when a user looks at its dial, they can tell both the local time displayed on the 12- hour scale and the GMT pointed by the additional hour hand: usually referred to as the GMT hand, on a 24-hour scale.

Also, the GMT hand can be either static or independent, meaning that it moves and can be set either along with the hand that tells the local time or independent of it.

Watch lovers who are adverse travelers can add this amazing piece to their collection. Not only is it quite useful for frequent travelers, but it can also pass as a fashion statement.

About The Seiko 5 Series

The Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series is under the Seiko 5 series and if this is your first time hearing about it or, you have assumed that it means the wristwatch has 5 variants. Well, let me explain.

Firstly, the Seiko 5 series has been around since 1968 with its roots in the Seiko Sportsmatic 5 of 1963. And contrary to what I thought, watches included in this series had to meet five specific criteria. Here are the criteria to meet:

  1. They had to have a recessed/protected crown;
  2. A robust bracelet or strap with a shock-resistant movement capable of handling sporty activities;
  3. An automatic winding;
  4. A day/date display;
  5. A decent amount of water resistance.

The Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series being in this line will mean that it has all of these properties. Let's check out its specifications.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT watches SSK001, SSK003 and SSK005, pair with Rubber watch bands by Strapcode

Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series enhance the sporty look by pairing with Quick-Release FKM watch bands

Specifications of Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series

The new Seiko 5 GMT Series takes a form factor known and loved by so many and adds a splash of functionality to it. It takes the form of the Seiko SKX and adds the GMT function and it comes in three variants:

  • SSK001 - Black: it comes with a black dial and bezel with a red GMT hand
  • SSK003 - Blue: it has a blue dialed version with a two-tone black and blue bezel with a red GMT hand
  • SSK005 - Orange: This is a fun orange-dialed version with gold accents on the bezel and a polished GMT hand.

So far, in the world of GMT watches, these Seiko GMT watches have proven to be quite an attractive option, hence the fuss in the watch market.

The watch falls in the category of GMT watches under 1000 as it is expected to retail for about 500 USD. Owning one of these won't break the bank or put a hole in your wallet so, here's a closer look at them.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT watches SSK001 & SSK003 pair with leather watch straps by Strapcode

Italian handcrafted leather watch straps, On Seiko GMT Black and on Seiko GMT Blue

Watch Case

The new Seiko GMT series comes in a 42.5mm stainless steel case coming in at 13.6mm thick with 100 meters of water resistance. The case shape should make SKX fans feel right at home since this watch features the classic SKX silhouette right down to the 4 o’clock crown and sculpted crown guards.

However, the difference between both is that compared to SKX, the GMT Series has grown by just 0.1mm in height and it is done in steel, with a brushed and polished finish.

On the case sits a rotatable bezel with a two-tone insert showing a 24h scale. Its Hardlex crystal has a cyclops over the date, and around the back, we find a transparent case back.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK003 pair with Suede watch strap by Strapcode

Seiko 5 Sports GMT Blue easily pairing with a quick release Grey Suede watch strap for an instant classy look

Watch Dial

The watch series has very legible black, blue or orange dials that reveal nothing special at first until the handset gives away what this trio is all about. The hands are coated in Lumibrite, and the date window has a magnifying cyclops; it is done in either black or red in this series and it indicates the second time zone, making this a first-ever GMT watch in the Seiko 5 Sports lineage.

So, the watch has a complete set of hands indicating central hours, minutes, and seconds, and a fourth hand indicating the second time zone.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT watches SSK001 & SSK003, pairing with two NATO watch straps by Strapcode

Two Seiko 5 Sports GMT watches sporty looks complemented by two NATO watch straps, Navy Blue/ White and Black & Red

Watch Movement

The new Seiko 5 Sports Style GMT series rely on the Seiko Calibre 4R34, based on the trusted 4R platform, and runs at a frequency of 21,600vph with 41 hours of running time. Next to being wound by the rotor, it is possible to wind it by hand through the crown.

The movement of this timepiece has a basic level of finishing, which is what you can expect for its price point. Plus, the new Calibre 4R34 isn’t a true traveler’s watch, like this Grand Seiko or Omega, where the second position of the crown allows one-hour jumps of the local time. Here, the GMT function acts like an ETA 2893, where the second position of the crown independently sets the 24h GMT hand.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK001 pair with Italian Handmade Leather Watch Band by Strapcode

Try on a Tan color Italian Handmade Leather Watch Band for an elegant dress code

Watch Straps

The watch straps on the Seiko 5 Sports GMT series are similar to the one on the classic SKX models, only that this one has less rattle.

The watch band is the new JUB-style five-link bracelet which is a good sight with more solid feeling in the links. It is secured with a folding push button clasp with fold-over lock.

It has a modular lug system that is perfect for wearability and is friendly to the use of after-market straps. So, if you're the kind of collector who loves to make their watch versatile by swapping watch bands regularly, you can do so with this watch.


Seiko 5 Sports GMT watch bands by Strapcode

Custom fitted watch bands with curved solid end pieces design for Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series SSK001, SSK003, SSK005.

SHOP Watch Bands for Seiko GMT

External References


Written by Victor, images by Toni


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