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SKX013 vs SRPK29 Decoding the DNA of Two Iconic 38mm Seikos

September 27, 2023 8 min read 1 Comment

38mm Seiko SKX013 vs Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29

In recent years, the 38mm watch case size has seen a surge in popularity due to its yet well proportions, as while 38mm was previously considered large, sports watches in the current century have trended even bigger ranging from 38-44mm or more, whereas everyday and military watches usually range from 35-37mm and dress watches measure 33-35mm, so a 38mm watch is certainly not considered small. This size of watch is particularly favored by those who appreciate a more traditional and vintage-inspired look, evoking a sense of nostalgia for an era when smaller watches were the norm. This size strikes a middle ground, offering a watch that is neither too small nor too large, making it suitable for a wide range of wrist sizes and style preferences. These watches exude a classic and timeless aesthetic while still making a noticeable statement on the wrist.

38mm Seiko SKX013 Retro Razor Watch Band from Strapcode

Putting the pair Seiko SKX013 and Seiko 5 Sports SRPK29 side by side with both dressed in metallic watch bands, the Retro Razor Watch Band complements the vintage styling of the Seiko SKX013 while the Quick Release Tapered Milanese Mesh Watch Band is an unique classy match to the sportier Seiko SRPK29.

Renowned watch brands offer an extensive selection of dive watches in the 38mm size, ensuring a diverse range of styles, materials, and functionalities to cater to different tastes. Nevertheless, watchmakers have also integrated the 38mm case size into modern designs, creating contemporary timepieces with a touch of sophistication. In light of these qualities, I will now introduce two watches that showcase Seiko Dive watch's enduring legacy at 38mm - a past legend, and its modern heir : Seiko SKX013 vs Seiko 5 Sports SRPK29.

38mm Seiko SKX013 vs Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29 Italian Handmade Racer watch bands from Strapcode

The two 38mm Seiko dive watches look truly sporty when pairing with these brown tone 20mm Italian Handmade Racer watch bands. The Seiko SKX013 is on the left and the Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29 is on the right.

 

SEIKO SKX013 Dive Watch

The Seiko SKX013 is a highly regarded wristwatch known for its robust build quality, classic design, and reliable performance. Measuring at 38mm, the stainless steel case of the SKX013 is more suitable for individuals with smaller wrists or those who prefer a compact timepiece. Its unidirectional rotating bezel features a 120-click mechanism, allowing for precise timing of elapsed minutes or other measurements.

38mm Seiko SKX013 vs Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29 leather watch bands from Strapcode

Setting the Seiko SKX013 Midsize Diver with a 20mm Camel Genuine Leather One-piece Suede Quick Release Watch Strap easily changes its look to something more gentlemanly.

The watch dial of the SKX013 is clean and legible, with large luminous hour markers and hands that ensure excellent visibility in various lighting conditions. At the 3 o'clock position, a day-date function adds practicality to the timepiece. With an ISO-certified water resistance of 200 meters (660 feet), the SKX013 is suited for recreational diving and water activities. Its reliability stems from the Seiko 7S26 automatic movement, known for its durability and accuracy.

Overall, the Seiko SKX013 offers a versatile and reliable diver's watch with a timeless design and excellent value within its price range. It has gathered a loyal following among watch enthusiasts and is often considered a top choice for those seeking a durable and affordable dive watch option.

38mm Seiko SKX013 Leather watch band from Strapcode

Setting the Seiko SKX013 Midsize Diver with a 20mm Green Genuine Leather One-piece Suede Quick Release Watch Strap easily changes its look to something more refined.

 

SEIKO SKX013 Dive Watch - Specifications

  • Case Size: 38mm in diameter (excluding the crown)
  • Case Thickness: Approximately 13mm
  • Crystal: Hardlex mineral crystal
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters (660 feet)
  • Movement: Seiko 7S26 automatic movement
  • Power Reserve: Approximately 41 hours
  • Calendar: Day and date display at the 3 o'clock position
  • Crown: Screw-down crown at the 4 o'clock position
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Magnetic Resistance: 4,800 A/m

 

Knowing the Iconic SKX Diver Watch Collection First

The Seiko SKX013 and SKX007 are two popular models from the Seiko dive watch lineup. Both share the same 7S26 movement and look pretty much alike. The most notable difference between the SKX013 and SKX007 is their case size. The SKX013 has a smaller case size of 38mm, making it well-suited for individuals with smaller wrists or those who prefer a compact and wearable watch. In contrast, the SKX007 has a larger case size of 42mm, which gives it a bolder and more substantial presence on the wrist.

Seiko SKX007 watch band from Strapcode

When comparing the SKX007 and SKX013, the Seiko SKX007
can be easily distinguished when comparing the shape of its
second, minute and hour hands.

38mm Seiko SKX013 watch band from Strapcode

On the SKX013, the date digits slightly dip into the rehaut
window due to its diminished diameter. While a point of
contention for some.

The SKX007 and SKX013 share many similarities as iconic divers in Seiko's SKX line. However, there are some key differences tailored to their respective dial and features.

  • Dial Size:
    The SKX007 features a 42mm diameter dial, providing a robust presence on the wrist. In comparison, the SKX013 utilizes a more svelte 38mm dial, making it suitable for smaller wrists.
  • Hands:
    To better complement its smaller dial, the SKX013 employs uniquely shaped hands. Its seconds and minute hands take on an aerodynamic arrow-like form, with the tips tapering to fine points. This provides added visual interest within the compact space. In contrast, the SKX007's hands have traditional tapering profiles, including a rounded seconds hand tip.
  • Date Window:
    On the SKX013, the date digits slightly dip into the rehaut window due to its diminished diameter. While a point of contention for some, this is a tradeoff of its scaled-down design that does not greatly impact legibility.
  • Bezels:
    The SKX013 features a slightly slimmer and more compact bezel compared to the SKX007. Both models have a unidirectional rotating bezel with minute markings for timing dives or other activities, but the bezel on the SKX007 has a wider and more pronounced appearance suited to its larger case dimensions.
  • Lug Width and Case Thickness:
    With its more diminutive dimensions, the SKX013 features a 20mm lug width versus 22mm on the SKX007. However, both models retain a substantial presence through equivalent case thicknesses of around 12-13mm.

These models have garnered significant popularity among watch enthusiasts and collectors due to their dive watch functionality, reliable movements, and Seiko's reputation for quality. While they may no longer be in production, they continue to be sought-after on the secondary market.

 

The Seiko 5 Sports : SRPK29 in Black

The Seiko SRPK29, is a downsized - the SKX-inspired Seiko 5 Sports, stylish and modern wristwatch that belongs to the Seiko 5 Sports collection. The prior is the "5KX" 2019 edition of Seiko 5 Sports line. This collection is renowned for its durability, reliable movements, and affordability. The SRPK29 boasts a 38mm stainless steel case with a combination of brushed and polished finishes, giving it a sleek and contemporary appearance. Its black dial features bold luminescent hour markers and hands, ensuring excellent legibility even in low-light conditions.

38mm Seiko 5 Sports SRPK29 woodland camo NATO strap from Strapcode watch bands

On the left is a Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29 paired with a coordinating 20mm woodland camo NATO strap, accentuating the watch's military style. On the right, a Seiko SKX013 is fitted with a green and brown NATO strap that complements the vintage diver's design.

Powering the watch is the Seiko caliber 4R36 automatic movement, which offers hacking (the ability to stop the seconds hand for precise time setting) and hand-winding capabilities. With a power reserve of approximately 41 hours, the watch provides reliable and accurate timekeeping.

SRPK29 includes a day-date display positioned at 3 o'clock for added functionality. With a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters (330 feet), the SRPK29 is suitable for everyday wear and light water activities. Whether you're looking for a timepiece to complement your casual attire or a reliable companion for daily wear, the Seiko SRPK29 offers a stylish design, quality craftsmanship, and the reliability that Seiko is known for.

Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29 NATO strap from Strapcode watch bands

The striking strips colors of the NATO straps accentuate the military aesthetic of the two Seiko watches, bringing out the best in their designs. On the left: Seiko 5 Sports SRPK29 paired with a blue, white and green NATO strap. On the right: Seiko SKX013 fitted with a black and yellow NATO strap.

 

SEIKO 5 Sports SRPK29 Dive Watch - Specifications

  • Case Size: 38mm in diameter (excluding the crown)
  • Case Thickness: Approximately 12.1mm
  • Crystal: Hardlex mineral crystal
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Movement: Seiko 4R36 automatic movement
  • Power Reserve: Approximately 41 hours
  • Calendar: Day and date display at the 3 o'clock position
  • Crown: Screw-down crown at the 4 o'clock position
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Magnetic Resistance: 4,800 A/m

 

SRPK29 vs SKX013: A Comparison of Upgrades and Movement Progress

The Seiko SRPK29 and SKX013 are distinct models with their own unique features and specifications. While they may share some similarities in design and functionality, they belong to different lines of Seiko watches and offer different experiences to the wearer.

In terms of movement, the SKX013 is powered by the reliable Seiko 7S26 automatic movement. It has a water resistance of 200m, making it suitable for swimming and casual water activities. Although it lacks hacking and hand-winding capabilities, the 7S26 movement has a reputation for durability and accuracy, making it a popular choice among watch enthusiasts. On the other hand, the SRPK29 showcases the newer Seiko 4R36 automatic movement. This upgraded movement offers several advancements over the 7S26. It features hacking, allowing the seconds hand to be stopped for precise time setting, and hand-winding capabilities, providing the convenience of manual winding. These enhancements add to the overall functionality and versatility of the timepiece.

38mm Seiko SKX013 suede watch strap by Strapcode watch bands

On the left, the Seiko SKX013 pairs with a a grey suede watch strap in 20mm size featuring red and blue stitching. On the right, the Seiko 5 Sports SRPK29 is matched with a tan/khaki suede watch strap. The softened suede leather brings out elegant aspects of the normally rugged divers' designs.

It's worth noting that movement technology and improvements can vary across different watch models and collections from Seiko. The 4R36 movement represents a progression in movement technology compared to the 7S26, but it's important to refer to the specific technical specifications of each individual watch to fully understand the advancements made. The SRPK29 showcases the upgraded 4R36 movement, offering advancements in hacking and hand-winding capabilities, while the SKX013 utilizes the reliable 7S26 movement.

Seiko 5 Sports 38mm SRPK29 custom fitted stainless steel watch bands from Strapcode

The custom fitted stainless steel watch bands take the watches to another level. On the top, the Seiko 5 Sports SRPK29 is paired with a 20mm Super-J Louis stainless steel watch band. On the bottom, the Seiko SKX013 is matched with a 20mm Super-O Boyer stainless steel watch band. The high-quality metal bracelets showcase the precision engineering and durability of these classic dive watches.

 

In Summary

The SKX013 is no longer in production. While it has deeper 200m water resistance rating suitable for serious diving, most casual enthusiasts do not need such extreme water resistance. Apart from any difference in water resistance ratings, the Seiko 5 Sport SRPK29 does make a suitable replacement option thanks to its modernized design and upgraded 4R36 movement. For those wanting a compact size or vintage styling, used SKX013s may still be found, but the SRPK29 is a worthy alternative new at a reasonable price point. Either would make a great starter diver's watch for everyday wear and light swimming/water activities. While the SKX013 offered premium dive watch specs, the SRPK29 continues Seiko's tradition of affordability and reliability in an automatic timepiece.

 

Written by Toni, images by Toni

 

External reference

1 Response

James
James

October 20, 2023

Good piece on the two watches, you forgot to mention the SRPK29 has applied indices compared to the printed ones on the 013 and also the day/date window on the k29 doesn’t go into the minute track (although this was mentioned on the 013) and also the bezels are different, the k29 only has minute markers to 20 minutes making for a far less busy overall look of the face than the 013, and the second hands are different.
I’ve had the SKX007 and 009 and 013, I much prefer the k29 over the 013 for the reasons above especially the applies indices which look far far better quality and give a much better look that the stickers on the 013, I absolutely adore the k29, I proper love it, I do wish Seiko made it 200m though which they could so easily have done.
Anyway, thanks for the article, very interesting read.
Oh and you forgot to mention the k29 has a display caseback where the 013 doesn’t, personally I think they are a bit of a gimmick, great when you first get your first watch with one but after a few looks nobody ever bothers looking again so it’s a waste of time…good to show off to your mates though!!

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