We’ve long described the Seiko 5 Sports line as the “biggest cheat code” in watches. Why? Because the watches produced by the legendary Japanese brand, often priced under $500, offer the type of quality and design seen in pieces that cost many multiples of that figure. Typically, the major Swiss watchmakers are the ones that have deep collector communities with cult-favorite watches. But Seiko fans are equally passionate, and the hunt for beloved Seikos like the “Pogue” and “Orange Monster” are fierce. Now, the Seiko 5 Sports line is deepening its bench with its first-ever GMT model.
In July, Seiko will release its new GMT series with a trio of watches built for the world traveler—though probably the type who uses credit card point hacks rather than ponying up for first class. For those new to watches, a GMT model is one equipped with a second hour hand so the watch can keep track of the time in multiple locations at once. The new lineup includes three new colorways: a black-and-blue bezel reminiscent of Rolex’s “Batman,” black-and-gray, and life-vest orange. Strikingly, the new model also comes with a five-row Jubilee-style bracelet. At only $475, this is primed to be one of the best deals in watches.
Let’s talk about the nerdy stuff. Why the wait for a GMT watch until now? Seiko developed an entirely new movement to stuff inside its new trio of watches. Adding a second hour hand complicates the movement and threatens to bloat it and consequently the watch. The result can be something thick and unwearable, and that’s what Seiko needed to develop against. The GMT’s new engine, known as the 4R34, is only 0.1 millimeters larger than the movement in other Seiko 5 Sports models so the increase in size won’t stand out to anyone without calipers.