If you’re looking for info on the Seiko SRPG39, look no further! Here’s our hands-on review of this Seiko field watch.
The field watch is an essential part of any man’s watch collection. With its military background, sterile dial, and overall wearability even on small wrists, what’s not to like?
For most guys, the first brand that comes to mind when looking for an affordable field watch is the Japanese giant Seiko. With its SNK line of watches, the company was widely known for its competitively priced and reliable field watches.
But with the discontinuation of the SNK line and with the SNZG line being above 40mm, many field watch fans felt left in the dark. That is until Seiko released the SRPG line of watches with, get this, a case diameter less than 40mm!
Here we’ll review the SRPG39, a modestly sized field watch from Seiko that could fit almost any wrist. Read on to find out if this watch is for you!
A Brief History of Seiko
Let’s dive into the history of Seiko.
Kintarō Hattori, the founder of Seiko, opened his watch and jewelry shop called “K. Hattori” in Tokyo, Japan. After several apprenticeships and partnerships with foreign trading firms, one being F. Perregaux & Co., he moved his shop to the main street of Ginza, Tokyo.
Then, in 1892, Hattori began making clocks under the name “Seikosha.”
In 1983, “Seikosha” became “Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd.” Then, in 1990, they were renamed once again. After some restructuring and the creation of subsidiaries, “Seiko Corporation” finally settled on the name “Seiko Holding Corporation.”
Seiko is well-known for the Astron, which when it was unveiled in 1969, became the world’s first production quartz watch.
Not resting on their laurels, Seiko then went on to develop the first quartz analog chronograph.
Currently, the Seiko Group has seven watch brands under their name: Seiko, Grand Seiko, Credor, Pulsar, Alba, Lorus, and Orient.
Overview of Seiko 5 Line
The Seiko 5 line of watches was first introduced in 1963 and was Japan’s first-ever automatic day-date watch. The SRPG39 is one of many watches in the Siko 5 line.
Every watch in the Seiko 5 line has each these five attributes:
- An automatic movement.
- A day-date display at the three o’clock position
- A recessed crown at the four o’clock position
- A case and bracelet built for durability
By keeping these features consistent across all watches in this line, Seiko makes it easier for the consumer to know what they are getting when they purchase a Seiko 5 watch.
It seems clear to me that Seiko is creating watches in larger sizes than in years past. Their current line of divers (replacing the venerable SKX line) are all a whopping 42mm in diameter. Although not quite that wide, with a case that measures 39.4mm and a lug-to-lug of 48.1mm, SRPG is definitely larger than its predecessor.
I think I just heard a collective gasp from my slender-wristed readers. Yes, the SRPG is wide, but it wears surprisingly well on my 6-inch wrist.
Even with the long lug-to-lug, the lugs drape down over my wrist, making the watch look smaller and a bit more compact. The fit is snug, and I can honestly say that this is one of the most comfortable watches I have ever worn on my wrist.
The watch is bead-blasted, which, along with the compact design, makes for a subdued look.
Seiko has sadly supplied an unsigned crown which I find disappointing.
The watch is a definite strap monster with its drilled lug holes.
The SRPG also features an unneeded but welcome display case back showcasing the 4R36 movement. We’ll come back to the movement in a moment.
To me, the dial of the SRPG39 is mezmorizing — the more I look at it, the more I love it.
The first thing that draws the eye is the contrast between the gold-painted applied arabic hour markers and the matte blue dial 4R36. Props to Seiko for coming up with this color combination. The gold and blue just meld together so well that a person might mistake this watch for a dress watch (and it practically can be, if you roll that way😉).
Closer to the middle of the dial, you can find gray painted 24-hour markers, again harkening back to classic field watch design.
As is expected from the Seiko 5 line, the day and date are positioned at 3 o’clock, with white text on a black background. I’m personally happy that Seiko went with a black background for their day and date since it goes well with the rest of the dial.
In terms of the text on the dial, the usual Seiko applied logo is set just above the newly designed Seiko 5 logo. “Automatic” written in cursive is situated at the bottom half of the dial.
To complement the gold Arabic hour markers, Seiko also painted the pencil hour and minute hands gold — albeit in a lighter hue. The lighter gold color was a good choice for it makes it easy to check the time. The second hand ends with an orange arrow tip.
The lume is generous on this watch. Each hour gets either a square or rectangle lume pip situated at the furthest part of the dial. The 12 o’clock has a triangle lume pip. Lastly, white minute markings punctuate the area between the hour lume pips.
The dial is the main show of the SRPG39. The matte blue dial and gold Arabic hour markers just work so well. It is neither too busy nor too dull. With the first few SRPGs coming in with a black dial with silver hands, the SRPG39 really differentiates itself from the rest.
Turning the watch over gives us a glimpse of the Seiko 4R36 movement that powers the SRPG39.
Anyone who’s into Seiko watches knows that the venerable 7S26 movement powered the legendary SKX models for more than decade. While the 7S26 had its charms, many people complained that it lacked hacking and handwinding.
Seiko addressed these problems with the 4R36 movement. The movement is designed with 24 jewels and beats at 21,600 beats an hour (3 Hz).
The 4R36 includes hacking and handwinding. (Field watch purists like to know that they can stop the seconds precisely at 12 o’clock).
The watch is almost the perfect weekday piece with only a 40-hour power reserve (just 8 hours short of the perfect weekend).
The movement is rated to have an accuracy range of +45/-35 seconds per day. However, Seiko movements usually perform better than their posted accuracy.
The watch comes with a black calfskin leather strap. Each side of the strap has white stitching, adding a slight touch of contrast on an otherwise monotonous design.
The buckle is bead blasted and sports a Seiko engraving.
While the SRPG39 has a lot of things going for it, the strap is “ok,” but not great.
The main con is the stiffness. The strap is incredibly stiff for calfskin leather. Even after a few weeks of break-in, it still looks like it was fresh out of the box. To mention the thickness of the strap, the area where the longer strap goes through the buckle is almost as thick as the watch case itself!
Is the Seiko SRPG39 Worth It?
So, should you get the SRPG39?
I think so!
It has a wearable case with a surprisingly snug lug-to-lug, making the watch wear smaller on your wrist.
If you were to get this watch for any other reason aside from the case or the movement, then definitely get it for the dial.
Seiko really hit a home run with the colors and symmetry on this one. I have honestly caught myself looking at the dial way more than actually reading the time.
Lastly, although it has a subpar strap, it’ll be easy to switch it out for something better since the watch comes with drilled lug holes.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!