Seiko Men's SNZH57 Seiko 5

Seiko “Fifty Fathoms” SNZH Watch – Is It A Good Blancpain Alternative

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Many incredible Seiko models have a cult following, but guess what? The Seiko 5 Sport, nicknamed the Fifty Fathoms, is one of the finest watches the brand has unveiled, and you’ll learn why soon.

For starters, the Seiko Fifty Fathoms watch is powered by Seiko’s signature 7S36 automatic movement. Plus, the movement is housed inside a robust 42mm stainless steel case.

Like many Seiko watches, the Seiko SNZH55 features polished block hour markers complemented with LumiBright. Additionally, the timepiece also spots conspicuous sword-shaped hands that appear large and lumed.

Besides its 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel that features a nicely carved out triangle at noon, this superb timepiece also features some Arabic numerals. More so, the bezel is further protected by a domed Hardlex crystal.

We love the practical day and date window that sits just at 3′ o’clock. Thanks to its display case back, users can glance at the inner workings of the movement.

For a more detailed review of the Seiko Fifty Fathoms watch, you’re welcome to read further.

History of the brand

The Seiko brand was established by Kintaro Hattori when he was only 21 years old. Like many watch brands, the Seiko brand started small but has metamorphosed into a global brand, with many quality timepieces to its name.

To bring you up to speed, the Seiko brand started off in a small shop at the Kyobashi district, where their 21-year-old founder would normally sit to repair and build watches and wall clocks.

After several years of doing this, Kintaro thought it was time to take things to the next level. This spurred him to partner with Tsurihiko Yoshikawa, a famous engineer of his time. Together, they launched the Seikosha watch factory in 1892, which became home to some of its most successful watches.

While the company’s wall clocks enjoyed considerable success, it was their first-ever pocket watch, the Timekeeper, that stole the show. Launched in 1895, the Timekeeper became one of the company’s most successful pieces.

Though the Timekeeper was an instant hit when it was first unveiled, the company’s first-ever wristwatch, the Laurel, equally enjoyed massive patronage from Seiko diehards.

After more than 120 years of building quality watches, the Seiko brand is still a force to reckon with, even as the company continues to keep up with the intense competition in the watch industry today.

Seiko 5 Sport and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms comparison

Although the Seiko 5 Sport was inspired by the original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Seiko’s version of the Fifty Fathoms is different in a couple of ways.

If you know anything about the Seiko brand, you’ll know that their dive watches all carry a similar design and style, and with the Seiko 5 Sport, it wasn’t any different.

That aside, the Seiko Fifty Fathoms watch shares some striking similarities that make it look more like the Blancpain.

Seiko fifty fathoms watch review

Both the Seiko 5 Sport and the BlancPlain Fathoms feature hour markers with raised rectangular bars in terms of the dial. However, the 3, 6, 9, and 12-hour markers look a little more rhomboid, which is different from the original.

Unlike other Seiko sport watches, this one has minute markers that are intertwined between the hour hands, which looks a lot like the Fifty Fathoms. The only difference is that the minute markers are not lumed, so it isn’t very legible when diving at 100m!

Thankfully, the hands are lumed with an accompanying nice gold edge on them. However, instead of the simple long hands that come with the Blancpain, the Seiko 5 Sport features sword-shaped hands.

Seiko SNZH55 Movement

The Seiko SNZH55 is powered by Seiko’s signature automatic 7S36. Although it isn’t as remarkable as other Seiko movements, we like that it is reliable. Plus, it doesn’t cost a fortune.

Here are some exciting things we love about the movement:

  • 21 jewels
  • 41 hours power reserve
  • 21,600 BPH.

Sadly, the watch doesn’t hack, and it isn’t self-winding.

Seiko 5 fifty fathoms homage

Seiko SNZ55 Lume

While the Seiko SNZH55 doesn’t look like a proper dive watch, we love the lume application on the hands. Unfortunately, even though you experience the Lumibrite formula, it sadly doesn’t feature on the lume. Also, instead of a fully covered lume, you only get lume pips.

Seiko SNZH55 Bezel

The Seiko SNZH55 features an OEM bezel that looks a lot like the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. However, if you opt for the modded version, you’ll get the replica that sports the diamond-shaped mark.

Bracelet/strap

While the original Seiko SNZH55, Seiko SNZH53, and Seiko SNZH57 come with stainless steel bracelets, many watch lovers favor nylon and leather straps. And just so you know, the stainless steel bracelet feels comfortable. But if you want to switch things up a bit, you can explore with nylon or leather strap too.

Pros

  • Powered by Seiko signature 7S36 automatic movement
  • Fashionable and practical
  • It is accurate
  • It is readable
  • It is affordable
  • It is water-resistant

Cons

  • It doesn’t hack or self-wind
  • It looks somewhat bulky and may not fit some wrists.

Price

Though the original Seiko SNZH is quite affordable, the modded versions can be pretty expensive, depending on how extensive you want it to look. That said, you can get the original Seiko SNZH55 for $150 to $180.

Frequently asked questions

Is Seiko 5 Sports Automatic?

The Seiko 5 Sports collection is powered by Seiko’s signature automatic movements. In addition, the watch showcases the company’s exquisite artistry. Thanks to their water-resistant feature, these watches are perfect for everyday use.

Our only complaint is that the watch isn’t self-winding. Also, it doesn’t hack.

How long will a Seiko Fifty Fathoms last?

Seiko Fifty Fathoms is a sophisticated timepiece that is built to last. With minimal use, this timepiece should last up to 20 years.

Why is Seiko 5 so cheap?

With most established watch brands, the automatic movement is a bit costly. However, the Seiko 5 models come in relatively cheaper, and that’s because of their age. More so, most of their parts and toolings have been paid off.

Conclusion

The Seiko Fifty Fathoms is a superb watch in all ramifications. From its intriguing design to its overall performance and brilliant specs, the Seiko SNZH55 will wow any watch lover. Given its insane performance, we are still surprised that the watch is so cheap.

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