Affordable Seiko 5 Automatic Wristwatches
By James Grahame
You might be stunned to learn that mainstream watchmaker Seiko manufactures several ranges of mechanical watches at extremely reasonable prices. The company doesn't import these timepieces into North America, but they're quite popular in parts of the world where watch batteries could prove hard to come by. Best of all, prices start at under $70 US.
All Seiko 5 automatic watches feature 21 jewel self-winding mechanical mechanisms, but remember that a mechanical watch won't be as accurate as an electronic quartz model. You'll find yourself resetting the time every now and then to stay in sync with the rest of the world. However, the precision movement will provide years of battery-free timekeeping.
My favorite is the Seiko 5 Military series. These rugged models feature 24 hour markings, day/date display and a luminous second hand. They're also water resistant to 30m. You can own one for as little as $62.95, but everyone will think you paid much more.