If you look at the last post, you can see there is a potential jumbo (for me) purchase that has potentially taken place or is to take place, that story is to be continued. Right here, is an interesting contrast then - and a testament to my humble, watch loving nature (if only that was enough) - the Seiko Snax, which I picked up for £106, with a few clever eBay discounts, and which is at the moment on sale at amazon.co.uk for £103 or so, down from £149. So, click on that link and go and buy this watch, especially if you have skinny wrists, then come back and read the review and justify the purchase to yourself. The good thing is it's such a good deal it doesn't matter even if you don't like it, there are a few things that do miss the mark, which is no surprise at this end of the watch buying scale - overall there is a lot to like and a lot of winning.
Purchase / Post / Packaging
It comes in the bog standard but entirely acceptable white Seiko box with black cushion, does the job. I bought mine from Watch Nation on eBay, had no bothers, delivery was quick and free. They accepted an offer and eBay had a voucher code so I got a great deal. No complaints.
Case, Dial & Hands
This is a small watch but still has good presence and bold styling. It's a 37mm dial with a lug to lug of only 42mm (which seems a bit wrong, I would say 44mm) per my dodgy and very cheap digital callipers, I bought them as I couldn't find my proper ones, they are in a storage box somewhere. Anyway, it looks great, the bezel and case are polished, and the proportions don't stop it from having an impact. The crown is small and tucked away, which I'm not used to but it works well, it's a slick and sleek look.
We have a slight issue here, and it comes in the form of a bulbous caseback. It protrudes more than the dial/bezel which is odd, though it isn't entirely obvious on the wrist it does look weird on inspection.
The dial punches way above it's price bracket, and is superb. I was after a silver/grey dial and the Snax73 is on point, it has a subtle sunburst which is not always noticeable but adds some depth and movement. The applied hour markers are a good size, the 6 and 9 being slightly larger, with a kitkat at 12, they look great and the lume is strong. The day date at 3 has the metal surround, giving it a nice balance reflecting the hour markers. The hour and minutes hands are basic batons with lume, and seconds is a sharp needle, nothing fancy but it's practical and perfectly proportioned. To top it off the old Seiko 5 applied logo adds further style and status points.
You cannot get a better dial for the money, I challenge you to find me one, go on, I dare ya...
Movement / Complications
As you might expect there is nothing special under the hood, but it is nice to get a solid automatic at this price point. The common entry level 7S26C does the job with no drama, 21 jewels, and 21,600 bph, if you must know. It's got the day date as we mentioned and that's about it, which is plenty good.
The exhibition back is not really necessary but it's not a bad thing. If an enclosed back would have reduced its depth a bit that would have worked better.
Strap / Wearability
Oh dear, here we hit a few snags. As per usual with lower end Seiko watches, the curse of the budget strap lets the Snax73 down. It's a hair pulling, rickety, monstrosity that belongs in the recycling bin. I replaced it with an Ali Express piece that you see in the photos, it's cheap and cheerful, around £15 and does the job. I should have gone for something a bit better in hindsight, may still upgrade. In addition to the rubbish strap, the 19mm lug width is annoying in terms of using existing straps I have, but there are few options on eBay and popular strap vendors. I kept the end links from the standard strap and it looks fine, they do rattle so you will need to tighten them up with some pliers - you can search Google on how to do that.
In addition to these fails we have a big one. The big old caseback on this makes it impossible for a traditional nato strap to look good/fit well, it just sits way to high on the wrist once the nato is weaved through. Fortunately it looks great on other canvas/leather straps (per a quick Google), adding another dimension to the wearability and versatility.
I'm not going deep here, just to say that there are other decent automatic offerings from Citizen, Timex, Swatch, Orient and of course Seiko, at this price point with varying styles and features but there isn't one I have seen that I like as much. Yes, the Orient Bambino is a winner but it's a different style and appeal. The Snax73 is inherently more versatile and wearable as a daily beater. The SNXS family has several other colour variations which all look pretty great.
I used to think the Orient Mako II was the best 'bang for your buck' watch out there, it's a tricky one, maybe it still is but the SNXS range is way up there too. Maybe we do a head to head on these two legends. I am so impressed with this watch, it gets a lot of wrist time as it's so easy to wear with any outfit. I might grab a canvas strap or something to change it up a bit, and I'll be keeping an eye out on eBay for its siblings too. That's the thing, it's very well priced so buying a few accessories for it (at 19mm they are for it only) isn't a big deal.
On the whole as you can probably tell, I think this watch is fantastic, it's a super first watch or tenth watch. To get this as a first auto watch, being able to see the movement to understand how they work would be great. If it wasn't for that big old caseback jutting out it would have been atop the pile of best 'bang for your buck' watches. Funny, in another context, a big behind on a sleek frame is quite desirable.
I shall continue to wear and enjoy the Snax until it falls apart, which will be in a hundred years or so. Go get one now, you will only slightly regret it, and then you won't.
CASE DIAMETER / THICKNESS / MATERIAL
42.5mm / 12mm / 316L Stainless Steel
LUG WIDTH / LUG TO LUG
19mm / 44 mm
Seiko 7S26C Automatic.
to 30m / 3 bar.