The SKX Legacy
The Seiko SKX has left an indelible mark on the world of dive watches. Its ISO certification for professional dive watches signifies its capability to withstand the rigors of underwater exploration. With a water resistance of 200 meters, a screw-down crown, and a solid steel case back, the SKX was built to meet the demands of professional divers. The SKX’s classic design, including the iconic crown at 4 o’clock and grippy bezel, has made it a timeless piece cherished by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The Seiko 5KX
With the SKX series being discontinued, the Seiko 5KX has stepped into the spotlight as a worthy successor for the purposes of modification. The 5KX retains many design elements that made the SKX a classic, such as the signature crown placement and functional minimalism. However, there are notable differences that set the 5KX apart.
Crown Design: One of the primary distinctions between the SKX and 5KX is the crown. While the SKX featured a screw-down crown, a crucial feature for professional dive watches, the 5KX comes with a push-to-close crown. This means that the 5KX’s water resistance is rated at 100 meters, making it better suited for recreational diving rather than professional underwater work.
Case Back: Another significant difference lies in the case back. The SKX boasts a solid steel case back, which is a key contributor to its 200-meter water resistance. In contrast, the 5KX features an exhibition case back with a mineral crystal. This provides a window into the watch’s movement, offering an aesthetically pleasing feature but reducing its water resistance.
Right: 5KX. Left: SKX.
Spring Bar Size: An additional difference to note is the spring bar thickness. While both the SKX and 5KX share 22mm spring bars, the SKX requires “fatboy” spring bars with a thickness of 2.5mm for the strap and 1.1mm where these attach to the case. The 5KX uses spring bars with a thickness of 0.8mm where they attach to the case. This variance in spring bar thickness impacts strap and bracelet compatibility between the two models.
Modifiability and Parts Compatibility
The exciting aspect of both the SKX and 5KX is their modifiability. Their shared design means that practically all aftermarket parts designed for the SKX are compatible with the 5KX. This extensive range of aftermarket components includes:
- Crystals: Both the SKX and 5KX can be upgraded with various aftermarket crystal options, including sapphire crystals in various designs from flat, to single and double dome as well as many others.
- Bezels and Inserts: Aftermarket bezels and inserts are available for both models, allowing for customization and changes in the watch’s appearance. The varying matierials coatings and styles available allow you to create a one of a kind watch or an affordable style homage mod to a grail watch.
- Case Backs: While the SKX has a solid steel case back, the 5KX features an exhibition case back, which can be customized just like the SKX with aftermarket options for a unique or customised look.
- Dials and Hands: Replacement dials and hands are readily available for both the SKX and 5KX, offering a wide range of styles to choose from.
- Straps and Bracelets: Unlike the SKX there is less need to seach for specific straps and braclet as the Seiko 5KX as it shares a standard size spring bar thickness.
- Movements: Modders can install upgraded movements like the NE15 or 6R35 in either the SKX or 5KX, enhancing performance and functionality. These movements will need to be modifed to accept a day wheel or a dial without date complication will need to be selected to complete this modification.
The Seiko 5KX as a Cost-Effective Alternative
In 2023, the Seiko 5KX emerges as a cost-effective alternative for those interested in dive watch modification. Its similarities in design and broad compatibility with aftermarket parts make it an appealing choice for modding enthusiasts. While it may lack the professional dive watch certification and some of the robust features of the SKX, it offers the opportunity to create a personalized timepiece without breaking the bank.
As the Seiko SKX gracefully steps out of the limelight to becomea collectors item, the Seiko 5KX takes center stage. While the 5KX may not fully replace the SKX in terms of professional dive capabilities With the ever increasing prices of the SKX the Seiko 5KX serves as a worthy successor for those looking for a low-cost alternative to the SKX to mod. With extensive parts compatibility, the Seiko 5KX invites watch enthusiasts to embark on a journey of personalization and creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a novice modder, the Seiko 5KX offers a promising canvas for creating a timepiece that suits your style and preferences in the modern era. Where the SKX paved the way for seiko modifications owners of the new 5KX are set to benefit from the availability of parts now on the market.
Considering a Seiko 5KX Mod?
If you’re inspired to embark on a Seiko 5KX modification journey, check out the almost off-the-shelf mods we have available in our online shop. We offer parts from a wide selection of after market mod parts suppliers to create a personalized timepiece that suits your style and preferences. However, if you’re seeking a truly custom piece or have specific ideas in mind, feel free to get in touch with us through our contact page. We’re here to assist you in bringing your unique vision to life.