The Affordable Seiko 5 “Field” Gains a GMT Function

The military-style watch now sports twin time zones.

Seiko has expanded its range of (very) reasonably priced sports watches with the Seiko 5 Sports Field Sports Style GMT. Available in stainless steel (SSK023) or black-coated steel (SSK025), it retains the military-inspired aesthetics of its time-only counterparts, while incorporating an additional hour hand showing a second time zone.

Initial thoughts 

The new models evoke a sense of familiarity with the “field” style dial and 24-hour markers, a longstanding design that’s been part of the Seiko 5 line-up for decades. But now the dial adopts a modern, utilitarian style, departing from the vintage-inspired aesthetic found in the time-only “field” models such as the SRPG35 and SRPJ85. And purists will appreciate the absence day-of-the-week display, with the dial having just the date.

The black-on-black SSK025 achieves an almost ideal look for this type of watch. The near-monochromatic aesthetic creates an extremely satisfying contrast with the orange accents that brings to mind a fighter jet cockpit.

The SSK025

Beyond the cosmetic changes, the new models are typical of Seiko’s entry-level GMT models. They are more accurately described as dual time zone watches with an independently adjustable 24-hour hand, rather than true GMT watches that feature an adjustable local-time hour hand, as seen in pricier watches from Grand Seiko or Tudor. Although setting the time for a second time zone involves a few additional steps, this represents an acceptable compromise considering the price.

The pricing of the Field Sports Style GMT starts at US$400 on a leather strap. Though pricier than the standard time-only models, the second time zone easily justifies the price and makes this a straightforward choice for anyone seeking a budget-minded travel watch.

Two time zones for less

The SSK023 and SSK025 expand the affordable Seiko 5 Sports collection, which underwent a complete overhaul in 2019. Soon after, the brand introduced the Field Sports Style, a sub-line made up of military-style watches with an unusual bezel-less design. Most of the “field” models sport an additional 24-hour scale indicating military time, now made more useful with a GMT hand.

The GMT is offered in two variations: the all-steel SSK023 that has a faint resemblance to the Rolex Explorer II with its orange GMT hand, and the SSK025 in black-coated steel.

The two models have textured black dial with luminous applied numerals, a date window at three o’clock, and a fixed, 24-hour bezel, while the seconds hand and the second time zone hand are tipped in orange. And they retains the relatively compact size of its time-only siblings with a diameter of 39.4 mm and height of 13.6 mm. 

The new GMT is powered by the cal. 4R34 visible beneath the transparent case back. This movement is also found in Seiko 5 Sports GMT, and is a variant of the cal. 4R36 present in the time-only Seiko 5 Sports. Mechanically it is a straightforward modification, the cal. 4R34 substitutes the day display with a 24-hour hand with a simple change of gears.

Not being a true GMT, setting up the second time zone requires first setting the local time, then push the crown in to its first position where the GMT hand can be adjusted. Then the GMT hand has to be set to home time, while turning the crown counterclockwise will set the date.

The SSK023

Key facts and price

Seiko 5 Sports Field Sports Style GMT
Ref. SSK023 (steel)
Ref. SSK025 (black-coated steel)

Diameter: 39.4 mm
Height: 13.6 mm
Material: Steel or black-coated steel
Crystal: Hardlex
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 4R34
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date and second time zone hand
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 41 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet with folding clasp (SSK023) or black NATO leather strap (SSK025)

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Seiko boutiques and select retailers starting January 2024
SSK025: US$400 (strap)
SSK023: US$430 (bracelet)

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