If you follow my flickr or Instagram feed you might have noticed I have had this green dial Seiko Recraft SNKM97 in my collection for some time now. In fact, it’s been almost a year now. It’s high time to share a few thoughts about this extremely photogenic watch. Hopefully, my review of Seiko Recraft SNKM97 will help you decide whether it’s a watch for you.

SNKM97 is a part of Seiko Recraft series, which aims to bring back classic designs from past era in a more contemporary package. It’s worth noting that the whole lineup is destined for the US market but you can probably get your hands on these watches in other parts of the world as well if you are lucky. The whole lineup can be found on the Seiko USA website. As you can see, there is plenty of different models with both automatic and solar powered movements and all of them have a distinct vintage vibe. However, the main protagonist of this review is a green dial Seiko Recraft SNKM97 with an automatic movement. The MSRP price of this timepiece is $235 but you can probably find it online for about $150.

Packaging

My Recraft came in a standard cardboard Seiko box with a user manual and a warranty card. If you have owned an entry level Seiko before, you pretty much know what to expect. Nothing fancy, nothing to put on a display in your showcase. Just a standard box to keep your watch safe during transportation.  And that’s fine by me, since the most important part is the watch itself.

Case, crown, case back, crystal

The case of Seiko SNKM97 measures a healthy 43.5 mm in diameter, 50 mm from lug to lug and 11 mm height. Flat construction of the case, as well as relatively low profile of 11 mm makes this watch wear rather… flat. That’s probably my main personal concern about this watch as I like taller watches in general. However, I know there are many folks out there who will appreciate the low profile of the case.

At 3 o’clock there is a crown. It’s not a screw-down crown but that’s understandable as it’s it not a dive watch. The water resistance of the watch is 50 m, which should be enough for a normal everyday use.

Seiko ReCraft SNKM97
Seiko Recraft SNKM97
Seiko Recraft SNKM97

When we flip the watch over, we will find a see-through screw-down caseback. The watch is powered by an automatic Seiko 7S26 movement, which is not the most handsome movement to look at. But hey, at least we can see the rotor spinning! The caseback reveals one more thing, however. It states that the movement was produced in Malaysia, and not Japan as you could expect. There is nothing wrong with that as I’m sure Seiko standards are met during assembling process, but it’s nice that Seiko is transparent about it, unlike many Swiss brands for example.

Most of the face of the watch is occupied by the dial, which is protected by a flat Seiko Hardlex crystal. The crystal sits flush with the case, which further emphasizes this “flat” design of the whole watch. When I got this watch almost a year ago, I was afraid that the crystal will easily catch scratches as it takes so much space. Luckily, I’m happy to report there is not a single scratch on my Seiko’s crystal!

Dial, hands

What attracted me to this Seiko Racraft SNKM97 model was its beautiful green shimmering dial. And believe me, it looks even better in person than on pictures. It has this deep green color which shimmers under different angles as the dial has a sunburst finishing. Add to it golden polished applied indices and you have a feast for your eyes. The watch is just a pleasure to look at, it beautifully catches and reflects light. All that light play makes it such a great watch to photograph. It’s so fun to catch these stunning reflections. Seiko Recraft SNKM97 is hands down the most photogenic watch I have ever had in my hands.

But that’s not all, there are some nice details as well. As I mentioned before, Seiko decided to use golden applied indices. These are coupled with golden hands, date window, and an applied golden Seiko logo below 12th marker. Green and gold is just an amazing color combination and it looks much more expensive that it really is. Remember that this watch can be bought for about $150! This is why Seiko is a king of affordable watches in my opinion.

Movement

Seiko Recraft automatic line utilizes the older generation of automatic movements, 7S26. It lacks some features such as hand winding and hacking but it’s still a true reliable workhorse. It’s cheap, easy to service, and in worst case scenario, easy to replace altogether.

It’s interesting to me why Seiko did not decide to use their current generation of movements 4R36, which has both hacking and hand winding features. The newer movement was supposed to replace 7S26. Maybe I draw too many conclusions out of it but it crossed my mind that Seiko wanted to get rid of older movements that were laying in their warehouse. Who knows?

Straps and bracelet

Ok, now to the most fun part. Seiko SNKM97 has a lug width of 24 mm and comes on a stainless steel bracelet. And this bracelet is not the main strength of the watch. Being completely honest here, I don’t like it at all. It has hollow endlinks, clasp feels really cheap, it is hard to get a good fit since the micro adjustment is limited to just two holes. On top of that the whole bracelet is rattling and making other unpleasant noises. However, 24 mm lug width opens to you a whole world of aftermarket options.

Seiko Recraft SNKM97
Seiko ReCraft SNKM97
Seiko ReCraft SNKM97

I bet on a custom Pattini leather strap with matching colors: black strap with orange stitching and green finish on the sides. This whole combo went a little viral when I started posting my photos on various watch forums and Facebook groups. People started to flood me with questions, “what’s the strap on your Seiko?” Indeed it looks great in my opinion and Pattini, which is a Polish brand by the way, makes awesome straps. I can highly recommend them, and here is their website if you are interested.

After I got my matching Pattini strap, I haven’t looked for any other potential options but I believe a nice brown ammo strap or a mesh bracelet would make a killer combo as well. Perhaps you have any other ideas? Share them in the comments!

Conclusions

Seiko Recraft SNKM97 is a curious case. First of all, it’s definitely not a watch for everyone. Its bold color scheme, especially coupled with a colorful strap from Pattini, will not make a great every day wear. I would recommend it as an interesting addition to your watch collection rather than primary daily wearer. However, keep in mind that this watch has some outstanding features for the price. The dial of this green Recraft is simply breathtaking, it’s something worth seeing in person in my opinion.

On the other hand, SNKM97 has some shortcomings. The stainless steel bracelet is of rather poor quality, and I don’t plan to wear it anytime soon. The use of old Seiko 7S26 movement is also questionable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movement at all, it is just weird that Seiko decided to use an old movement when they have a new generation available at their disposal.

Nevertheless, Seiko Recraft SNKM97 is a great affordable timepiece which will surely bring some life to your watch collection. Even at MSRP of $235 it’s definitely worth it. If I haven’t convince you yet, let the pictures speak.

PROS:

+ great value for money

+ beautiful sunburst dial

+ matches great with various leather straps

 

CONS:

– Application of an older generation movement

– Stock stainless steel bracelet does not represent the highest quality

 

Model Seiko Recraft SNKM97
Diameter 43.5 mm
Thickness 11 mm
Lug to Lug 50 mm
Lug width 24 mm
Crystal Flat hardlex
Movement Seiko 7S26 automatic
Water resistance 50 meters
Price ~$110

Image Gallery

Seiko Recraft SNKM97 Seiko Recraft SNKM97
Seiko ReCraft SNKM97 dial Seiko ReCraft SNKM97 dial
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Seiko Recraft SNKM97 Seiko Recraft SNKM97
Seiko Recraft SNKM97 Seiko Recraft SNKM97
Seiko Recraft SNKM97 Seiko Recraft SNKM97
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Seiko ReCraft SNKM97 Seiko ReCraft SNKM97
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Seiko Recraft SNKM97 on Pattini leather strap Seiko Recraft SNKM97 on Pattini leather strap
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Seiko ReCraft SNKM97 wristshot Seiko ReCraft SNKM97 wristshot
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Seiko ReCraft SNKM97 Seiko ReCraft SNKM97
7.3 Great

Seiko Recraft SNKM97 is a curious case. First of all, it’s definitely not a watch for everyone. Its bold color scheme, especially coupled with a colorful strap from Pattini, will not make a great every day wear. I would recommend it as an interesting addition to your watch collection rather than primary daily wearer. However, keep in mind that this watch has some outstanding features for the price. The dial of this green Recraft is simply breathtaking, it’s something worth seeing in person in my opinion.

  • Design 8
  • Quality 6
  • Value 8
  • User Ratings (13 Votes) 5.8
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About Author

Watch enthusiast who loves to take photos of his watches, blogger, and founder of Lug2Lug.