Seiko SNKN45, the hero of this review, belongs to the Seiko Recraft family, a lineup of affordable vintage-inspired watches. It’s hard to deny that you get a lot bang for your buck when it comes to Seiko watches. It’s not different with Seiko Recraft SNKN45. I already had a chance to review one Recraft family member, Seiko SNKM97. I was very fond of it because it represents all the values I love in Seiko watches: original design, great specification, high quality, and an affordable price point. Seiko SNKN45 carries over these values and it’s a great example of an entry level automatic watch with a more than reasonable price. What is more, SNKN45 being a member of Recraft series shares a lot of traits with the whole lineup, such as vintage-inspired case, partially skeletonized hands, or applied hour markers. All these features make you fall in love with the Recraft series. However, it’s not a perfect watch, far from it. If you are interested what I like and dislike about the black PVD Recraft, let’s dive in.

Packaging

Seiko Recraft SNKN45 comes in a blue cardboard box. As usual with entry-level Seiko watches, you won’t find much more in the box. Sure, there is a pillow made of black foam and some basic paperwork. I don’t mind personally as all the money goes towards the watch itself. Keep in mind, that SNKN45 costs just a little above $100, as seen on Amazon.

Seiko Recraft SNKN45
Seiko Recraft SNKN45

Case and caseback

Seiko SNKN45 has a chunky 45 mm case, with 50 mm lug to lug, and 13 mm height. Despite its size, the watch doesn’t feel as big in person, perhaps due to its black PVD coating since we all know that black makes you look slim. Speaking of PVD coating, I’m not a big fan of black case watches. They look great on pictures; however, in real life they tend to attract fingerprints and smudges. You have to keep it really clean to make it look good. But that’s my personal opinion and I’m sure there are many of you who will disagree. The shape of case is a reminiscent of sporty watch cases from 60’s and 70’s. It reminds me of another Seiko, nickname Helmet ref. 6139-7100. It has similar aesthetics, including covered lugs. Granted, it was enlarged to fit the modern standards and it doesn’t sit as tall as the Helmet. It’s definitely an interesting design and I would love Seiko to reuse this idea in other watches.

Seiko Recraft SNKN45

Flip the watch over, and you will notice a see-through caseback. You observe see Seiko 7S26 automatic movement in it’s full ticking glory through this exhibition caseback. Perhaps that’s a little to much because 7S26 despite being a fantastic workhorse of an automatic movement, is not the best looking movement out there. I would rather see a solid caseback with an interesting engraving but for some reason Seiko decided their movement was worthy of displaying, not only on this particular model but on all automatic watches from the Recraft series. I guess it’s partially because Recraft series is an entry level lineup, which aims to attract people who have never owned an automatic watch before. Having an exhibition caseback, which reveals a mechanical movement inside, can have an appeal on potential customers.

Dial, hands and crystal

The dial of SNKN45 is perhaps its most interesting element. It has a deep black color which contrasts nicely with white glossy outer ring. The outer ring has a minute scale printed on the edges which increase legibility and makes time reading easier. I especially like the chrome hour markers which beautifully reflect light under certain angles. It gives the watch a premium feel and make it look much more expansive that it really is. Furthermore, the Seiko logo is a nicely applied slab of brushed metal. I wonder why Seiko doesn’t use that applied logo on their more expensive watches, which often have to resort to a simple printing on the dial.

Seiko Recraft SNKN45
Seiko Recraft SNKN45
Seiko Recraft SNKN45

Seiko SNKN45 has been equipped with a typical handset for Seiko Recraft familiy. The hour and minute hands have a nice bevel, that’s something we rarely see even on considerably more expensive watches. Interestingly enough, unimaginative handset is something that puts me off in microbrand watches, as they often use a generic paper-thin handset. Seiko is a clear winner for me in this category. Going back to SNKN45, the second hand is painted red to add some life to this almost entirely black watch. This red accent is also seen in a perforated rally leather strap. I personally like subtle touches like that. However, the second hand is a little to short for my liking. I would prefer it was 2 mm longer to make it touch the outer ring on the dial.

As usually with Seiko, SNKN45 is equipped with a domed Hardlex crystal. Hardlex is a propriety crystal material developed by Seiko. It characterizes with increased shatter resistance and scratch resistance that a regular mineral crystal. This particular crystal is nicely beveled, which makes it look like it was plexi. This further emphasizes the vintage roots of this watch.

Movement

Inside Seiko Recraft SNKN45 beats 7S26 movement. It’s one of the most popular Seiko automatic movement. It’s fitted with 21 jewels, it has 21,600 vph, and approximately 40 hours of power reserve. It also offers day and date functionality. However, it lacks some features that you would expect of a modern movement. Namely, it doesn’t have a hacking function and hand winding option. It’s not particularly deal breaking but you should keep it mind while shopping for Seiko Recraft.

Straps and wearability

Seiko Recraft SNKN45 comes on a black rally-style leather strap. The strap width is 22 mm and it tapers towards the buckle. As mentioned before, the strap is perforated and you can see the red accents, which give some life to the whole composition and make the watch look more sporty. The buckle is made of black PVD stainless steel to match the material of the case. The supplied strap has a decent quality, it’s not overly stiff and it’s long enough to cater bigger wrists (I have 7.5 inch wrist and it fit me nicely).

Seiko Recraft SNKN45 wristshot

I usually love to change strap on watches to find a better combo than a manufacturer, but in this case I have to say Seiko really nailed it. The strap compliments the watch well and I have a hard time to come up with a better solution. Perhaps a PVD mesh bracelet would work well on this one, you have to figure out yourself.

Conclusions

There is plenty of things to like about Seiko SNKN45. It has a great spec for approximately $100 that would be really hard to beat: black PVD stainless steel case, beautiful dial with applied indices and logo, automatic movement, a decent leather strap. If you like the design and you seek for an affordable entry level automatic watch, Seiko Recraft will be a great choice for you. I highly recommend these watches as I have owned two models and I can say only good things about them. I especially enjoyed the green variant, which you can see in my other review. Whichever you prefer it’s up to you but you can be sure that you get a quality product at more than a decent price point.

PROS:

+ great value for money

+ vintage inspired design

+ decent quality of supplied leather strap

CONS:

– use of an older generation movement

– seconds hand could be a little longer

Model Seiko Recraft SNKN45
Diameter 45 mm
Thickness 13 mm
Lug to Lug 50 mm
Lug width 22 mm
Crystal Domed hardlex with a bevel
Movement Seiko 7S26 automatic
Water resistance 50 meters
Price ~$100

Image Gallery

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Seiko Recraft SNKN45 wristshot Seiko Recraft SNKN45 wristshot
Seiko Recraft SNKN45 wristshot Seiko Recraft SNKN45 wristshot
7.0 Good

There is plenty of things to like about Seiko SNKN45. It has a great spec for approximately $100 that would be really hard to beat: black PVD stainless steel case, beautiful dial with applied indices and logo, automatic movement, a decent leather strap. If you like the design and you seek for an affordable entry level automatic watch, Seiko Recraft will be a great choice for you. I highly recommend these watches as I have owned two models and I can say only good things about them. I especially enjoyed the green variant, which you can see in my other review. Whichever you prefer it's up to you but you can be sure that you get a quality product at more than a decent price point.

  • Design 6
  • Quality 7
  • Value 8
  • User Ratings (3 Votes) 6.4
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About Author

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