Seiko 5 SNZH57 Review & Fifty Five Fathoms

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Jacky Chou

The Seiko 5 SNZH57 is one of the most popular watches in its class and it's easy to see why. Here, I'm going to give you a review on this watch that includes all the details, including some downsides as well. So what are you waiting for?

The "Seiko 5 SNZH57 Review & Fifty Five Fathoms" is a review of the Seiko 5 SNZH57. It includes an overview of the watch, specifications, and reviews from other users.

Blanc Pain's current fifty fathoms of gold

SNZH57 Seiko

Seiko 5 SNZH57 Review & Fifty Five Fathoms

Seiko Men's SNZH57 Seiko 5 Automatic Black Dial Stainless-Steel Bracelet Watch
  • Automatic
  • Day/date
  • 3-hands
  • 3-fold clasp
  • Stainless steel case and band

Seiko consistently succeeds in producing timepieces that transcend their component elements. One of such models is the SNZH57.

It is in many respects a very appropriate homage to The Initially 50 Fathoms from Blanc Pain, which was created for the commanders Maloubier and Riffaud of the French Combat Diving School.

That was in the 1960s, and now the Fifty Fathoms is a highly coveted, very expensive watch.

The selling price of the Seiko 5 SNZH57, unaltered (more on that at the end), may reach a few hundred dollars.

This model or another SNZH Sea Urchin is often modified to create the true aftermarket Fifty Five Fathoms (Five extra to avoid copyright concerns).

The Dial & Bezel

Seiko SNZF15 Face

The Initially 50 Fathoms

Despite drawing inspiration from the Fifty Fathoms, the Seiko differs from it in a number of ways.

If you are familiar with Seiko Dive watches, such as the SKX line and the Sea Urchin, you will notice that Seiko often creates dive watches in very similar designs. This watch is much more similar to the Blanc Pain than the other watches due to a few notable changes.

The 3, 6, and 9 hour marks are somewhat more rhomboid, while the other three are elevated rectangular bars. This bears little resemblance to the original.

The Fifty Fathoms resembles a Seiko a little bit more than a Seiko since the minute markers are interlaced between the hours, which is uncommon on most other Seiko diving watches. 

Additionally, there is no lume, which rather negates the point of the watch as, when you are diving at 100 meters, it should be visible in the dark!

The hands are a little similar to The Initially 50 Fathoms, being lumed with a nice gold edge on them, but more sword-shaped than the simple long hands on the BlancPain.. The second hand is also quite similar, with the head missing the red touch and the tail being a little more weighty

The Seiko features a day and a date window, while the original had none. The more subdued date window in the current edition is between 4 and 5 o'clock.

The bezel is once again rather basic, similar to the Blanc Pain's, although the numerals are more contemporary and square, and both lack the minute indicators that are often seen closer to the zero position on a diving bezel. The Rolex Submariner's status as a symbol led to this trend gaining additional traction.

The Protest

Although not particularly impressive, Seiko's workhorse automatic 7S36 is very dependable and a fantastic choice at this price.

It includes:

  • 41 hours of battery life
  • 21 gems
  •  21,600 bph

Unfortunately, it cannot be self-winding, but considering the price of this watch, we can hardly be upset about it, can we?

Water Repellency

100m (330 ft) is not very spectacular for dive watches and actually falls short of ISO requirements for real dive watches. However, this is really rather appropriate considering that the original was designed to be used down to 50 fathoms, or just under 100m.

Although, 100m is actually the kind of depth you can reliably take a watch into the water with and go swimming, snorkelling, and maybe very shallow diving. Seiko have not included a screw-down crown which would help ensure the Water Repellency, so I would not take this baby diving.

Fifty-five Fathoms’ After Market Modifications

I felt it would be good to discuss the Seiko Fifty Five Fathoms that are now available to conclude my evaluation. (Except if you like the Steeldive tributes, which are also interesting to check out).

They are not easy to come by because you have to either buy the mods yourself (bezel, face & hands normally) and fit them, or grab one from a reputable dealer or online retailer.

On Ebay, a few may be found in a range of shapes (given there is no actual rules on how it should look, and BlancPain have so many models now anyway).

Since the picture I've included is from a live auction, there's really no way to tell whether you can really purchase this same item while reading this review. But if you're patient, comparable ones should be accessible.

Even on Amazon, it's a rather straightforward purchase if you're happy with the SNZH57, which in my opinion is a really nice-looking watch.

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Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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