Seiko SKX031 Review: Poor Man’s Submariner Diving watch

Since launching the Japan’s first 150m Diver’s watch in 1965, Seiko has improved its diving watches even to this day. Now, the Seiko Divers watches have become extremely popular to the point that every watch enthusiast and collector dreams of having one.

Seiko has a very diverse list of dive watch models; some dive watches you can take to the depth of ocean up to 1000 meters like the Seiko Prospex S23635, and some Seiko diving watches that give you a sense of nostalgia such as the Seiko “Arnie” H558 watch from the movies Commando & Predator – Get to the Ghoppa!

But today is about another one named the Seiko SKX031 Automatic Diving watch, also known as the Poor Man’s Submariner, and is a homage to Rolex Submariner watch. Stay with us at Saatsaz Watch as we head to the Seiko SKX031 review.

Seiko SKX031 Review

Reference number 7S26-0030 was introduced in the late 1990s as part of Seiko’s highly popular SKX lineup of dive watches. It remains a fan favorite due to the winning combination of classic design, capable specification, precise Seiko quality, and affordability relative to other dive watches.

Seiko SKX031 Specs:

Let’s jump to the specifications of the poor man’s Submariner watch:

Design and Build Quality

  • 42mm stainless steel case that is perfectly sized for most wrists.
  • Unidirectional 120-click rotating bezel with excellent grip. Precision molded.
  • Flat hardened mineral crystal maintains rated water resistance.
  • Crow-guard secures the screw-down crown.
  • Screw-down case back allows for pressure testing and maintenance.

Dial and Hands

  • High-contrast matte black dial with luminous markers/hands for low-light visibility.
  • Day/date display window at 3 o’clock. Neatly designed font.
  • Sword-shaped hands are lumped for usability as a dive watch. Crisp luminous lasting hours.


  • Iconic 7S26 automatic caliber. Reliable workhorse movement.
  • It beats at 21,600 BPH for smooth sweeping motion.
  • The hacking function allows for precise time settings.
  • Approximately 41 hours of power reserve when fully wound.

Bracelet and Clasp

  • Solid stainless steel 3-link bracelet tapers from 22mm to 20mm. Polished finish.
  • The butterfly clasp is solidly built. Easy micro-adjustment.
  • Bracelet end links fit the case securely with no play.

Water resistance

  • Rated to 200 meters / 660 feet. Suitable for professional diving.
  • Screw-down crown and case back deliver this impressive rating.


  • Affordable vintage Seiko diver that wears like a watch twice the cost.
  • Collectible design that still looks modern over 25 years later.
  • Immense aftermarket support for parts makes it a watch for life.

Seiko SKX031 - The Poor Man’s Submariner

Seiko SKX031 vs Rolex Submariner

Here’s a comparison of the Seiko SKX031 vs. the iconic Rolex Submariner:

Design Comparison

SKX031 has classic big crown-style diver looks with a day/date window. Submariner’s 3/6/9 dial is more minimalist.

Movement Comparison

SKX031 uses Seiko’s reliable 7S26 automatic. Submariner houses COSC-certified Swiss 3130 automatic, premium finish/higher beat rate.

Quality Comparison

SKX031’s construction is very good for the price but can’t match Rolex’sswiss craftsmanship/build tolerances.

Features Comparison

Both have 120-click bezels and 200m water resistance. Submariner has date magnification and a bidirectional bezel.

Lume Comparison

Submariner’s lume is longer lasting. SKX031 Lume gets the job done for diving.

Bracelet Comparison

Rolex’s Oyster bracelet is supremely engineered and comfortable. SKX uses a standard 3-link bracelet.

Accuracy Comparison

Submariner maintains COSC timing standards +/-2sec/day. SKX031 may vary more as a basic automatic.

Price Comparison

SKX031 is a few hundred dollars, while Submariner starts around $8k, and appreciation/demand is higher.

Heritage Comparison

Rolex crafted the first modern luxury dive watch. Seiko pioneered affordable quartz innovations.

While both are capable divers, the Rolex Submariner is the pinnacle of luxury dive watchmaking and carries immense prestige with legendary quality. The SKX031 punches far above its weight class and is iconic in its own right.



While the Seiko SKX031 certainly doesn’t have the multi-thousand-dollar price tag or gilt prestige of a Rolex Submariner, upon closer inspection it shares many similarities in both function and design that have made it earn the moniker of the “Poor Man’s Submariner.”

Ultimately both watches will stand the test of time, but the SKX031 proves you don’t need a small fortune to own a piece of diver’s watch history with proven dependability and style all its own. For most, it handsomely fits the “Poor Man’s” bill.

We, the Saatsaz Watch team, hope you enjoyed our poor man’s submariner, Seiko SKX031 review. Please share your thoughts on this Seiko dive watch with us in the comments.


What's the Seiko watch similar to Rolex Submariner?

The Seiko SKX031 dive watch. The nickname “poor man’s submariner” commonly refers to the Seiko SKX031 diver’s watch. Here are some key reasons why it’s known as a more affordable alternative to the Rolex Submariner.

When did the Seiko SKX031 come out?

The Seiko SKX031 automatic diver’s watch was released in 1996 as a cheaper alternative and homage to the famous and luxury Rolex Submariner watch.
5/5 (2 Reviews)

Arshia Farahani

Arshia Farahani, a versatile professional at Saatsaz Watch, serves as a Content Writer/Editor, curating and enhancing the platform's content. Arshia's objective is to provide valuable and customized information, addressing the specific needs and queries of the audience. Engage with Arshia by leaving comments or contacting via email at arshia[@] What is Arshia Farahani's Experience? Arshia Farahani, an accomplished Chemical Engineering student at IUT, and he works as a Content Writer and SEO Specialist at Saatsaz Watch. With prior ghostwriting experience for a Paraguayan company from 2021-2022, Arshia joined Saatsaz Watch in 2022, bringing a wealth of knowledge and skills. His responsibilities include content strategy planning and extensive research on watch brands. Arshia's dedication to staying updated with the latest trends in the watch industry enables compelling and informative content creation. Through meticulous research and a genuine passion for timepieces, Arshia deeply understands various watch brands, their histories, unique features, and market positioning. This expertise ensures accurate and engaging content that resonates with readers, fostering trust and reliability. Arshia Farahani's contributions allow Saatsaz Watch to provide a unique platform that educates, informs, and captivates watch enthusiasts worldwide.

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