How to pair your Seiko watch with a stunning fabric strap

How to pair your Seiko watch with a stunning fabric strap

To millions of diehard Seiko fans, Seiko does not represent how the Japanese arrived late to the watchmaking game. Rather, Seiko is the game-changer who reinvented the wristwatch in emphatic fashion. To them, Seiko is the earth-shaking brand that almost killed the entire Swiss watchmaking industry with its affordable and finely made watches.

As many of you know, Seiko was a major player in the Japanese watchmaking revolution of the 1970s that led to many Swiss horological brands either shuttering or being sold off. However, Seiko isn’t a brand that harps on past accomplishments – even today, with impossibly priced launches like the Seiko Prospex, Seiko presents incredible bang for your buck, which watch collectors acknowledge and laud. As you can see, Seiko has had the big boys sweating bullets for decades.

Established by Kintarō Hattori in 1881, Seiko grew from a small Tokyo watch and jewellery store into a brand that is revered for its precision and craftsmanship. Seiko rolled out its first wristwatch in 1913, and its first quartz watch, the Seiko Astron, in 1969, which set things in motion for the Quartz Crisis.

Not one to rest on its laurels, the brand went on to unveil the world's first quartz chronograph in 1983 and a ‘kinetic watch’ that was powered by wrist movement in 1988. As such, Seiko has had a lasting cultural impact on the world and many blockbuster films have featured Seiko watches, such as Aliens, Apocalypse Now, Ghostbusters and Predator.

You’ll see from the beautiful collection of Instagram photos below that there’s a Seiko for everyone, whether you’re a dive enthusiast or world traveller, deep-pocketed connoisseur or humble salaryman looking for a handsome everyday watch.

We cannot discuss the unfolding legacy of Seiko without highlighting how Grand Seiko, which is a premium brand that Seiko has established as a separate company. Distinguished by its exquisite features and painstakingly handmade dials, Grand Seiko introduces new and distinct models every month or so. This unconventional business strategy has been working well for Grand Seiko, but is an approach that other brands who manufacture timepieces of this level of haute horlogerie, would never dream of doing.

So, if you’re thinking of celebrating your Seiko by switching out its nylon or leather strap for a snazzy fabric strap, here’s how popular Instagrammers are doing it.


Photo credits for header image: @watchuncleman (left); @watchestolove; @thewristyinvestor

We ought to start by discussing one of Seiko’s most successful collections of all time - the Seiko SARB series. Discontinued around 2017, Seiko SARBs are affordable and make for effortlessly elegant dress watches. If you own one in good condition, it will fetch a handsome sum today on the secondary market.

An elegant, value-for-money Seiko that houses the classic 6R15 automatic movement within a sleek and polished steel case, the SARB033 comes on a stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp. Above, both @thewrist_index and @just_another_seikollectorhas both felt that securing the SARB033 to the RSM canvas strap, would make a brilliant combination.

Another prized SARB that sold like hotcakes back in the day is the SARB17, which is distinguished by yesteryear features like an olive dial, vintage minutes track and bronze-coloured numerals interspersed by markers of the same colour. Above, @watchinaction complements this green face and polished surfaces with a dark-coloured RSM vintage military strap.

Above, popular watch photographer @jensb1954 secures another elegant classic, the SZSB013 to the RSM engraved stripe strap.

If you like unusual-looking Seikos, you might have come across this gorgeous vintage above. The Seiko 6136-7010 from the mid-1970s. @ckstime has strapped this captivating automatic chronograph to the RSM vintage military strap to accentuate its military-esque sub-dials and numerals.

A solar-powered chronograph, the Seiko SSC813 gives off strong Omega Speedy vibes, which is why this ravishing panda chronograph goes well with the utilitarian look of the RSM x-hatch strap.

Nicknamed the “Seitona”, here’s how the Seiko SSC813 looks on the RSM herringbone twill strap.

A very eye-catching yet very affordable Seiko 5 watch, the SNK809’s crowded dial reminds one of an airplane's or submarine’s control panel. To bring out the military inspiration for this watch, @watchoutblog paired it with the RSM vintage military strap.

A custom fabric strap can endow an ordinary dive watch with serious panache. Here are some popular Seiko dive watches below, exuding a totally different vibe on these RSM vintage military straps.

And if you’re an owner of the handsome Seiko 7548-700F, here are some ideas of how to jazz it up.

If you like Pepsi dials, but want something distinct and memorable, check out this Seiko 7548 above that @ckstime has placed atop the RSM x-hatch strap. For an understated look, swap its strap for the RSM military strap.

Seiko dive watches look pretty damn cool on RSM stripe straps too. If you like the nonchalant, contemporary look, you can see from these pairings that the RSM stripe strap is a great choice, even for common Seiko dive watches like the SKX, which has been paired with the RSM stripe strap below.

Knowledgeable watch collector @speedyfett waxes lyrical, above, about the SKX, reminding us why so many collectors love this dive watch series. @speedyfett chose to pair his beautiful vintage 7002-7009 and SKX to his RSM vintage military straps, while pointing out to us the subtle refinements in design that Seiko introduced in the reissue.

Another icon from the Seiko 7002 series, the 7002-7000 is a sight to behold! @roadking1102 has paired this compelling antique with the RSM vintage military strap.

The Seiko SRPE51 is a sports watch from the Seiko 5 series. Its dial is unmistakable from afar – a shimmering beauty that bears the Seiko ‘S’ logo, with no rotating bezel. This 40mm watch is driven by the Seiko 4R36, and the @thewristyinvestor has swapped its subtle steel bracelet out for the RSM herringbone twill strap – the zigzag patterns do well to enhance the visual depth from the polished case.

Below, @thewristyinvestor also took his Seiko SRPE51 for a ride on the RSM vintage military strap.

The Seiko SRPF89K1, above, is easily differentiated from other Seiko 5 Sports watches, by its off-white lume and large Arabic numerals. And by Arabic numerals, we don’t mean modern Arabic numerals, but the original numerals that Arabs have been using for thousands of years. Here, @fedorology has paired it with the RSM vintage military strap.

Driven by the automatic calibre 8L35 movement, the SLA017, above, is a vaunted reissue that fetes Seiko’s first dive watch that the brand released in 1965. That dive watch was called the Seiko 62MAS and this re-release was a much-talked about event when it happened in 2017, because it presented collectors with an affordable tribute version of the 62MAS. Here, @rafaelperezrap has used the zig-zag pattern of the RSM herringbone twill strap to contrast the solid colours of his SLA017.


The Seiko SNR043 is a ravishing tool watch that boasts many utilitarian functions like a unidirectional fluted bezel and large markers with luminescence. What better strap to pair with this outdoorsy watch than the RSM vintage military strap?

Like many of Seiko’s affordable dive watches, the SPB143 is a robust tool watch that is designed for optimal legibility even in low-light conditions. A versatile watch that looks good at sea or on terra firma, the SPB’s rubber strap in this case has been swapped out by @talkingabouttime for a formal-looking RSM canvas strap, while @hands_and_bezel and @fliptheparrot have opted to pair it with RSM engraved stripe straps of different colours.

Below, @jumpingjalapeno opts for the RSM x-hatch strap for his SPB143 instead, to give it a more attention-grabbing look.

Above is a pairing by RSM and Seiko fan @johneseiko. RSM vintage military straps are available in a variety of colours that can bring out the details and emphasise the rich history of your Seiko.


 A head-turning GMT dive watch that is meant to reflect the vivacity of big city life, the SSX005 here is juxtaposed by the patterns of the RSM x-hatch strap.

The 42.6mm Seiko SPB075 has an unforgettable appearance and is one of Seiko’s most memorable dive watch endeavours. Needless to say, it is beloved for its intricately crafted dial, and in this instance, @watchestolove has paired this guilloched dial with the equally graceful RSM reversible silk strap.

Another iconic dive watch, the SNE498 is an instantly recognisable timepiece that is distinguished by its bold bezel numbers and protruding crown. It is equipped with Seiko's solar-powered movement, which harnesses light energy, whether from natural sunlight or artificial sources, to charge its battery. Here, this outdoorsy tool watch has been paired by @speedyfett with the RSM vintage military strap.

We mentioned the vintage Seiko 62mas earlier, and here it is in the flesh! An engrossing antique with bold markers and numerals, contrasted by the fine weaving of the RSM vintage military strap.


Seiko dive watches with broad steel bases would earn the nickname “Turtles”, by nature of their testudine-shaped design. Seiko “Turtle” watches such as the SRP777, above, were created in homage to the cushion-cased dive watches from the 1970s, and Seiko’s iconic dive watches from the 1970s like the 6309 and 6105. Historically, many collectors have customised their SRP777 with unusual parts, and in this instance, @outriderwatches differentiates this SRP777 with a patterned RSM x-hatch strap, which brings out the matte and polished surfaces of the case and dial. Below, he does likewise with the vintage 6309 from 1976 and experiments too with the RSM stripe strap and x-hatch strap.

Famous Seiko “Turtle” owners who wore them often include Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Brian May of Queen. If you’ve heard the legendary tales about how these bands partied back in the day, you’d agree that these stories are testament to the hardiness of these shell-shaped watches.

And here, below, is what a Seiko “Turtle” looks like on the RSM canvas strap, RSM stripe strap and RSM vintage military strap. Which of these do you prefer? The canvas strap endows a ‘tough guy’ look, and the vintage military strap turns this watch into a more serious and less outdoorsy watch that can be worn to formal occasions.

Here’s a closer look at a typical Seiko “Turtle”, which is known for several unmistakable details, such as the “sword” that Seiko marked its 12 o'clock index with.

Scroll further and you’ll see how @ckstime, @talkingabouttime, @redbar_newfoundland and @outriderwatches got creative with Seiko “Turtles”, pairing them with RSM herringbone twill and RSM stripe straps.

For a more rugged look, the RSM camo strap can be paired with your Seiko ‘Turtle’ or any dive watch to confer them an amphibious look. The camouflage shapes on the strap contrast the uniformity of these watches, and remind onlookers of the military provenance of these classic models.

A popular watch of the 1970s and 80s, the Seiko 6306 and 6309 are vaunted vintages that go well with straps that look like outdoor equipment.

Nicknamed the “Slim Turtle”, the Seiko SPB333 gives a tiny bit of Explorer II vibes. Here, it’s paired with the RSM x-hatch strap, which has patterns that look like heavy-duty outdoor equipment.

Perhaps the most famous of Seiko “Turtles” is the Seiko 6105-8110 also known as the “Captain Willard”. It takes its name from the character in the film Apocalypse Now, who was played by Martin Sheen and wore this future classic in this film.

 Above is the SPB237, which is a reissue of the Seiko “Captain Willard” that @johneseiko has secured to an RSM vintage military strap.

Driven by the caliber 6R35 with 70-hour power reserve, the SPB237 generated a lot of hubbub when it was unveiled. This Seiko Prospex watch from the "Save the Ocean" series draws inspiration from aquatic life and Seiko used its highly anticipated launch to raise awareness for ocean conservation.