Affordable Rolex Explorer 2 Polar Dial Alternative from Seiko, but it's JDM.

Seiko 5 Sports SBSC009 JDM

Since the very beginning of my watch collecting hobby, I've been looking for an affordable watch that looks like a Rolex Explorer 2 Polar Dial. So, I was incredibly happy when I saw that Seiko decided to use their SRPG line of Seiko 5 Sports field watches as the basis for a new line of Seiko 5 Sports GMTs featuring their 4R34 automatic GMT movement. Even more exciting was when I saw that for the Japan domestic market, they decided to do a white dial with an orange GMT hand, creating what I think is the perfect affordable alternative to Rolex's Explorer 2 GMT watch.

 Even though my hobby is collecting affordable watches, I certainly have an eye on luxury watches and have a list of them that I would love to somehow get my hands on, even though I know I never will. These are true grails for me, as likely to own a Rolex Explorer 2 as I am to get my hands on the actual cup that Christ drank from on the night of his crucifixion. So, I'm always on the lookout for affordable alternatives to watches like that.

Design and Features

Seiko has masterfully combined elements of their SRPG series with a GMT function, resulting in a watch that pays homage to the Explorer 2 while retaining its own unique identity. The fixed 24-hour bezel, adorned with crisp black markings, adds character to the watch, elevating its appearance to that of a much more expensive timepiece.

Powered by Seiko's reliable 4R34 movement, this watch boasts an affordable yet capable GMT function. Setting the GMT hand is a breeze, allowing you to track two time zones effortlessly. While the addition of the GMT complication has increased the case thickness slightly, Seiko has cleverly managed to conceal this, ensuring the watch remains sleek and wearable.

Bracelet and Comfort

One significant upgrade from previous models is the bracelet. Featuring solid links and end links, it exudes a premium feel and complements the watch's aesthetic perfectly. While the clasp may not be as robust as some higher-end alternatives, it gets the job done and is comfortable to wear.

Dial and Lume

The stark white backdrop of the dial provides the perfect canvas for the simple Arabic hour markers and date window at 3 o'clock. While the loom could be stronger, particularly compared to non-GMT versions, it's still decent and outperforms many competitors in its price range.

Quality Control

However, it's worth noting that there have been reports of quality control issues, such as minor blemishes on the dial. While this is disappointing, it doesn't detract significantly from the overall appeal of the watch.
Price and Value: A Worthy Contender in its Class

In terms of price, the SRPG09J1 offers great value, especially considering Seiko's reputation for quality and reliability. While there are comparable options from micro-brands utilizing the same movement, the Seiko brand heritage and design pedigree add an undeniable allure.


In conclusion, the Seiko SRPG09J1 is a worthy contender for anyone seeking a stylish and functional GMT watch without breaking the bank. With its distinctive design, solid construction, and affordable price point, it's a timepiece that punches well above its weight class. Whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting your watch journey, the SRPG09J1 is definitely worth considering. So, if you're in the market for a versatile and affordable GMT watch that pays homage to a classic, look no further than the Seiko SRPG09J1.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT on Amazon (Affiliate link)


Seiko 5 SBSC009
Retail Price 59,400 JPY ($400)
Movement: Seiko 4r34 Automatic GMT
Case: 39mm
Lugs: 20mm
Lug-Lug: 47mm
Thickness: 14mm
Hardlex Crystal
100M WR