Watch Out! The Seiko 5 SNK 809 Review


Seiko is the premier Japanese watchmaker and has been in business since 1881. Their Seiko 5 series provides excellent value as they can usually be had for less than $150, and very often less than $100. For that price, you get a watch with an automatic movement, with day/date function.

The Seiko 5 series of watches come in many styles and provide a basic automatic movement in a stylish case. Introduced in the 1960s, the Seiko 5 series is the black horse of the mechanical watch market. The '5' represents the five functions: hour, minute, second, day, date.

The series uses the venerable Seiko 7S26C or 7S36 movements, running at 21,600BPH and having a 40 hour power reserve. Hacking and hand winding is not supported - though in my experience with the SNK 809, I could give a slight back pressure to the crown in the time set position, and cause the second hand to stop or even run backwards. So it CAN be done, if you want to set the time accurately.

From the factory, however, these watches tend to run -/+ 8 seconds per day, however, so it's not so critical. With some regulation, this can be brought down to about -/+ 2 seconds per day.

The SNK 809 that I had was very comfortable, and the 37mm case was not overly large on my wrist. I would not care to go any smaller, but I feel the 37-42 mm size is probably a good range for me. On beefier fellows, this watch may appear rather tiny. I'm very fond of the military style watches, and so went for the SNK series over some of the dressier Seiko 5's out there.

I found the watch to be quite rugged, especially as I tend to work outside quite a bit. The lume was bright and clear, and I overall felt the watch - and no doubt the entire Seiko 5 series - has a good overall fit and finish. The wrist band is a cloth style that is a bit irritating, but of course this can be easily replaced. This line of watches could definitely play a good role in introducing folks to mechanical watches, and would be a good start for any fledgling collector.

Sadly, after a couple of mishaps in the dryer (left it in my pocket!) the rotor simply wouldn't wind it anymore, so this Seiko has gone away. I would definitely have another at some point, though. Lesson well learned.

Everything Goes - Even the Kitchen Sink

This February marked the 5 year anniversary of purchasing the house. It has been an exciting journey in home ownership, one that I sincerely hope to continue.

In those five years, we’ve replaced basically everything: 

  • Hot Water Heater
  • Well Pump
  • Refrigerator
  • Kitchen Stove
  • Wood Stove
  • All electric outlets

The roof...well...that’s next month. Yes, we’ve contracted to have a new metal roof installed. Two recent windstorms have wreaked havoc on the aging shingles, and it was just time to do it. 

For her birthday in January, Sarah asked about having a new sink and faucet installed, and I said we definitely needed to. The hard water and age of the stainless steel sink really made it look poorly. The low spout of the faucet would frustrate us both with its poor clearance when trying to fill a pitcher, and there was a small leak in the left hand drain that was problematic. The leak had been there so long that the encrusted rings that tighten down the drain wouldn’t move! It was time for a new sink.


We went to Lowe’s and perused the offerings. Thankfully, our current sink is a standard size, so we had a broad selection to choose from. I really liked the look of the enameled sinks offered by Kohler, and Sarah did too. She selected a coordinating faucet with white handles. Neither seemed to be in stock at our local store, but I ordered online the next day and was able to pick up at the store in the next town.

Then I discovered my first slight error. This sink is heavy! The box indicated it was over 75 pounds! So be prepared if you’re inspired to follow my suit. This is a two person sink. That said, it’s also a beautiful  sink.

My sister-in-law’s husband came over Sunday to help me install the new sink. Before he came, I had already removed the old sink to give us a jump start. 


The key steps are to shut off the water, disconnect the drains, disconnect the water lines, and then remove the clips that hold the sink to the counter. The small clips on this sink were flat headed, which made working in the tight space difficult. 

Once everything is disconnected, slide a putty knife or something along the sink, between the sink and the countertop. This will loosen any caulk that was put down to create a seal.

Then, just lift the sink out! 


In theory, installing the new sink should have been a reverse process. But, the Kohler cast iron sink has a larger basin diameter - the cast iron is stronger than stainless steel, so the outer lip can be smaller. Result: IT DIDN’T FIT. 

After a conference without my wife, Sarah, we opted to press on. The front facade of the cabinet was inset, which caused the clearance issue. With a Dremel and tin snips, the facade, hinges, and cabinet doors all came out. I admit to feeling bad defacing the original Youngstown’s Kitchens cabinet, but at the same time we really wanted this new sink. 


My eventual plan is to build in a new facade, which will be painted to match the cabinets. It only needs to be a half inch further forward from where the original facade was.  We also had to get some new drain pipe, as the drains on this sink sit farther back and farther apart. Twisting the S-trap and installing the longer pipe did the trick!

Sarah, and I, are both very happy with how the sink turned out! There is so much space in there to work. The new faucet is a dream, the handles glide open and closed and the arched design of the faucet gives us lots of clearance. 

Replacing the sink and faucet is a project that can transform a kitchen, and it’s within the reach of any handy person to do! I recommend having some donuts as you go along.  


A Late Spring

We have been impatiently awaiting the warmer temperatures that herald the arrival of Spring here in Upstate New York. 

While we do have snow forecasted for Sunday, I think it’s safe to call it - Spring is here!

We have been so excited - we’ve already made a preliminary trip to our favorite greenhouses last weekend to get a feel for what plants we want this year. 

Obviously Spring fever hit us hard! I picked up ten more red raspberry and black raspberry plants (five of each).

You can never have enough berries! 

You can never have enough berries! 

I also picked up a new plant for my office at work. It was striking and caught my eye - when a I saw it was called a ‘Prayer Plant’, I just had to get it. I haven’t had a chance to find out why it’s called that, however.

My order from Stark Bros. arrived as well: 


The rundown is: two MacIntosh Apple trees, two red gooseberries, and a tree wisteria. 

An earlier shipment included two Patriot blueberries to supplement the four I planted last year.  Those four seem poised to come back, so I must have done something right!

We’ve also planted two beds of potatoes this year - some with potatoes left over from last year’s harvest, and some fresh purchased seed potatoes this year. I’m hopeful to not repeat last year’s mistake - some toxic bugs killed off the plants before the taters could really develop.

We’ve also got our rhubarb returning! These were squashed into the corners of the bed, and this year I transplanted them to a more central spot - so hopfully they will flourish. I put a hoop tent over them to help them along in this cool weather.

Rhubarb is growing

Rhubarb is growing

We have a lot of exciting projects going on in 2018! I’m excited to get them going and share the progress in this homesteading adventure of ours.