The SKX007J and the other ‘J’ versions of the SKX divers are widely available in Asia and it is said by many, including myself that there is no quality difference between the ‘J’ and ‘K’ versions. As such, it became questionable whether they are actually made in Japan.
It may be questionable, but my view is, they are made in Japan. I believe the words ‘Made in Japan’ on the dial of the SKX007J can be trusted. Below are some country of manufacture indications that Seiko puts on their watches:
Made in Japan – 100% made in Japan.
Movement Japan – movement is made in Japan but watch is assembled outside Japan.
Movement Malaysia – movement made in Malaysia
Movement Singapore – movement made in Singapore
Not indicated – manufactured outside Japan.
Why bother with all these if they are not true. Therefore, I believe if it says ‘Made in Japan’ on the dial, it is made in Japan.
As for the quality, I believe both the ‘J’ and ‘K’ have the same quality specification and both factories that manufacture them have met the specification and hence the watches have the same quality. The Japan factory is capable of producing watches of higher quality but for the SKX divers, they only need to put in enough work to meet the quality specification. They need not exceed the specification just to prove that the watch is made in Japan. The SKX diver is just a basic diver afterall. The Samurai is another basic diver. The Ti version is made in Japan and SS made outside Japan. Other than different case material and design, I don’t notice any difference in build quality between the Ti and SS Samurai’s?
In the retail scene, I notice that the ‘K’ versions are available all the time while the ‘J’ versions are not. When they are out of stock, it takes a while for replenishments to reach the market. The lead time could be attributed to the longer time required by the distributor to order stocks from Japan. I guess the distributor probably needs to accumulate enough re-orders for all MIJ models before they place an order with Seiko Japan.
Just my personal view.