Seiko SNE331 Review – The Affordable Military Solar Watch


Hi guys! In this post, I’m going to write about the Seiko SNE331 review, a no-frills military watch by the Japanese brand.

It has a very simplistic and functional design – those big markers and hands on top of a pitch black dial and case. There is no mistaken that this is a military watch that’s made for casual and outdoor use.

But that’s not its only selling point. The SNE331 is powered by solar/light, so its owner does not need to change its battery every few years like normal quartz watches. This effectively make it the best no-frills watch ever for day-to-day use!

And at its current price of around $100, this is the cheapest solar powered watch in the market right now.


Seiko SNE331 solar watch


Enough with the introduction. Now let’s go into the detail review of this Seiko SNE331 shall we.


Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 10 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black IP coated stainless steel
Strap: Brown nylon strap
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black dial with day/date display
Hands: Sword style hands with lume
Markers: Numeral and index markers (sadly, no lume on these..)

Movement: Seiko Caliber V158 – Solar quartz movement
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 10 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Seiko Solar Manual: Click Here To Download The Manual From Seiko’s Website

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $305

A Very Simplistic Military Dial

On top of the Seiko SNE331 is a very simple and minimalist dial. The signatures are also very minimal. The dial is not over the top and just look very functional and perfect as daily beater watch.

The black dial has a metallic finish on it which gives a nice light reflection. The markers are cream in color for a good contrast with the black dial.

The markers are also over-sized with explorer type of design. With the 6, 9 and 12 markers in numeral, this helped to make the watch very legible and easy to read. An all index markers will be a bit harder to read, trust me on this =p

The hands are not too big but still legible enough. At the right side is the day and date windows for an added functionality.

Having day/date is a must for an everyday beater watch like this. With it, you can be consistently reminded of the day/date at just a flick of your wrist.

It might seem trivial for some, but lots of people (me included lol!) have difficulty to remember the current day/date. So having a watch with this feature is always a big plus for me.


Lack Of Lume On The Markers

Perhaps the only complain about the dial is the lack of lume on its markers. There are lume on its hands but the markers don’t have any lume on top of it, save for small lume pips at the edge of the dial.


Seiko SNE331 lume shot

As you can see, the Seiko SNE331 lack some good looking lume on it


Understandably, Seiko can’t afford to put more lume on the SNE331 given the low price of this watch. But it’s a loss since the oversized markers will look much much better with a lume on it.

Besides, the lume will really helps when we are in a dark area and need to check the time. Having a lume is a must (at least for me) for any analog watches.


(Except for dress watches, of course, since those watches are made to look sleek and stylish as hell. I plan to do an introductory post on dress watches – so stay tuned guys!)


You guys can check out the Seiko SARG009 on how gorgeous the dial will looks like if lumes are applied fully on an explorer type of dial.


Seiko SARG009 lume shot

Above is the Seiko SARG009 – notice the great difference between these two watches’ lume


Black IP Coated Stainless Steel Case

Complementing the black dial of the Seiko SNE331 is a black IP coated stainless steel case. It’s not too big, at just 42 mm diameter with 10 mm thickness which is about the normal size of men’s watches nowadays.

At that size, I’m pretty sure it will suit most men’s wrists effortlessly.


Seiko SNE331 on hand


The nylon strap is brown in color, and latches to the 22 mm lug width. Being a low cost solar model and geared towards military style, the choice of nylon strap is the best.

But those that want to upgrade the watch’s style can do so easily by changing it to a brown leather strap. That’s a quick styling tips for a watch. A simple strap change-out can dramatically change its look at far lesser cost than buying a new watch!
Seiko SNE331 back
The SNE331 also has an 100 m water resistance rating for your peace of mind. With this rating, it’s basically fine to use the watch even for swimming, though I won’t really recommend you guys to do so.

A swim once in a while is fine, but definitely not frequent. It also helps to protect the watch from water ingress during accidental events such as rain, dropped the watch into a puddle, etc.

Being a low cost watch also has its downside. With the SNE331, it’s mainly in the form of the low scratch resistant mineral crystal and simple caseback without any engraving.

But then, it’s quite understandable this has to be the case since the watch price is much cheaper compared to other solar watches.


Seiko SNE331 side watch


I need to warn you guys about mineral crystal and it’s low scratch resistant. It’s easily scratched and we should take extra precaution to not bang the watch onto any hard surface.

Heck, even a concrete wall might cause some irreparable damage on it. So take good care of it to avoid being heartbroken later on =p


(Read also my post on watch crystals and their pros/cons)

Seiko Solar V158 Movement

Powering the Seiko SNE331 watch is the solar movement V158, built in-house by Seiko. The solar watch is a misnomer since the watch can also be charged by artificial lights such as our normal house lights.

Solar watches are basically a normal quartz watch but with additional components to capture and change light into electrical energy. The electrical charge is then stored inside a rechargable battery of the watch.

From that point onward, the mechanism of the watch is similar to a quartz watch. It also has the same characteristic in terms of great accuracy and others.

Anyone that had owned a quartz watch will know how frustrating it is to suddenly realized that their watch has a dead battery. This can greatly annoy some people especially if they are a bit on a rush at that time.

Solar watches seek to eliminate this by making the watch rechargeable just by putting it under a light. And since most of us will be exposed to light for a long duration in any day, recharging the watch is a breeze.


Seiko SNE331 V158 solar charging time

Above is a table showing how long does it takes to recharge Seiko SNE331 solar watch


In fact, it’s accidentally done by just wearing the watch and go outside! Suffice to say, solar watches is the best watch for those that want a fuss-free watch for use.


Click Here To Download The Seiko Solar Watch Manual From Seiko’s Website


Who Is This Watch For?

Anyone excited about solar watches but turned off by its high price should consider it. This Seiko SNE331 is among the cheapest solar watches in the market right now.


Seiko SNE331 on hand


The simplicity and principle of wear-and-forget-it of solar watches is the main attraction of this watch. If you are sick of frequent dead watches and needing to change their batteries, a cheap solar watch will solve it for you.

Lastly, the simple military style look is perfect for any casual or outdoor use. If you are looking for a no-frills military watch that can be used everyday, this is the watch that you need to check out.


Who Should Not Get It?

Anyone that wants more style from his/her watch might be turned off by the Seiko SNE331 simple look. Granted, the minimalist design is not everyone’s cup of tea.


Watch the video above to have a better look at the Seiko SNE331


Seiko SNE331 Pros and Cons


  • Easy to use and convenient solar powered watch
  • Simple and minimalist military style dial
  • Cool military watch design and look
  • More affordable compared to other solar watches
  • Day and date display are very useful for its owners
  • 100 m water resistance rating


  • Mineral crystal is easily scratched


Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like the Seiko SNE331, get it cheapest on Amazon! Amazon has the cheapest price, much much lower than the exorbitant MSRP of $305 on Seiko’s website. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.


->Click Here To Check Out The Seiko SNE331 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Seiko SNE331 is a good looking military watch with a simplistic design. It’s not meant as an eye-catcher but rather a true beater watch to be used everyday.

With a solar powered movement, it becomes more convenient than other quartz watches that need frequent battery change. And the 100 m water resistance rating just make the specifications of the watch a true good value for money.




I hope you guys like this Seiko SNE331 review. Let me know what you guys think about the watch.

Drop your comments below =)

Till next time then. Cheers!

4 thoughts on “Seiko SNE331 Review – The Affordable Military Solar Watch”

  1. Hey I’ve had the watch for 6 months now and I have something to add. For me this was an exact fit. The weight was ideal and the band is what I like, stains, dirt, etc have no foot hold. No fuss no muss watch with seikos name behind it, so I thought. The good: heavy duty band, nice weight and looks great. Sadly that’s it. I have fully charged the solar watch and it just doesn’t keep date and time. It did for about a month then I slowly started having problems. Charged it again, even though it says it’ll keep a full charge for about 10 months. (Used a solar watch charger I got from Amazon) And it just won’t keep proper time and date anymore. I am really disappointed in my purchase, I trusted the name brand and I hope it was just a fluke but I will not spend the big price tag a second time for a watch that only looks good. Wasted my money.

    • Hi Mark. Really sorry to hear your bad experience with your Seiko solar watch. Have you sent the watch back for warranty?

      Because it seems to me that the quartz movement might be the culprit here – judging by how you described your watch’s inability to keep accurate time and date.

      Quartz watch’s beauty is in its accuracy, so if you have anything more than +-15 seconds per month (as written in the manual), then something surely is wrong with the movement.

  2. Hi. I really like the idea of having a solar watch but I live in Wales where we don’t get much Sun lol
    I would be worried it would charge enough.
    Does it have any other colours for the face of the watch, or is it just black?

    • Hi Matthew. Yes, not enough sunlight could be a problem. You can charge using man-made lights but these are slower. You can try the solar watch charger than can charge the watch easily.

      (Click here to read my review of the solar watch charger)

      On the other versions of the watch, there is a Seiko SNE329 that has a silver stainless steel case. But unfortunately the dial face is black in color. 

      I believe it’s due to the solar watch characteristic that need to absorb light, thus the preference to use black dials for these watches.

      Let me know if you have any other questions Matthew.


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