What's The Big Difference Between Seiko SKX J And K Models?
Whether you are in the market for an SKX007, SKX009, or the smaller dial SKX013, one thing you will probably notice is that all three of these watches will have model numbers ending in either a J (J1/J2) or a K (K1/K2). If you were to compare, for example, an SKX007K1 and a SKX007J1, both watches appear to be nearly identical. And both watches have the exact same technical specifications.
Are there any differences between SKX J and K models?
The most clear and well known difference between the two watches is the "Made In Japan" on the bottom of the J model's dial. Additionally, the J models feature "21 Jewels" below the "Diver's 200m". Furthermore, on the case backs, the J models feature "Japan WP" on them while the K models feature just "WP". These are the only visual differences between J and K SKX watches.
Interestingly enough, although the J models feature the "Made In Japan" on the dial, both the J and K watches are manufactured, using the exact same parts, in factories outside of Japan, most commonly thought to be Malaysia or Singapore. The big difference though is how the watches are assembled. It's commonly understood that the K models are assembled outside of Japan, similar to where they are produced, while the J models are actually imported and assembled in Japan, allowing them to be labeled as "Made In Japan".
If both watches are nearly identical, why do J models sell for a premium?
It really comes down to consumer preference. Japan has an excellent reputation for manufacturing quality products in general, and the consumer thought process is that the J models are assembled using higher standards of quality control then they would be outside of Japan, therefore the finishing and quality of the J watches should be higher then there K counterparts.