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Seiko Alpinist Watches

The Seiko Alpinist Is a Watch for Every Time

The Seiko Alpinist began as a timepiece made for Japanese mountain climbers specifically and sports enthusiasts generally. The watch was a first for Seiko and was a real attempt at producing a watch for the "Yama-otoko," the mountain men of Japan who required special equipment to handle the challenging terrain of Japan's mountains.

How long have Seiko Alpinist watches been in production?

The Seiko was first introduced in 1961. It has remained in production ever since and has eight generations under the Alpinist branding as of 2020.

What models are there in the Seiko Alpinist series?

There have been multiple generations of the Alpinist released over the years, each with distinctive characteristics, some of which include:

  • Laurel Alpinist (1961) - This is the original Alpinist. It has a 17-jewel Seikosha movement and comes in black or cream.
  • Champion 850 series (1963) - The familiar mountain symbol on the case originated with this series. The 17J Seikosha movement is present in the J13043 and J13049 models, but an automatic caliber 850 and 851 movement is in the J13079. The 85899 has an 851 movement.
  • Red Alpinist (1992) - This is the first Prospex Alpinist, and it has a 4S15 movement. Model numbers are SCVF005 (Black), SCVF007 (Cream), and SCVF009 (Green).
  • Alpinist 8F56 (2003) - The Alpinist 8F56 has an 8F56 quartz movement. The model numbers are SBCJ019, SBCJ021, and SBCJ031.
  • SSASS Limited Edition Alpinist - This aqua Alpinist was a limited edition with only 500 watches in the release. It was created as a tribute to Japanese-American mountaineer Ken Noguchi and his foundation, Seven Summits Actions for Sustainable Society (SSASS).
  • SARB SERIES (2006) - The 2006 releases were the SARB013 (cream), SARB015 (black), and SARB017 (green) models. The 2009 production release consists of the SARB059 (dark green dial, silver bezel), the SARB061 (black dial and bezel), and the SARB063, a limited edition, all-black Takeshi Mizukoshi 500 Alpinist. All three use the 6R15 23-jewel movement.
  • Blue Alpinist (2019) - The Seiko SPB089 was a commemorative release that celebrated the original Laurel Alpinist with 1,959 released watches. This watch has the 6R15 automatic movement.
  • Prospex Alpinist (2020) - This release features the models SSPB117J1 (black dial and steel bracelet), SPB119J1 (beige dial and black leather strap), SPB121J1 (green dial and brown leather strap), and SPB123J1 (beige dial and green leather strap). They have the Prospex watch symbol "X" in place of the Alpinist sign. These all use the 6R35 24-jewel automatic movement.
What type of cases do the Seiko Alpinist models have?

The Seiko Alpinist has traditionally come with a solid case back. However, the 2020 Prospex Alpinist has a display case back.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist (2020 edition)Hamilton KhakiRolex Explorer
Case size39.5 millimeters38 millimeters39 millimeters
LugsSpacing: 46 millimeters, width: 20 millimetersSpacing: 47 millimeters, width: 20 millimetersSpacing: 43 millimeters, width: 20 millimeters
BraceletCalf leather or metal braceletNato strap or metal braceletOystersteel bracelet
Water resistance200 meters50 meters100 meters
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