Posted on April 06 2020
SEIKO PROSPEX SPB121J1 MEN'S WATCH
The original Seiko Alpinist is a watch that checks a lot of boxes for a vast majority of the watch-wearing public. It’s readily available, reliable, robust, attractive and affordable. It’s the perfect fit, one could call it the Goldilocks of watches. This of course, has made it hugely popular in its hay day, there were 3 released then, but one that stood out in particular, the SARB017 with a sunburst green dial and gold markers.
But it, and they are all out of production, driving resale prices sky high, and once the stocks on the second hand market dries out, they’re gone forever. Until now, when Seiko announced a reissue of the Alpinist with 3 new models that sit nicely in the Seiko Prospex line.
What Seiko has done essentially, is taken everything that made the Alpinist great and made them better. The old Alpinist was powered by the Caliber 6R15, the new one is powered by the 6R35, giving it a whopping 70 hours of power reserve. The sapphire crystal has been given a cyclops lens (controversial to some, I know) and an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. On top of that, there is an exhibition caseback for you to enjoy the 6R35 caliber in greater detail. However, not much has changed visually on the new Alpinist SPB121J1, aside from the Seiko Prospex “X” branding on the dial. It’s a small touch that shows everyone that this watch is more than just a pretty face, it means serious business.
The watch hailed from a line originally intended for Japanese mountaineers back in 1961-1964, called the Laurel Alpinist. It wasn’t until 2006 did Seiko unveil the horological phenomenon which is the Alpinist, we all know and love today. And now they’re back once again, and the wait was certainly worth it. The Alpinist was a watch that struck a chord with the watch community, even under the shadow of the divers like the Sumo, Turtle, Monster and Tuna. And for good reason, the watch is a serious tool watch, with 200m of water resistance, bright luminescent on the hands and 12 markers, as well as an internal rotating bezel which functions as a compass. Yet with all of these, the watch, thanks to its 39mm diameter and proportions, was incredibly versatile. It could be worn hiking, or to a gala dinner with a suit, or even just as an everyday beater and it would still sit comfortably at home on your wrist.