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Seiko Alpinist – Tradition, Concept, Innovation
24/11/2006Posted by on
An Article by SeiyaJapan.com
***** Copyright 2006, bySeiyajapan.com *****
SEIKO fans hoped for it – the reintroduction of a stainless steel-cased automatic caliber version of the Alpinist. On November 22, 2006, those dreams will come true when SEIKO releases the 5th generation of this classic steeped in tradition. All three new styles have roots in past incarnations of the beloved model.
SARB013 and SARB015
SEIKO Japan released the first of five generations of Alpinist in 1961. The hand-winding Laurel Alpinist came on a leather strap, and was followed in 1963 by the Dauphine-hand Champion 850 Alpinist. SEIKO then retired the model for 30 years, but it was revived in 1995 with the popular automatic/hand-winding 4S15 caliber version. An instant collectors’ item, it was in production for two years. It featured a Sapplex crystal (more on this below) and Mercedes hands. The 2003 titanium-cased, Perpetual Calendar Quartz Alpinist with red GMT hand was unconventional. The new 2006 stainless steel automatic/mechanical Alpinist returns to tradition and incorporates elements from all previous versions.
There is a type of man known in Japan as Yamaotoko.. This term translates into English as "mountain man. "The Yamaotoko spends weekends and holidays climbing one of many beautiful mountains in Japan. On the peak he sits down and drinks refreshing green tea from a stainless steel thermos, and eats an o-bento ("lunch box") his wife prepared. Having dependable climbing gear is important to him.
Of particular pride is conquering the peaks of the famous Japanese Alps, both the southern and northern ranges. The SEIKO Alpinist was designed with the Yamaotoko in mind.
The third generation Alpinist (1995) had a Sapplex crystal with a Cyclops date window magnification lens. Sapplex is a hard coating applied to a standard watch crystal to make it scratch resistant.
The 2006 Alpinist has a sapphire crystal for greater scratch resistance. The Cyclops lens, which many didn’t like, has been eliminated creating a cleaner design.
The new release is powered by SEIKO’s in-house 6R caliber movement featuring an improved mainspring with a 50-hour power reserve. The Alpinist is water resistant to 200 meters.
You can order this Japan-only release from SeiyaJapan.com.
SARB017 with green/gold dial and brown leather watchband.
Note the classic caseback logo.
[Posted with permission. Thank you Seiya-san.]
Click here to read "The History of Grand Seiko written by KSeiya"