Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation

The re-creation of Seiko’s first Alpinist watch from 1959. An important sports watch classic is re-born.

Seiko Alpinist
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It was in 1959 that Seiko’s first Alpinist watch was introduced to meet the needs of mountain climbers and recreational field sports enthusiasts. From the start, it was well-received and, over the ensuing decades, its reputation spread far beyond the Japanese market for which it was first intended. Remarkably, it was the first Seiko watch ever produced with sports in mind and it blazed a trail that led to the development of many landmark timepieces and timing devices for sports, from stopwatches to diver’s watches, in the decades that followed. While its core character has remained unchanged, its design has evolved over time. Today, the first Alpinist watch from 1959 is re-born in a re-creation that has the high functionality that characterizes the Prospex collection, whose very existence owes so much to the first 1959 Alpinist – Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation.

As striking today as it was 62 years ago.

Born in 1959 as the Seiko Laurel Alpinist, this watch was a new departure for Seiko and marked its entry into the sports watch arena. It had a screw-back case to prevent dust or sand particles from entering the case. It had a sturdy leather cuff band to protect the watch from perspiration. The indexes and the hour and minute hands all had luminous inserts ensuring high legibility in the dark, and the name Alpinist was evoked in the mountain-shaped markers at the three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock positions. These four clearly differentiated markers represented the four main points on a compass and, with the specially designed marker at twelve o’clock, allowed the time to be read safely and correctly at any angle. This was a feature that became central to the design of many subsequent Seiko sports watches and remains so still today.

Seiko Alpinist
The original 1959 Alpinist watch

The re-creation brings the 1959 Alpinist back to life in every detail. The generously sized markers are, as before, set against a black gloss dial. White minute markers form an inner ring on the dial base, just as on the original. Of course, the indexes and the hour and minute hands are coated with Lumibrite for legibility in the dark. The glass is a box-shaped sapphire crystal that re-creates the gentle feel of the original watch’s characteristic domed glass. The watch is presented on a leather strap that has the same jagged stitch design as its predecessor.

Seiko Alpinist
The leather strap sits within a protective cuff band.

A slimmer profile and upgraded specifications

While the re-creation is faithful to the original design, it has been brought right up to date in technology and has the high specifications and functionality for which Seiko Prospex is renowned. It now incorporates a date window between four and five o’clock and is water-resistant to 10 bar.

Seiko Alpinist

The box-shaped sapphire crystal is treated with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface, delivering high legibility. The watch is powered by the slimline Caliber 6L35 which has a power reserve of 45 hours. Despite the addition of a date and the enhanced performance, the case is just 1.0mm thicker.

Seiko Alpinist Calibre 6L35
The watch is powered by the slimline Caliber 6L35 which has a power reserve of 45 hours. Despite the addition of a date and the enhanced performance, the case is just 1.0mm thicker.

The re-creation will be available as a limited edition of 1,959 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in August 2021.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist

Three modern re-interpretations of the Alpinist join the Prospex collection.

In addition to the limited edition, three other new watches pay homage to the 1959 Alpinist. They are inspired by the original watch’s distinctive design but are modern in their execution and, of course, up to date in technology, form and function. Lumibrite is applied to all three hands and the indexes that rest on silver bases to create a multi-dimensional effect. The cases are polished to create a modern look, especially when combined with the gently rounded contour of the dial and case.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist
Seiko Prospex Alpinist

All three Prospex watches are powered by Caliber 6R35 which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. The glass is a curved sapphire crystal that is resistant to scratches and the watches are all water-resistant to 20 bar. Two watches are offered on stainless steel bracelets while the green dial version comes with a leather strap.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist Calibre 6R35
All three watches are powered by Caliber 6R35 which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours.

 

All three watches take their place in the mainstream Prospex collection and will be available at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in August 2021.

Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation

 

Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation Technical Specifications and Price

Reference SJE085

Movement

  • Calibre 6L35
  • Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second) Power reserve: 45 hours
  • Number of jewels: 26

Specifications

  • Stainless steel case
  • Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating Screw case back
  • Diameter: 36.6mm, Thickness: 11.1mm
  • Water resistance: 10 bar
  • Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
  • Calf strap with cuff band
  • Approximate recommended retail price in Europe: €3,000 Limited edition of 1,959

Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation Specifications and Price

References:

Movement

  • Calibre 6R35
  • Vibrations: 21,600 vibrations per hour (6 beats per second)
  • Power reserve: 70 hours
  • Number of jewels: 24

Specifications

  • Stainless steel case
  • Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • See-through screw case back
  • Diameter: 38.0mm, Thickness: 12.9mm
  • Water resistance: 20 bar
  • Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
  • Stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with push-button release (SPB241, SPB243) Horse strap with three-fold clasp with push-button release (SPB245)
  • Approximate recommended retail prices in Europe: €750 (SPB241, SPB243), €730 (SPB245)

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