Those of us who coveted the limited edition, super-expensive Seiko Spacewalk watch have a new hope. Check out the Seiko Prospex Landmaster Alpinist SBDB007 and SBDB005. The Spacewalk was beautiful and desirable, but extremely expensive at $28,000 for the consumer version. It was Seiko's answer to the space travel watch, and it was certainly tested in space.
Now comes a new Spring Drive based watch that is almost like a little brother to the Spacewalk. The new Prospex Landmaster Alpinist is a limited edition also (but only for the black version I believe), but much more affordable and contains several of the design elements from the Spacewalk:
Note the GMT hand shape, crown at twelve and emphasis on legibility.
The '007 (nice model number, Seiko!) is a limited edition made for Yuichiro Miura, an 80 year old man who will attempt to summit Mount Everest. Miura will be the oldest person to climb Everest if he succeeds, I have to admire him for even being able to attempt it at that age.
The press release (Google translation here) makes the reasonable claim that the engineering required to make the Spacewalk work in super-cold outer space was reused for the bitter cold on the mountain, and that the legibility requirements were similar. Seiko claims that temperature changes from +50C to -40C (122F to -40F) are no problem; impressive.
(I do love an over-engineered watch.)
It's titanium, as weight is a major concern for mountain climbers, with a 'hard coated' black layer that is often IP with Seiko, but might be PVD or DLC. Sapphire crystal of course, water resistant to 100m with a screwdown crown. Size is 46.8mm long by 45mm wide by 14.2mm thick, and 140g. There is also a non-black version that also comes on a nice bracelet. Judging by the same 140 gram weight it is also in titanium, but according the Seiko website the case material is "Diamond Shield." Not sure what that is but it sounds kinda awesome.
Spring Drive movement 5R66 with 72 hour power reserve, +/- 15 seconds/month accuracy, 24-hour hand and power reserve. Thirty jewels and 295 separate parts.
I like it. List price is 399,000 JPY or about $4,800 USD for the limited edition SBDB007 and 367,500 JPY for the non-black likely unlimited version which is about $4,460 USD. Seiko is making 300 of the black models with the name engraved on the side of the case, and it's a safe bet they'll sell fast. Oh, and don't expect to find them in US retailers as this is likely an Asia-only model. Seek on ye olde internet.