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Seiko Adds Four New Alpinist-Inspired Watches To Prospex Line For 2020

Seiko Adds Four New Alpinist-Inspired Watches To Prospex Line For 2020 Watch Releases

The Seiko Alpinist series has some of the deepest history of any Seiko models, holding the distinction of being the very first Seiko sports watch when it debuted in 1959. The line has become a favorite among collectors of the brand over the years, gaining a cult following thanks to its rugged durability, affordable price and uniquely antique, mountaineering inspired take on the theme of the classic field watch. Another major factor in its collectability in recent years has been its rarity. While the past two years have seen a number of specialized limited-edition versions of the Alpinist, the style hasn’t been a steady part of Seiko’s core global collection. The marque is aiming to change this in 2020 with a quartet of new watches in the Prospex line, the SPB117, SPB119, SPB121, and SPB123, which each interpret the Alpinist design in unique ways.

Interestingly, Seiko refers to the new models as “Alpinist inspired,” rather than true Alpinists, perhaps as a way to maintain the exclusive desirability of Alpinist pieces. In addition, the decision to brand the new pieces as Prospex models is an additional step in Seiko’s ongoing effort to create a clearly organized product tier system with all premium sports watches bearing the Prospex name.

Seiko Adds Four New Alpinist-Inspired Watches To Prospex Line For 2020 Watch Releases

Out of the four new offerings the SPB121 is the most instantly recognizable as an Alpinist, featuring the iconic green sunburst dial, mix of applied gold numerals and indices, and gold cathedral hands. Other than the bold Prospex emblem above 6 o’clock, the dial is pure classic Alpinist style. The three other new additions, however, inject a few new ideas into the dial designs.

Seiko Adds Four New Alpinist-Inspired Watches To Prospex Line For 2020 Watch Releases

The most daring of these, the SPB117, takes away some of the distinctive hallmarks of the Alpinist design and opts for a blend of more conventional field watch cues and styling elements from other Seiko stablemates. The gloss black finish, rather than the more traditional Alpinist sunburst, gives the watch a more sporty and purposeful feel while the new white triangular hour indices offer a taste of the love-it-or-hate-it Monster diver.

Seiko Adds Four New Alpinist-Inspired Watches To Prospex Line For 2020 Watch Releases

At a glance, the dials of the SPB119 and SPB123 are a bit more similar. The SPB119 offers a cool palette, with applied silver indices and hands above a silver sunburst dial, while the warmer SPB123 takes the Alpinist theme in a more luxe direction with a gold on champagne pairing.

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Seiko Adds Four New Alpinist-Inspired Watches To Prospex Line For 2020 Watch Releases

Each of the new Alpinist inspired models shares the same compact, sporty 39.5 millimeter stainless steel case featuring 200 meters of water resistance and the Alpinist’s signature second crown at 4 o’clock for adjusting the internal compass bezel. As Seiko has begun to move the Prospex line upmarket, these cases include some impressive new features including a display caseback and a sapphire crystal with a cyclops date magnifier.

At the heart of these four new models is Seiko’s 6R35 automatic movement, the latest update to the 6R series. This new powerplant adds a 70 hour power reserve alongside hacking, hand winding, and a 28,800 bph beat rate.

Seiko has paired each of these four new models with a unique strap choice. The black dial SPB117 doubles down on its sportier design with an oyster style bracelet, while the silver dial SPB119 receives a fittingly reserved black leather strap with white contrast stitching. The classic Alpinist look of the SPB121 is coupled to tobacco brown alligator pattern leather that sets off the rich sunburst green of the dial, and the champagne gold dial of the SPB123 is contrasted by olive green leather. All three straps are offered with a signed butterfly deployant clasp.

These new Alpinist inspired Prospex models will be available at Seiko authorized dealers starting in January 2020, except for the SPB123 which will debut at the same time as a Seiko website exclusive. The SPB117 will retail for $750, while the SPB119, SPB121, and SPB123 will be priced at $725. For more information, please visit Seiko’s website.

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Comments

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  • Independent_George

    Actually like all of them because I am fond of the Alpinist line, but I quite like the looks of the SPB119, silver dial with black contrasts.

    I guess some people will complain about the price increase. But you are still getting an iconic watch for less than one grand USD.

    • SuperStrapper

      I think it’s a stretch to call this watch iconic. It’s not really an Alpinist…

      • NaJo

        It is under a diff name and better build q.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I concur.

      • Independent_George

        You are right. The old “Alpinists” sucked.

        • SuperStrapper

          Yeah, never really one of my favourites either. The cult following was always a bit of a head scratcher to me, but to each their own i suppose.

  • Agnar Sidhu

    The green version is really nice, just wish it didn’t have that cyclops….

    • NaJo

      True tht

    • Tony NW

      I hate date complications because I can’t read them without my glasses. I can read my DJ41’s date without glasses. So I like the cyclops.
      Wait until age, maturity and decomposition catch up to you! You’ll be wiser but closer to dead. Umm…. maybe wait and enjoy the youth!

      • Agnar Sidhu

        Yes, I can imagine it has some purpose:)

  • I like them very much. Finally a Seiko watch series without ‘if’, without ‘but’, without ‘maybe’.

  • 200F

    I may be the only person on the planet who never understood the appeal of the gold/green Alpinist. I do like this new black dial/stainless bracelet version, but I still can’t ever imagine needing/using an internal compass bezel.

    • Berndt Norten

      All I wanna do is dislike this one
      I got a feelin
      I’m not the only one

      • egznyc

        I know its considered impolite to ask but I have to assume you’re around my age (early 50s), given your musical predilections.

        • Berndt Norten

          Perhaps you were born
          Between the end of the ‘Chatterley’ ban
          And the Beatles’ first LP?

          Not me
          ‘‘Twas born closer
          To the summer
          Of 69
          (Oh yeah)

          Or was it the Summer of 72?
          Not 42
          I’ll level with ya
          Here’s no lark

          ‘‘Twas two to four no score
          Years after Philip’s
          Annus mirabilis
          Done did start

          • egznyc

            I found the Oracle at Delphi
            (and that ain’t no lie).
            When Berndt switches to verse
            all I can do is curse (or worse).

            I was born between the Beatles’ first LP
            and the Beatles’ LAST LP
            (though much closer to the latter
            yet still very much in the past).

            There were no bans on books
            Plenty of freedom to express
            By the time of Portnoy’s Complaint
            Lady Chatterley seemed rather repressed
            (if not exactly a saint).

          • Berndt Norten

            Ain’t that a shame
            Jerry and Geraldo to blame
            Ain’t that a shame
            Culture down the drain

    • TheChuphta

      The internal rotating bezel took master craftsmen over 3 decades to develop to make it impossible for Seiko to misalign the chapter-ring.

      • Tempvs Mortvvs

        Wow, three decades….such commitment and attention to detail….?

    • Swiss_Cheese

      I’m in much the same boat. I obviously don’t ‘understand’ the Alpinist so a little while back I asked a friend who had one what they liked about it and they immediately started to list off everything they didn’t like about it – “I don’t like the green, the handset is not to my liking, the movement is ok but nothing special, some people are selling them for way more than they’re worth… etc.” but ended with “I still love it all the same though.”… the search for answers continues.

      • 200F

        That is so odd. The handset and “the green” are the two most prominent features!

    • Rob Crenshaw

      It’s a polarizing look for sure. I bought the last model with matching bracelet, and it’s one of my favorite watches. Why? First, it’s extremely comfortable. For some reason Seiko got the bracelet right, as much as they got the supplied hard plastic strap wrong. It’s beyond Oyster comfortable—not quality of course, but pure comfort. I don’t like the watch on any strap, inevitably it interferes with the gold/green case colors, which become daring splashes against the somber bracelet. My fault with the watch is the gold looks a bit cheap, but it’s a cheap watch! At least it used to be. These current versions are jaw-droppingly expensive for what you are getting, but Seikos are moving that direction, I wish them luck.

    • Julian Chan

      Totally not a fan of gold on a steel case, never have, never will. Old Alpinist is ugly imho.<

  • SuperStrapper

    I see ridiculous pricing has escaped GS and is infecting regular Seiko as well.
    The green one is best, and I assume real Alpinist owners are not all that happy about this release!

    • Dominic Adler

      I’m untroubled, as my SARB017 without the ‘X’ will become slightly more collectable I suppose.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Can you remember when Seikos were reasonably priced ?

    • Daniel Katz

      it seems i can’t get anything unless it approved by Mr Wilkie

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Don’t be silly Daniel I love Sieko ( although not this particular model ) It just seems the prices for them have steadily gone way up in price.

  • NaJo

    People dont undedatand that new 6R35 got 70 hr pr at 28k beat rate. Swiss with that specs goea around $3-4k. For below $1k its an exc offering. I wish it didnt had any cyclope!

    • rainmaker

      6R35 is 21,600 bph, not 28,800bph. I think the got the spec wrong here.

      • Leonarr

        For a sporty watch like this 28 800 would really make more sense. I wish Seiko upgraded some movements.

        • rainmaker

          I don’t really mind the lower beat rate of 21600. Less wear and tear perhaps. What I really like is the 70hrs power reserve. I can just leave it on the desk over the weekend and it will still be running on Monday morning.

      • NaJo

        Yeahhh ! I thought they would have done something new instead of lowering bit rate. Also while writing an article by anyone who knows watches, how can you make that mistake?

        • rainmaker

          Well, everyone makes mistake, can’t fault them. As long as we consumers know the spec and knows what we are paying for.

    • Colorblind

      well Hamilton Khaki King!

  • Dakota Dennison

    Compared to the old one you get the same movement (older version) so less power reserve however roughly the same quality and a Cyclops Along with 1mm bigger

    I cannot remember if the old version had Saphire crystal I thought yes.

    These will street around $500 – you can probably pick up the old one for the same amount so pick your poison.

    The green looks the best to me.

    • Independent_George

      The old one was Hardlex

  • egznyc

    Cool options, though it’s true Seiko prices have crept upward. The green dial, the “original,” reminds me a lot of the Oris pointer date watch with its green dial and cathedral hands. I prefer the Oris, however, despite the additional $1,000. It helps that the date complication is far more useful than the compass markings. Some day maybe …

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I love Sedaka.

  • Berndt Norten

    Ain’t that a shame
    Disqus is to blame

  • Berndt Norten

    My discus account is now all messed up too. What’s a freak to do?

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