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Seiko Alpinist The Best Japanese Rolex Explorer? SPB123 Watch Review

Which of Ages, it should make his decisions within the space of seven preps. There’s, a matter of being determined. I’m, having a spirit to break right through to the other side. [ Music ] you now before we get into this video.

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Today we are catching up with an old friend. Yes, the alpinist is back a favorite of the channel. It was definitely popular here with the good Gentry out there far before it caught on with the wider watch, loving public, undoubtedly, and definitely before the price gouging madness of recent years, which is just ridiculous anyway.

Before I get into it, I’ll. Do a quick and restore check? Yes, it’s. The aqueous one of my latest acquisitions very pleased to have this back in the collection and, of course, on the rubber strap. So this is one of the newest incarnations of a very important series of watches.

Now, why is it so important? Well, as always, a little brief history and I’ll, be brief because we have covered the alpinist to death on the channel. So here’s, a little bit of history to contextualise.

Seca first introduced the alpinist in 1961 and it has become the brand’s. Second, longest-running uninterrupted line of watches. The intention was very simple: a reliable timepiece for Japanese mountain climbers and other sports enthusiasts.

The production of this watch was highly important because it was the first real attempt at making a sports watch by Seiko. It was inspired by the yama ithaca, which is japanese for mountain men. Mountain hiking is a popular pastime for many during their spare as mountains cover much of the Japanese landscape, and you can see it featured heavily in that classic earth.

Hidoshi gayen many others spring to mind. Naturally, these Mountaineers and hikers required robust gear that could handle the rugged conditions that they could also depend on for accuracy, Sega’s. Answer was the Laurel alpinist, the first of seven generations over the subsequent decades.

It was followed by the second generation known as the champion 850 named for its 850 movement inside the alpinist. As we know, it today looks very different from these early, more dressy, minimalist ancestors, and then what follows was arguably the most influential and definitive alpinist.

That would commence in the mid 90s with the introduction of the highly desired red alpinist. These were manufactured only for two years, but the popularity has increased and remains one of the most illustrious they are commonly referred to as the red up honest because of the red wording on the dial, but its stylistic technical changes it featured is the main reason it Is regarded as important here we saw sapphire glass used for the first time and now the famous Cathedral hands an increased depth rating of 200 meters, two crowns, rather than one a second for the new inner rotating compass bezel for navigation and a high beat hackable automatic For s15 movement with hand winding over the following years, the alpinist would continue to evolve a few quirky limited editions surfaced, but mainly would remain on this path, aesthetically, but then, eventually seeing international success with the saab line in the mid to late 2000s, initially domestically released.

These would use the six r15 automatic movement and would remain the same until recently. So remember when I predicted the blue alpinist many years ago, when the Green sub-zero 17 was the only one currently available.

Well, Seiko answered our prayers in 2019 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the alpinist line. With that stunning blue version and then in late 2019, we heard that even more color combinations were on the horizon and they would be shifting the sake hope to the prospects line, which is their professional series of watches.

And this was all part of a recent branding. Consolidation effort, hence why now we see the X on the dial so then fast forward to January 2020, and we see finally, the release of three variants, this being the cream dial with gilt.

Now there are some notable upgrades in this watch, not just the new color combination. So let’s, get the dimensions out of the way we have a diameter of thirty nine point. Five millimeters a height of I would say that’s.

Just the smidgen over thirteen thirteen point three, their lugs are like we’re. Looking at forty six point: five millimeters, thankfully the lug width has remained the same and there’s, a proportional 20 millimeters.

The case again is entirely stainless steel, with almost a completely high polished finish, except for the tops of the lugs being the only exception. These have directional brushing with a graceful wide beveling that transitions perfectly into the mirror finish of the size you see there.

It is wonderfully done. I have to say that the watch now comes on this generously thick, bolstered leather strap and it’s in a dark, I would say fern or pine green. That underlines its connection with nature.

Perhaps even a cheeky nod to the old green ALP, who knows the undersigned, is a black calf, skin and surprisingly supple with this rather luxurious, feel to it. It’s, completed with off white stitching accents, also on the tip there.

You see which complement the cream dial very very nicely. This is then fastens using a double push button, which is really easy to use thread it through there when it undone like that into the desired slot like so and click boom, and there you go easy peasy lemon squeezy, I’d, have to say It is very solidly constructed and million miles away from the days of sub-zero 17 straps.

That seemed always to be a an afterthought. The glass is now flat, sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inside another little subtle step up from its predecessors. Most notably, you’ll, see the return of a 90s alpinist feature yeah, that’s right these Cyclops for these three o’clock date.

They’re more on that later again, we have the inner bi-directional rotating compass bezel that is manipulated by the crown there. Four o’clock. Then you have your typical screw down crown at the three and I’m.

Not sure if you could see that, but it is nerd again in those recessed sections for extra dynamics. Another change in the case is that it features a display back and the glass. This time is hard Lex, which is say his own proprietary glass now Horlicks seems to get a bad rap.

I’m, not quite sure why it’s, certainly a step up from acrylic and plexiglass, but it being on the underside is no problem because it’s, obviously going to be less exposed to the elements so yeah. Absolutely fine, but it does reveal the most significant upgrade, and that is the automatic caliber 6r 35, which means it now has a whopping 70.

Our power reserve. The alpi has often been called the Japanese explorer because of its similar backstory, compared to the very first up honest that had a more restrained style. The alpinist has become more complicated as it evolved, not just mechanically, but in its design, almost as a deliberate response to the Explorer the ravishing gilt applied, numerals and Arrowhead markers were placed mostly in the in-between, even numbers, as opposed to Rolexes three six and nine.

This is a style we see more in Swiss watches of the 1930s and 40s and strangely similar to the pre Explorer Oyster Perpetual. This vintage look was then further accentuated with the inclusion of Cathedral and syringe style, hands again, precursors to the very effective Marcedes hands that Rolex uses.

The result is a far more dressy feel than sporty, especially with this resplendent sunburst effect of the dial. That is certainly less pronounced than the bewitching blue or the vivid green before it, but regardless it is still there.

In fact, I would call it a very light, buttermilk or champagne rather than cream da. I think that cream does it a bit of a disservice. It also being less of a louder. Color allows the gold markers in the hands to Gillison nicely without being too blingy.

It certainly has a very much an old-world feel and charm to it. I’m, really glad they kept with these semi skeletonized hands. Undoubtedly, it’s, one of the most crucial elements in the distinctive and loveable design, language that has helped make the up Ernest and unique piece.

The crisp black printing in small pops of color, especially on the compass bezel, contrasts nicely and effectively with the dial. I also really love how the seconds hand reaches with great precision that busy seconds a minute track: [, Music, ], the new six r35 – means that if it is your daily work watch, you can take it off on a Friday night to pick it back up on A Monday morning – and it will still be going thanks to that – incredibly impressive power reserve, although the alpi was intended to tough it out on weekend, adventures too, and it still retains that highly respectable 200 meters depth rating.

It does wear a lot larger than its predecessor, but the reassuringly so and weighs around 87 and grams, and with the extended case back, you see there, it does sit quite proud on the wrists. The curvature the lugs, definitely makes it sit a bit taller too and gives it a bit more presence in terms of accuracy.

It was stated at plus 25 to minus 15 seconds per day out of the factory, but don’t panic once settled in it was more like a quarter of that and if you regulate it there’s. No reason why you can’t, get it performing within Cusk, but one of the most revered aspects of psychos movements is the longevity when it comes to mechanics as the six are.

35 beats at 20, 1600 vibrations. An hour again. This slower speed means less friction on the contact surfaces of the components inside and it does have psychos own endear shock absorbers, making it incredibly robust, as well as a decent amount of magnetic resistance.

As with most Seiko automatic movements, we see the highly efficient magic lever system for the bi-directional winding and if I unscrew the crown that does thread very nicely, I might add you get all the inherent features that you might expect like manual whined in the first position.

If I pull it up to the second, you see a quick set date and, of course, if I pull it up all the way you’ll see it is indeed hackable. Now, while we’re discussing performance, I should talk a little bit about the Cyclops there.

While it will alienate many, I can’t deny it’s actually rather useful. In reading the the minute’iv date window there. Now I’m, not just a big sake of guy. I am a Rolex guy too. So for me, it really isn’t an issue in terms of negatives.

This watch does break my heart a little bit, but, as always, I have to be honest and report my findings here, despite getting so many things right and not doing anything too drastic to jeopardize its core identity and the aesthetics of the watch.

Some old issues disappointingly persist. The misalignment of the compass still is there just to show you what I mean if I line up the North, which is in that pumpkin orange. So I really do like that. Choice of color slightly gives the impression it’s faded, like patina, but anyway, if you see it’s, lined up now to the 12 o’clock.

Mark up east will be a little bit off. West is off Southland. Let’s just fiddle it a bit yeah it’s, all off it’s. All slightly off. Some jokingly say that it can’t, be a real psycho without some form of misalignment.

I also do think it is rather tabby, mostly due to the display back, which I feel considering the rather utilitarian. Undecorated movement is really unnecessary. Personally, I would have preferred they not included and shave a few millimetres off.

It would have made a world of difference. It’s, amazing. How just a few millimeters in a watch can change the whole way it wears. But then again I am rather old school. For me, thinness is always more elegant.

The general size increase also diminishes some of that vintage charm. That kind of exuded before, but those with the larger wrists over my six and a quarter inch. This obviously will not be an issue for you.

Another unaddressed floor is the inadequate orientation in low-light the Seiko Lumiere bright luminescence. While it is quite powerful, considering its modest application – and I have to say, the hands are easy to distinguish from one another thanks to those alluring shapes and and the more generous application of the luminescence.

The small dots, however, does make it difficult at a quick glance to figure out the hours I feel a double dot at the 12:00 or somehow making the marker different would really help here. It actually makes me appreciate the often ridiculed phallic, looking dots and of the speedmaster loom, and whether you love it or love it.

You cannot deny. That is a good example of great orientation. It also must be said that the second crown turns a little bit too easily. I’ve noticed I’ve, actually bumped it and turned it by accident, just by wearing it and it rubbing on clothing, etc.

And while we are talking about the crown, I’m, not sure why, but they done away with the engraved s you typically you see this when you buy more affordable, Sycho, not the other way around. We’re here.

We’re spending, much more money. Well, quite substantially more. So I don’t understand why they cheapen doubt on that. It feels a bit like a corner cut with the SAP 0:17 now-discontinued vintage alpinists being chased down by collectors and the cult-like status of the watch.

Is it any wonder that the price has been hiked up a little bit whenever anything becomes highly desired? It’s, only natural that the price increases, so is the extra $ 150 over it’s, more famed Green ancestor worth it and with the hype of the blue up honest, we saw rather unsavory backroom deals, the limiting of its sales.

Geographically and then in turn, this resulted in price gouging, but for me it just confirmed my suspicions of why there is no real watch. Journalism left watch dealers. This is a gift and a curse of the alpi, as it helps it keep its value retention, but at the cost of its certainly not being a value proposition, as they say at the end of the day, the consumer can decide that for themselves with their wallets, Because, after all, how much something is worth is only ever truly determined by how much you’re willing to pay for it.

This watch does feel like a rushed cash grab and not a genuine refinement to the now well-established alpinist tradition. However, looking at growing Amazon prices, many are still loving it and will continue to do so.

[, Music ]. It is unequivocally a historically important watch with its own clearly defined personality and legacy. There is no doubt that this watch will make some owners extremely happy. That is, if you don’t mind the beefed up scale and persistent shortcomings.

This configuration is the most versatile yet when it comes to straps, situational and attire compatibility, but, dare I say, a missed opportunity to right the same old wrongs personally, I would have preferred to wait longer and see a more well-developed, more complete next installment, even a higher End version to truly compete with my beloved favorite watch of all time, the Rolex explorer.

Nevertheless, it is still a robust, compelling, capable classic and if anything just confirms how special the previous green and blue versions were so not as much pure class as last time, but still in its own way to a certain degree anyway guys and you leave it there.

Let me know your thoughts, create comments, opinions all the rest of it down below. Please do not forget to like this video if you enjoyed it. Please do. Let me know what you think of this late alpinist and what you’d like to see in the future alpinists from Seiko right.

I’m gonna leave it there. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you in the next one, okay ciao. We all work hard for our money so when it comes time to spend it on a luxury watch, the best way to take your money furthest is to buy pre-owned with some dealers.

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Today we revisit a true Gentry classic – the beloved and highly important Seiko Alpinist. But this is no ordinary Alpinist! This is the latest generation with some surprising new upgrades. As this is such a cult watch amongst the Gentry audience and the wider Seiko loving watch community, it was only right for me to go old school with a traditional in-depth, desktop, hands-on review.

Join me to find out what is so special about this latest incarnation, including its history, improvements, and negatives. Is it worth the new hike in price? Why is it such an important watch to Seiko and to fans of the Alpinist line? Why has it earned the nickname “Japanese Rolex Explorer”? Is it still the best automatic field watch under $500? Find out answers to all that and more as we take a look at the legendary SBDC093.


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