In 1959, Seiko introduced the first Alpinist watch to meet the needs of climbers and leisure sports enthusiasts. From the very beginning, it was widely acclaimed, and in the following decades, its reputation far exceeded the Japanese market for which it was originally intended. It is worth noting that this is the first-ever sports-themed Seiko watch. In the following decades, it opened a path and led the brand to the development of many landmark sports timepieces and sports timing devices, from stopwatch to diving watches.
Although its core features remain the same, its design has truelove evolved over time. Today, the first Alpinist watch in 1959 is reborn in a highly functional and innovative way. This is the characteristic of the Prospex series, and the existence of the Prospex series is largely due to the first Alpinist in 1959.
The original 1959 model was named the Seiko Laurel Alpinist. This timepiece was completely new for Seiko at the time, and when created, marked the brand’s entry into the sports watch category. The Seiko Laurel Alpinist came with a screw-in case to prevent dust or sand from entering the case. It has a sturdy leather cuff strap to protect the watch from sweating.
The hour markers, hour and minute hands are all equipped with luminous inserts to ensure clear readability in the dark. The name Alpinist is evoked in the mountain-shaped marks at three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock positions.
These four distinct marks represent the four main points on the compass, and the specially designed mark is located at the twelve o’clock position, which can safely and accurately read the time at any angle. The recreation of the original 1959 Seiko Laurel Alpinist brings the old model back to life with all the details that made the original so great. As with the original model, the large hour markers are placed on the black glossy dial. The white minute markers form an inner circle on the dial base, just like on the original dial. To make the watch legible at night, the hour markers, hour, and minute hands are all coated with Lumbrite. The glass is a box-shaped sapphire crystal, which reproduces the soft feel of the domed glass that was unique to the original watch. This watch uses a leather strap and, like its predecessor, uses a zigzag stitch design.
Even though the recreation is faithful to the original design, Seiko has still given the Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation some modern tweaks by making it up to date with technology whilst still retaining the high specifications and functionality that Seiko’s Prospex models are known for. The newest addition from the original is that it now features a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.
The box-shaped sapphire crystal is treated with an anti-reflective coating on its inner surface, which has high readability. The movement behind the Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation is the calibre 6L35 movement. This 6L35 calibre movement has a frequency of 4hz (28, 800 VpH) and can produce a power reserve of approximately 45 hours.
Seiko’s re-created version of the 1959 Alpinist will be sold in a limited edition of 1,959 pieces in Seiko boutiques and some retail partners around the world in August 2021.