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Discussion Starter #1
I received a green Alpinist (SARB017) a few days ago from Chino, which I was really excited about until I took a closer look. A few of the gold hour indices are not aligned with their corresponding small luminescent dot.

Upon further inspection, I also found scratches on the back of two of the lugs near the strap (as if the strap had been removed carelessly).

Here are pictures of the scratches and misalignments:





Truth be told, I don't actually care about the scratches that much. They're on the back, so they're not normally visible, and they're pretty small (the pictures were taken with a LOT of magnification, and it took me a while to find an angle where the scratches would even show up). And I probably would have ended up putting them there myself if I ever decided to change the band.

At first I was pretty upset, and sent an email to Chino asking for an exchange. They apologized profusely and were more than willing to exchange the watch, but the only problem is that they're currently out of stock (I may have ordered the last one... I don't know how often these get sold), and asked me if I would mind waiting until the end of July for a replacement.

I'm less upset now, but am not really sure what I want to do next. I looked for more pictures of the Alpinist to figure out whether my misalignment was a fluke. I noticed that in Mercuttio's review here (the picture after the section on "the band"), the indices are misaligned in almost the exact same way as mine (1:00 looks good, 5:00 is okay, 11:00 is pretty bad, and 7:00 and 9:00 are the worst), which suggests that Seiko may have a die or something that's not properly aligned. I've found other pictures where the indices looked perfect, a few that were like mine, and some that had different misalignments, so it seems like Seiko's quality control for this specific dial may have some problems.

Now I'm thinking that I should just let it go and enjoy the watch (I really, REALLY like this watch and would wear it even if I had to put up with this stupid misalignment). I don't really want to wait 2-3 weeks for another watch that may end up having similar issues. I'm also not sure whether Seiko is planning on discontinuing the current Alpinist line as soon as the new ones come out (which IMHO look pretty awful), in which case Chino may not be able to get another one.

What do you think you would do? Does anyone know what's in store for this Alpinist lineup?

Thanks,
Oren
 

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If it were me I would get another one from Chino. But I'm as anal as they come about stuff like this. My bet is that since Chino knows this, they themselves will scrutinize the next one they send out to you so imo chances are you would get a tip-top copy. Good luck and update us what you decide. :)
 

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If you want a perfect specimen, ask Chino to personally check the indices on the replacement piece before they send it to you, as Jbdan suggests.

Given that what you received is a defective and apparently "used" piece, wouldn't they allow you to keep the one you have until they can supply a replacement?

I lust after this watch myself!
 

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if youve paid good money for it, get it exchanged! It should only happen to seiko5 but not anything higher. Yes, i have a seiko 5 that is misaligned
 

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I just got the Green 17 about a week ago. The alignment of the indices on my watch is quite good - not perfect, but good. Had you not mentioned this, I would never have noticed, and I'm pretty particular about my watches. My guess is that this will bother you more and more once the honeymoon has ended, so send it back for one you'll be happy with. Luck! |>
 

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Some people just suck at putting the spring bars back in. I'll admit that I struggle with the bracelets, but a leather strap is the easiest thing ever.

It looks like the lugs are polished on the back. I'm sure a few swipes with a Cape Cod cloth will get the scratches out. The dots don't bother me so much and it is hard to hold Chino responsible for that.

I'd consider asking for some money back rather than the exchange. Just an idea. Send these pictures. It is obvious the watch is not completely new.
 

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hi oren,

1. I have mercuttio's watch -- i bought it from him -- and the indices are dead on. must be the way the photo is. i checked on a 10x loupe and all are dead nuts.

2. mine also had scratches on the lugs, but, again, i bought it off the sales forum and he told me there were scratches.... that said a $20 bergeon tool saves all this wear on the lugs with some patience.

3. if you bought this new send it back.... Chino should provide a new watch if you purchased as new..... indices aside, the lugs should not be worked over like that.
 

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I would just ask chino to either source a replacement or fix this one under warranty. as I see it, If you bought a new watch, then it should be in correct new condition. If you can wait for them to fix your order, then it should not be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I think what happened was that I may have ordered the last one they had in stock. They probably assumed that I'd prefer to get a slightly less than perfect example right away than have to wait a month for another one. It would have been nice if they had asked me about it before shipping, but I think I understand where they were coming from.

Anyway, I've been in contact with Chino, and they reassured me that although this line of Alpinist will eventually be discontinued, Seiko isn't doing that right away and they're definitely going to get more by the end of the month.

So I've decided to send the watch back and wait for an exchange. I included the pictures above in my original email to them, and I'll also include printouts when I send the watch back, as well as a note asking them to please, please check the replacement very carefully.

They've been very courteous and helpful so far in getting this matter resolved, so I think it's only fair that I do the same and send the watch back right away. I think that asking them to let me keep it (and wear it) until they get a replacement is a little unfair, even if the watch has been used because I'm sure they'll still be able to sell it at a discount to someone at the store. The scratches are pretty minor, and I'm sure there are people out there who won't be bothered daily by the slight misalignments. I guess I'm just not one of them... :roll:

-Oren
 

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So whatever happened? Did you get the watch exchanged?

I agree with Gabe that if you paid for a brand new watch, the watch should come to you in impeccable condition. Anything less than that would not be acceptable in my book.

If you had wanted a scratch and dent model or even an used Alpinist, you would not have bothered to order from chino in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So whatever happened? Did you get the watch exchanged?

I agree with Gabe that if you paid for a brand new watch, the watch should come to you in impeccable condition. Anything less than that would not be acceptable in my book.

If you had wanted a scratch and dent model or even an used Alpinist, you would not have bothered to order from chino in the first place.

Hey, good timing... I picked up the replacement from the post office an hour ago. Chino replaced the one with the scratched lugs with a new watch which is clean and appears to run well so far. I had to wait until the end of July because Chino was sold out of the SARB017, and on top of that my returned shipment was delayed in customs in Japan for about 5 days, so it took a while.

There is still a slight misalignment that's most noticeable on the 9 o'clock hour marker, but it does look a little bit better than the old one. I asked Chino to check very carefully for scratches and also for the hour-marker misalignment (I also sent copies of the photographs), and I have no reason to think they didn't. I can only conclude that Seiko has a quality control problem with this watch, which is unfortunate because it is otherwise a very nice watch. In any case, I'm keeping this one. I'll post pictures and a full review later.

-Oren
 

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After two years problem still exists. In my recently bought Alpinist (acc. to SN produced on November 2011) hour markers have this same misalignment, most visible on the 9 o'clock marker, less on 7 and 11 markers. Will ever Seiko solve this ? With ceasing production of this model, I'm afraid.
 

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I remember this thread when I was researching this watch prior to purchasing. I was a little anxious about it but was relieved when I received mine, as the dots are dead on. Guess its more the exception than the rule as this is a very popular model and more rants would be evident if it was a consistent error.
 
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