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The green Alpinist has long been my grail watch. My first post on this forum, two years ago, was actually to ask "What's a good watch for a geographer?". After a quest for about a year, this was it. It has the exact old-world-explorer look to it that I am always looking for in a product. When I had the opportunity to buy one LNIB, I bought it, since I like the new Alpinists a lot less. Never know if the iconic SARB017 will become extinct on the sales forums soon.



The most striking feature of the SARB017 Alpinist is the sunburst green dial. The shade of green seems to change depending on the angle, and the applied gold numerals are very reflective and easy to read. On top of each numeral, there is a highly luminous sphere of quality Seiko lume. The cathedral hands uniquely suit the Alpinist and aid with the overall old-world-explorer look to it.







Moving the internal rotating compass bezel is smooth and simple, with no need to unscrew or pull out the lower crown. I find that many people complain about compass bezels. However, I quite like this one, as I think it is what differentiates the Alpinist from other watches, and defines it as a "land watch". It is also a very small and very tasteful bezel that is not noticable on first glance.



The diameter of the watch is fairly small (at approximately 38mm), but it fairly chunky with both its thickness, and with with protruding crown protector.





A deeply machined "S" marks the main crown, and a pressed-in intrusion marks the compass crown at the bottom. Unlike many signed crowns, the machined "S" on this is highly visible.



The case feels very heavy duty, and the sapphire crystal seems thick, and does not even make a clink when you tap on it. The 200m WR seems to back up its strength. It is finished with much attention to detail. The case back has the mountain Alpinist logo machined into it nicely, and the stainless steel is brushed beautifully in concentric circles.



The 6R15 movement is staying within spec, right now at +8 seconds a day. I expect it to remain consistent.

The only complaint I have about the watch, is the use of the 6R15 over the 4S15 in the previous generation. In a watch that is finished so perfectly, it would be suited for a higher end movement. With the 8L35 reserved for its big brother, the Landmaster, it would be nice to have the 4S15 remain in the Alpinist. Maybe somewhere down the line I'll dig up an old 5206/5216 movement (which the 4S15 is based on) and see if someone on the forum is willing to try a transplant. On a green Alpinist type of expedition, you never know when you'll find a proper clock to sync it to - justifying the use of a chronometer spec movement. :-!

All in all, the SARB017 is still my favourite. 10/10.
 

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Great review and a gorgeous piece. I was never initially drawn to this watches looks, but over the last year have become quite fond of it's appearance. It just looks so classy. Thanks for your time :)
 
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fit and finish on this piece is jus stunning... will be lookin into one of these in the near future definitely!
 

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Great review. I've been considering this one for a while. The only thing I don't like about it is the hour hand and the fact that it doesn't come with a bracelet. I may order it from Higuchi and have him get me a bracelet as well.
 

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One thing that I've noticed about the green dialed Alpinist and this has already been reported by other people too is the misalignment of hour indices, in this case those located at 7 and 9 o'clock. Seems to be a characteristic that strengthens the Alpinist's unique character.
 

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I just got this same watch a week ago. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite watch. The green dial is simply stunning and with the gold markers and cream colored hand it's very easy to read. I just can't get over how beautiful the watch is. It's only off by 27 seconds the first full week or under 4 seconds a day. I wear it all day and lay it face up on my nightstand. This week I'm going to lay it crown down at night and see if the timing improves at all. I'm also interested to see if in time, say a couple of months, that it will get broken in and keep even better time. But at less than 4 seconds a day, who am I to complain?

If you are thinking about getting one of these I HIGHLY recommend it. I don't think you will be disappointed at all. Just the opposite probably.

By the way I got it from Higuchi-san in Tokyo and it was delivered to me in less than a week and I live in Panama.

David

David
 

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i wonder how the leather wear on the wrist? is it very stiff? suitable for small wrist??

the green is really a nice green shade but i am equally attracted to the cream dial on ss bracelet...

now don't you tell me to buy both! :-d this is no cheap watch ya know:-!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It wasn't that stiff, and was very suitable for a small wrist. I didn't really like it though, as it felt a little plastic-ey, and ended up replacing it with a Hirsch Mariner.. which turned out to be too big, and I had to punch an extra hole in it.

Personally I think the green one is a must-have if you're getting an Alpinist. It's just not that often you see green faced watches, and it changes colour in different lights. Its beautiful, and goes great with the character of the watch (to me, the green says outdoors, safari type adventure). The cream one I'd say is for people who ski/snowboard :-! Also, I think the cream one would look great as a women's watch too (so if you have a wife, or girlfriend..).

i wonder how the leather wear on the wrist? is it very stiff? suitable for small wrist??

the green is really a nice green shade but i am equally attracted to the cream dial on ss bracelet...

now don't you tell me to buy both! :-d this is no cheap watch ya know:-!
 

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I purchased the SARB017 Alpinist from Chino watch via Paypal. The watch shipped to me in British Columbia in 8 days. Arrived January 10. I've not hand wound it other than when first received, and I have not reset the time since Jan 10. It's now Janurary 19 - 9 days later.

You can check a high-def video I made of 60 seconds worth of hand-sweep. I tried my best to capture the ticking sound, you can almost hear it over the white noise.

YouTube - Seiko Alpinist SARB017 Ticking

There's a few photos of my watch posted here on flickr. You can see that after 9 days my watch is 16seconds slow. From the reading I did here and elsewhere online it would seem this is pretty good quality considering the price.

SEIKO SARB017 Alpinist - a set on Flickr

I realy like this watch. I particularly like that it's modestly sized, I love the colors, and I wanted the higher level of water resistance that the 20bar rating provides.

Perfect would be this watch without the compass, but it's not available that way.

I hope the links to the video and photo work for you.

Cheers!
 

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Is the Seiko strap on the green Alpinist real leather? I've narrowed down the choices for my next watch to this or a Hamilton Khaki King Auto.
 

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I've wanted this watch for 2 years. Seiya does not always have them in stock. I would also like the 13 which i hope they still make and the 46 which is an even darker green. Congrats my friend you will not see that watch on anyone else's wrist ~ which is always important. A sign of your great taste in my opinion. Will look to see if you gave info on where to buy for a good price. This is the only review that I know of besides a highly detailed one from about 3 years ago that sold me completely on the Alpinist.

Great choice wear it with pride.
 

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I can only agree, a beautiful watch indeed, I got mine a few days ago and it lived up to all expectations.

The day before it arrived I booked this years ski vacation. I love the irony in going to the Swiss alps wearing a SEIKO Alpinist :-!
 

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Great review! Classy watch, that pine green face is very unique!
 

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Hi all, I'm a newbie to this forum and I thought I'd drop a line or two to say I'm joing the ranks of Alpinist owners. I must say the model with the green dial was eating away at my brain ever since I first saw it.
My opinion on some issues relating to the movement in this model: the beat rate doesn't bother me. A very storied watch, the original speedmaster with the 321 movement had a beat rate of 18000. then the movement that replaced that one, the 861 had a beat rate of 21600. I have nothing against aspiring to own a watch with higher beat rates, but it doesn't necessarily make it a better movement. As far as I know, correct me if I am mistaken, the higher beat rate gives a smoother running second had, but isn't necesarily a more accurate or longer lasting watch. So I have no concerns about the 6r15 from that point of view. Too, the original poster in this thread, had some concerns about adjusting the time while out in the wilderness. One solution is to get a decent pocket shortwave reciever for $50 - $150, stick some lithium battereis in it, and tune into wwv time signal on occasion. WWV is my source for acccurate time and is what I use to test the accuracy of my watches. I also have a seiko with the 7s268 movement. Really, it is not a bad movement in my non-professional view. One of these 7s watches could easily be somones only watch for years and years. And when it dies, retire it and just buy another one. They are cheap, but they can do the job. so if the 6r15 is derivitive of 7s movement, it doesn't bother me. Anyhow, back to checking the tracking number in my incoming Alpinist.
 

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I'm just going to refresh this thread: I got myself a 017 with bracelet from Seiya last week. And let me put in a plug for Seiya: Watch was in stock per website, was shipped quickly and the only hangup was in LA at customs - for two days. Still, I had the watch in a week, the watch was very well boxed. Fear not doing business with them.

Talk about a nice looking watch. Like everyone else, the green dial was a big draw, and it's as nice in person as it is in photos. The lume is really good - it lasts all night for my dark adapted eyes, no problem. I'd like to have the 12 o'clock marker either larger or a double dot or something so that orienting the watch at 4 AM is a bit easier to do, but the cathedral hands shine brightly.

Accuracy is about what I had hoped for, and better than the specification, it's still holding under 5 seconds a day fast. Which is my preferred direction, and it may even be better than that - I have three days into my lastest weeks timing.

I bought the bracelet from Seiya and it's a bit expensive, but a very nicely made with solid end links, and split pins on the links make it easy to customize the bracelet. It does not overpower the watch.
 

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Since this thread persists, a sort of double post. After a week of timing my SARB017: just a hair under 22 seconds fast in 7 days, so 3 seconds and a flash fast per day. Not bad at all. If you were in the woods for a full month, you would not even be two minutes off. I'm still very happy with it.
 
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