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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I was forced to sell my Omega, I thought I'd have to take a real hit when it came to the quality of my next watch. After one mis-fire with a used Samurai that didn't run quite right (and a stellar seller who was willing to make things right) I decided to just go for it, sell off a few old collectibles, and buy a new Japanese market Seiko.

When I set about researching what I wanted in this watch, I made a wish-list of features. 6R15 movement, stainless steel body, reasonable size, water resistance to 200m, and if possible a sapphire crystal. I also tend to time things on a rotating bezel, so that's a plus if there.

At first, it didn't look like I'd be able to find what I wanted. A new Sumo has gone up in price past $500 on SeiyaJapan, and looking at the measurements I was afraid it would be a bit too bulky for me. That's when I happened across this post, at GMT +9:

http://www.gmtplusnine.com/2009/02/14/the-alpinist-%E2%80%93-the-summit-of-seiko-branding/



Huh. I hadn't heard about these before. And they didn't look like any watch I'd ever seen either. Sapphire Crystal, tremendous water resistance, and an internal rotating chapter ring that I could use in the same way I use a dive timer on a dive watch. Without even giving it more thought, I took the jump.

Two days from Tokyo later, it arrived in the mail.



PACKAGING:
Most of us are familiar with Seiko's packaging at this point. White box with a smaller box and two manuals inside, my green Alpinist was sitting on top of a small brown pillow inside its inner box. Three tags were tied on, with the brand logo and what seem to be information about using the watch as a compass. Nothing spectacular, but you know what you're going to get when you order a Seiko.

THE BAND:
Nothing too impressive. In what little searching I'd done, I had heard that the green Alpinist's croc-print leather was of reasonable quality. Personally, I disagree as it really doesn't do much for the watch. Lighter browns would be preferrable, and this one's mostly dark blackish brown with deep dark brown stitching. Very stiff at first, but comfortable after a few days of wearing. I quickly set about to finding a replacement. Black straps don't work well, and I haven't bothered with a bracelet, but the large brown Fossil leather cuff with snaps fits the watch very nicely. I've ordered a brown NATO strap as well, and I think that'll really be the best given its water resistance.



THE CASE and CRYSTAL:
Here's where things really begin to click. The Alpinist's stainless steel casing feels quite substantial in the hand. It's heavy in a way that I associate with well-manufactured goods; a kind of heft that gives you the feeling that it is impervious to damage. Not too thick, the case is well designed and bears the Alpinist logo on the back.

The Crystal is clean and clear sapphire, without AR. It looks reasonably thick, and pushes just past the edge of the stainless steel case.

I will say that this simply isn't a watch for those who like big timepieces though. at roughly 40mm, it feels small on its included band. With a 20mm lug width though you have many options for changing how it wears.



THE CROWN(S):
Nice screw down crown on this, with a lovely machined "S" for Seiko on it. It's extremely easy to grip and a joy to wind. It's smooth but you can feel yourself directly connecting to the mechanics inside the watch, feeding it energy. Below it at 4 o'clock you'll find the compass' crown, which smoothly operates the internal chapter ring. I personally wouldn't mind a little bit of lume at "N" for ease of reading in the dark, but I understand most people won't be using this handy feature for timing things (when should I take out my laundry?) like I do. It's a very good replacement for a diver's bezel.

THE FACE:
Nice green with beautiful reflective properties. It's the kind of color that changes depending on what your lighting is; a completely different shade in the dark than in the light. If you do an image search online, you'll find that no two photos appear to have the same green color.

The markings are a reflective gold metallic color, and the "Seiko" name is applied rather than painted on. Having indicies that reflect is quite useful in low light, and a must for me on all watches. Tiny lume dots set in little golden rings sit above each marking for the times when you're truly in the dark.

The hands are very functional, and I enjoy their style a great deal. I've never liked Mercedes type hour hands, but the way this one has been stretched really appeals to me.

The lume on the face and hands isn't as bright as a diver, but holds its charge for well over 7 hours in the dark. Even groggy and confused, I've been able to read this watch at any hour of the night.

Completing the face is the date window, which is black with a white date. Nothing unusual here, and I'm quite pleased that it doesn't have the magnifier window on the crystal overhead as older models of the Alpinist did.

THE MOVEMENT:
The 6R15 seems like a real winner. The watch was +3 for the first few days I owned it, and now seems to have settled in for -1 second per day. If I remove the watch from my wrist and wind it all the way (again by shaking it) it will gain 3 seconds in the next 24 hours, making it easy to regulate. Things may change over the next month I have it, but so far so good. It's more accurate than any Swiss watch I've had, and the weight inside feels excellent in the hand when you give it a shake.

As a side note, I think I really enjoy the sound of this watch. Other automatics I've had ticked far faster, and while I understand this will equate to a smoother second hand, the speed of the Alpinist's sound is incredibly pleasing to me and can put me to sleep in minutes if I hold it to my ear in bed. Very pleasant.



OVERALL:
I'm truly impressed by this watch. The build of the case and movement seems phenomenal, easily matching the Omegas that I'd had before it. I don't think the band is of particularly good quality, but that's easily fixed if you're willing to do a little hunting for a replacement.

If you like the style of the Alpinist, take the plunge. You'll enjoy it more in person.

BY THE WAY, I plan to add more pictures to this review later on. I'd like to show it under various types of light, and with various band choices as I think it could be tricky to find a good match for it at first. Stay tuned!
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

Great watch. I have the black version, with the bracelet, and I love it. It's not too big, not too small, not too light, and not too heavy. It feels just right to me.

Enjoy!
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

Thats a ...Beaut. lets just say yes I want one.Thanks for the review
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

I've got to admit, that's a SAWEET lookin' piece, and the strap looks friggin' AMAZING!
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

LIke the color and hands!

If this watch didn't have the compass and came with a metal bracelet, I'd already own one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

I've got to admit, that's a SAWEET lookin' piece, and the strap looks friggin' AMAZING!
Thanks! I've had that strap around forever (the Fossil it carried died LONG ago, of course) and it's pretty solid leather. What's really nice about it is that you can remove the watch from it without removing the spring bars... such a plus, especially since the other main strap I intend to keep this on will be a brown NATO.
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

LIke the color and hands!

If this watch didn't have the compass and came with a metal bracelet, I'd already own one.
You can actually have Seiya or Higuchi order you a bracelet. I don't know how much extra though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

You know, having the hack function on a watch is great... unless you never need to regulate it!

I can't say enough about the 6R15 so far. Mine is currently regulating itself... on days that I run or exercise, the watch runs +1 second per day. On days that I spend most of my time at a desk or working from my computer, -1 second.

Absolutely remarkable. I know it's sort of a crapshoot getting a 6R15 that runs this well (thus far) but I'm willing to bet that most can at the very least be regulated to this degree of accuracy.

Sort of makes me think I should consider saving up for a Sumo after-all... rather than holding out for a Marine Master! This kind of price for this performance is just beautiful.
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

Great review, I am thinking of picking up a sarb033 with the 6r15. I bought a BFK from you a few months back and just to give you a comparison of size to the sumo, it is slighlty wider, but sits lower on the wrist. My wrist size is 6.75" and I do not have a problem with the size of either the BFK or the sumo.

I too want a marine master, but after purchasing the sumo about a month ago, I just don't know if I can justify spending the extra $1500, if I had a lot of money, of course I could.

My sumo out of the box was +2 for about the first 2 weeks of ownership. It is now currently at about -7. I am totally satisfied with these numbers and will continue to see what it really settles at. Do not be apprehensive about the size of the sumo for it truly wears smaller than the specs, pictures do not do this wonderful timepiece justice. I am currently writing up a small review with some pics, but it is my daily wearer and I have been more than satisfied with it, I feel like I stole it for the $395 I paid for it on the used forum in brand new condition.

Congratulations on the new Alpinist, looks great, enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

Great review, I am thinking of picking up a sarb033 with the 6r15. I bought a BFK from you a few months back and just to give you a comparison of size to the sumo, it is slighlty wider, but sits lower on the wrist. My wrist size is 6.75" and I do not have a problem with the size of either the BFK or the sumo.

I too want a marine master, but after purchasing the sumo about a month ago, I just don't know if I can justify spending the extra $1500, if I had a lot of money, of course I could.

My sumo out of the box was +2 for about the first 2 weeks of ownership. It is now currently at about -7. I am totally satisfied with these numbers and will continue to see what it really settles at. Do not be apprehensive about the size of the sumo for it truly wears smaller than the specs, pictures do not do this wonderful timepiece justice. I am currently writing up a small review with some pics, but it is my daily wearer and I have been more than satisfied with it, I feel like I stole it for the $395 I paid for it on the used forum in brand new condition.

Congratulations on the new Alpinist, looks great, enjoy it.
I remember that! That was a great watch. Heh, I need to stop cruising around online... my interest in the Sumo has really gone up since I got this Alpinist.

Wanna... trade?

NO! Mustn't....
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

Beautiful watch. I've been eyeballing the exact same watch at Seiya's website for sometime now.

You have excellent taste!

I'm just gonna have to take the plunge someday soon.
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

I have the black dialed version on a Panatime rubber strap and absolutely love it!
 

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Re: The Green Alpinist: A Review

Great watch. I probably will get one of these soon. My 6R15 (Sumo) is not as accurate as yours, but very consistent.
 

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Bracelets are expensive. If possible, ALWAYS order your watch on a bracelet. Straps are considerably cheaper. Usually.
 

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That is a tasty looking, seemingly well made watch. I just checked two places and saw $330 and $340. Fifty hour power reserve, good to 200 meters and what seems to be a very reliable and accurate movement? Put that baby on the right NATO band or better yet, a nice, light brown crocodile band and you have a classy looking, stealthy, 'sleeper' of a nice, affordable watch. In your city or on a train or plane, you'll probably never see another one in North America either!
 

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Put an offer in on a unopened brand new for $300 and was excepted. This will be #48 in my collection and last! I just couldn't stop until I got this one!
 

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Put an offer in on a unopened brand new for $300 and was excepted. This will be #48 in my collection and last! I just couldn't stop until I got this one!
Way to go. That's lot of watch for $300!--I'd probably bite on that, but waiting for an Obris Morgan Explorer II in a couple weeks-- the OB Ex II looks to be a bit darkish blue on the face and bezel, so that's a new color for me--my Seiko Baby Tuna (as 'baby' as 45mm can be) is a pretty, more vibrant blue--must resist this--don't need ALL the colors. Got a nice green face, 3/4 green bezel Deep Blue Automatic with a well done metal bracelet not too long ago, but the green looks different on the Alpinist and I think it probably 'dresses up' better than most diver's do. Rationalize, rationalize....That Alpinist was made for tweed blazers and crisp Fall days!

Kermit the Frog might sing: "It's not easy being green"---but I find it TOO easy!

You going to swap out the band? I'm in the south eastern USA--Did they hit you additionally for tax & delivery?
 
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