This Seiko Watch Is a Re-creation of a Tough 1959 Original

From thick cuff to gentle dome, Seiko introduces a fateful rendition of its first sports watch, the Alpinist. 

Who knew a virtual watch summit can stir up unexpected emotions? At one point during the first day of Seiko’s online summit, the following words were uttered: “Better times are coming.” Like all of us, the beloved Japanese watchmaker believes in a future day when life does not revolve around fear, loneliness, and disease. In the meantime, like all of us again, it soldiers on, releasing its slate of exciting watches for the year. 

From its 2021 lineup, which includes marvels from luxury watch brand Grand Seiko, a reissue set on a cuff caught the eye the most. The Seiko Laurel Alpinist was created in 1959 to fulfill the needs of daredevils: mountain climbers. The company, who had not made a sports watch till then, included a bevy of useful features in the watch such as a screw-back case that protected against dust, a leather cuff that withstood sweat, and luminous hands and markers for high readability in the dark. 

The Original Seiko Laurel Alpinist from 1959

Photo by Seiko.

As the first sports watch of the Japanese brand, the Alpinist paved the way for Seiko’s future timing devices, diver’s watches, and the entire Prospex line. In fact, its mountain-shaped markers at three, six, nine, and 12 o’clock—a compass-like feature that ensures the correct reading of time—became a standard for Seiko sports watches.  

From the jagged stitching on the leather band, still set in a cuff, to the box-shaped glass that mirrors “the gentle feel” of the domed original, the 2021 version is a very close rendition of the 1959 watch, but Seiko makes sure to include updates in technology and functionality, too: a discreet date window, a water resistance of 10 bar, and a power reserve of 45 hours. Making it even more special, only 1,959 pieces will be produced.

The Seiko Prospex Alpinist 2021

Photo by Seiko.

But if you’re not sure about the cuff, the Alpinist is also reimagined as modern Prospex pieces. These cuff-free versions, with a polished steel bracelet or leather band, a water resistance of 20 bar, and a power reserve of 70 hours, will suit dinner tables, as well as adventures. 

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The Seiko Prospex Alpinist Modern Interpretations

Photo by Seiko.

Photo by Seiko.

Photo by Seiko.

All four watches will be released in the faraway month of August, which, with hope, will be a time when you can enjoy these stunners as intended: in the great outdoors.

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Clifford Olanday
Editor in Chief, Esquire Philippines
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