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Hands-On: Seiko Prospex SPB243J1 – Go Anywhere Do Anything
1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation

The original Alpinist by Seiko is a watch that was specifically made to survive the harshest conditions thrown at the world’s greatest mountain climbers. The Seiko Alpinist has quite the story to tell, and nowadays it sits firmly in the Prospex family at Seiko. Since it has been around for a while now, the Alpinist is available in a few variations. Now joining the Alpinist Prospex family is this new, no frills but plenty of thrills, Alpinist SPB243, SPB241 and SPB245.

We are looking at the SPB243 with its black dial on a steel bracelet. There are two other versions available, the SPB241 with its creamy white dial on steel bracelet and the green dial SPB245 on a leather strap.

I’ll start right away by stating the following: If you are looking for a robust “only” watch that can go anywhere and do anything (“GADA”) – Seiko has something for you here. From the beach to the boardroom, you can cover that and everything in between with just one of these. If you want just one watch – oh the horror – then there is plenty of reason to look into this new trio released by Seiko. The black dial would be my pick for an “only watch” as it has the most versatile look of the three.

When browsing online, or even in Seiko’s catalogue, some of you might be a bit taken back by the faux patina. Myself included. However, in the metal and hopefully also visible in these pictures the shade is indeed very subtle. It is not distracting at all and doesn’t feel kitch, which is a problem for a lot of faux patina dials out there. This particular color of both the hands and the applied indices looks nice with the sunburst dial. Stark white indices might have been a bit less visually satisfying.

This is a Prospex watch so you know you have little to worry about once you get one of these. Not unimportant when searching for a potential one and only GADA watch. Here we are getting 200m water resistance, a screw down crownCrown The knob on the outside of the watch that you typically use to either wind the mainspring or set the time [Learn More] and sapphire crystal with one-sided AR coating. Hands and indices are of course luminous as you would expect.

On the wrist the dimensions are pretty much perfect. A 38mm diameter, a thickness of 12.9 ㎜ and a lug to lug just a hair over 46mm. Yes, this watch will fit pretty much every wrist out there. I also enjoyed this a lot on the stainless steel bracelet.

Powering the watch is Seiko’s relatively new in-house 6R35 movement. It features hours, minutes, seconds and date. An automatic caliberCaliber The caliber ('movement') is the heart and engine of a watch. It consists of a number of interconnected components that work together. Energy is transmitted through the gear train, to the escapement mechanism. The escapement mechanism releases this energy in a controlled manner. This drives the gear train, which ultimately rotates the hands of the watch and keeps time. [More Info] with a very comfortable 70 hour power reserveRéserve de marche Also known as Power Reserve. A watch's power reserve refers to the amount of time a mechanical watch can run without being wound. The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary depending on the size of the mainspring, the efficiency of the gear train, and the rate at which the mainspring releases energy. If a watch has a Power Reserve 'complication' it simply means that the status of the power reserve can be seen on the watch itself (either on the dial or movement side of the watch). [Learn More]. It beats at 3 Hz and has 24 jewelsJewels Watch jewels are small, synthetic sapphire or ruby bearings that are used in mechanical watches to reduce friction and wear on moving parts. They are typically made from corundum. They are used as bearings for a.o. the pivots to reduce friction. [Learn More].

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