This week, Seiko introduced the new Prospex 1959 Alpinist collection, which consists of one more faithful Re-creation model and three less literal Re-Interpretations.
As the name suggests, the original Alpinist debuted in 1959, and naturally, served as the inspiration for all four references. The limited-edition Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-Creation SJE085 is the most faithful, being presented in a 36.6 mm by 11.1 mm stainless steel case, and having an aesthetic that’s similar to the original. However, unlike some past re-creations from Seiko, the design is not as exact as you might expect.
The three Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-Interpretations are even less like the original but do maintain the overall look. These come in slightly larger 38.0 mm by 12.9 mm stainless steel cases and without the calfskin strap with cuff band that’s seen on the Re-creation.
Comparing the two styles, the limited edition has a premium 4Hz automatic caliber 6L35 with 26 jewels, however, despite it being the more premium movement, the power reserve is 45-hours. Whereas the three standard production models come with the upscale 3Hz automatic caliber 6R35 with 24 jewels and a much greater 70-hour maximum power reserve.
Similarly, the limited edition is water-resistant to 100 meters, and the other three models have double that at 200 meters. Both versions have a domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial and screw-in caseback and crown.
The mixed triangular and baton-shaped indices carry over from the historic Alpinist on all four modern versions and the no-date from the original is maintained on only the limited edition, as the other three have a date aperture at 3 o’clock. Like the indices, the steel hour and minute hands are pointy Dauphine-shaped with a needle-shaped second hand.
With the three regular production Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-interpretation, there’s a choice of metallic brown sunburst (SPB243), off-while sunburst (SPB241), or dark green sunburst, with the latter coming only on a leather strap for $725 (SPB245). The green and brown dial variants come only on a stainless steel bracelet, for $750. The 1,959-piece limited edition Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-Creation (SJE085) comes with a black dial and costs four times the price, at $2,900. The new Alpinist watches will be available in August 2021.