SEIKO PROSPEX ALPINIST SBDC138 MADE IN JAPAN JDM
Ever since the fan favourite green Seiko Alpinist Ref. SARB017 made its debut in 2007, the classic mountaineering watch gained an immense cult following to a truly unprecedented level as an iconic collection synonymous with affordability and excellent performance. The Alpinist forged its honorable cult status in the watch community by offering a fine Japanese timepiece that offered so much value for the money, everything about it seemed to be what we enthusiasts wanted in a watch. And yes, it is one beautiful Seiko.
Originally introduced back in 1961 as a tool watch targeted towards Japanese mountain climbers, the Alpinist provided robust specifications that could handle rugged mountainous terrains. While we enjoy a whole range of splendid sports watches from Seiko today, the Alpinist holds great historical significance for the brand as Seiko’s first real attempt at creating a dependable sports watch. Lamentably, Seiko appalled the world when they bid goodbye to the esteemed SARB017, announcing its discontinuation in 2018 after 11 years of production. “When one door closes, another one opens.” This quote from Alexander Graham Bell couldn't be more true for Seiko when they released their latest generation of Alpinists in 2020, joining the Prospex line up with a set of outstanding new upgrades.
This time, we see a handful of new Alpinist variants making an appearance to the collection coming in some exciting flavours, Seiko is definitely spoiling us with choices here. Just like the previous generations of Alpinists, one thing we love about this new model is undoubtedly its attractive dimensions. The 316L stainless steel case of the Seiko Prospex Alpinist Green Ref. SBDC138 measures with a streamlined case diameter of 38mm, a lug to lug distance of 46mm and a case thickness of 12.9mm. The compact size allows for a comfortable fit on the wrist, keeping the watch out of the way while exploring the great outdoors.
Finishing on the Prospex Alpinist Green Ref. SBDC138 is absolutely stunning, the exquisite mix of finishes demonstrates Seiko’s meticulous attention to details when it comes to case execution. The top of the lugs flaunts a satin brush finish that transitions smoothly to a high mirror finish on the side of the case, divided by a high polished bevelled edge, elevating the overall fit and finish with additional refinement. For an extra flair, the bezel is coated with a PVD gold treatment, complementing the gold accents on the dial. Accompanying the watch is a matching 20mm army green nylon strap, a perfect choice for rugged conditions the Alpinist is meant for.
One of the best aspects of the Prospex Alpinist Green Ref. SBDC138 rests in the matte green textured dial, bringing a utilitarian look fitting for the style of the watch. The gilt cathedral-style hands and indices exhibits an appealing warm charm for a touch of retro character. Unlike the conventional Alpinist, the SBDC138 goes for a minimal approach without the inner rotating compass bezel, keeping the dial clean and simple. Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite lume is treated generously on the hands and markers at the end of each hour indices, producing a brilliant green glow in the dark. On top of that, the dial is protected with a piece of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal for a crystal clear view of the dial.
Under the impressive exterior of the Prospex Alpinist Green Ref. SBDC138 lies the Seiko caliber 6R35 automatic movement, which is equipped with a substantial 70 hours of power reserve, a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the 6R15. The 24 jewel movement has a 3 Hz beat rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Enclosed in a screw-in display exhibition case back and a screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock position, the watch presents a capable water resistance of 200m even without being a diver’s watch.
The Alpinist will always have a spot in the hearts of Seiko enthusiasts, being an iconic watch that managed to deliver greatness in just about all aspects of a perfect every-occasion timepiece. With Seiko continuously bringing modern interpretations of their classic models, the Prospex Alpinist Green Ref. SBDC138 carries on the proud legacy of its predecessors with welcoming modern upgrades achieved with Seiko’s watchmaking excellence.