For the third year in a row, Seiko launches a Seiko Prospex Alpinist watch exclusive to the European market. Suitably named the Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 watch, the latest design lives up to its mountaineering heritage with a grey textured dial evoking the same consistency and colour as a real mountain rock face.
The original Seiko Alpinist watch was launched in 1959 for the wrists of Japanese ‘Yama-otoko’ mountain men who required a formidable, robust and resistant instrument that could withstand the elements as they ventured across some of the world’s most treacherous terrain. The design certainly lived up to its name, boasting a solid screw down case back to prevent dust, water or sand particles from entering the case as well as a sturdy leather cuff strap to protect the watch from perspiration. The dial also showcased mountain-shaped indexes at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions to represent the four main points of a compass. Two years ago, in 2020, Seiko launched a modern-day selection of Seiko Alpinist watches which were later followed by several European exclusives. Joining the latter line-up is the new Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 watch, a limited edition of 3,000 pieces reserved only for the European market.
The Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 Limited Edition sits pleasantly on the wrist with a diameter of 39.5mm and a height of 13.2mm, just like that of previous Alpinist watches. It comes engineered from stainless steel with brushed finishing across the majority of surfaces which beautifully emphasizes the sweeping lines of the lugs and bezel. The bezel is left smooth, fixed and unadorned but within presents a useful dark grey compass scale. The case of the Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 watch also delivers the iconic double crown with crown guards, the one at 4 o’clock used for controlling the internal bezel, sapphire crystal glass and a 200 metre water resistant rating.
Of course the real novelty of the Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 watch is the dial. As its name attests, the display is designed to evoke the same grainy texture as a mountain face. The raised bumps and scratch-like lines are adorned in a muted grey and remind us of the famous high-end grainy dials seen on the Grand Seiko Snowflake watches. In contrast to the textured grey centre, the dial reveals bright blue hardware for the Arabic numerals, pointed indexes and cathedral hands. According to Seiko, the colour was chosen to reflect the clear blue mountain skies. The hour, minutes and seconds hand ensure easy legibility with Lumibrite inserts while the date window at 3 o’clock is enlarged under its magnified lens.
Powering the Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 Limited Edition is the Calibre 6R35 automatic winding movement, another familiar sight from previous Seiko Alpinist watches. Alongside its impressive accuracy of -15/+25 seconds per day, the in-house movement delivers a power reserve of 70 hours and a frequency of 21,600vph. The calibre is kept hidden behind a screw down steel case back. Finally, completing the Seiko Prospex Alpinist European Exclusive watch is a grey nylon strap with white stitch detailing and a stainless steel three-fold clasp with push button release.
As mentioned, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist ‘Rock Face’ SPB355J1 watch is a limited edition of 3,000 pieces and is available only to the European market. You can learn more about the release and shop it for yourself on the Jura Watches website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at email@example.com.
- Case Size: 39.5mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Bezel: Internal compass bezel
- Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
- Crown: Screw in with crown guards
- Case Back: Screwed
- Water Resistance: 200 metres
- Movement: Calibre 6R35 automatic winding
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Power Reserve: 70 hours
- Frequency: 21,600vph
- Accuracy: -15/+25 seconds per day
- Dial: Grey textured with blue numerals, indexes and hands, latter with Lumibrite inserts
- Strap: Grey nylon
- Buckle: Three-fold with push button release
- Limited Edition: 3,000 pieces
- RRP: £800
- Availability: Exclusive to European market