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Two New Seiko GMT’s and a Vintage Throwback Hit the Windup Watch Shop
Words by Windup Watch Shop

Ask any watch collector worth their salt about their entry into watch collecting, and you’ll hear “Seiko 5” more often than not. Then ask them about which Seiko lines they enjoy now, and you’ll hear (if not the same answer) Seiko Prospex. As two of Seiko’s more accessible lines, the Seiko 5 and Prospex collections are more than just gateways – they represent the core of the Japanese brand’s ethos: reliability, excellence, and sportiness. This week we are proud to introduce not one, not two, but three new Seiko references into the Windup Watch Shop. Two hail from the Prospex Alpinist line, and the last is a standalone retro-inspired hit. Here is your Chronicle highlighting the Seiko Alpinist GMTs, models SPB377 and SPB379, and the Seiko SPRK17. As always, we invite you to join our rewards program to earn points with every purchase.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist Mechanical GMT (SPB377 and SPB379)

The Prospex Alpinist GMT has its roots in the Alpinist line, which itself has become a cult classic over the years. Originally launched in 1959, the Seiko Alpinist made a name for itself with its distinctive cathedral hands and inner rotating bezel. Seiko has reintroduced this popular model and while infusing it with a complication that fits it so naturally perhaps it should have always been there. The new SPB377 (blue dial and strap) and SPB379 (black dial and strap) now feature the in-house Seiko 6R54, a more upscale movement reserved for Prospex-level watches that offers 72 hours of power reserve and an independently-setting GMT hand.

In the metal, both new Alpinist GMT watches take on a decidedly higher-end feel than their predecessors while maintaining a very wearable size (39.5mm by 46.4mm) and thickness (13.6mm). The blue and black dials are finished with a captivating sunburst effect, and the date window has discreetly tucked itself into the 4:30 position to maintain symmetry on the dial with the large Arabic numerals. The dual–crown layout that has come to define the Alpinist returns. The secondary, smaller crown adjusts the inner rotating compass bezel, which is now joined by a fixed steel 24-hour GMT bezel to track an additional time zone. Seiko has done an excellent job keeping the two bezels clean and matched to their surroundings in order to prevent the outer dial and case from feeling too busy. Indeed, these Prospex watches stand out by being among the sportier options from the line thanks to their color-matched calf leather straps. That said, with 20mm lug widths, these watches – like most Seikos – are strap monsters and will pair well with a variety of bracelets and straps.

Simply put, the SPB377 and SPB379 are excellent tool watches that showcase what Seiko does so well: bringing time-proven designs into the modern era by adding tasteful complications and adjustments. While The Alpinist may not be the best-kept affordable secret it once was within Seiko’s lineup, it is higher quality than ever while packing more functionality as a mountain climber’s/explorer’s/navigator’s watch. In that sense, it is the most true Alpinist to date.

Seiko SPRK17 55th Anniversary Edition

If the new Seiko Prospex Alpinist GMTs represent Seiko’s modernization of a classic, the SPRK17 is Seiko’s best work in recreating a 1:1 carbon copy of an icon. The new SPRK17 is created to celebrate 55 years of Seiko 5. Just like its ancestors, this new reference features all five of the tenets that have come to define what “5” signifies: a high quality case and bracelet, recessed crown at 4 o’clock, integrated day and date windows, stout water resistance, and an automatic movement. But more than that, it is a celebration of what has made Seiko a powerhouse at every price point in which it plays.

The SPRK17’s design is decidedly retro as it is based on the 1968 “61-5D” model that helped kick-start the lineup that has come to represent affordable quality over half a century. The vintage nods include the old Seiko 5 logo, as well as the “Sports” logo in blue. The remaining dial and case elements are remarkably recreated as well, from the chapter ring, to the hand style and colors and the integrated date window at 3. Even the unidirectional bezel, which is filled with LumiBrite at the pip, is essentially an exact recreation of its late 60s counterpart. To round things out, this special limited edition comes on a distinct solid link bracelet, an upgrade from the original wrapped style bracelet. This new bracelet tucks cleanly under the tonneau-shaped case and allows the watch to wear even more compactly. As far as vintage throwbacks go, this is as good as it gets, folks.