For Men, Reviews

Seiko Alpinist SARB017 Review

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Written by:

Jacky Chou

The Seiko Alpinist SARB017 is a multi functional watch that has been designed with versatility in mind. It features a ceramic bezel, an automatic movement and also comes equipped with various dials to suit both men's and women's tastes. The "Alpha" name refers to the six-sided design of the case which creates symmetry when worn on either hand..

The "seiko sarb017" is a watch that has been around for quite some time. The company has released a new model, which is the Alpinist SARB017. This review will cover the features of this watch and what users can expect from it.

Seiko Men's SARB017 Automatic Analog Display Japanese Automatic Brown Watch
  • Automatic Movement with 50-hour power reserve
  • Sapphire Crystal and Inner Rotating Compass Ring
  • Japanese-automatic Movement
  • Case Diameter: 39.5mm
  • Water resistant 200m (660ft): in general, suitable for...

I have known that The Alpinist would always be a part of my ever expanding collection ever since I first handled it.

Normally, I don't want to begin a review on such a positive tone. When prejudice and partiality prevail over objectivity, I believe it undermines the validity of the evaluation. I've already made exceptions, and I'm gladly making one for the Alpinist once again. My true amazement at the Seiko Alpinist. The photographs on Amazon when I purchased it gave it a passable but unimpressive appearance.

What really exceeded my expectations was the clock that I received and am wearing right now. Although I've always known Seiko produced high-quality timepieces, I had no idea how well-made their low-cost automatics were.

Alpinist Seiko SARB017 Technical Specifications

  • Identifier: SARB017
  • MSRP: $469
  • 38mm case diameter
  • Alternative Models: Bracelets made of stainless steel are an option.
  • Seiko 6R15 automatic motion
  • Problems: Date display
  • 50 hours of estimated power reserve
  • 20 atm, 200 meters, or 656 feet of water resistance
  • Sapphire crystal material

2018 ceased production

Seiko announced the discontinuation of numerous lines at the beginning of 2018, including the SARB017 Alpinist and the SARB065 Cocktail Time. The Alpinist is still available for purchase, nevertheless, through a variety of grey market vendors, including Amazon. Since the announcement, prices have changed a little bit, but The Alpinist is still generally available at a reasonable price.

The Alpinist is tough to beat if you're seeking for something special and affordable.

You're getting one for a wonderful bargain if you can get one for less than $450. The Alpinist could end up being the only timepiece in this price range that actually increases in value over time, given their relative rarity.

WYCA Suggests Amazon

Buy a watch from Amazon if you enjoy what we do and want to help us. On timepieces purchased through Amazon, a two-year warranty is often included. They also provide quick delivery and reasonable costs.

You should be aware that WYCA earns a roughly 4% fee on the sale of the watch you purchase if you click on advertisements. The cost you pay is unaffected by this.

However, it does enable us to buy camera equipment ($5,000+ since 2013), software licenses (such as Adobe Photoshop), site hosting, and other things. Oh, and it also enables us to purchase additional watches.

Seiko Alpinist Aesthetics & Design

The items I purchased and what was delivered were not the same. Yes, it was the proper watch, but the Alpinist looks magnificent in person as opposed to how it seemed on the Amazon photographs, which were dull and unimpressive. Similar to the sunburst-blue dial on the Hamilton Pan-Europ, which you may remember, I really liked it there, the sunburst-green dial has a similar design (as I do on the Alpinist). But the case, and more especially, how the case responds to light, is what truly grabs my attention. The Alpinist, like the Le Locle, transforms light into silky ribbons that round the casing. It's a very upmarket appearance that makes a cheap watch seem to be worth hundreds of dollars.

It's just amazing.

Because it is primarily curved, the case wonderfully refracts light. It also rolls up the lugs and wraps around the bezel. The sides of the lugs, case, and bezel are beautifully polished, while the tops of the lugs have a brushed finish. This understated two-tone adds a hint of sophistication without becoming monotonous. The Alpinist is perfect; too much polish might be too much.

At four o'clock, Seiko added a second "crown" to the Alpinist, which turns the internal chapter ring that encircles the dial. The Alpinist stands apart from others because of the second crown. The chapter ring turns smoothly and accurately in classic Seiko style.

An engraved screw-down crown, the primary crown that winds the watch and sets the date and time, is located at three o'clock. It closely resembles a vault door from the video game Fallout because of how accurately it has been machined and grooved. Deeply etched and brushed on the inside to contrast with the otherwise polished appearance is Seiko's "S."

The sunburst dial is not clearly shown in this photograph, but it does show how the gold hour markers and Squelette-style hands—note that the hands are filled with lume rather than being hollow—play against the green dial. I wasn't sure about the combo when I first saw it online, but again, in person, it looks fantastic. I really hope that my pictures do it some credit.

Sadly, I lamented the superb Seiko 5 SNK809's 38mm casing when I was a little heavier (and had bigger wrists). The SARB017 Alpinist sports a 38mm casing, much like the SNK809. Since the Seiko 5 review, I've lost 40 pounds, and a 38mm watch is the perfect size for my (admittedly little) wrists.

The Alpinist sparkles brilliantly when the lights are turned out. Excellent lume, among the brightest I've ever seen, is applied wisely to all hands. Either day or night, telling the time is simple.

We only have the caseback remaining after covering every other possibility. Here, I'm feeling conflicted. On the one hand, I like display casebacks because nothing better than a close-up look at the movement within a mechanical or automatic watch drives home the horological brilliance buzzing inside. The caseback of the Alpinist is sturdy and inscribed with the watch's distinctive emblem and model details. Although it doesn't provide a perspective of the movement, it is still wonderfully done.

The Alpinist looks excellent, much better in person than it does in images, and in my opinion, Seiko hit it exactly. That's how it all comes together.

Quality of the Alpine Seiko SARB017 Build

I anticipate the Alpinist to last a long time since it is made of stainless steel and equipped with sapphire glass. The polished lugs and bezel worry me a bit, however they can be polished if they reveal too much of the Alpinist's life story.

Crystal, Case, & Dial

Sapphire is the perfect material for a crystal, and Seiko employed it appropriately in this instance. It is flat and slightly elevated above the bezel. Despite the Alpinist accompanying me on several bike rides and runs, his sapphire crystal still seems brand-new, as is to be anticipated.

Despite its gloss, the casing has done well as well. It looks decent overall, with the exception of a few hairline scratches at the ends of the lugs (which are not visible in photographs since I take them as soon as I get it and never wear it). I've been wearing it for around 40 hours, which gives me hope for its endurance.

The dial is flawless, and no flaws or blemishes could be seen even when my camera's macro lens was used to magnify it significantly. Well done, Seiko.

Strap & Clasp

Although the brown crocodile-grain leather was first stiff, it soon relaxed and fitted to my wrist. The strap is smaller than usual, yet it is suitable for the 38mm case since it has 20mm lugs.

Although it's not as comfy as the leather I've worn from entry-level Hamiltons (like the one that came with the Jazzmaster Open Heart), it is still bearable to wear. The leather is holding up as predicted and nicely, much like the Hamilton straps. Overall, it's respectable given the cost.

Although there is no inscription on the stainless clasp, it is still nice. It's unfortunate that it didn't have the same attention to detail as the crown(s).

The 6R15 Automatic Movement from Seiko

The 23-jeweled 6R15, which debuted in 2006, is simply a 7S26 (the mechanism found within Seiko 5's) with more features. I appreciated the 7S26 for its simplicity and toughness in my evaluation of the Seiko 5. Here, the 6R15 within the SARB017 Alpinist maintains that toughness while introducing several pleasant features, like hacking, manual winding, and a bigger 50-hour power reserve.

The 6R15 beats at 21,600 bph, therefore the seconds hand will move rapidly. However, until the watch is directly close to your ear, you won't be able to hear it since the 6R15 within the Alpinist is almost quiet.

The 6R15 inside this Alpinist is reportedly operating at +4 seconds each day, which is fantastic!

Setting the Alpinist

  • Remove the crown and pull to position 3 to set the time (furthest)
  • The date will automatically roll over when the clock reaches midnight, therefore to set the date, remove the crown and pull to position 2 (middle).
  • Use the crown at 3 o'clock to change the chapter ring.

The Alpinist is an Uncommon Watch, & You Want One

The Alpinist has an MSRP of around $470, but you can purchase it on Amazon for about $360. It offers greater value than some of the entry-level Swiss automatic watches I've tested at that price point. It uses a movement that is renowned for its precision and durability, and it is built to endure. A daily automated accurate to 4 seconds in around $400? Nearly impossible to believe. I like its design and craftsmanship; the two finely machined crowns offer a special touch that wouldn't be possible without them. Similar to the 38mm size, the sunburst-green dial and gold hands and markings provide a contemporary classic impression.

To date, I have given several wristwatch reviews. Some of them, like the superb Orient Bambino, hit the mark so well that I sometimes fear I'll never discover another watch that performs better in terms of the value for money component of the equation. The Alpinist then appears (not that it's new), and it serves as a reminder that there are still many jewels out there to be discovered.

The Alpinist is actually a jewel, that's the point. It stands out in a busy and cut-throat market since it is attractive, pleasant to wear, adaptable (you can take this thing diving!), and attractive. I've already set out on a quest to get a SARB065 Cocktail Time because, if it's anything like this Alpinist, I'm going to like it (update: SARB065 review is up!).

Image Gallery


evaluated by

C. M. Martel

Review Period


Observed Item

Alpine Seiko SARB017


The Seiko Alpinist SARB017 is a watch that has a lug to lug length of about 53mm. This makes it a good choice for people with small wrists or who like smaller watches. Reference: seiko alpinist sarb017 lug to lug.

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Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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