Seiko Alpinist 85899

An interesting job that came in recently was this Seiko Alpinist from July 1964. The Alpinist models were a Japanese domestic market range of watches which were introduced in 1961 and ran to 1964. The line was inspired by the Japanese concept of Yamaotoko, this term roughly translates as ‘Mountain man’, and describes the Japanese tradition of amateur mountaineering whereby people climbed Japan’s mountains during weekends and holidays. This example is powered by Seikos calibre 851, a 17 jewel, 18,000bph manual wind movement. It arrived needing an overhaul but interestingly the owner had a NOS case, dial and handset for it.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The original dial was lumed between the applied batons and the case whereas the NOS one for some reason wasn’t so this had to be addressed.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The case even had it’s little tag attached….

Seiko Alpinist 85899

….as well as the blue plastic protective covering on the caseback 🙂 The EGP on the back stands for Electro Gold Plate.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The movement barely ticked so I stripped it ready for inspection.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

One thing that was apparent was the set lever spring was broken so a new one would need to be sourced.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

These relatively simple movements don’t take long to strip into their component parts.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Another issue was the broken resilient hooking on the end of the mainspring, so I added a new one to the list.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

After cleaning and inspection I noticed the balance staff had a badly bent pivot, I have a Seitz pivot straightener but it’s pot luck as to whether they straighten back or not. This one didn’t so another item for the list!

Seiko Alpinist 85899

I tracked down a mainspring and balance assembly quite quickly so I started the rebuild with the new mainspring.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The NOS balance alongside the old one.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The watch was now finished but the replacement set lever spring hadn’t arrived so the job ground to a halt at this point.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Once the spring arrived I could finish off the project.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The dial had been lumed to match the NOS handset, these were refitted at this stage.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

The movement was then recased and a new stem was trimmed and fitted to the crown. The snap on back was next thing to fit which was a bit of a worry because as it was essentially new it took quite a bit of force to get it to snap shut. No matter how much protection I put over the blue plastic it’s still a heart in the mouth job when applying that much pressure, fortunately it snapped back on without any damage to the original covering.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

And that was the watch finished, another interesting chapter in Seikos history.

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899

Seiko Alpinist 85899


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s