When most vintage enthusiasts think of Seiko, divers and chronographs are what usually come to mind, and rightfully so. Seiko’s place in the pantheon of vintage divers and chronographs is safely etched in horological history. If you want high-end vintage dress watches, Seiko has that too with their Grand Seiko and King Seiko lines. But vintage Seiko has far more to offer than just sport and dress watches. There are innumerable models out in the wild, a little something for every taste, and some are more obscure than others. One of the more outstanding, yet little-known models is the Champion Alpinist.
Seiko introduced the Alpinist line in 1961 with the extremely rare Laurel Alpinist. The Alpinist was inspired by the Japanese concept of “yama-otoko,” or “mountain man.” The Japanese countryside is mountainous, and amateur mountain climbing was a popular hobby. These watches were ostensibly marketed toward these adventurers.