Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 – Our Honest Review

Welcome to our comprehensive review of the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117, a modern reimagining of Seiko’s first sports watch from 1959. This watch caught our attention for its impressive features and affordable price, making it a hidden gem among timepieces. In this review, we’ll explore its design, performance, and value proposition, giving you a closer look at what makes the Seiko SPB117 a worthy addition to any watch enthusiast’s collection. So let’s get started!

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 Watch
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Case Dimensions and Design: 

The Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 boasts a refined design that effortlessly complements any wrist size. With a case diameter of 39.5 millimeters and a thickness of 13 millimeters, it strikes a perfect balance between classic and contemporary aesthetics. 

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 Crown Side
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Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 Side View
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The stainless steel case is robust, providing the timepiece with durability for everyday wear. Its 46-millimeter lug-to-lug length contributes to the overall wearing comfort.

The Dial: 

The dial of the Seiko SPB117 is a testament to Seiko’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. It strikes the right balance between simplicity and sophistication, with a clean layout that facilitates easy readability. The subtle Lume dots above the indices ensure excellent visibility in low-light conditions.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 Dial
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The bold Mercedes hands proudly sport aggressive Lume, enabling effortless timekeeping even in the darkest corners. Additionally, The Cyclops over the date window adds an interesting element to the watch’s aesthetics, even though it might not serve a practical purpose for everyone.

True to its Alpinist heritage, the Seiko SPB117 features a rotating inner compass bezel, allowing adventurers and explorers to navigate with ease. While this function might not be frequently used in everyday life, it adds a touch of authenticity to the watch’s sporting legacy and makes it a delightful companion for outdoor pursuits. 

Moreover, the sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface ensures superior scratch resistance and clear visibility at all angles.

The Bracelet

The timepiece comes equipped with a sturdy oyster bracelet that boasts a tri-fold push-button release clasp.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 Bracelet
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Its design flawlessly complements the watch case, and it feels incredibly comfortable on the wrist. However, the limited bracelet sizing options could be a drawback for some individuals, as there is only one 2.5-millimeter micro-adjustment on the clasp. For those with smaller or larger wrists, an alternative strap like leather or nylon may be preferred, especially during hot summer days.

Water Resistance

Seiko’s Prospex series is renowned for its ruggedness and water-resistant capabilities, and the Seiko SPB117 is no exception. With a water resistance rating of up to 200 meters (660 feet), this timepiece is suitable for various water-related activities, including swimming and snorkeling. The screw-down crown further enhances the watch’s durability and water resistance.

Movement and Performance: 

The Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 is powered by the reliable Caliber 6R35 automatic movement. With 24 jewels and a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour, this timepiece offers accurate timekeeping and a commendable power reserve of approximately 70 hours.

Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 Watch Back
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The combination of manual and automatic winding capabilities ensures hassle-free maintenance. Turning the watch over reveals a see-through case back that allows a glimpse into the intricate mechanical movements 

Areas for Improvement: 

While the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 is an incredible timepiece overall, there are a few areas that could benefit from some refinement. Firstly, the gap between the bracelet and the case lugs is quite noticeable, which might be a slight aesthetic concern for some. Secondly, operating the compass function can be challenging, particularly for individuals with more giant fingers, as the crown at four o’clock requires careful handling to prevent accidental adjustments.


One of the most appealing aspects of the Seiko SPB117 is its incredible value for money. Priced at $750, it offers a level of craftsmanship, design, and performance that is hard to find in watches of this range. The watch delivers more than what you pay for, making it an irresistible option for watch enthusiasts and novices alike.

Note: The price of the watch may vary depending on the retailer. 

Next Read: Seiko 5 Sports ‘Flieger’ SRPH21K1 Watch Review

Final Thoughts: 

After our evaluation, it is clear that the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 is a remarkable piece of watchmaking, demonstrating the perfect balance of luxury and affordability. Its captivating design, reliable movement, and exceptional value for money make it a standout timepiece in the market.

While it has a few minor areas for improvement, the overall experience it offers outweighs these drawbacks. As a proud owner, we can confidently recommend the Seiko SPB117 to anyone seeking a high-quality timekeeping companion that won’t break the bank.

In the sea of timepieces available, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SPB117 stands tall as a beacon of outstanding craftsmanship, earning its place as a treasured addition to any watch collection.

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