The Red Alpinist, first produced in 1992, was made 30 years after the first one. It was placed under the Prospex line which used the 4S15 caliber, in fact a re-used king seiko caliber. It marked a new beginning for mechanical watches by Seiko.
The watch had a Sapplex crystal with a cyclops date window magnification lens. There were also two more distinct new features of the 1995 Prospex Alpinist, specifically the four o’clock crown and a unique inner bezel compass. These two new features were so popular they have been used from that point on in all Alpinist watches.
Prospex Alpinists were only manufactured for two years but the popularity has only increased over the years and remains one of the “must haves” for collectors. They are commonly called the “Red Alpinist” because of the red wording on the dial. The 4S15 movement is “Hi-Beat” at 28,800 bph (8 bps), is hackable and also supports handwinding.
This model was released with three choices of dial color – black, cream and emerald green. The signed crown at 3 is used for setting time and date. The crown at 4 is used to rotate the compass ring. There’s a mountain picture with the word “Alpinist” on the back case. Model numbers are SCVF005 Black, SCVF007 Cream and SCVF009 Green.
Seiko’s 4S15 caliber movement is a refinement of the chronometer grade 5246 movement introduced in the early 1970’s (King Seiko Vanac). The movements are mechanically very similar and seem identical.
The 4S15 as a high-end movement was adjusted to +15/-10 seconds per day from the factory. One can compare it to the top grade ETA 2892 movements.
The 4S15 features a thermo-compensating balance and hairspring, and hacking and handwinding of course. Cal. 4S15 was used in Seiko SCVK001, SCVK002, Brightz (SAGN), Laurel (LHAM), Red Alpinist (SCVF), Titanium Divesr, SUS Military and King Seiko LE (SCVN001) from 1992-1997 and in 2000.