In 2003, a new Alpinist hit the market sporting the classic black and cream colored face and used the same inner bezel compass as the 1995 Prospex. The 2003 Alpinist is more commonly known as the 8F56.
In fact, the Seiko Alpinist GMT Titanium Prospex High Accuracy Quartz (HAQ) Quartz SBCJ019 is one of the rarest models ever made. If you have the opportunity to buy this watch and you have the budget, do not hesitate because you will not be disappointed. It is a discontinued model and uses a highly revered 8F56 super accurate quartz movement. The GMT, as it is also known by, has the ability adjust from one time zone to another by way of the hour hand that moves separately from the other hands. Other features include a 10 Year lithium battery, a dual direction rotating inner bezel compass, perpetual calendar and 10 bar water resistance. The GMT is not only a collector’s item; it is a more affordable watch in comparison to other Seiko collectibles which increases its popularity. Model numbers include, SBCJ019, SBCJ021, and SBCJ031. There are four different Alpinist-models which feature the cal.8F56: - There is a cream dial version with numeral dial that comes on a brown leather strap, the hands and markers are in gold colour covered with lume (ref. SBCJ031). - Or you can have two models on the titanium bracelet, one with cream dial that is completely covered with lume and has black hands and stick/triangle markers (ref. SBCJ021). Or one with black dial and silver hands and stick/triangle markers covered with lume (ref. SBCJ019). - There is also a limited edition Alpinist with a blue-ish dial, especially made for the SSASS (ref. SBCJ023) and limited to 500 pieces.
There was a special edition released called the SSASS and there were only 500 of them made. This watch was created to pay tribute to Japanese-American mountaineer Ken Noguchi and the foundation he created known as Seven Summits Actions for Sustainable Society (SSASS). Noguchi created this project in order to raise awareness of the growing heaps of garbage that were being accumulated on the mountains that professional climbers and their teams were leaving behind. Since Noguchi and his team had climbed the seven highest peaks in the world, the foundation was well respected and an estimated 7-8 tons of garbage were collected from Mt. Everest and properly disposed of. This was a major breakthrough and continues to provide much needed help in this growing problem. More recently, Noguchi donated 100,000 dollars to the families of the Sherpas whom were killed in avalanches or other accidents that happened on Everest. It is no wonder why the SSASS Alpinist is so highly revered among collectors; it is both wonderfully crafted and reminds people of the respect and admiration that is involved in mountaineering. Probably the most noticeable aspect of the SSASS is the aqua shade of blue used, which represents both the sea and the sky. Both the traditional 8F56 and the SSASS have the Alpinist mountain logo on the back of the case but the SSASS uses a limited edition numbering system.