No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • SEIKO Automatic 6R15 SARB047 “TREK MONSTER”

    This is a past For Sale post from the Market Place section of the forum. The timepiece has been sold, and the post has been edited and moved here for the purpose of providing reference material for forum members.

    According to Seiya Kobayashi, the original 1961 SEIKO Laurel Alpinist was designed to serve as a rugged and dependable outdoors watch for the "Yamaotoko", which translates into English as mountain man. The Yamaotoko is the type who spends his leisure time climbing the mountains of Japan... But what about the man who ventures into the rugged mountains and wilderness, not just for leisure, but as a profession?

    By the early-1980s, SEIKO had already brought its latest casing technology from the realm Professional diver’s watch into the mainstream dive watch. The Japanese Manufacture saw how the ruggedness from their divers would be ideal for equipping timekeepers for serious adventurers, explorers, mountaineers, and sportsman. These watches would be as tough as SEIKO divers, but engineered to conquer the land. The Fieldmaster was born. SEIKO advertised many essential features of these King of the Land watches, including water resistance of 10 ATM or more, shock resistance from a 3 ft. drop, anti-magnetic to 16,000 A/m, and a rugged durable case with safe rounded edges, and rotating compass bezel.

    Images from SEIKO Catalog (JDM) 1985 featuring early Fieldmaster

    In 1994, another quartz sub-model was added, and this model reference SBBC047 was referred as the Fieldmaster Alpinist, referencing SEIKO’s longest production line of watches first introduced in 1961. It was, indeed, possible to combine the genes of the mighty Alpinist and the rookie-at-the-time Fieldmaster. The Fieldmaster Alpinist of the mid-1990s featured 20 Bar / 200m water-resistance, bi-directional rotating compass bezel, and screw-down crown. These functionalities would become the signature aspects of all later SEIKO Fieldmaster.

    The late-90s saw the Fieldmaster being equipped with SEIKO’s latest movement technology at the time, Automatic Generating System (AGS), later known as the Kinetic. Though the styling differed from earlier Fieldmaster, the three signature features of 20 Bar WR, rotating compass bezel, and screw-down crown remained. These AGS Fieldmaster came in a case with a crown at 4 o’clock position, somewhat resembling the Quartz Diver Professional 200m SSBT038 or the Automatic Diver’s 200m SKX007. A Fieldmaster with a diver’s watch influence.

    Image scan from SEIKO Catalog 1998 (Japan Domestic Market)

    Throughout the 1990s, the Alpinist and Fieldmaster lines co-existed, though in the case of the 1994 SBBC047, the two interestingly intersected. The three-features (20 Bar WR, compass rotating bezel, and screw-down crown) were common to both, and both occupied SEIKO’s Japan Domestic Market (JDM) mid-range offering. The Alpinist was a sports watch—in the classic sense of the word, i.e. a traditional gents watch spec out for high-resistance to the elements. The Fieldmaster was more ruggedly styled tool watch, akin to a diver that was re-purposed for conquering the land.

    The Fieldmaster was initially non-mechanical, but by 2010, the Mechanical Renaissance was in full swing across the watch world, and the first Fieldmaster of the 21st Century was powered by SEIKO’s mid-range mechanical movement, Cal 6R15. The Fieldmaster SBDC011 not only followed the three-features noted above, its case took obvious inspiration from the Prospex Professional 300m SBBN015, though without the Tuna’s ISO-compliant “Diver” designation. Another Fieldmaster with the diver touch.

    Image scan from SEIKO Catalog 2010 (Japan Domestic Market)

    A superb architecture with just the right amount of complexity, the SEIKO Cal. 6R15 offers auxiliary manual-winding, as well as hacking. This well-respected movement is the same as that found in SEIKO’s JDM mid-range Prospex Air Divers—the Sumo and Shogun—as well as the 6R15 Alpinist (2006-2018). A year prior to the release of the Fieldmaster SBDC011, another rare 6R15-powered member of the JDM Mechanical line paved it way. Being given a SARBxxx model reference could have put this watch into the Alpinist range, but it was not.

    At the same time, having the three signature properties of a Fieldmaster, as well as having a case from the iconic SEIKO Monster dive watches, could have put it into the Fieldmaster family, yet wasn’t. In production for only two year from 2009-2011, the SEIKO 6R15 SARB047 straddled between the Alpinist and the Fieldmaster lines. The SARB047 was the JDM 6R15 Monster re-purposed for crossing of rough terrain, and possibly for this reason, has been nicknamed the “Trek Monster”. I personally would prefer this rugged watch to wear the name of its 1994 ancestor, “Fieldmaster Alpinist”, appropriately reflecting the position the SARB047 had in the Mechanical lineup of 2009.

    Screw-down crown is signed, water-resistance is still a solid 200 m, and the build quality and material are excellent and on the same standard as the 6R15 Alpinist and the Sumo. That is, well above the fit-and-finish of the original 7S26 Monster of the time. The rotating bezel is IP-coated stainless steel, while on the dial, details like the applied SEIKO logo and cross-hair are appreciated. The exhibition case back is a unique smoked glass, reminiscent of those found on 1970s Time Sonar Automatic Chronographs.

    Not being an Air Diver means SEIKO opted for scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, like those found on both the 6R15 Alpinist and later Fieldmaster SBDC011. The Trek Monster was Made in Japan, and had a very short production run, discontinued in 2011—well before the Monster reached the worldwide popularity that has driven their price in recent years. On offer today is an opportunity to turn back time, return to 2011, and own a brand new 6R15 SARB047 “Trek Monster” with full box set. This particular timepiece is among the last batch of SARB047 manufacture in Japan during the second and final year of production.


    MOVEMENT: SEIKO Automatic Cal 6R15, 23 jewels, 21’600 A/h, QuickSet Date, Auxiliary hand-winding, Hacking, Power reserve of 50 hours
    CASE: Stainless steel (diameter: 42 mm excl crown, lug-to-lug: 48 mm, thickness: 13 mm, lug-width: 20 mm), Bi-directional rotating compass bezel, Screw-in exhibition case back, Screw-down crown
    CRYSTAL: Sapphire
    BRACELET: Stainless steel solid links and push-release clasp
    WATER RESISTANCE: 20 Bar / 200 m
    WEIGHT: 178 g
    MADE IN JAPAN, 2011

    Last edited by Don; 14-09-19, 21:35.
    On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.

  • #2
    By gosh, that is truly stunning Don.
    "It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It can not be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell" - Buddha


    • Don
      Don commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, it is genuinely. A great watch to get lost with

  • #3
    Definitely a watch where despite the quality of the pics from Don they don’t do the watch justice.

    Also interested to enquire of Don the location of the scene depicting a Yamaotoko.


    • Don
      Don commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Tempus. Nothing like a testimony of an actual owner of a SARB047 ...This Yamaotoko was spotted perched precariously at the top of Taranaki Falls, Mount Ruapehu. From recollection, he was unfortunately wearing some sort of Swiss quartz diver, so could not be made a proper Mechanical Seiko Ambassador. Story has it that he has since repented.