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Seiko Landmaster South Pole
February at 5:15 PM
(Login wpetew) Moderator from IP address 126.96.36.199
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After crossing the North Pole in 1997, ( http://www.network54.com/Forum/message? forumid=78440&messageid=1089324509 ) Japanese explorer Mitsuro Ohba turned his sights on traversing the South Pole.
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As with many of his previous expeditions, Seiko collaborated with Mitsuro to produce a special watch to aid him on this day trek. Keeping with Landmaster tradition, Seiko released a limited edition (800 pieces) production version of this watch in 1998 titled the South Pole Landmaster. In a first for the Landmaster series, Seiko engineers (with the South Pole) incorporated ceramics into the bezel, case and bracelet to increase scratch resistance while maintaning the as light as possible design philosphy. In addition to the use of ceramics on the watch, Seiko, to aid Ohba in navigation, added a unique twist to the 5M45 kinetic movement. If there are any of you out there who have carefully researched the SP Landmaster, there are two design elements that may have caught your eye; the movement designation and the reversed markings on the compass and internal bezel. For the South Pole, Seiko used the 5M47 movement which is based on the 5M45. The difference between the 45 and 47 movements lies with the rotation of the GMT hand. Being on the opposite ends of the earth, navigation with a 24 hour hand is different on the South Pole than it is on the North Pole. As such, Seiko reversed the movement of the GMT hand and the markings on the bezel to allow Mitsuro Ohba to navigate the South Pole using the same methodology used on his North Pole expedition. The South Pole is the only watch that Im aware of with a 24 hour hand that actually rotates counterclockwise! Packaging
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Packaging for the South Pole was typical Seiko with a couple of exceptions. The box is a grey vinyl style and contains the movement instruction manual with warranty info just like we see with every other Seiko. There are however a couple of extras in the box; notably, a strange metal card with a picture of Ohba laminated onto the front. A picture is posted above, and the writing translates to Antarctic Transpolar Walking Challenge Feel the Earth and Think about life on earth through adventure. It struck me as odd that the card is not plastic and leads me to wonder if the card itself is made out of the same ceramic titanium material as the rest of the watch. A polishing cloth was also included in the packaging which is a first in my experience for a Landmaster.
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The watch itself is a bit different than the other Landmasters Ive handled. Its super brightly polished and either because of that or perhaps due to the ceramic content, it (the case) seems to have a bit more of a grey color to the metal than say a (slightly less polished) Sagarmatha. The effect however could be a visual illusion created by the mirror surfaced grey/black surfaces of the bezel and bracelet center links. Dimensionally, the case appears to measure out identically to the other kinetic Landmasters Ive handled but visually, I noted differences in the lug design (no faceted edge with a brushed top) and a decorative ring placed just below the bezel as seen in the picture below.
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The dial contains a map of the South Pole which is distinguished by a matte surface in the center of a highly glossed black dial. The hands are standard Landmaster kinetic issue and while some Landmasters possess square markers, these are round. Overall, due to the highly polished surfaces, the South Pole certainly comes across as a dressier version of the Landmaster concept. Although I was expecting this to be the lightest of the Landmasters, in the hand, I dont notice any discernable difference in weight between this and a Sagarmatha or standard Titanium LM. With bracelet, the Transpolar to me feels like it's the lightest of the LMs. Id attribute this to the simple non-ratcheting bracelet used in the Transpolar. So while the use of Ceramics certainly increases the scratch resistance of the watch, Im not convinced that it saves much in the area of total weight.
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The bezel has a mirror like black grey appearance and almost appears translucent at times. Also, to account for the change in hemisphere, the bezel markings (internal and external) are reversed on the South Pole. This is clearly visible when you compare the bezels of the Transpolar and South Pole in the picture below.
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Like the case, the bracelet of the South Pole shows slight differences from what Ive seen on the other LMs. Most obvious of course are the (sometimes) inky black ceramic center links. I was disappointed to see that the end links do not contain a matching ceramic center piece. It does throw the balance of the watch off as your eye follows the bracelet to the case. Finally, the outside links of the South Pole bracelet are wider than those on other LM bracelets. Little things like this (outside link design) fascinate me as they make you wonder why Seiko would have made such a tiny minor change to a design that had already been put into production and used in many previous applications. The clasp contains the Seiko ratcheting extension that weve seen in numerous other designs. Finally, for those interested, heres a list of all the Landmaster releases that Ive been able to identify. There are question marks next to attributes that Im not 100% sure of. Though it may be of interest to some. SBBW005 Black Dial SS Case AGS Dial 5M23? 1993? SBCW019 Blue Dial SS Case 5MSBCW001 Black CF? AGS Dial Ti Case 5MSBCW009 Transpolar 5M45 Ti Case pieces SBCW021 Sagarmatha 1st edition 5MSBCW023 South Pole 5M45 ti/ceramics pieces SBCW027 Sagarmatha Ti/Ceramics Ken Noguchi Limited Edition 5M?pieces SBCW002 Naomi Uemera Ltd Ed. Ti/Ceramics 5M65 Gold Accents pieces SBDW003 Sagarmatha 2nd edition 5MSBDW005 SBDW005 Black CF Dial Ti Case 5M65 2000? SBDW007 Blue Dial SS Case 5M??????? North Pole Black Dial Ti Case etched crystal. 5M65? SMB001J - Summiter 7K52 SBDX007 - Landmaster Automatic 8L35 TI 2001? SBDX009 - Landmaster 10th Anniversary TI Pieces There may be one or two more out there with slight variations on the plain black dial versionI havent been able to verify this yet.regardlessIve got a long way to go! Of course if anyone has any info to add to this list, please let me know so I can update/correct it.
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Source information came from the Seiko Journey of Time book, Seiya Kobayashi, Jayhawks Database and many miscellaneous web searches. Last thing.I'd like to extend a heartfelt thanks to a couple of forumners who I know were watching/bidding on this item and abstained. I owe both of you guys one big favor (you know who you are) and I will certainly be stepping aside for you guys if a Uemera or a North Pole or other rare LM comes up for auction. And as always.Thank You Seiya! Here's a neat Mitsuro Ohba website that Seiya sent me: http://www.ohba-mitsuro.com> I love the dog pics!
This message has been edited by wpetew from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Feb 5, 2005 6:09 PM
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Responses STUNNING!! Another to be jealous over. Pete you deserve it! - walt on Feb 5, 2005, 5:19 PM Wow! Sweet! Love those dials. nt - Ekim on Feb 5, 2005, 5:22 PM Super pics and post. Congrats on the new Landmaster, Pete. (nt) - Lee on Feb 5, 2005, 5:23 PM Awesome watch / pictures! NT - Allen B on Feb 5, 2005, 5:29 PM That is yet another stunning watch and a great photo essay!!! - jayhawk on Feb 5, 2005, 5:40 PM A beautiful and fascinating watch. - Tempus Fugitive on Feb 5, 2005, 5:44 PM That's a great question. - petew on Feb 5, 2005, 6:02 PM I always wondered if they had the watch made before or after the trip. - jayhawk on Feb 5, 2005, 6:10 PM super job Pete !!.nt - ponyc. on Feb 5, 2005, 5:52 PM
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Pete: That is one spectacular timepiece. Wear it in good health. [nt] - Frampton on Feb 5, 2005, 5:55 PM Another Superb entry..We (SCF) should save it in the archives. nt. - Christopher on Feb 5, 2005, 6:00 PM
2-7-28 3-3-12 8-21 5-1-22
(011)231-0615 (022)227-4171 (052)971-7474 (082)248-1020 (092)271-2538
GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time. and hours fast and slow on GMT, respectively.
Time difference from GMT Name of city or area Daylight saving time
means that the time of a city is certain
Other cities and areas The cities marked with " " use daylight saving time.
Amsterdam, Frankfurt Kiev, Cape Town, Tripoli
Berlin Athens, Istanbul, Mecca, Nairobi
Phnom Penh, Jakarta Manilla, Beijing, Shingapore Seoul, Pyongyang Guam, Khabarovsk Solomon islands Fiji island, Oakland
San Francisco, Vancouver, Dawson (Canada) Edmonton (Canada) Mexico City Washington D.C., Montreal
Santiago (Chile) Buenos Airas
Please note that use of daylight saving time may change when so decided by the countries concerned. The data for the table above was collected as of August, 1992.
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