What to say about this amazingly unique watch, the H558 "Arnie?" 

 

The H558 - like this early 1985 example here - was worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger (who noted it as his "favorite watch") in a string of action movies that set the bar for, well, action, in the 1980s, like “The Predator (1987),” “Raw Deal (1986),” “Commando (1985)," (which still has the highest fatality count in an action move, I mean, if you’re into that manner of thing), "Running Man (1987)," and even, yes, "Twins (1988)."

 

The H558 was released in 1982, and was the first hybrid dive watch rated to 150 meters.  The Japanese are well known for their extreme adventures around the world, and Seiko wanted to provide a watch whose users could rely on with their lives.

 

As such, Seiko designed its H558 (and the H601) with a few rugged characteristics – many lifesaving. Here are a few (remember, some of these were when the H558 was new, not necessarily now):

1. Water resistance to 10 atmospheric-pressure depth;

2. Shock resistance from 3 feet;

3. Abrasion resistant Hardlex was used, all the better to stand up to decompression;

4. Resistance to chemical and gas exposure, such as alcohols and cosmetic oils, and ammonia gas and carbon monoxide;

5. Bright luminescence allowing readability from 25cm in complete darkness; and,

6. Engineered to withstand temperatures of -40C to 60C (after all, it was tested on expeditions to the south and north poles, as well as, of course an Everest ascent in 1988).

 

This Seiko H558 comes with a rubber vent strap, leather strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.

1985 Seiko H558-5009 "Arnie" Quartz Multi-Function Watch

$1,249.99Price
  • DIAL: Black Seiko-signed dial is in solid condition, with red/yellow font and nearly perfect sugar cube-like granular lume on dial; lume shines quite nicely.  Handset lume has patina.

     

    CASE: Stainless-steel case, with shroud, measures 48.5mm x 47.5mm, with matching stainless-steel caseback.  Original H558 shroud surrounds a bezel in good condition and an intact bezel insert with excellent lume pip; bezel doesn't rotate,.

     

    CRYSTAL: H558-correct Hardlex crystal.

     

    BAND: Rubber 22mm Seiko Z22 vent strap.  This H558 also comes with a brown leather NATO strap, with stainless-steel hardware.

     

    MOVEMENT: Seiko H558 quartz hacking movement, manufactured in February 1985; movement uses a button-cell battery.  All functions– including GMT, alarm, stopwatch – work, including the light.  All LCD segments work well and are clearly legible – LCD contrast is excellent.  Movement has no evidence of previous battery leakage.  The H558 featured an altogether different and more robust quartz movement than its little brother, the H601 "upside down Arnie," which unlike the H558, has its LCD display at the bottom of the dial.

     

    CROWN: Unsigned screw-down crown.