What to say about this amazingly unique watch, the H601? Frequently confused as the “Arnie,” after a rather similar watch, the H558, was worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in a string of pretty sweet action movies in the 1980s, like “The Predator,” “Raw Deal,” and “Commando" - which still has one of the highest fatality counts in an action move, I mean, if you’re into that manner of thing – the H601 featured an altogether different and less robust quartz movement. Related, the H601's LCD display was at the bottom of the dial, unlike on the H558 at the top, earning the H601 the sobriquet of “Upside Down Arnie.”
The H558 was released in 1982, and the H601 followed shortly thereafter in the late 1980s (like this one here). 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 H601 with quite a few rugged characteristics – many lifesaving. Here are a few (remember, some of these were when the H601 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;
The Seiko H601 comes with its Seiko manual, rubber Seiko strap, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1987 Seiko H601-5480 Quartz Multi-Function "Upside Down Arnie"
DIAL: Original black dial with original hands; dial lume shines.
CASE: Original 48.5mm x 47.5mm stainless-steel case, with original stainless-steel caseback – no scratches are present on the caseback. New aftermarket H601 shroud, surrounding an original unidirectional bezel and bezel insert.
CRYSTAL: Flawless Hardlex crystal.
BAND: Rubber Seiko strap with signed SEIKO titanium buckle. This H601 comes with dark blue NATO strap, which features stainless steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko H601 quartz movement, manufactured in November 1987; movement uses a button-cell battery. All functions– including GMT, alarm, stopwatch – work; however, the light does not. All LCD segments work well and are clearly legible – LCD contrast is excellent. Movement is mint, with no evidence of previous battery linkage. Finally, movement is hacking, and it takes a new SR920W battery, a new one of which is installed. As noted, this H601 comes with its Seiko manual.
CROWN: Original unsigned Seiko screw-down crown.