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What to say about this amazingly unique watch, the H601, like this full-serviced 1990 Seiko H601-5480 hyrbrid dive watch?  


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 H558 was released in 1982, and the H601 followed shortly thereafter in the late 1980s (like this one here).  However, the H601 featured an altogether different and less robust quartz movement.  Most noticeable, the H601's LCD display was at the bottom of the dial, unlike on the H558 at the top, earning the the sobriquet, “Upside Down Arnie.”


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 a Uncle Straps GL831 rubber strap, nylon strap, rugged travel case, H601 instructions manual, and springbar tool.

1990 Seiko H601-5480 Multi-Function "Upside Down Arnie" Diver, w/Instructions

  • DIAL: Seiko-signed black dial with correct hour, minute, and second hands; dial and handset lume shines.


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 45mm (48.5mm w/crown) x 47.5mm stainless-steel case, with matching stainless-steel caseback.  New aftermarket H601 shroud, surrounding an correct unidirectional bezel and insert.


    CRYSTAL: Flawless Hardlex crystal.


    BAND: Rubber Uncle Seiko strap with signed SEIKO titanium buckle.  This H601 comes with dark blue NATO strap, which features stainless steel hardware.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko H601 hacking quartz movement, manufactured in July 1990; 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 evinces no evidence of previous battery linkage.  We have performed a full service on this H601.


    CROWN: Unsigned Seiko screw-down crown.


    Of note, this H601 Upside Down Arnie comes with its instructions manual.

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