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Seiko has a deep and well-regarded history in the world of dive watches, and none are as iconic and famous as the venerable Seiko 6105-8110/9 automatic.  The 6105 is the definitive Seiko diver, and holds its own against all iconic divers of the era - like this full serviced 1974 Seiko 6105-8110 "Captain Willard" here, with its original Seiko 6105 inner and outer boxes. 


Now – on to that nickname...


During the Viet Nam War, Seiko watches among other brands were offered in the U.S. military PX’s (Post Exchanges) on bases in Southeast Asia, including Rolex and Tudor.  The 6105 was slightly less expensive during this era than a Rolex or Tudor Submariner, but with a reputation for providing no-nonsense functionality with a build quality that could withstand the harsh climate - Army-issued watches were known to fail in the jungle environment.


In Francis Ford Coppola's seminal 1979 film, "Apocalypse Now," Martin Sheen’s character, Captain Willard wears a 6105, akin to the one here.  He wasn't the only one - many service members, to include U.S. Special Forces and early Underwater Demolition Team (UDT, predecessor to the U.S. Navy SEALs) members wore the Seiko 6105 during conflicts of the era.  Many 6105s survived combat, with their owners bringing them back after their tour was finished.


The 6105 is one of the most celebrated vintage tool watches out there today, not only because it played a role in the Vietnam War, but it was also popular with divers of the time.   From a design standpoint, it’s easy to appreciate its unusual asymmetrical case.  And we can't fail to mention one even went into space with NASA, per Hodinkee's Talking Watches with NASA astronaut David Williams.


Seiko produced the 6105-811X from 1970-77, which came in two dial variations.  Early models from 1970 were labeled “Water 150m Proof” on the dial, and “Waterproof” on the case back.  However, and at some point that same year, Seiko changed the text to “Water 150m Resist” with “Water Resistant” on the back to meet U.S. Federal guidelines ahead of a January 1972 deadline.  Further, the 6105-8110 and 6105-8119 are identical, with the exception of the last digit in the reference number, which indicates the market the watch was originally sold.


This 6105 comes on a rubber Seiko DE39AZ strap, with a leather-backed canvas camo strap (of course!), two nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1974 Seiko 6105-8110 “Captain Willard” Automatic Diver, w/Original Boxes

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  • DIAL: Seiko-signed dial, with intact lume indices, which feature the correct sugar cube-like consistency and color.  Matching handset, to include its “stoplight” second hand, which retains its vibrant pinkish-red hue; lume retains its luminescence.


    CASE: Asymmetric stainless-steel case measures a hefty 46mm x 49.5mm.  Case is in non-machine polished condition, and retains its original light brushed finish.  Bezel rotates in both directions as designed, and bezel insert has quite limited wear and "rachets," as designed.


    CRYSTAL: Correct and flawless hardlex 6105 crystal, no scratches or blemishes.


    BAND: This Seiko comes with on a new rubber Seiko DE39AZ dive strap; it also comes with a leather-backed canvas camo (of course!) strap and two nylon straps.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 6105B automatic movement, manufactured in August 1974.  Movement hacks, as designed.  We have performed a full service on this Seiko 6105 Willard.


    CROWN: "Lock"-signed crown does not lock, unfortunately, but does close fully; Seiko's 6105 design did not feature a screw-down crown, but instead a mechanism that locked the crown in place to keep it from moving.


    This Seiko 6105 Captain Willard comes with its correct original Seiko 6105 inner and outer boxes.

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