There is something about a watch with a military history that has a special charm to it. A tool that served men on the battlefield goes beyond any modern marketing gimmick. Therefore, the watch that I want to present in this review is the Seiko 6105-8110. It is the second diver (after the 62MAS) in Seiko’s divers line up and it came in two case variants. The slimmer case 6105-8000/9 and the more familiar asymmetrical case 6105-8110/9.
The latter has at least two nicknames: Willard and Uemura.
Willard, after the name of the main character in F.F. Coppola movie from 1979 “Apocalypse now“, Captain Willard. He wore a Seiko 6105-8110.
Uemura, after the famous rebel Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura, who reached the North Pole by himself on 1st of May 1978. He was a watch geek and wore on his wrist in this expedition a Seiko 6105-8110.
The 6105-8110 became famous among American troops fighting in Vietnam. The soldiers were able to buy these at the PX, the Military Exchange, shops dedicated exclusively for US soldiers.
This particular model is from March (my birth month! 🙂 ) 1972, making this watch exactly 8 years older than me. However, from purely looks and functioning perspective I can consider it at least 8 years younger than me :).
I am the fourth owner of this watch and all first three were in California. The guy I bought it from had the watch for almost half of its life. And for more than 8 years kept it in a drawer. Based on the dial condition, lack of water traces inside and condition of the case it looks to me that this watch spent most of its life in a drawer rather than on someone’s wrist.
I cannot say it will be the same from now on as I plan/want/must wear it :). And I know that coming from a WIS with a track record of a flipper sounds like a cliche but…. I am not going to sell this watch! :). Simply stating this in public makes me realize I am so comfortable with making this kind of statement regarding this watch which is not something I can easily say about my other watches.
In the gradual evolution of a Vintage Seiko Divers collector, having a Willard in most of the cases is the end of the road. Of course one can go to the 62MAS or the rarer 300m professional diver so desirable and prohibitively expensive now 6159-7001. But a Willard will always be unique and desired for any Seiko vintage diver collector.
The watch was big for the early ‘70s. And even by today’s standards is not a tiny timepiece, at 44mm diameter. However, given the short lug 2 lug of 47mm and cushioned case, thin profile with 13mm thickness and unusually small lugs of 19mm… at 90g….wears better than a SKX….
The dial is a thing of beauty and will be a joy forever to admire :). The rectangular hour markers have nice raised flat metal contour filled with luminous material that lasts for a good 30 seconds. This can only bring happiness and satisfaction as it confirms is original :). The hour and minute hands are masculine, with a simple design which rhyme a lot with the hour markers. Therefore, contributing a lot to the very pleasantly aesthetics of the watch. The seconds hand have the famous traffic light pip which is something specific to this model. The chapter ring is black. The minute markers on the dial seem to be on a 3d chapter ring due to the way the crystal creates a distortion.
The SEIKO logo at 12 o’clock is applied. This is something you don’t get to see nowadays in the modern seikos, because most of them are printed.
The bezel is bidirectional with 60 clicks. Extremely solid and reassuring feel with a nice click sound while turning. And I do like to turn my divers bezels as a relaxing habit, annoying people around me (especially in meetings :).
The Seiko 6105 has 150m WR, mentioned at 6 o’clock with RESIST terminology, because by 1972 most of the dials got rid of the term PROOF. Luckily for me, the watch was properly restored with the crown seal properly replaced. This is the most challenging WR part to restore, as it is not a screw down. It does lock into position with a small pin which fits into indents of the crown preventing it from turning. The crown is very cozy surrounded by the case in what it looks to me as the most sensual crown guards on a watch ever.
The watch has a 17 jewels automatic movement with no hand winding and hacking, beating at 21600 bph. It is unusual for a watch today to have hacking without hand-winding. After service the watch currently runs at a solid 225 degrees amplitude with plus 8 seconds per day having a 0.4 beat error. To me these numbers for a 48 years old watch with a proper water resistance restored, indicates that is now ready for another decade or more.
I like to think that 20 years from now when my kid will read this article he will wear this Seiko 6105 on his wrist…
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