So, along with the Rolex Submariner, the Seiko 6105-8110 “Willard” was probably one of the most highly regarded diving or tool watches from the 1970s. The 6105 became the undisputed definitive Seiko dive watch that influenced numerous Seiko pieces that followed. And earlier this year Seiko reinforced the Willard’s iconic reputation by releasing this Re-Creation, the SLA033.
Whilst the 1970s watch was very much a tool watch, this year’s model has been seriously upgraded. It is only minutely larger than the original that inspired it, at 45mm wide. Yes, it’s big, but the turtle case shape remains eminently comfortable. The watch is built in the same workshops as Grand Seikos – the Shizukuishi Watch Studio. This means it has the addition of the highly regarded Zaratsu polishing to the top side of the case. A high gloss bezel, a screw-down crown at 4 o’clock (with the famous “lock” instruction) and the new dual-curved crystal complement the look. The black dial with luminous hands, including the noted traffic light second hand, show the piece’s heritage. 200-metre water resistance is an increase above the 150 metres of its ancestor.
The movement? The 8L35 is basically similar to Grand Seiko’s variant and was also used by Seiko in the reissue of the 62MAS. It’s class. The date is quickset of course.
The 6105 Willard’s blend of history, durability and style made it a truly exceptional piece for dive watch enthusiasts or anyone who wanted a comfortable, tough historic timepiece. This modern equivalent is exactly the same, but many will think better still. Some will say £3495 for a Seiko diver is too much. Others, however, will see the beautifully finished case, the quality of the movement, the recreation of many of the old watch’s most distinctive features such as the dial and realise that such quality will always be worth it (and doesn’t have to come out of Switzerland!). It’s brand new with box, manual and tags of course. Seiko states “A unique profile and a proud history” They’re right and you can see for yourself why.