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As one of Japan’s leading watchmaking brands, and a name that established itself as a modern-day legend in the watch community, Seiko has come a long way since Mr. Kintaro Hattori founded the distinguished brand back in 1881. With such a rich heritage, many Seiko watches we know and love draw strong inspiration from past references, embodying the essence of the past while upgraded with modern mechanics. Likewise, Seiko unveiled their latest entry to their Prospex collection of dive watches inspired by the glorious 6105-8810, freshening up the classic dive watch with a newly developed Seichu fabric strap and tasteful elements carrying a pleasing vintage touch — there’s just so much to love about this latest 6105 revamp.
Renowned for their value-driven and high quality watches, Seiko timepieces are proof that they were truly ahead of their time even back in the 60s, producing robust dive watches that look stunning even by today’s standards. Introduced five years after the release of Japan’s first ever diver’s watch, the venerable Seiko Ref. 6105 (or popularly known as the “Willard” worn by Martin Sheen playing Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now) emerged, bringing forward its distinctive asymmetrical case design and 4 o’clock crown. To honour the iconic 6105 diver from the 70s, Seiko resurrects this historic dive watch with enhanced modern watchmaking technology, combining its heritage design with a contemporary appeal.
|Seiko Prospex Professional 200M 1970s Diver’s Re-Interpretation Black - Seichu Fabric Ref. SBDC143 / SPB237
For many Seiko lovers like us, the stainless steel case of the Seiko Prospex Professional 200M 1970s Diver’s Re-Interpretation Black - Seichu Fabric Ref. SBDC143 feels all too familiar, carrying the iconic cushion case design of the 6105. Measuring with a case diameter of 42.7mm and a thickness of 13.2mm, these dimensions lean towards a traditional compact size reminiscent of vintage dive watches from the golden age of watchmaking.
It is truly gratifying to see Seiko embracing this vintage-inspired release with such charming retro dimensions that even those with smaller wrists will certainly enjoy. With its lug-less design, the lug to lug distance of merely 46.6mm allows for an extremely comfortable fit on the wrist, sitting closer to a 40mm. Tucked securely at the 4 o’clock position, the screw-down crown is well protected by the case construction, an integral design feature from the 1970 dive watch.
Original applied markers and handset from the Ref.6105
Along the top of the case, the watch is finished to a high level of precision with fine radial brushing, beautifully elevating the tool-like nature of the SBDC143. Transitioning to a high polish along the side of the case, the well-finished case exquisitely reflects Seiko's fine Japanese craftsmanship. For an extra layer of protection against scratches, Seiko treated the case and bracelet with their proprietary DiaShield super-hard coating, keeping the watch looking bright and pristine for longer.
The obvious hallmark of the Seiko Prospex Professional 200M 1970s Diver’s Re-Interpretation Black - Seichu Fabric Ref. SBDC143 is definitely highlighted in its two newly developed polyester fabric straps that come supplied with the watch. These are no ordinary fabric straps, Seiko specially developed this earthy olive green and grey NATO-style fabric strap with an exquisite Japanese traditional braiding technique called “Seichu”, resulting in an incredibly strong and robust strap possessing four times the tensile strength of a regular Seiko fabric strap. Of course, we’re talking about a dive watch here, so these straps are also highly-resistant to wear and tear caused by extended exposures to sunlight or salt water.
|Traditional cushion case gives it more inviting shape
Being a ISO-rated 200m dive watch, the SBDC143 houses a matte black 120-click unidirectional diving bezel in steel with a 60-minute graduations printed crisply in a subtle beige for an additional vintage visual flair.
The dial of the Seiko Prospex Professional 200M 1970s Diver’s Re-Interpretation Black - Seichu Fabric Ref. SBDC143 portrays an abundance of vintage character with its textured faded grey dial, achieving a naturally-aged appearance as if the watch has lived through a lifetime of adventures. Like the 6105, the squared hour applied indices and faced baton hands complement one another excellently for a comprehensive and legible layout. Treated with Seiko’s proprietary cream-coloured LumiBrite, you can definitely expect a bright and potent glow in the dark. Protecting the dial, the watch presents a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coating on the underside, keeping the dial crystal clear with minimized reflections.
|Seiko's LumiBrite at its best
At the heart of the Seiko Prospex Professional 200M 1970s Diver’s Re-Interpretation Black - Seichu Fabric Ref. SBDC143 lies the Seiko calibre 6R35 movement which is equipped with a whopping 70 hours of power reserve, a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the calibre 6R15. The 24 jewel movement has a 3 Hz beat rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Featuring hacking and hand-winding capabilities, this highly-respectable “workhorse” engine is renowned for its accuracy and reliability. Operated with the screw-down crown at the 4 o’clock position and a screw-in caseback, the watch achieves an ISO-certified water resistance of 200m, ready for your diving pursuits.
This latest re-interpretation of the Seiko 6105 diver definitely houses numerous attractive features Seiko lovers are looking for in a vintage-inspired dive watch, packing new fabric strap options that breathes new life for the classic dive watch. All things considered, the Seiko Prospex Professional 200M 1970s Diver’s Re-Interpretation Black - Seichu Fabric Ref. SBDC143 got so many things right from its sweet dimensions to the retro appearance, this is an excellent new release that perfectly portrays all the best elements of its venerable 1970 predecessor.