In 1979, “Apocalypse Now” debuted in theatres, an epic movie directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, a film with Vietnam War as a backdrop, a conflict that lasted about 20 years and ended just over 4 years after this release. Despite the story being an adaptation of a novel that takes place in Congo, the movie tells the story around the mission of Captain Willard, whose aim is to locate and kill Colonel Kurtz, a former member of the special forces who went mad and became a murderer, a journey from southern Vietnam to Cambodia. If you have not yet had the opportunity to watch this movie, we invite you to watch it now.
As you may have realized at this point, the nickname of these new releases of Seiko and the name of one of the two main characters in the film is not a coincidence. Captain Willard character played by Martin Sheen that used in his wrist a Seiko 6105 a dive watch, it was one of the models more worn by the US army in the Vietnam war, it was an affordable but also very reliable watch that was possible to buy on the PX stores on that times, compared with other brands and models that used also to supply the military forces, like the most known Rolex Submariner. This Seiko was produced almost during a decade between the end of ‘60s and 1977, the year it was discontinued, and despite all over the years new models of diver were launched in the market by the brand we had to wait until last year to see a reissue of this iconic model, the SLA033, but it happened as a limited edition of 2,500 pieces and not as a mass-produced watch like we believe the most part of enthusiasts would be expected and that reflected not only on the price but also in the quality.
The Seiko SLA033 was introduced in 2019 with the same aesthetical characteristics of the former 6105, the main difference we could found was on the dial about the reference of water resistance, while the previous had 150m the new one has 200m, the dimensions were very similar with the increase of 1mm in the diameter and in the distance lug to lug, but the big improve was inside on the movement, an impressive automatic movement 8L35 considered by many, one of the best movements produced by Seiko and close to the 9S55 movements used by Grand Seiko’s, which can explain the price of €4,350.
But early this year finally Seiko announced the launch of two new models of the “Captain Willard” and this time with affordable prices to the delight of the fans of these watches, the SPB151 and the SPB153. So, let’s go deep on these two watches, beyond the classic black is now introducing a new variant in green, which looks very nice, the colour tone looks like olive green and that extends from the dial to the bezel. Another new introduced is a stainless-steel bracelet in the black version, how you should remember the previous versions came always with silicone straps, the waffle strap, a strap that is still present, but now only in the green variant, the SPB153. But the news doesn’t stop here, there are also some differences in dimensions and for better, the diameter is now 42,7mm, 2,3mm less of the last version, what is truly beneficial and will fit better in small wrists, the lug width increased from 19mm to 20mm, which means that the options for different bracelets are now much higher, the only less positive point is the thickness that grew 2mm and now is on 15mm. On the dial, on the top, we can find now only the name of the brand and on the bottom is now introduced the Prospex logo and bellow the inscription “Automatic” follow with “Divers 200m”. Inside these new “Captain Willard” we can now find an automatic movement 6R35 caliber introduced in 2019, with 70h of power reserve. The prices vary between €1,150 on the strap (SPB153) and €1,350 on the bracelet (SPB151). Unfortunately, and contrary to expectations, these watches should have been available on the market since mid-June, but they are not yet, hopefully, they will be soon.