In the 1960s, research on the distribution of sea-floor slopes would lead to the acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics.
Founded in 1903, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was initially an offshoot of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. By 1912, it was absorbed into the University of California system under the name “Scripps Institution for Biological Research,” after local philanthropists E.W. Scripps and his sister Ellen. Scripps enjoyed perhaps its richest period of scientific research in the 1960s under the leadership of Roger Revelle.
In 1966, the National Science Foundation signed a contract with the Regents of the University of California to initiate the first phase of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, which was to be based at Scripps. Global Marine, Inc., an offshore drilling firm based in Houston, was to conduct the drilling operations. And Levingston Shipbuilding Company was to build the Glomar Challenger, the vessel that would be the floating headquarters of the mission.
The keel was laid on October 18, 1967 in Levingston’s shipyard in Orange, TX. Upon completion, the Glomar Challenger sailed down the Sabine River to the Gulf of Mexico for testing by the Deep Sea Drilling Project. On August 11, 1968, the Glomar Challenger past its tests and set sail for the Atlantic Ocean.
For fifteen years the Glomar Challenger sailed across the Atlantic along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between South America and Africa, drilling and collecting core samples along the way. The drilling operated under a simple hypothesis put forth by Harry Hess: the farther from the Ridge, the older the rock was, supporting Hess’s theory of Seafloor Spreading. Though the drills of the Glomar could drill to a depth of 22,500 feet, in a depth of up to 20,000 feet of water, important discoveries were made early on at 3500 feet: the existence of salt domes.
But perhaps the most important discovery was made when the Glomar drilled 17 holes at 10 different locations along the Ridge. The core samples retrieved were all of varying ages, and their positions roughly corresponded with Hess’s reckoning (i.e. the older samples were found farther away from the Ridge). These findings were solid proof not only that the Theory of Continental Drift first put forth by Alfred Wegener in 1912 was sound, but also led to the acceptance that, deep in prehistory, there existed a supercontinent called Pangea.
Much in the way that the discoveries aboard the Glomar Challenger would be ground-breaking, the debut of the 6105 launched Seiko into a new era.
Developed by Seiko in the late 1960s, the ref. 6105 boasted 150 meters of water resistance, a bi-directional bezel for dive timing and large swaths of luminescent material for high visibility underwater.
The Reference 6105 was released in two different case styles: the 8000/8009 with its svelte cushion case and the asymmetrical behemoth, the 8100/8119, which we have here. At 44mm it can appease even the lovers of Panerai. Like Panerai, the 6105 also has a military heritage: during the Vietnam War, U.S. troops purchased the cushion-cased variety from Post Exchanges. They brought them back stateside, starting a trend for over-sized tool watches which has persisted to this day.
Used extensively in the field by soldiers and frogmen, the 6105 developed a reputation as a no-nonsense timepiece for professional use. This reputation has lasted through to this day and has inspired countless diving watches in the subsequent decades, including many of Seiko's current dive watches. Fans of Apocalypse Now will recognize the 6105 on the wrist of Martin Sheen's character Capt. Willard. Whether you "love the smell of napalm in the morning" or just want a damned dependable dive watch, the 6105 is what you need.
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