That delightfully morose soundbite isn't the only memorable takeaway from the Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now. For dive watch enthusiasts, the film holds another: Martin Sheen's use of a Seiko 6105 on screen in his portrayal of Captain Willard. While Hollywood's prominent use of timepieces in major motion pictures is well documented (and generally done for paid product placement), there are only a few films that really "got it right" in regards to the watches used on screen. The reason Apocalypse Now stands out as a winner? Because the Seiko 6105 truly was a common choice of GIs during the conflict, and in a way started an entire trend for budget-priced oversized steel tool watches when they returned stateside.
As a diver's tool, the 6105 is a worthy instrument in all regards. Developed by Seiko in the late 1960s, the large asymmetrical watch boasted 150 meters of water resistance, a bi-directional bezel for dive timing and large swaths of luminescent material for high visibility underwater. Used extensively in the field by soldiers and frogmen, the 6105 developed a reputation as a no-nonsense timepiece for professional use, a reputation that has lasted through to this day and undoubtedly inspired countless diving watches in the subsequent decades. Hell, there's even an off-brand homage watch available on the market today.
The 6105 is an absolute must-have in any dive watch enthusiast, but as with all Seikos of the 70s, originality is key, and the vast majority of those on the market are sadly modified or refinished. The example we have sourced here is a survivor--featuring an untouched dial and handset, a very clean case, and its original locking crown. Aside from a the normal signs of wear from age and use, and a missing orange dot on the seconds hand, this is about as perfect as they come, and a full recent service will ensure many more years of reliable usage!
Message from our Founder:
On a personal note, the very first vintage watch I ever bought was a 6105, which I spent a whopping $275 on over a decade ago, and own to this day. The example on offer here is in much better condition than my own, and when it came in I seriously considered keeping it for myself and selling my other. Alas, nostalgia won out, so I'm keeping my original piece and letting this one go on to its next owner, who will undoubtedly love it something fierce.
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