Movie appearances have always had an immense impact on the popularity of watches. Some even secured legendary status and are often better known for the nicknames they got inspired by the characters that wore them than their original names.
Take, for example, our featured watch. If someone mentions a Seiko 6105, there is a chance a knowledgeable Seiko history enthusiast would know on the top of their head which watch is being discussed. On the other hand, if someone addressed it by its movie name, Captain Willard, the recognisability of this infamous watch would be tenfold, at least, even among people who do not know anything about the Seiko catalog.
The popularity of the movie consequently increases the demand for the watch, which results in limited availability that additionally skyrockets the price of the watch. The outcome is often the inability to obtain one, regardless if a person desiring can afford it or not. They are bound to diligently scan all available ads, hoping one will appear for sale eventually.
Or, in the case of Captain Willard, wait for the anniversary of the movie release in the hope that Seiko will reissue the original 6105 watch. It happened in 2019, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apocalypse Now and the memorable role of Martin Sheen’s character, Captain Willard, among other great ones in this legendary movie.
The year 2024 marks the 45th anniversary, and it's a perfect moment to discuss Captain Willard reissues in additional detail. Let's see what Seiko did to follow in the footsteps of the legendary 6105 and how Captain Willard's next of kin stands in comparison to their grand predecessor.
Intro info on Seiko Prospex Captain Willard 2020 editions
The 2020 editions of the Captain Willard comes in three variants:
Being one of the infamous watches Seiko has made and one of most desired by Seiko fans, 6105-8110 Captain Willard was a natural choice for a reissue. Frankly, it's surprising they didn't release it earlier. However, given the way the reissues look, feel, and run, it was worth the wait.
Their appearance immediately reveals the bloodline, and there's no mistake they share the genes of their 45-year-old relative. The masculine looks, unusual and original curvature of the case, and a characteristic "traffic light" seconds hand make it perfectly clear.
The three 2020 editions differ only in dial and bezel color. The individual models come in blue, green, and black variants. All their other specs are the same.
As said before, one glance at the reissues, and it's immediately clear that they belong to the Captain Willard family. The characteristic cushion shape of the case is marked by the screw-down crown positioned at 4 o'clock and shielded by dominant crown guards, which are prominent and unique features of the original 6105.
On the other hand, there are differences between the original and reissue cases. The case of the latter is slightly smaller than the original, 42.7mm compared to 44mm. The glass is sapphire crystal, with an inner antireflexive coating, and not Hardflex mineral crystal. Finally, the DiaShield coating covers the case.
The dial comes in three colors: the original black, green, and blue. The base is sunray brushed, an update to the original one, but the rectangular markers, a double marker at 12 o'clock, the date-only display, and a characteristic "traffic light" seconds hand mirror the ones of the Seiko 6105.
The dials feature Seiko Lumi Brite on markers, securing great readability under all conditions. A sunburst pattern in the base surface provides a great foundation for interesting light play, which adds to the attractiveness of these reissues. All cases are stainless steel, come with screwed caseback, and guarantee a 200m water resistance.
The hour and minute hand design is particularly interesting. Both are split right in the middle, with one half brushed and the other highly polished. That adds to visual appeal, as well as improved visibility.
The unidirectional bezel with a notched profile is smaller than the case, which is another familiar touch for Captain Willard. The lug width is 20mm, somewhat unusual given the size of the case but true to the original. However, that adds to the unique appeal of these Seiko watches. Particularly attractive are the combos with a variety of stainless steel bracelets, especially those with quick-release features that do not require any tools to be installed or replaced.
A look under the hood of the Captain Willard reissues reveals another interesting feature. Instead of the Seiko self-winding caliber 6105B that powered in the original Captain Willard, the Seiko 6R35 in-house caliber is the driving force of the reissues. It's a 24-jewel movement that boasts an impressive 70-hour power reserve. It's a self-winding movement, with a hacking seconds hand and a 4,800A/m magnetic resistance.
Some users argue 6R35 precision values of -15/+25 seconds per day. On the other hand, Seiko uses 6R35 in a number of other Presage and Prospex models, which guarantees its overall reliability. Adding the impressive power reserve to the equation secures the satisfaction of the majority of future owners.
Captain Willard's reissues met the expectations of the majority of Seiko fans. Most certainly of those who haven't been able to get a hold of the original Seiko 6105. Was it worth the wait? Yes, by all means. All three variants have their own individual charm while sharing supreme build quality and reliability. Those do come at a price but can be seen as an investment, at the same time, and a long-awaited dream come true. Priceless when looked at from that perspective.