Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko Celebrates 110th Anniversary by Reworking the Legendary ‘Apocalypse Now’ Model

For fans of Seiko, 2023 looks set to be an incredible year for new releases. It marks 110 years since the famed watchmaker launched Japan’s first-ever watch and Seiko is already hitting collectors with timepieces that celebrate the milestone. With such a rich heritage we weren’t sure where the emphasis would be, but we needn’t have worried. Seiko has promised a series of celebratory models and there should be something for everyone. The first commemorative watch – the Seiko Presage SBP359 – recreated the brand’s 1913 debut model and on the back of that comes a new piece that references a high point in the company’s history. The 110th Anniversary Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition harks back to the ’60s, a time when Seiko was at the cutting edge of watchmaking.

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Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Okay, so the name’s quite a mouthful, but that’s because there’s a lot to take in with this watch. It utilises one of Seiko’s most iconic designs from the past while at the same time championing the brand’s philanthropic efforts to secure the future of the oceans. It’s a stunning limited edition dive watch that oozes vintage charm, but with the sizing and specs favoured by modern buyers.

Importantly, it also takes inspiration from the watches worn by adventurers and researchers during their expeditions to the North and South Poles during the ’60s and ’70s. Oh yeah, did we also mention the earlier watch was featured in a blockbuster movie?

Seiko 6105-8000 Captain Willard | Image: Craft + Tailored

Seiko 6105-8000 Captain Willard | Image: Craft + Tailored

So here’s the deal. In 1968, Seiko released an iconic watch that was made available to American soldiers fighting in Vietnam. The Seiko 6105 was then later worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now and has since been affectionately known as the Captain Willard model.

This 110th Anniversary edition reworks that classic watch and features the same distinctive ‘turtle’ case with a 4 o’clock crown. At 41mm wide it’s modestly sized and the height of 12.3mm places it among Seiko’s thinnest dive watches. The movement is the automatic calibre that we’d expect, Seiko’s own popular Cal 6R35, and of course, it boasts 200M of water resistance.

The Polar exploration touches are worked into the dial and are designed to be reminiscent of polar glaciers and arctic seascapes. It ensures that the dial is eye-catching and is a pleasing contrast to the monochrome aesthetics of the ’60s original. The Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition is equipped with a five-row stainless steel bracelet. There’s also an additional strap made from recycled plastic bottles that features a traditional Japanese braiding technique called Seichu. The watch is limited to 5,000 pieces worldwide.

Check it out

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko Prospex SPB333J1

Diameter: 41mm
Height: 12.3mm
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Seiko Automatic Calibre 6R35
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 200M
Price: €1,350

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

Seiko 110th Anniversary Prospex Limited Edition SPB333 | Image: Seiko

CONTRIBUTOR

Lee Smith

Lee Smith lives in Tynemouth, England. Having graduated with a BA(Hons) from Sheffield University (1996) he spent several years at a FTSE 100 software company. He left to pursue his love of literature and opened a bookstore. As well as exhibiting books at events around the UK, he also became manager of the annual Alnwick Bookfair. In 2016 Lee switched to his other passion - watches. He began retailing niche brands and launched his own microbrand. He then used his extensive knowledge of watches to write a popular blog. Since 2020 he's written about watches full time.