Founded in 1881, Seiko is known for introducing one of the world's first quartz wrist watches as well as the world's first quartz watch with a chronograph complication. The firm has a rich history in the world of dive watches, and it's safe to say that none is as iconic as the venerable Seiko 6105. It is the definitive Seiko diver, and it holds it's own against the other iconic divers of the 1970's. Produced as the second true Seiko diver – the 6105 took on two distinctive styles: the cushion-cased 8000/8009 and the larger, asymmetrically-cased 8110/8119, both viewed with great admiration by vintage Seiko watch collectors and enthusiasts.
The 6105-811X was made from 1970-1977, and came in two slight variations. The early models from 1970 were labeled "water 150m proof" on the dial, and "waterproof" on the case back. At some point later that year, they changed the text to "water 150m resist" with "water resistant" on the back. This was inline with a change in nomenclature throughout the Seiko offerings. The "proof/proof" models are fairly rare, and command a definite premium over the "resist/resist" models.
During the Vietnam War, U.S. troops were known to buy 6105-8000/8009s at the PXs (Post Exchanges) on bases in Southeast Asia. Many soldiers wore them through the rigors of combat, as Army-issued watches were known to fail in the jungle environment. The Seiko 6105 was unique looking, extremely tough, and very affordable. When US soldiers found out that their Army-issued watches didn't stand up to the heat and humidity of Vietnam, the "Second Seiko Diver" was the common substitute. With an asymmetric case and 150m of stated water resistance, the 6105 was able to stand up to punishing conditions. It was also very wearable for a larger watch, and was almost as long as it was wide (44mm in diameter).
In the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, the character Captain Willard portrays such a US soldier in Vietnam while famously wearing a 6105-8110.
It was also the last Seiko diver to feature a signed crown, which is something that many Seiko collectors wonder about to this day... In some cases, higher end Seiko divers do have a signed crown, but the middle to low range divers still do not.
If you're looking to pick up a vintage model, be wary of watches that have been significantly overhauled with replacement dials, hands, or even new movements.
Need a copy of the service manual or schematics?
Download the 6105 service manual (PDF).
What's your Seiko 6105 worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items with prices.
|Seiko Diver 6105 8110 Captain Willard||08/2021||$ 4 591.12|
|Rare SEIKO 6105 8110 DIVER 150m Captain||08/2021||$ 4 349.63|
|Seiko Watch 6105 8119 Apocalypse Now||07/2021||$ 3 407.07|
|Seiko Diver Turtle 6105 8110 Automatic||08/2021||$ 3 220.87|
|June 1970 Seiko Automatic Diver S Watch||09/2021||$ 3 164.20|
|See all sold items on eBay for more prices||10/2021||-.--|