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Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Captain Willard” SPB183J1 Limited Edition Review

To celebrate the 55th anniversary of their first ever diver’s watch, Seiko have announced the launch of the Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Captain Willard” SPB183J1. The limited edition of 5,500 pieces is not the only release marking the anniversary with several other Prospex references including the SLA037, SLA039, SLA041 and the SLA043 joining the team, but today we wanted to focus our efforts on the cleverly nicknamed ‘Captain Willard’ or ‘Turtle’ model which beautifully honours the brand’s history with a landmark design inspired by a historic Seiko watch from the 1970’s.

 

The history of Seiko’s diving watches started in 1965 with the release of both Seiko’s and Japan’s first ever dive watch. Known as reference 62MAS, the diving instrument featured an innovative automatic movement and a 150 metre water resistant case. It wasn’t long before the timepiece was asked to prove its reliability and capability, and from 1966 to 1989, the model was famously worn by members of the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition. While not the first diving watch in the world, 62MAS completely revolutionised the rules of future dive watches to come and signalled the beginning of Seiko as professionals in the field.

 

 

The new Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Captain Willard” SPB183J1 Limited Edition beautifully tributes its origins with a design inspired by the brand’s original Seiko Turtle watch released in 1970. The Seiko 6105 was famously worn by Naomi Uemura during his 18 month expedition to the Artic as well as notoriously appearing on the wrist of Captain Willard in the cult 1979 film Apocalypse Now. It is this very cameo that gives all references with the same aesthetic its iconic nickname.

 

The design of the Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary SPB183J1 remains remarkably faithful to the original 6105, with the familiar cushion-shaped stainless steel case and unidirectional bezel. The only notable changes are an improved movement, colourway and a slightly smaller case size of 42.7mm. The case is engineered from 316L stainless steel which has been treated with a super-hard coating for additional robustness and paired with a blue aluminium rotating bezel. A must-have for professional divers, the bezel ensures a total of 120 clicks and a 60 minute scale for counting down dive times.

 

 

The Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Captain Willard” SPB183J1 continues to impress with the iconic screw crown at 4 o’clock and screw down case back assisting in its water resistant rating of 200 metres. The case back is handsomely engraved with the limited edition number out of 5,500 pieces and the famous Seiko Tsunami logo believed to be based on Katsushika Hokusai's 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa'. Housed beneath is the 6R35 automatic winding calibre which promises a power reserve of 70 hours, a 3Hz frequency and an accuracy of +25 to -15 seconds per day.

 

 

Typical of Seiko Turtle watches, the Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary SPB183J1 Limited Edition features large Lumibrite indexes and hands on a handsome ocean-blue face. Curved sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective treatment protects the dial also decorated with a gold seconds hand, date complication at 3 o’clock, the Seiko logo at 12 o’clock and the Prospex motif at 6 o’clock. The timepiece is completed by a classic three-row link stainless steel bracelet and a three-fold clasp with secure lock and push button release with extender.

 

Limited edition Seiko watches are rarely around for long, so if you’re interested in the Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Captain Willard” SPB183J1 Limited Edition, head over to the Jura Watches website today where it is currently available with interest free finance and free delivery. For more information, get in touch with the team on 01335 453453 or at help@jurawatches.co.uk.

 

Specifications: Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Captain Willard” SPB183J1 Limited Edition

 

  • Case Size: 42.7mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel with super-hard coating
  • Bezel: Unidirectional
  • Glass: Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Screw in
  • Case Back: Screw down
  • Water Resistance: 200 metres
  • Movement: 6R35 automatic winding
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 70 hours
  • Jewels: 24
  • Frequency: 21,600vph
  • Dial: Blue with Lumibrite markers and hands
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with additional silicon strap included
  • Buckle: Folding buckle with divers extension
  • RRP: £1,230
  • Limited Edition: 5,500 pieces
  • Release Date: November 2020
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