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A Review of the Seiko SLA033 1970 Diver’s Re-Creation

A Review of the Seiko SLA033 1970 Diver’s Re-Creation

Authored By William DePaula

The iconic Seiko SLA033

There are a lot of watch brands out there and there are a lot of watches that claim to be iconic.  Watch brands often claim that there watch is iconic, while that might be true for the brand themself, it often does not mean that the watch is iconic in the watch world.  The SLA033 itself might not be a watch name that rolls off the tongue and perhaps you have never heard of a Seiko SLA033, but you have heard of a Seiko Turtle, this is the watch that started it all.  The watch was originally known as the 6105-8110/9.  This cushion shape back was designed to to protect the crown. 

A watch for the Ages

The Seiko SLA033 came out in 2019 with much fanfare.  Now that it has been about 6 months since this icon came out, I felt that it is a good time to appreciate just how cool this watch is.  The watch was a limited production of 2,500 watches worldwide.  The SLA033 is a hard watch to find, with such a limited number they were found in only select Luxury Seiko retailers and the Seiko Boutiques.

What sets the Seiko Willard Apart

The original 6105 was a full fledged getting down and dirty type of watch.  Whatever the adventure, the watch can take what you dish out.  The original 6105 came out nearly 50 years ago and Seiko knew that it deserves a fitting tribute.  What the SLA033 is in a weird way a kind of starter kit for Grand Seiko.  This is something that is different if you think about it being an adventurers watch.  The thing is Seiko hit it out of the park.  The watch is still an adventures watch but has the Grand Seiko dedication to the details.

The SLA033 

The SLA033 retails for $4,250.  While Seiko does make a lot of higher end watches, here in the United States the average person thinks of a Seiko being $300-$500 price range.  The SLA033 is a huge step up from those watches and sits in a price point to compete more with their Swiss counterparts.  The watch has a ton of features.  The movement is an 8L35 automatic caliber with a 50 hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 vph.  The case is polished using Seiko famous Zaratsu polishing technique.  The case has a super-hard coating.  The crystal is a dual curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.  The Seiko SLA033 is hand-assembled in Seiko’s Shizukuishi Watch Studio in Northern Japan.

One of the Best Watches of the Year

The SLA033 is also known as the Willard because Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.  Martin Sheen’s character was Capt. Williard.  The watch was used in the move because it was the preferred watch of service men during the Vietnam War.  As you can see the watch has a lot of history.  Most of which I only summed up.  This tribute comes nearly 50 years after the watch was first launched and is perhaps the most iconic of all Seiko watches.  Seiko did the tribute right, so much so that it was named by several watch critics as one of the watches of the year.


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