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The Captain Willard Seiko SLA033 1970 Limited Edition

The Captain Willard Seiko SLA033 1970 Limited Edition

Authored By William DePaula

Apocalypse Now

To understand the Captain Willard Seiko SLA033 you have to know about Apocalypse Now.  Apocalypse Now is a classic movie by famed director Francis Ford Coppola.  The movie is loosely based on the Joseph Conrad Novel, "The Heart of Darkness".  The movie takes place in Vietnam during the Vietnam war.  The movie features a character played by Martin Sheen, a U.S. Army Special Operations Officer named Captain Willard.  Capt. Willard is the person the Army calls in to get things done and cleaned up.  He is an experienced assassin, but he is calm and always observing.  Apocalypse Now, which was released in 1979, is considered on of the greatest movies of all time.

Captain Willard

In the movie Apocalypse Now, we see Captain Willard travel into the insanity that was the Vietnam War.  He remains passive watching and reacting accordingly to get his mission done.  The whole time he is wearing a watch, a Seiko Watch.  This watch would become an icon after the movie.  Today, Seiko has re-crafted this classic into a special limited edition watch, the SLA033 or the Captain Willard Seiko.

The 1970's Seiko Dive Watch

When the original 1970’s Seiko diver’s watch was created, its designers had only one thought in mind; to build a diver’s watch that delivered the reliability, durability, precision and legibility that serious adventurers required. They had no eye to the future reputation of the watch they were building; their focus was on performance, with form following function in every aspect of their work. The case was given a wide, flowing design purely to protect the crown at the 4 o’clock position.

Creating An Icon

Little did they know that a subsequent version of the watch with this same characteristic case design was destined to develop a worldwide following and earn the affectionate and unforgettable nickname of the “turtle”. Today, this 1970 diver’s watch, the father of the “turtle”, is lovingly re-created in Prospex with a high level of functionality that pays tribute to the determination and skill of the original 1970 team.  

A unique profile and a proud history

The uniqueness of the design of the 1970 stemmed largely from the way that the crown, moved to the 4 o’clock position, was protected by the extension of the case around it. The design turned out to be as  memorable as it was functional and this 150 meter water resistant diver’s watch rapidly found favor among those who needed a watch of exceptional strength. It was worn by the Japanese adventurer, Naomi Uemura, when he did a solo dog-sled run from Greenland to Alaska, a journey of 12,000 kilometers that took eighteen months.

Prospex 1970 Recreation SLA033

The new Prospex SLA033 re-creation of this 1970 diver’s watch is slightly larger than the original but faithful in every other respect to its design. It is, however, completely up-to-date in its technology. It incorporates caliber 8L35 which was specially designed for use in diver’s watches. The case has a super-hard coating and a dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and is 200 meter water resistant. The upper surface of the bezel rim is Zaratsu polished to a perfect mirror finish. Presented on a high strength silicone strap, this Prospex timepiece is assembled by hand in the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. It is offered as a limited edition of just 2,500 and only 250 will be available in the united states.  The Seiko Prospex SLA033 is available here at DePaulas, please email us if interested in purchasing this exceptional watch. 


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