Tales From The ‘Gram: Seiko 6105-8119

Ryan Yip Take A Look At, Watches Leave a Comment

How on earth are we suppose to fully express our feelings about something? Through words? Music? Or paintings? There are some feelings and sentiments that are just too complex to show. Today I am delighted to have this lovely gentleman, @canadianwatchguy (who wish to stay anonymous, we will address him as B) to share with us his Seiko 6105-8119.

Watch I.D.

Model: Vintage Diver
Reference: 6105-8119
Diameter: 45 mm
Calibre: 6105
Winding: self-winding mechanical movement
Material: Stainless steel

Words from the collector…

To be honest, I am very happy that finally someone talked about vintage Seiko.

Most of the time when I do these kind of interview, I would ask “what is your current favourite watch and which watch means the most to you”, many would have watches from two different brands, but B, seemingly a fan of vintage Seiko divers, chose a Seiko 6159-7000 from 1968 as his current favourite and the 6105-8119 for the latter question.

“The watch is most famous for being worn by Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now,” Yes sir, it is. “but for me, the coolest piece of the 6105’s history is that Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura wore one in 1978 when he became the first person to reach the North Pole on his own.” The wild part of the story is that Naomi Uemura could have worn any watch with him to the North Pole. What started out as a normal diving watch, is now associated with such a remarkable moment in history. Marvellous.

A large and prominent case, the right-in-your-face kind, but with the help of the subtle black/white/silver combo, Seiko found the perfect balance. One of the highlight of this watch is that the watch ticks 6 times per second which gives the second hand a smoother movement than quartz watches.

The detail I love the most, however, is the peach/pink-coloured traffic light seconds hand. I never get tired of watching it glides across the dial.

B (@CanadianWatchGuy)
B’s Seiko 6159-7000 (credit: @@canadianwatchguy)

The reason why I love Seiko so much is because they do things differently. B was succinct with it, he said “the combo of ruggedness, utility, value combined with bold and innovative design choices set the Seikos of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s apart from any other brands.” I totally agree with that. Japan’s architectural aesthetic is widely reflected on Seiko’s design as well. Rugged, utilitarian, silver, grey, off-white and beige, reminded me of offices filled with cigarettes smoke, people in stripped shirts, grey and brown blazers, old, beat-up leather briefcases, etc. Recently, I’ve learnt the term “liminal space” which refers to places/photos that gives off creepily nostalgic vibe, unsettling but captivating. Some of the Seiko watches, especially the vintage ones, there is something so different, it is almost nostalgic, scary part is, I don’t even know why. Maybe this is one of the reasons I was so drawn to Seiko watches in the first place?

B mentioned that every time he puts on the 6105, it “feels like I’m wearing something special every time I strap it on my wrist.” Now, some of you may find this comment to be super generic. No, it is not. As I said earlier in the intro, how can you fully express your feelings about something? And in this case, B’s “feel like I’m wearing something special” can mean the world to him, there may be specific moments that constitutes towards his liking of the Seiko 6105. We may never know specifically, however, this is also the beauty of watches, everyone’s stories can be so grand or trivial, but we collectively decided to project our memories onto this vessel which is a symbol of time.

Start out slow. A lot of collectors, myself included, tend to go crazy at the beginning… That can be a thrilling but painful experience. 

You’re bound to get burned a few times as you’re starting out, but slowing down and spending more time researching and identifying what you really like about a watch can really help.

B (@CanadianWatchGuy)

Once again, really lovely to have a fellow Seiko lover on this series and it is collectors like @canadianwatchguy that make the watch community a better place.

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