When it comes down to offering sheer variety in watches, there are only a few brands that can challenge the might of Seiko. Starting from the cheap yet practical Seiko 5’s to the ethereally beautiful and luxurious Credor watches Seiko caters to myriad watch tastes across a broad spectrum of categories. And even though there are a lot of modern Seiko’s out there which we would like to cover for our audience we thought of taking a step back in the history of Seiko and churn out some real vintage charm for you this time around. So, here we are today presenting you with a hands-on experience of the iconic Seiko 6105.
If you were to ask someone today about what their favorite Seiko watch was, there are high chances that you would have either the SKX007 or the turtle as an answer. The reason behind these answers is the price to quality ratio these watches offer making Seiko the undisputed king of affordable dive/tool watches in the modern watch world. But, Seiko’s success in the dive watch world is not new and dates back to the year 1965 when the first ever Seiko diver was born. The watch was known as 6217(aka 62mas) and offered some truly great features for its time.
This watch was then followed by the 6105 series of watches which also included the watch in question today the reference 6105-8110. Featuring a distinctive case shape, 150 meters water resistance and a reliable self-winding automatic movement, this watch had all the right ingredients to become a big hit back then and an even more collectible item today.
The Seiko 6105 cannot be mistaken for any other watch out there and the main reason for that is its unique asymmetric case design. Being 44mm wide this is certainly a big watch offering tons of wrist presence. But, at the same time the relatively small 47mm length along with cushion cased shape ensures that the watch sits comfortably on the wrist without any overhanging issues which are quite common in watches with big cases. The case has a 3 part construction comprising of a closed case back, a cleverly designed mid case and a bi-directional 60 click bezel with an aluminum insert.
The mid-case is what gives this watch a raw and beefy look and has been cleverly designed to protect and accommodate the oversized crown at the 4 o’clock position within the case, giving the watch its unique identity. Held in the place by the bezel is the double-domed hardlex crystal which is highly prone to scratches (as can be seen in the pictures), but at the same time adds a lot of vintage character to the watch and gives a nice view of the dial below. Before we move on to the dial, I would like to make a special mention about the overall build quality of the case. The watch that you are looking at here is more than 40 years old and it is indeed startling to see that even after 4 decades of usage the case has maintained its original shape and having worn it for about 2 years now I am quite confident that it is capable of lasting another 4 decades. Who said vintage watches are fragile?
Dive watches are purpose-built instruments that are meant to be highly legible and this bad boy was surely designed keeping all the dive watch tenets in mind. The dial has matt black color and has been neatly laid out without any unnecessary clutter. The text is minimal in the form of an applied Seiko logo at 12 with the word Automatic underneath it, which is nicely balanced by the water resistance related text above 6. The hour markers are a mix of applied squares along with chunky rectangles at 6, 9 and a double marker at 12 providing a sense of depth to the dial and giving the watch a bold look. All the markers have a been deeply filled with Seiko’s renowned luminous material, and although the lume has now faded on this particular watch for all the obvious reasons, its white colored application does seem to provide a nice contrast against the black background making it easy to keep track of time even today. The baton-shaped hour and minute hands are well proportioned and are aptly designed in accordance with the rest of the design elements on this watch. The second’s hand is also uniquely designed with a double lume pip at the tip of the hand giving a distinctive visual flair to the watch. And finally there is also a nicely framed date window at 3 for all the date lovers out there, but personally speaking, I would have preferred to rather not have the date window giving the dial an even cleaner look.
The movement and strap
The Seiko 6105 is powered by the Seiko caliber 6105B, a 17 jewel self-winding movement. It is a low beat movement that operates at a frequency of 21600 bph which obviously implies that the second hand would not have a smooth sweep that can be seen on watches that operate at a frequency of 28800 bph or higher. The movement is hackable, but does not support hand winding, which is a minor gripe that I have with this movement, as it does take away from the immense pleasure that one gets from winding a watch. But, it is certainly not a deal breaker and some people might rather prefer to just strap the watch on their wrist and leave the rest to the motion of their wrists. The watch originally came on a rubber strap and after looking at a few images of the original watch over the internet it can be safe to compare it to the rubber straps found on modern day Seiko divers.
But, as can be seen in the pictures above I have this watch on a mesh style 18 mm bracelet which as per me enhances the vintage look of the watch. Another point worth noting here is that the lug width on this watch is an odd 19mm, which means that in case you are planning to get hold of one these you might have to struggle a little getting the right wristband for your watch or you might want to end with the compromise of attaching your watch to a tad smaller or larger strap option that is easily available.
The Seiko 6105 is indeed an iconic watch that punches way above its weight just like any modern Seiko does. It’s built like a tank, possesses the looks and exudes oodles of vintage flavor and most of all it still keeps pretty decent time in spite of not being serviced for more than a decade. So, in case you are on the lookout for a vintage diver, I would highly recommend this watch without the slightest of doubt.