Monochrome Watches
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The Two-Tone Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

The Captain Willard gets a subtle regal touch and a mystical blue dial.

| By Robin Nooy | 2 min read |
Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

Whenever we refer to Seiko’s Captain Willard, we are not referring to the official name of the watch. But, as things tend to go with Seiko, it was a name given by the community and has stuck ever since. Two years ago, the Japanese manufacturer introduced the SPB151 and SPB153 Captain Willard watches, based on ref. 6105-8110 from the mid-1960s. Famously worn by US soldiers in the Vietnam war, and in the 1979 Apocalypse Now movie, the 6105 is an iconic watch in Seiko’s history. In a break from more military style combinations of colours and textures, Seiko recently released the Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1, with a subtle touch of luxury.

Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

Seiko likes to mix things up, and the brand has made a name for itself by creating interesting combinations of textures and colours. Some work better than others, but every now and then, there’s an unexpected mix of elements that results in an attractive watch. Think of the various Save the Ocean models or the Black Series. The Captain Willard series of watches is no stranger to this practice, case in point the SPB153J1 and the SPB237J1. With this new Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1, it looks like Seiko has hit a sweet spot yet again.

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Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

From the outside, we still have the same 42.8mm stainless steel case with brushed and polished finishing. The caseband has that distinctly protruding crown guard section running from 3 to 5 o’clock, just as the original 6105 had. What’s new is the rose gold PVD-coated unidirectional bezel, giving the watch a slightly more luxurious touch. It’s quite subtle, not overly done, and provides an interesting mix of colours. The bezel insert is black with a contrasting 60-minute scale.

Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

The matte blue Mystic Lagoon dial has a very fine texture running across it. It recalls images of lakes and ponds with gentle ripples produced by the wind or soft currents. The dial has large applied indices with LumiBrite inserts. Time is indicated by large hour and minute hands, also with LumiBrite. The central seconds hand of the SPB288J1 ties in with the bezel and is made of rose gold. Again a slightly luxurious touch to what is otherwise a very robust diving tool.

Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

Power comes from Seiko’s in-house manufactured 6R35 automatic movement. This mid-range movement, by Seiko standards, can be found in a broad range of watches. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph, it delivers a solid 70-hour power reserve. The solid caseback and the screw-down crown give the watch a very decent 200m water-resistance.

Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1

The Seiko Prospex Mystic Lagoon Captain Willard SPB288J1 is worn on a three-link stainless steel bracelet, with a folding clasp and security cover, and includes a diver’s extension. It is available exclusively through Seiko Boutiques and retails for EUR 1,350.

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8 responses

  1. Oh! Another Seiko special edition! How exciting and surprising! I wonder when is the next one coming! Tomorrow? In 12 hours? Seiko should rename itself Special Seiko. Seriously though, when will their management start being competent?

  2. Is it me or does that develop no line up correctly. It looks a shade to the right of the 12. C’mon Seiko these watches ain’t Seiko5’s.

  3. The (modern) green version set the standard for the Captain Willard watch and Seiko should have stopped there and then.
    The silliness and perceived greed of their frequent special editions is seriously undercutting Seiko’s appeal.

  4. I like this dial texture and color. It looks like denim to me and really works.
    I love Seiko, have more than I need, but they dilute their best work with too many variations.

  5. The rose gold bezel is too much. The only way it could work (for me) is if the watch had a blued and beadblasted case to offset the busyness of the watch. This thing is the equivalent of a guy wearing a pinstripe suit, pinstriped shirt, two-tone loafers, loud tie and pocket square.

  6. I can list 20 reasons Seiko did not hit the mark but One that is I Ilke it!

  7. This is probably the most beautiful Seiko launched in the last few years. The posters here should really go and look for one. In terms of special editions, the market lives it. Even if the crusty forum oldies don’t.

  8. Watch commenters are some of the nastiest people in the world. If something doesn’t fit into their narrow and often questionable sense of taste, they @rap all over it. Ray Purchase fits right into this. (See above comment). As far as the watch goes, it’s really nice.


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