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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information, please visit Seikowatches.com.