Hands-On With The Seiko Prospex SPB151 And SPB153 Watches New versions of the Captain Willard watch by Bert Buijsrogge June 17, 2020 MIN READHands-On With The Seiko Prospex SPB151 And SPB153 Watches
Seiko presented the new versions of their “Captain Willard” models. And for the fans, the best thing about these is probably that they are a non-limited version. We’ve recently had the opportunity to give them a try so let’s have a closer look at the Seiko Prospex SPB151 and SPB153.
For those who don’t know where the nickname comes from, Martin Sheen was seen wearing this watch in the movie Apocalypse Now. His character’s name, Captain Willard, soon became the nickname for this watch. The model he had on his wrist in the movie was the Seiko 6105 which was introduced in 1970 and produced for about 7 years.
Last year during Baselworld, a modern interpretation of this watch was presented. Make sure to read about the SLA033 in this article by Michael. This watch was a great modern interpretation which kept the looks of the original model which you can see in this comparison. But enough about the previous and vintage version. Time to look at the newest release.
Black and green
At first sight, the new version looks pretty similar. But the previous models were only available in black. This year’s release is again available in black (SPB151) but it also comes in a green variant (SPB153) with a slight sunburst effect and green bezel. Depending on the light, the bezel sometimes looked a bit more like olive drab but that could also be due to the fact that we had a prototype watch.
And now for the strap/bracelet, this is where it gets a bit funny. Both the original and the SLA033 re-edition had a black silicone strap. Yet the new black version now comes on a steel bracelet and the green execution is now the one fitted with silicone.
Personally I prefer the silicone strap over the stainless steel bracelet although both are very comfortable. I just think this watch looks better on silicone. One thing I struggled with is the dive extension. There probably is an easy trick to open it but somehow it took me a lot of effort. It also doesn’t lay flat due to the design of the extra links.
Changes and alterations
We already mentioned the strap and bracelet combinations. When looking at the details you will notice more small alterations all-over. The case his a shade smaller at 42.7mm. The thickness, however, has increased slightly to 15mm. This is partly due to the beveled sapphire.
…quite the strap monster.
Just like the re-edition, these models also come with lugholes which is something I don’t mind on a tool watch. Actually it comes quite handy when you want to change straps. Especially as the 19mm lug width has been upgraded to a more common 20mm size. That allows for a whopping variety of straps. The watch head itself is so versatile, the black-dialed variant especially is quite the strap monster.
Looking at the bezel, the layout is similar although it comes in a different font this time. The bezel teeth are definitely bigger compared to the other models and provide a good grip. On the crown, you won’t find the six slots anymore. Neither does it have the word “lock” and the arrow pointing right. On the dial, a few things have changed as well.
On the top of the dial, you will now find only the brand name as the word automatic has moved to the bottom, hovering over the 200-meter depth rating. And it now has the much-debated Prospex logo included too. Hour markers are nearly identical but the hands have slightly changed.
…70 hours of power reserve…
Like the other versions of this watch, the SPB151 and SPB153 come with a closed, threaded case back. This time it has the wave logo in the center. Engraved around it you will find the typical info you expect on the backside of a Seiko watch. These models are powered by the automatic Seiko 6R35 caliber which was introduced last year. It comes with up to 70 hours of power reserve and it has bi-directional winding.
These new models are great tool divers that look brilliant on the wrist. Just seeing it in action convinced me to add one to my collection. One thing that we haven’t mentioned yet is the price and this is something that many will appreciate. While last year’s limited edition came with a hefty price tag, this version retails between €1,150 on silicone (SPB153) and €1,350 on steel (SPB151). For that money, you simply get a great looking dive/tool watch with a hefty power reserve. These models should be available any moment now. For more info head over to the official Seiko Prospex website.
Brand Seiko ModelProspexReferenceSPB151/SPB153DialBlack/GreenCase MaterialStainless SteelCase Dimensions42,7 x 15mmCrystalBevelled Sapphire with ar-coatingCase BackClosedMovementSeiko 6R35Water Resistance200 MetersStrapStainless steel/SiliconeFunctionsTime and datePrice€1,150-1,350 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Bert Buijsrogge has worked in the real-estate business for 15 years and combined his passion for watches and photography over the years. He became famous for his watch photography and created a specific branded watch calendar for a number of… read more
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