Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard Evaluate

As somebody who cannot get sufficient of software watches, Seiko is a model I’ve grown rising keen on over the previous few years. After all, that is hardly stunning provided that they’ve lengthy been recognized for producing glorious dive watches.

One in every of which is the 6105-8110 “Captain Willard”, a watch that was made well-known by the movie Apocalypse Now. In 2020 Seiko launched an up to date model of the watch, and since then they’ve produced a number of totally different fashions.

The model I am at present is the Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard Re-Interpretation, which was kindly loaned to me by Francis & Gaye Jewelers. When you’re searching for a dependable licensed vendor within the UK then get in contact with them they usually’ll be glad to care for you.

The watch retails for £1,220 or $1300USD, which is according to the opposite Willard interpretations, however remains to be much more than a few of the different dive watches in Seiko’s Prospex vary.

So let’s examine if we will work out why Seiko is asking that a lot for it.

Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard

Precisely The Specs You’d Anticipate

As you’d count on the SPB237J1 Willard is an ISO-certified dive watch, with 200m of water resistance, extremely brilliant lume, and a unidirectional bezel with an aluminum insert. Considerably unusually it would not come on a metal bracelet, but it surely’s as an alternative provided with two NATO straps.

On the floor, these options do not do something to elucidate the extra premium worth. Seiko actually gives loads of different divers with comparable specs for much less cash. However, diving a bit of deeper, there are some things that separate the SPB237J1 Willard from the cheaper fashions.

Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard

For starters the case is roofed with Seiko’s DiaShield coating, which gives improved scratch resistance over naked metallic. And, as an alternative of Seiko’s Hardlex mineral crystal, the watch has a extra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating.

The SPB237J1 Willard makes use of a 6R35 computerized motion, which is barely higher than Seiko’s entry-level 4R35. The 4R35 is rated to be correct to a them +45 to -35 seconds per day, and has a mean 41-hour energy reserve. In distinction, the 6R35 is correct to +25 to -15 seconds per day, and has a formidable 70-hour energy reserve. While the accuracy of the 6R35 might do with bettering, it is nonetheless the next specification motion than the 4R35.

Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard

While these options clearly put the SPB237J1 Willard on the greater finish of the Prospex vary, I do not suppose they totally clarify the watch’s price. In any case, there are many different manufacturers with reasonably priced dive watches which have comparable options.

A Traditional Design Reinvented

Which brings me on to the design of the SPB237. It is naturally very near that of the unique Willard, and that carries with it a sure worth. This watch offers you an opportunity to get an replace of a traditional Seiko design constructed to fashionable requirements.

The case is similar traditional cushion form as the unique Willard, with the screw-down crown at 4 protected by some distinguished crown guards. It is a design that will not be for everybody, but it surely’s what defines the Willard’s complete id. At 42.7mm vast, the SPB237J1 is definitely a bit smaller than the unique Willard, which was 44mm. It additionally wears very properly due to a good lug to lug of 46.6mm, and an affordable thickness of 13.2mm. Moreover, the bezel is smaller than the case, measuring simply 40.5mm vast. This makes the watch really feel smaller on the wrist that the case dimensions would counsel, while nonetheless permitting it to have a superb presence.

Just like the case, the dial structure is nearly similar to the unique Willard, however with just a few fashionable tweaks. The indices have a really slight taper to them, and the lume is a lightweight cream colour to copy the patina seen on classic watches. Sadly, the date window is not framed, as there is no house due to a barely noticeable utilized marker on the 3 o’clock place.

Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard

The handset is pretty easy, however they’ve a break up end, with one facet brushed and the opposite polished. This serves to create some fascinating mild play throughout the dial, and it helps take the watch’s ending up a notch.

Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard

After all, the largest distinction on the SPB237J1 Willard is that grey dial with its bark-like texture. It is considerably harking back to the SPB143, and strikes a pleasant steadiness between playingful and severe. It isn’t as plain because the stable black Willard, but it surely’s not a gimmicky colourway both.

As I discussed earlier, the SPB237J1 Willard comes with two NATO straps – one inexperienced and one gray. These use a standard Japanese braiding approach often called Seichu, which provides them a ribbed texture. The fabric is fairly thick, so the watch sits fairly tall on the wrist, and I might have most popular a single cross possibility. Nonetheless, the nylon is snug to put on and feels very sturdy. The metal {hardware} can also be very good, although you ought to be conscious that the keeper is not tall sufficient so that you can tuck any extra materials again on itself.

Regardless of this I desire the NATO’s to the bracelet provided on different fashions, as I discover that may be a bit chunky. In the meantime these NATO’s give the watch a robust navy vibe, and might be swapped out simply for an additional strap everytime you fancy.

Seiko Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard

The Worth Of Heritage

Finally, I believe that the primary cause the SPB237J1 Willard prices a lot is Seiko’s heritage. The model has existed since 1881, and its watches have been worn prominently by actors and adventurers alike. Consequently, the model’s popularity precedes it, and it is one of many manufacturers us watch fans suggest most to these new to the pastime.

However while a number of us have historically considered Seiko as a bang-for-your-buck model, it has additionally began to leverage its traditional designs to increase into greater ends of the market.

And in all honesty, I believe that call is sensible for them. Seiko constructed their popularity on software watches, however these days are over, and now watches are virtually simply jewelery for lots of people. On prime of that, microbrands have massively modified the watch trade over the past 5 years. As of late micros are in a position to supply nice high quality items at exceptionally low costs, and on account of this the decrease finish of the market has change into very crowded.

By providing these reissues and reinterpretations with higher specs at the next worth level, Seiko are switching who they’re competing towards. As an alternative of these small microbrands, they’re towards the entry-level Swiss watches, which is historically precisely who Seiko are the strongest towards.

Ultimate Ideas

After all, whether or not or not you need to pay a bit extra to get a watch from a model of Seiko’s pedigree is fully as much as you. Personally I believe that, while it is not a robust worth proposition, £1,220 is not a nasty worth for this watch contemplating the design’s heritage. And, while I do know that is a considerably controversial opinion, I am unable to assist however suppose that if we have been speaking a couple of Swiss model like Tudor, much more folks would not have an issue with it.

However, placing apart the value of the watch, the SPB237J1 is a superb fashionable replace to the Willard design that includes the most effective options that fashionable Seiko has to supply. Similar to the unique Willard, the watch is a succesful diver that is acquired a definite and unmistakable aesthetic. It is iconic, and I am unable to assist however really feel drawn to the SPB237J1 Willard due to that.

Thanks as soon as once more to Francis & Gaye for lending the watch to us. You should purchase the Prospex SPB237J1 Captain Willard Re-Interpretation from their web site right here.

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