Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110

Because You Asked: New Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110 “Captain Willard”

A side by side look at old and new...
Michael Stockton
March 24, 2019
Because You Asked: New Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110 “Captain Willard”

We’ve received a flurry of requests to see the new Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110, the latter being the 1970’s inspiration.

We reviewed the new-for-Baselworld 2019 Seiko SLA033 1970 Diver yesterday.  Unfortunately, I had the original on my hand when I was detained by Swiss Customs and missed taking it into the show to compare with the new piece.  But, in an act of sincere kindness, Joe Kirk and the Seiko USA team met with us to give me (and some more of our team members who were happy to see the new watches again) a look.  Bert had the opportunity to shoot several pics of both old and new side by side.  We’ve got a handful of great images, so let’s take at the Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110.

Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110

When looking at the dial side in our Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110 comparo, the similarities are obvious, but so are the differences.  The dial on the newer piece along with the bezel insert are glossier on the new piece and the letter seems a tad wider.  Also, as mentioned in our review article, there’s less font above 6:00 on the new edition and there’s no apparent dial code to the right and left of the lowest index.  Also, the lume is whiter on the old model, which is perhaps a the opposite of what you might think.  Finally, the new SLA033 lacks an applied logo.  Seiko mentioned that the bulk of its divers are like this for durability reasons  and that the indices are actually punched into the dial instead of applied.

Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110

Our Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110 look from the side shows the new piece’s drilled lug holes along with a flatter, shallower set of bezel teeth.  And while it’s not super easy to see here, the crown guard above the crown and main case below it along the side have different cutouts on their undersides on the new piece.  The new piece also has a stubbier top crown guard.  Geeky stuff for sure, but it’s Seiko!  Positively, both contain similar surface finishing on the sides and tops – the old one still looks good!

Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110

Aside from the drilled lug holes, the differences aren’t so obvious from the non-crown side when comparing the Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110.

Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110

From the reverse side, there are some differences on the Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110.  Down by either end of the 19mm lugs, the case back on the new SLA033 have flat spots whereas the old 6105 is one continuous surface from top to bottom.  Both watches have 6 notches to fit a case back tool.  You’ll note that my 6105 lacks the horseshoe design of the SLA033 and that’s because mine is a later model from 1976 – towards the end of the run.  The new one’s case back markings are laser engraved compared to the old model’s stamped surface.  It’s also here that you get to see the difference in the cutout geometry around the crowns and that the SLA033’s crown appears as a touch shallower.

Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110

The reality is that when comparing the Seiko SLA033 vs 6105-8110, it becomes apparent that Seiko did a great job here.  Yes, at 4,350 Euros, the SLA033 isn’t inexpensive, but it’s paired with modern build quality – making it a dependable diver – and a fantastic movement.  To me, the changes – including the 1mm increase in case size to 45mm on the new one – are truly subtle and the more I look at the SLA033, the more I like it.

For more information on the Seiko SLA033, head to the official Seiko site.

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Michael Stockton
About the author

Michael Stockton

Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became... read more

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