Baselworld 2019: Seiko Brings Back the Legendary 6105 Diver With the Ref. SLA033

The Seiko Ref. 6105-811X is a diver that needs no introduction, especially if you’re a Seiko fan. It is instantly recognizable with its unique case that features a crown guard at four o’clock, and it’s a highly sought after watch among vintage collector circles (you can read all about the original 6105-811X here). In recent years, its star has grown beyond just collector communities, and it’s become increasingly well known in the mainstream watch world, too. With the recent success of neo-vintage reissues based on the 6309, 62MAS, and the 6159, it is no surprise at all that Seiko has finally chosen to re-create their most iconic dive watch — introducing the limited edition SLA033 diver.

Seiko Ref. SLA033

Dial: Black
Dimensions: 45mm wide x 13mm thick
Crystal: Dual curved sapphire with AR
Water resistance: 200 meters
Crown: Screw down
Movement: Caliber 8L35
Strap: Two-piece silicone, waffle style
Limited Edition: 2,500 units
Price: $4,250


When I first read through Seiko’s press materials, they mentioned that the SLA033 is “slightly larger” than the 6105, and my heart sank. However, it truly is only slightly larger, coming in at 45 millimeters wide where the original is 44 millimeters, so no big deal there — whew!

There are other noteworthy updates. The original crystal was Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex mineral glass, which has been changed to a dual-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating. The biggest upgrade, however, is the crown. The original had the cool, but ultimately quasi-functional, turn-and-“lock” system, whereas the SLA033 features a more reliable screw-down crown and with it a 200-meter water resistance rating. The watch is powered by Seiko’s caliber 8L35, essentially an undecorated and unregulated Grand Seiko movement that is found in many other high end divers like the SLA017 and SBDX017.

As anticipated and amazing as the SLA033 is, it will unfortunately be out of reach for most Seiko fans. This is a limited edition of just 2,500 pieces, and the MSRP is $4,250. This is in line with the other recent heritage editions and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though it will still be disappointing to many as the price point is fairly high. That said, you will definitely get what you pay for in this instance. There are some nice touches that will accompany the high price tag, including mirror-finish Zaratsu polishing on the bezel rim, and the fact that the watch will be hand-assembled in Seiko’s legendary Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. Make no mistake, despite the high price this is a watch that will be snapped up by Seiko fans worldwide and I expect it to sell out quickly, and it is sure to be a top-pick from this year’s show. Seiko

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Christoph (Instagram’s @vintagediver) is a long time collector and lover of all things vintage, starting with comic books when he was a kid (he still collects them). His passion for watches began in 1997 when he was gifted a family heirloom vintage Omega Genève by his step-father. That started him on the watch collecting path—buying and selling vintage watches of all sorts, with a special appreciation for vintage dive watches and Seiko.