The history of this magnificent one owner JAPAN A SEIKO 6105-8119 se# 480472 dive watch.
For 60 years, American and Swiss watch companies dominated the world wrist watch market. By the early 1960's, less than 20 years after World War II, a Japanese company by the name of DAINISEIKOSHA CO, LTD, was making a major push to export wrist watches into the USA. Though Seiko had chose to compete head to head with the Swiss in the mid fifties - even producing some of the finest movements ever made, in the US, because of the war, they lagged in image, and thus, popularity.
By 1965, DAINISEIKOSHA CO, LTD had revamped their image by introducing their Seiko 5's and *first tough, stainless steel , 150m automatic military looking dive watch .
It was not long after - with US Government assistance - that Seiko **Dive Watches were available on US Government Base Exchanges ( BX Army),Post Exchanges (PX USAF), Navy Exchanges (NEX), Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and Coast Guard Exchanges (CGX) for a low cost.
(*6217 62MAS, **6105, **6309)
Thus this revamping would incredibly (planned?) coincide with the Vietnam War and the advent of recreational Scuba Diving in 1966.
[It has been stated that the 6105 divers were issued to one of the U.S. Navy Seal teams in the 1960s. and in the film "Apocalypse Now," Martin Sheen played a member of the Special Forces who wore a 6105 divers watch.]
In October of 1974, after a short but substanial military career that included two tours of In Country Vietnam Combat Duty, a young Vietnam Veteran of 24 years of age purchased a 6105-8119 with serial number 480472 from a US Army BX less than a month before his discharge. He invested in the watch more for it's memories rather than it's looks, reputation or proven functuality.
Only four years earlier he had literally witnessed a similar Seiko with stand nearly two full tours of combat duty on his best friends wrist; becoming part and portion of his entire platoon. They all had shared in its beauty and toughness.. often using its steely presence as the only example of an "Outside World": a place other than the humid mosquito laden jungles they awoke to every day. The Seiko had in turn become a witness of events..
And witness it did.. the laughter and the tears... the fright and the courage .. and death...
It was the memory of a March day of 1969 in a Special Forces camp near Ben Het in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam that he longed to quench with his purchase. It was there, in a forlorn and dismal place overlooking the Laos Cambodia border, that fate met its intended persona; as in his best friend and his trusty companion...
Both had become but causalities of a war that claimed so much...
Paul's relatives would not go into the details of his loss. They wanted more to tell of a life time of resurrection; of a return of peace and joy.. of a quenched desire to ground and alleviate his sadness with a rebirth. And, as Paul's relatives said to me, his purchase was, in fact, a means to renew and to live.. yet stay connected to his past.
Four more years, eight in all, since fate had changed two lives: one with death, the other with resurrection. Four years to simply find meaning and purpose; for his confusion was continually immanent. He could not understand why he longed for a place that was more than inherently inhospitable. Yet he longed for his friends ---both dead and living. He longed for the feeling of mutual dependence that bridged all color, race, prejudice or divide. He longed for the "good ole days".
But is was 1978 and the facts were that the war was rift with anger, worry, fear and death more than the exhilaration of realizing one was still alive after a battle, attack or a simple recon.
Thus, it was the Seiko residing on his wrist at every awakened moment, ticking away for the last four years, that grounded Paul. While it represented what had happened and occurred, it also provided an uncanny relief. It was as if Paul's best friend - a friend who became what he was to Paul through a mutual need and dependence upon one another - remained alive as long as the Seiko ticked.. on his wrist.
In fact, Paul had a special band installed on the Seiko because he was in fear of losing it.
They became inseperatble.
On September 13, 1978, Paul was accosted and his watch was stolen.
In the cold and dreary flat, a shape moved upon a thread bare mattress that lay upon a peeling linoleum floor teeming with the refuse of a perennial nocturnal nature. Paul awakened to familiar urges coming as fast as the feeling of the damp cold sweat upon his naked skin. The room was pitch dark and wind howled against cracked window panes with enraged desperation to enter.
As Paul struggled to attain an upright position, the tracks running up his arms swelled like an army of angry red small pox extending in recognition of their masters violent urges. Desperation had replaced contentment. A fix in need, Paul fell to the floor in agony.
Life had gone by as fast as the mugged theft of the moment three years previous. Paul had sank unto a depravity unlike anything he could have imagined. His lust for the removal of any semblance of reality was accomplished via an aged hypodermic syringe; a tool he coveted more than life itself.
Paul was coward to take his own life, yet he did not desire to live; more than an awkward reality. It was a nightmare that one did not awaken to, rather, one attempted to sleep to.
Now, you ask, how in the hell could this happen? What drove Paul to addiction? Was it the theft of the watch? Was it the fact that Paul felt his friend dying over and over.. that he could not throw off the reflections of wasted lives, including his own?
We will never know, for that memory was unrevealed when this author of the Seiko 6105 talked with Paul's relatives.
" flowing snow-white starched cotton gown... "
That is all Paul's relatives said [I believe they simply did not want to discuss the depravity of his utter addiction] of the time he awoke in Elmhurst Hospital in Queens NY on that sunny day in August of 1984. It was Paul's fifth, last and successful attempt to break the cycle of his addiction.
For ten more years Paul lived a life of bland existence. He dated many women. He held many jobs. He lived in many places. Yet his life remained the same: flashes of battle in the middle of a peaceful night; sudden seizures of sweat draped awakenings .. over and over.
He had beaten drug addiction to a pulp, but the pulp was the anxiety and fear and sorrow and pain that continued to cause the failure of Paul to become normal. To become legitimate. To become of any other society but the dammed.
In April of 1994, Paul met Elizabeth. She was a stunner. Blonde flowing hair. Fierce blue-ice eyes. 32 years of age .. ten years junior to Paul and a world apart in her zest for life.
Elizabeth was a caring person; a person who lived to help others. One of those woman whose life is encouraged and sustained by those whom are in need. Her life required that her lover, her companions, her friends be in need.. of anything...
It was as if Elizabeth could only function and enjoy life as long as all around her were hurting and she was the only one with a the cure for that hurt. Do not take this wrong, but that was that. Nothing wrong as long as those around her did not become "cured". And that is exactly what Paul needed.
The sun baked the sand white as a cool salty breeze wafted the waters shore: a picture of paradise in a city of paradise.
Miami was teeming with water. Beaches stretched the coast shades of blue for miles and miles. Key West but an hour or so drive south across but links of land separating the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Of Mexico. This place was perfect for Paul and Elizabeth. Both had taken up diving and had been married in a simple ceremony upon a boat in the Bay of Miami. Paul had discovered the tranquility of the oceans depths and had replaced his need for dominance by any substance; even that of the care from Elizabeth. And Elizabeth had overcome her insecurity that she was not worthy unless she could help those in need. Though deep scars of memories that he once had to shut out with ten years of forced addiction had not gone away, his love of Elizabeth an hers of Paul made life life.
It was June, 2000 when Elizabeth became ill with a staff infection. Paul was a mess. Nothing, not water, oceans, drugs nor the depths of the seas of memories could console Paul. Fraught with anger and sorrow, Paul received the news that his wife may not make it.
If ever a prayer could be said that would deliver a miracle, Paul was the one that said them. Over and over he cried out for forgiveness --as if he was to blame.
After the funeral, Paul became dejected and morose. He lived life as if life were a sin. No one could console him. All that he ever loved was taken. I know, sound corny, but it is fact.
It was October 2004. Exactly thirty years from the month and year that Paul had purchased the Seiko 6105 believing that it was his answer to his pain and joy. Yet all had slipped into an abyss of sorrow that nearly covered the entire "period" of his life. . For happiness but was but a period of fleeting perception reminiscent of some ancient folklore. Paul, never a religious character, shunned anyone that used what he termed as hocus pocus.
Yet, it is was October of 2004, when Paul, on his way to work, in his constant state of thought, missed a traffic light and nearly ran over a woman, that life some how twisted in its spiral of unknown certainty. The woman, scared to the bones of death, forgave Paul as Paul begged to the high heavens that she be "alright". As the woman attempted to calm Paul, a good Samaritan appeared from the door way of a grimy pawn shop. He opened the door to Pauls car, which was two wheels on the curb, and backed it up. Parking it in front of his store. Then, with out a thought, he hustled both the woman and Paul into the shop, running to the back to get two bottles of water.
Within a ten minutes he had calmed Paul down. And the woman, who almost met her maker, left the shop to join her given world.
As Paul calmed down, the shop keeper and he began to talk. As the conversation took its trip through the road map of of Paul's mind .. as told by Paul him self, it ended with the beginning and the Seiko 6105.
Now, as hard as it is to believe what I am about to tell you, it is fact as told by not one, but several of the relations of Paul.
When Paul, in his enduring agony, told of his loss of his best friend, a friend who had been with him since both of them jumped from happy go lucky teens to active brutal combat in the steamy fierce jungles of Vietnam - in what was a blink of an eye -- and then related his purchase of a Seiko 6105 in 1974, and the fact of altering of the bracelet, and the theft, and subsequent misery that the loss entailed, the pawn broker seemed to go into shock and began to stutter something that Paul simply could not understand..
Gesturing like an Italian Mime, the pawn broker seemed to disappear and reappear in that same blink of an eye holding something in his out stretched hand...
When the watch was presented to me by a client with the story I have told you. I was a bit skeptical. Imagine, the watch was stolen in 1974, and was found in 2004, 1500 miles from the place of theft. But, the story had not ended.
When Paul was confronted by a hysterically activated pawn broker with his hands out stretched holding a 6105 8119 Seiko with a band looking like shark plates, with the same serial number as the one Paul lost 30 years prior, well, it was said that the ghosts of Pauls past rejoiced in the harmony of the joy and disbelief of a now middle aged man who only moments before was lost is a sea of confusion.
Paul would spend the next four years traveling the world. He believed that all those whom had traveled his path, those whom befriended and offered love, friendship and companionship, traveled with him.. if only in that Seiko 6105 that reappeared when his life was all but destroyed. He even wrote a song about the watch and his journey...
How often had Paul spoken with his best friend and his lover and wife about things they would do and see and be. And now, he could feel something special. They were there with him,. His secret prayers had been answered. \\
It is said that the watch looked over Paul for those four years. Paul dove the world and the world gave back its exhilaration of life. A month before the passing of Paul, he was diving a reef when a moray eel ripped into Pauls hand. The bite nearly severed two fingers. In gut reaction, Paul slammed his watch into the eel causing the eel to pull back. Forty stitches and a broken Seiko later, Paul recovered but died of a heart attack BEFORE the watch was repaired.
As I questioned the story, one of Pauls relatives ran out of our studio and then reappeared with the watch. As I went to examine it I . realized that there was water in it. When I opened it it was sea water....
Thus, this watch has an amazing story. I hope that whom ever invests in it treats it with care and keeps Pauls life alive and well...