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The Seiko 6105 and How Movies Can Influence Demand

Apocalypse Now is one of the most interesting movies ever to reach cinemas. I could do an individual article on every single scene from the film (and I might) but in this piece I’m going to focus specifically on one of the stars of the movie, not Captain Willard but his watch: the Seiko 6105-8110, and how movies can greatly affect the value of items featured in them.

The Seiko 6105-8110 worn by Martin Sheen

First, a small bit of history. The Seiko 6105 was never actually issued to U.S. troops during the Vietnam War, although another Seiko, the 7005-8030, was. Only specific personnel, such as Air Force pilots, were provided watches. Most troops were expected to source and buy their own: most commonly at Post Exchanges. One of the most popular watches for troops to buy was the Seiko 6105-8110, making it a fitting choice for the character.

The watch is on his wrist throughout most of the movie and can be seen in some of its iconic scenes. Due to the watch being prominently featured in such a beloved movie, the watch has gained significant popularity, especially with watch collectors and film buffs, and is highly sought after. This brings us to the main point: how movies can create a demand for items featured in them and thus raise their value.

The Seiko 6105 now commands a relatively hefty price (for a vintage Seiko) of around £1500 to £3000 for a good example. Although it’s not a direct comparison, compare that figure to the price of a similar vintage Seiko dive watch like the 6309, which you can get for under £500. This is far from the only example of this effect, even related to watches. The Rolex GMT worn by Marlon Brando as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in the same movie is one of the most expensive watches ever sold (at $1.9 million), same for the Rolex Submariner worn by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. 

The Rolex GMT-Master (ref 1675) worn by Marlon Brando

In conclusion, Apocalypse Now is an incredible and immensely interesting movie that I shall continue to talk about. But more to the point, movies in general have a great ability to affect the world around them, one example is they can greatly increase the value of items featured in them.