Seiko Giugiaro ‘Aliens Ripley’ Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue

Seiko Giugiaro ‘Aliens Ripley’ Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On

What a coincidence that on the same day I get to put one of my personal grail watches on my wrist, I learn that two "reissue" models are being released as a limited edition. That's right: Seiko just announced two limited edition "Seiko X Giugiaro Design" watches known as the Seiko Spirit Smart SCED035 and the SCED037 that directly honor the classic 1983 Seiko Chronograph 7A28-7009 and this 7A28-7000 which I got to wear directly from Seiko's own museum collection. This is one of the first watches Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro designed, and it became famous because James Cameron chose this and other Seiko watches to be worn on most of the cast of his 1986 movie Aliens.

This Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000 watch is probably the most famous of all Seiko Giugiaro watches not only because of its unique design, but also because James Cameron (or someone on the crew of Aliens) decided that it should be on the wrist of the main protagonist Ellen Ripley, played by actress Sigourney Weaver - who kicked some serious Xenomorph-alien-ass while wearing one.

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On
2015 limited edition Seiko SCED035

As part of the history of the chronograph, Seiko had a mini exhibit Β within the 2015 SalonQP show in London, where they brought over their original automatic chronograph from 1969, as well as this extremely rare 7A28-7000 watch. The reason they had it there is because it contains the coveted Seiko caliber 7A28 which I understand is the first quartz analog chronograph movement - and I wish they made a modern version of it today. You'll notice that the two limited edition re-issue Seiko X Giugiaro Spirit Smart watches have the more contemporary but not quite as cool Seiko caliber 7T12. The more traditional subdials, minus the date indicator window, as well as the more functional chronograph still seem to make the 7A28 movement more interesting than the 7T12 with its 60-minute versus 12-hour chronograph.

With that said, getting a vintage Seiko watch with a 7A28 movement in it is tough not because of availability, but because so few of them are in good condition. That is because the people who bought them wore the hell out of them. I am once again going to ask Seiko to make a new version of the 7A28. As long as it is in watches priced $500 and below, I am cool with it... Grand Seiko doesn't need a quartz chronograph just yet.

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On

Before I speak about the re-issue of this watch, I want to talk a bit more about wearing it. Of course, this version was in as good condition as one could hope, but it was still an over-30-year-old watch. The design is fantastic, and Seiko, along with Giugiaro, did an excellent job of fully encapsulating the futuristic theme of the era that was industrial, blocky, and verging on dystopian. It feels like an evolution in ergonomics and functionality meant for a stylized industrial environment versus anything else. The design was probably closely connected to the idea in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the then-popular science fiction that many people believed the future meant living on massive spacecrafts or space stations far away from earth, and that most people's jobs would be in maintaining or running such engineering feats.

Weaver's Ripley character lives in just such a fantasy science fiction world with the added military component, so this watch gets a macho (yes, Weaver pulled off macho) as well as utilitarian side to its personality. I was actually pretty sure that it was only a matter of time before Seiko released a limited edition re-issue because not only have they been doing just that, but recently, they debuted the first limited edition "Seiko X Giugiaro Design" watch collection honoring the Seiko "Bishop" 7A28-6000 watch. It was only a matter of time before the Seiko 7A28-7000 got the same limited edition treatment.

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On

Seiko Giugiaro 'Aliens Ripley' Watch Hands-On & New Limited Edition Reissue Hands-On

The original Seiko 7A28-7000 watch went by a few names in addition to its reference number. On the watch is actually written "Speedmaster," which today, I believe Omega would have an issue with. Sometimes, the watch was also known as the Seiko Chronograph Sport 100. The caseback has a small waves logo which looks like Seiko dive watch logos, even though the Seiko 7A28-7000 was clearly not a diver. On the wrist, the matte light gray aluminum and steel case is cool-looking but, of course, highly avant-garde. It feels large for a period timepiece but isn't too large at all by today's standards. Of course, you have the unique "up-down" chronograph pusher and an additional pusher, as well as the crown for the watch on its left-side.

I don't know the precise dimensions of this original Ripley watch, but the reissue Seiko X Giugiaro Spirit Smart SCED035 and SCED037 models are 41.8mm tall and 42.2mm wide. It doesn't look that square, does it? Thickness is 10.8mm, and the original was rather light as well. I love the bracelet design and other little design details such as the "happy face" section of the dial for the subsidiary dials and super cool design of the orange hands with the black line running through them. Colors are just spot-on "cool sports car" for the era - which made sense because Giugiaro was mostly a car designer.

  • IanE

    I guess that at the price these are not too bad, given that they are quartz as well as being ugly and ungainly. What I fail to understand, though, is why independent-thinkers would want to choose a watch (original or a copy) just because it had been in some Movie – surely that is, and I quote, “Being Influenced As A Watch Collector”?

    • Ariel Adams

      Yes, I listen to James Cameron – especially when it comes to what to wear while fighting aliens. Compared to me he is the expert.

      • AKDISQUS

        Good good, let the sarcasm flow through you.

      • Lurch

        Ridley Scott = Aliens series. James Cameron = Terminator series.

        • AKDISQUS

          Aliens was directed by James Cameron, embarrassed much?

          • Lurch

            You are right. Ridley Scott = Alien.

  • Richard Baptist

    I like quirky watches, and at this price for a limited edition why not?

    • Mark Baran

      Ditto

    • Larry Holmack

      Yep…nice price!!! For someone who remembers trying to find one in 1986…..it would be a welcome addition to my collection. I really like the all black model!!

  • Not my favorite 70s watch by a long shot. Sorry Ripley but you were wearing an ugly and ungainly watch (as Ian pointed out). Thanks for the background/genesis of the watch Ariel.

  • SuperStrapper

    A great watch that was featured in one of my favourite movie franchises of all time, and further proof of Seiko has made really ugly watches for a long time, not just in these modern times.

  • BNABOD

    hum, well it is a definite no for me. if the starboard protrusion was gone it would be bearable but I am sticking with NO

  • Dinkee, H. O.

    An absolutely gorgeous watch oozing with period charm.

    James and I were musing the other day about the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dials (that’s not reference 116660 but rather 116660-003 in case there’s any confusion amongst the less educated among the readership) and we touched on this very watch! A coin-kidinkee?
    The HO

  • iamcalledryan

    Makes a ploprof look like a calatrava.

  • DanW94

    The original does has a very cool 70’s leisure suit vibe to it if you can get past the monstrous growth protruding from it’s side. It makes the GF tumors look like tiny bumps in comparison. As for the new limited edition, I have no particular emotional connection to the movie, so no thank you. Ariel, thanks for the interesting article.

  • AKDISQUS

    Here is greatest collector’s opinion on this piece.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-abUtRbUS_U

  • awildermode

    Model number SCED…? Those are also the first four letters of a DeLorean VIN. DeLoreans were also designed by Giugiaro.

    • Ariel Adams

      Cool trivia.

  • DanW94

    Maybe this reissue is next??

    • egznyc

      This has essential ghost-tracking functionality. So it’s got to be a real winner! (My tongue is firmly in my cheek if you were wondering.)

  • Lurch

    I like the look of this Seiko with the exception of the chunk of metal attached to the right of the case. Price is reasonable. The bracelet is really cool. If gifted to me, I would wear it in a heartbeat – with that chunk of metal to the right.

  • Shinytoys

    I love Seiko and Aliens, but this watch is not really attractive in my opinion. I do realize the historic value regarding the quartz movement, but I just couldn’t wear this one.

  • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

    Is the 3 O’clock dial on the original a 10th of a second dial, and a GMT/24hr on the the re-issue?

    • DanW94

      On the reissue, I believe it’s a 24 hour AM/PM indicator. It corresponds to the main hour hand. But it’s not a GMT.

  • WINKS

    The last 3 reviews were all quartz watches…. What’s happening here?

    • Boogur T. Wang

      A watch is sometimes just a watch.
      Appreciation is not limited to one kind of motor only, IMO.
      Heck, I wear a funky old G-Shock quite often(have it on now) does mean I do not appreciate my mechanicals.
      It’s just a matter of appreciating the item – not the myth.

    • What’s wrong with quartz? A good quartz is much better than a cheap mechanical. A very good quartz is better than an average mechanical. Yet when there is mention of a nice cheap VFM mechanical everyone applauds (myself included, but i don’t diss quartz).

      Mechanical is not inherently better or more “alive”, it just makes us feel better about ourselves because most people don’t know about mechanicals, so we are the few privileged and “in the know”

  • TheBigOldDog

    I never realized the Bishop basically was later coped by Fortis-VW in the Fortis Spaceleader.

  • So, how can one buy this watch in the US?

  • TheBigOldDog

    They are on Amazon. You can get the Bishop for $350ish search
    SCED017

  • I have a 7A28, got it on a flea market for les than 20usd, cleaned it, changed crystal and it’s almost like new!
    I find this Aliens one hideous πŸ™
    Here’s mine! https://www.instagram.com/p/8qi5jRrp5d/ and https://www.instagram.com/p/68GcaWrpyH/

  • WolverBilly

    Funny thing: I never even noticed any watches in the movie. Must have been focused on other things; things that come out at night. Mostly.

    • AKDISQUS

      Gremlins?

    • Rockymet

      I thought that the movie was just an excuse to stare at Sigourney Weaver. Was there a plot or anything?

  • Boogur T. Wang

    The more I look at this one – the more I like it.
    Much better than a hideous (IMO) “ploproff.”

  • Ulysses31

    It is stylish and iconic, very much reflecting the design philosophy of the decade. I love the dial and hands but not so keen on the lump on the side. What irks me about several of these reissues if that they are in some ways too close to the originals. We still have the cheap crappy folded link bracelet which is these days a sign of a budget watch, but this model comes at a significant price. It should have a better build.

    • Svetoslav Popov

      I don’t think 280$ is a significant price and yes, it is a budget watch from a price point of view, but for me it is invaluable, because history is time, and time is money πŸ™‚

  • Bert Kanne

    If the lump on the side was removable and it had a decent solid link bracelet, it would be a nice watch that would be quite desirable!

    • Svetoslav Popov

      If this watch was not this watch, but that watch …. πŸ™‚ I think it is perfect as it is. It conveys everything from the 80s, it is super retro futuristic and the bracelet and the quartz and the brick play important role. I am waiting for my black beauty next week.

  • somethingnottaken

    I’d like to see Seiko’s mecha-quartz chronograph movement in the reissue.

  • hatster

    It is what we Brits call a ‘marmite’ watch. You either love it or hate it, due partly to the addition of a metal brick on one side.

    • I_G

      I hate quartz watches with or without metal bricks.

  • benjameshodges

    Great movie. Interesting watch for people who like memorabilia that’s more subtle than a pulse rifle.

  • I_G

    I’d rather spend that money on booze than on a quartz Seiko.

  • Pingback: In Need of a New Seiko. Any Suggestions? - Page 2()

  • Pingback: Seiko Is Re-issuing The Futuristic Watch Ripley Wore In Aliens | Gizmodo Australia()

  • John William Salevurakis

    It takes a lot to get me interested in a quartz watch….but this one does it. Probably “a buy” for me.

  • Pingback: Seiko "Aliens Ripley" New Limited Edition Reissue()

  • Pingback: Seiko Will Reissue Ripley’s Futuristic Alien-Fighting Watch | TechCrunch()

  • Pingback: ???????????????????????????? | TechCrunch Japan()

  • Barcelona FC

    I picked up a bishop a year and a half ago (Alien fan and dug the design). The band is unbelievably comfortable…just great!

  • SxyNerd

    Where and when can I buy one? I have no idea where to find one but I need it.

  • Svetoslav Popov

    You may try http://www.seiyajapan.com/products/seikoxgiugiaro-design-sced037 if they still have it. I have ordered mine there and am so inpatient to land my hands upon it πŸ™‚ Only the black version was available.

  • Jeff Kolodny

    I found one on Amazon. I hope I found the real thing because I ordered one.

  • Mark Baran

    I picked one up from Seiya-san. Really a fun watch for not much money.

  • Markus Oeder

    i got my watch today. love it ! πŸ™‚

  • Markus Oeder

    love it ! πŸ™‚ i got my watch today.

  • Pingback: aBlogtoWatch 2015 Editors' Gift Guide: Watches To Outlive You & Impress Oligarchs | aBlogtoWatch()

  • Pingback: watches on the moon()

  • Twinbarrel

    Just got my black ‘bishop’-version today from Japan. I wonder how many of the 3,000 stay in Japan.

  • Pingback: Watches Of Tony Stark / Iron Man In 'Captain America: Civil War' Movie | aBlogtoWatch()