April 23, 2023
Watches being featured in movies is hardly a new concept, although when it comes to animated films, the process of integrating an actual watch becomes a significantly more difficult task. When a watch is featured in a live-action production, its appearance can often be a last-minute decision by the costume designer, or even the personal choice of the actor, but when the film is animated, a watch’s appearance needs to be part of the entire animation process. As its latest new release of 2023, Seiko has created a new pair of Astron models inspired by the upcoming CG animation film Resident Evil: Death Island, but the interesting part here is that the two new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration Limited Edition watches will actually be the ones worn by the characters in the films.
While most people are familiar with the live-action Resident Evil films starring Mila Jovovich, the animated movies are really more of an offshoot of the popular Resident Evil video game franchise, although they are set within the same greater universe and reference some of the same characters and events. Positioned as a sequel to the animated film Resident Evil: Vendetta, the upcoming movie will be centered upon two main characters Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield), who will each be wearing one of these limited edition Seiko Astron GPS Solar watches. For those curious about the upcoming Resident Evil: Death Island film, the official descriptions for the two characters and the plot synopsis for the film is included below:
Leon S. Kennedy — “After surviving Raccoon City as a rookie police officer, he was recruited by the U.S. Government to become an agent in the D.S.O. His resilience makes him one of the government’s most formidable weapons against bioterrorism.”
Chris Redfield — “A former member of Raccoon City’s S.T.A.R.S. and survivor of the Mansion Incident, Redfield is a founding member of the B.S.A.A. His skills, decisiveness, strength and compassion are legendary among his colleagues.”
“D.S.O. agent Leon S. Kennedy is on a mission to rescue Dr. Antonio Taylor from kidnappers, when a mysterious woman thwarts his pursuit. Meanwhile, B.S.A.A. agent Chris Redfield is investigating a zombie outbreak in San Francisco, where the cause of the infection cannot be identified. The only thing the victims have in common is that they all visited Alcatraz Island recently. Following that clue, Chris and his team head to the island, where a new horror awaits them.”
As for the watches themselves, both of the new Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration models are based upon the latest 5X Series of Seiko Astron GPS Solar watches, and they feature the same black-finished titanium case that measure 42.7mm in diameter by 12.2mm thick, with an overall lug-to-lug profile of 48mm. Similarly, both models feature sapphire crystals above their dials, crowns and oblong pushers located on the 3 o’clock side of their cases, and the same 100 meters of water resistance that can be found on other Seiko Astron GPS Solar models. Additionally, the black-finished titanium cases of both new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration watches are given the brand’s “Super Hard” coating for additional scratch resistance, and both models also feature screw-down casebacks with the movie’s logo and an engraving of each watch’s individual limited-edition number out of 600 pieces.
Where the two watches differ is in regards to their dials, bezels, and the type of strap or bracelet that is fitted to their semi-integrated 14mm lugs. The Leon S. Kennedy model (ref. SSH131) features a gray dial paired with a bezel that includes city codes engraved upon its side and a black calfskin leather strap, which is intended to echo the jackets frequently worn by the character. Meanwhile, the Chris Redfield version (ref. SSH129) features an olive green dial inspired by the uniform that the character wears in the film, and it is paired with a black-finished titanium H-link style bracelet and a bezel that features UTC offset times engraved on its top surface. Additionally, rather than being finished with Seiko’s standard green-glowing LumiBrite, the hands and markers on both of the new Astron GPS Solar Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration watches feature LumiBrite that emits a blue glow, which is something that is not found on the standard-production models.
Powering both of the new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration watches is the brand’s Caliber 5X53 solar quartz movement that features GPS synchronized timekeeping and offers a wealth of functionality, despite still retaining a fully analog display. Constructed with 12 jewels and capable of setting itself to your local time via a GPS signal with the press of a button, the Seiko Cal. 5X53 is a significant step above the brand’s standard solar quartz movements, and in addition to being able to run for up to six months at a time after being fully charged, the Seiko 5X53 also offers many of the same features and functions normally only found on digital watches. Along with GPS synchronized timekeeping, the Cal. 5X35 also features a perpetual calendar, dual time function, world timer, day display, power reserve indicator, daylight savings settings, and even automatic hand alignment. While Seiko certainly loves its vintage-inspired mechanical pieces, the Aston collection consists of thoroughly modern watches, and the current Astron GPS Solar models are excellent examples of what Seiko can produce when it puts its mind toward creating a feature-packed contemporary timepiece that still offers a traditional analog display.
While the Seiko Astron lineup doesn’t get much attention in the United States, it is actually one of the brand’s more premium collections, and Seiko Astron watches can often be some of the Japanese manufacturer’s most expensive models (before you start to get into Grand Seiko territory). As such, both of the new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration watches are priced right in-line with the rest of the brand’s catalog, with the the Leon S. Kennedy model (ref. SSH131) coming in at $2,800 USD, while the Chris Redfield edition (ref. SSH129) will cost $2,900 USD, and both models will be produced as limited editions of 600 examples. Additionally, both Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield will be wearing their respective watches throughout the entirety of the upcoming Resident Evil: Death Island film, so while the movie is a completely CG animated work, these actually are the real-world versions of the watches that will be featured on screen. For more information on the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Resident Evil: Death Island Collaboration Limited Edition watches, please visit the brand’s website.