This one is good news for numerous fans of the Alien franchise that are also into watch collecting business. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their partnership with the Italian industrial designer Giorgetto Giugiaro (this gentleman of many virtues is also responsible for such works of art as the iconic DeLorean DMC-12, BMW Nazca C2 and 1972 Maserati Merak), the watchmaking branch of the Japanese brand Seiko has introduced a limited edition Seiko 30th Anniversary Speedmaster Chronograph JDM (Ref. SCED003) that looks almost like a re-issue of the famous “Bishop watch” from 1986 Aliens blockbuster.
Comparing the new watch with the original (a photo of the former is below this paragraph and the latter can’t be reproduced for copyright reasons, but you can easily find its numerous images online) that was immortalized in the 1986 sequel to the iconic 1979 movie, I can say that the new watch looks almost like a faithful recreation of the legendary watch.
Sporting the same off-centered case and a grey dial with a tri-compax chronograph layout, a set of highly contrasting, aviation-inspired hour and minute hands and the signature red hour markers and red Arabic numerals on the unidirectional rotating bezel, the new watch differs from the 1983 model only with the quartz mechanism that powers it (which also means that the setting crown had to be repositioned to a more traditional place at 3 hours), as well as with a new black PVD steel bracelet. As a sort of bonus, you get the superb legibility of the original model.
Perhaps, the only thing that may put some people off is the off-centered design of the integrated rubber strap that puts the mid-sized 40 mm case closer to the back of your palm and may make it not really comfortable in some situations.
Offered only as a JDM model, the watch is limited to just 500 pieces and will retail for around $350 USD, although I have already seen one on eBay wearing a heavier price tag of $500 USD. For a piece of living classic (although some will probably challenge the title since a re-issue is never the real thing for the real cork sniffers) the price seems to be completely justified (and, on a side note, I am fairly sure that the watch will keep getting higher in price as time goes by, so, if you are really interested in getting one, you’d better hurry up!) Even though it lacks millions of functions currently available Japanese watches in this price range may provide, it effortlessly blows most of them out of the water with its subtle mojo and that easily recognizable hand of maestro Giugiaro. And, just for a second, imagine yourself wearing one of these at the next Comic-Con! Yeah, baby!
See also: 2013 Seiko SARZ033 Automatic Series
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Seiko 30th Anniversary Speedmaster Chronograph JDM (Ref. SCED003) specification
Movement: Quartz, in-house, Made in Japan
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case, Bezel & Crown material: Stainless steel, black PVD-plated
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 11.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Hour markers: Red
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black PVD-treated stainless steel bracelet