When people think of iconic timepieces used as movie props, the Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000 worn by Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in James Cameron’s Aliens always comes to mind. But the character wore another vintage timepiece in Ridley Scott’s original Alien too, which Casio is now re-issuing just like Seiko did.
It might not be immediately obvious to anyone watching Alien because the watch was doubled up to create the futuristic-looking timepieces worn by Ripley, Dallas, and other crew members aboard the Nostromo, but the film’s prop makers used a vintage chronograph called the Casio F-100 (although it wasn’t vintage at the time of filming) which was the company’s first watch to feature a plastic case — a common feature of cheap but durable digital watches today.
Aside from the resin case, the watch also included advanced features for the late ‘70s including a highly accurate stopwatch and a light for the screen. But what makes it stand out are the four function buttons located on the face below the display which today would be typically located on the sides of the watch. It makes the F-100 look more advanced than it really was, and also gives the watch the unique charm of vintage electronics, which is probably why Casio is bringing it back given collectors’ ravenous appetites for everything retro.
Renamed the A100 series, the watch has been updated with a metallic case and strap and includes a gold option and one with an inverted LCD display. The front-facing buttons are still here, and perform the same functions including changing modes, starting, stopping, and resetting the chronograph, and activating the screen lighting. The Casio A100 also now includes an LED that flashes along with alarms or when a countdown timer completes.
Available next month for $US90 ($120), the A100 will also come in a version featuring a limited edition gold Pac-Man motif, with a matching etched stainless steel back and patterned strap reminiscent of the retro game’s maze levels.