Seiko The Sci-fi Darling of the Horological World

Seiko: The Sci-fi Darling of the Horological World

Seiko and Grand Seiko watches have a long and storied history and are renowned for their reliability, innovation, and diverse range. Yet, unlike some brands that rely heavily on in-your-face product placement, Seiko’s presence in popular media is more subtle. However, they still need to make their mark. From Ripley’s trusty timepiece in Aliens to the Ghostbusters’ groundbreaking tech, Seiko watches have become subtly iconic alongside the characters who wear them.

Beyond Subtlety: Standout Seiko Moments

  • Ripley’s Trusted Companion: The Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000 in Aliens (1986)

Sigourney Weaver’s iconic portrayal of Ellen Ripley in Aliens wouldn’t be the same without her trusty Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000. This unique watch, known as the “Ripley” watch among fans, perfectly complements Ripley’s tough-as-nails character.  Its bold, digital design and chronograph functionality make it a practical choice for a woman facing down Xenomorphs.  The watch’s association with Ripley cemented its place in science fiction history.

  • Who are you going to Call?: Ghostbusters Get Techy with the Seiko M516 (1984)

The Seiko M516 worn by the Ghostbusters isn’t just a timepiece; it’s a technological marvel. This watch is the world’s first watch with a built-in voice recorder—a perfect tool for capturing paranormal evidence. While the voice recorder function might seem a novelty today, it was a groundbreaking innovation in 1984. The Seiko M516 adds a layer of technological intrigue to the Ghostbusters’ already impressive arsenal.

  • The Arnie: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Seiko Prospex H558

Seiko’s association with action heroes isn’t limited to Ripley.  In Predator (1987) and Commando (1985), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, Dutch Schaefer, sports the Seiko Prospex H558.  With its dual analog and digital display, this robust watch earned the nickname “The Arnie” due to its repeated appearances alongside Schwarzenegger’s action persona.   The H558’s rugged functionality perfectly complements Dutch’s no-nonsense approach, solidifying its place as a watch fit for a man facing off against alien predators and villainous arms dealers.

  • Shaken not Stirred: James Bond Series:

One of the most prominent showcases of Seiko watches is in the James Bond series. Roger Moore’s portrayal of the iconic spy saw him donning various Seiko models throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Seiko 0674 LC, worn in “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), and the Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar, featured in “Moonraker” (1979), are prime examples. These watches were not merely accessories but integral to the character’s high-tech gadgetry, enhancing Bond’s sophisticated and innovative persona.

  • The Smell of Napalm in the Morning: Apocalypse Now (1979):

In Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 war epic Apocalypse Now, Martin Sheen’s character, Captain Willard, wears a Seiko 6105-8110. This diver’s watch, known for its rugged design and reliability, underscores Willard’s mission’s practical and resilient nature. The watch’s prominent screen time and association with such a gritty, enduring film have made it a collector’s favorite.

  • Subtlety is the Word: The Office

John Krasinski plays the beloved salesman Jim Halpert. Jim’s Seiko SNK809, a simple and affordable automatic watch, reflects his everyman persona and grounded nature.

  • Breaking Bad

In earlier seasons, Bryan Cranston’s Walter White is seen wearing a Seiko SNK809. This understated watch mirrors Walter’s transformation from a humble chemistry teacher to a notorious drug kingpin.

  • The Breakfast Club

Paul Gleason’s character, the strict high school principal Richard Vernon, wears a Seiko A914-5019. 


Regarding movies and some notable TV shows, Seiko is not a stranger to making its mark on the big and silver screen. Due to its everyday men’s allure and sleek and one-of-a-kind design, it has been a mainstay for every generation of movie and filmmakers’ costume design. There are more examples of Seiko being used in productions, but the ones listed above can make your enjoyment of these movies more memorable in your next rewatch.


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