Seiko Watches on the Silver Screen: A Tribute to the Japanese Brand’s Cinematic Legacy

Seiko Watches on the Silver Screen: A Tribute to the Japanese Brand’s Cinematic Legacy

Seiko Watches on the Silver Screen: A Tribute to the Japanese Brand’s Cinematic Legacy

Seiko is one of the most renowned and respected watch brands in the world, with a history that spans over a century. The Japanese company has produced some of the most innovative and iconic watches ever made, such as the first quartz watch, the first automatic chronograph, and the first dive watch. Seiko has also been a favourite choice of many celebrities and movie characters, who have worn Seiko watches in some of the most memorable and influential films of all time. In this article, we will take a look at some of the Seiko watches that have appeared in iconic movies, and how they reflect the personality and style of the characters and the films.

One of the most famous Seiko watches in movie history is the Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000, which was worn by Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986). This watch was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, a legendary Italian car designer who also created the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future. The Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000 has a futuristic and asymmetrical design, with a digital display and a chronograph function. The watch perfectly suits Ripley’s character, who is a tough and resourceful heroine who fights against the alien menace. The watch also symbolizes the sci-fi genre of the film, which blends action, horror, and technology.

Another Seiko watch that has a strong connection to the sci-fi genre is the Seiko H558-5009, which was worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in a number of movies during the 1980’s including Predator and Commando. This watch is also known as the Seiko Arnie, as it was popularized by the Austrian actor. The Seiko H558-5009 is a 46 mm hybrid watch that combines an analogue dial and a digital display, with a compass, an alarm, and a backlight. The watch is rugged and durable, and can withstand water, shock, and extreme temperatures. Although the watch is not too expensive at current resale prices, they are hard to find on resale sites.

Seiko has also been associated with another iconic movie character, James Bond. Yes, the super-spy James Bond mostly wore Seiko in the 1970s. Although Bond is more famous for wearing Rolex and Omega watches, he also wore several Seiko watches during Roger Moore’s later tenure as the British spy. One of the most notable Seiko watches that Bond wore was the Seiko M354 Memory Bank, which appeared in Moonraker (1979). This watch was not only a timepiece, but also a gadget that had a hidden explosive charge that could be detonated by a button. The watch helped Bond escape from a cable car that was attacked by the villain’s henchmen. The watch appears prominently in the film as it was obviously a product placement, and is historic in the sense that mechanical watches fell out of favour in the 1970s with the dominance of digital watches.

The Seiko Voice Note M516-4009 appeared in Ghostbusters (1984). The Voice note is yet another digital watch that was released in 1983, a year before the movie came out. It has a rectangular case, a black LCD screen, and four buttons on the right side. The watch has several functions, such as time, date, alarm, stopwatch, and backlight. But the most distinctive feature of the watch is the voice note function, which allows the user to record and playback up to eight seconds of audio. The watch also has a speaker and a microphone on the left side of the case. With all those complications, you can imagine that the watch was a bit of a mess when it came to watch aesthetics. Nevertheless, I’ve seen them on eBay where sellers are asking upwards of $2-3,000 for good examples. That’s ludicrous!

The watch was worn by all the Ghostbusters and was used for various purposes in the film, such as setting reminders, communicating with each other, and detecting paranormal activity. For example, in one scene, Egon (played by Harold Ramis) uses the watch to record the voice of a ghost that he encounters in a hotel room. He then plays back the recording to his colleagues. In another scene, Ray (Dan Akroyd) uses the watch to set an alarm for 20 minutes, which is the time limit for their nuclear-powered proton packs. He then warns his teammates to avoid crossing the streams of their proton beams, as it could cause a catastrophic explosion. Not the best looking watch in the Seiko back catalogue, but worth mentioning as it appears prominently in this iconic film.


Seiko watches have also appeared in other genres of movies, such as war, drama, and comedy. One of the most iconic Seiko watches in war movies is the Seiko 6105, which was worn by Martin Sheen as Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now (1979). This watch is a classic dive watch that has a cushion-shaped case, a large crown, and a unidirectional bezel. The watch is reliable and robust, and can withstand the harsh conditions of the Vietnam War. I’ve read in a number of online blogs that the 6105 was never actually issued to servicemen in the Vietnam War, although a popular watch in its day and popular with troops. It goes to show though how movies can influence demand and desirability of certain watches. The Seiko 6105 are very expensive now, with second hand watches listed on eBay for thousands of dollars. Most have seen very rough lives and aren’t in good condition. Still, Seiko have recently released The Seiko SPB151 and SPB153 'Captain Willard' Prospex Models which are modern takes on the classic one worn by Sheen in the movie.

Finally, although not related to movies, but still worthy of a mention is the Seiko 6139 ‘Pogue’. Known as the Pogue after William Pogue, the Astronaut who wore the Seiko 6139 during the Skylab mission 1973-1974 making it not only the first automatic chronograph, but first Seiko in space. Yes, not associated with film but worthy of a mention, and it beat Ellen Ripley’s space Seiko worn in Aliens by 13 years!

In conclusion, Seiko watches have appeared in many iconic movies, and have added to the character and style of the films and the actors. Seiko watches are not only timekeepers, but also storytellers, who can express the genre, theme, and mood of the movies. Seiko watches are more than just watches; they are cinematic legends. 

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