One of the most famous Seiko watch lines is the 7A28 chronograph series used in the movie, Aliens. These watches feature off-axis bracelet alignment and big boxy pushers that even regular people notice. In 2013, Seiko reissued these watches in their Spirit line, and today I’m wearing the 2014 SCED017 “Bishop” model.
The modern reissues differ from the classics in many ways, but the lack of a pusher 10 and movement of the crown from 8 to 3 is most obvious. This is due to the lower-spec movement used, which lacks a split seconds feature and is generally cheaper than the legendary and revolutionary 7A28. But such is the nature of many reissues. The coloring and markers are also slightly different, though the SCED003 was extremely close to Bishop’s 7A28-6000.
My SCED017 is a 2014 model and is yellow on black rather than red-orange as on the original Bishop model. It also has black rather than color-coordinated pushers at 2 and 4. But it’s a pretty nice-looking watch nonetheless. One aspect I must mention are the hour and minute hands: They’re extremely bright yellow colored, more than is obvious in photos. They really call attention to themselves!
The offset bracelet design is extremely comfortable on the left hand, with the watch face peeking out from any cuff. It vanishes on the wrist, and the bracelet and well-designed pushbutton deployant are light and flexible. The case and bezel are quite tall, however, and slab-sided. The bezel seems extremely tall for this watch, giving the dial a “deep dish” placement.
The hard-coated stainless steel body is a nice dark gray color but the glossiness gives it a bit of a cheap feel, as does the light weight of all the components. The polished stainless steel back is visible underneath when you bend your wrist. The crown is made of the same stuff but looks lighter in person, and the matte buttons and bezel insert have a cheap plastic look. Overall, the look is sporty and “nice-enough”, but not really “quality”.
The 7T12 quartz movement has a good enough feature set for a quartz chronograph: 1/5 second chronograph counter with a 60 minute totalizer at 6:00, date aperture at 3:00, and small seconds at 9:00. Being quartz, that minute totalizer advances once per minute rather than continually. But the subdial at 3:00 shows 24 hour time rather than being a more useful chronograph hour counter. At least the 3-6-9 subdial arrangement is pleasing.
Overall, the SCED017 is nice enough to wear and reasonably cool thanks to the Aliens connection. But it’s not one I regularly reach for in the watch box.