The cheap, simple digital watches Casio made in the 1980s have in recent years transformed from overlooked and under-appreciated to straight-up stylish. They never stopped making this type of watch, but the company has doubled down on their nostalgic value with more vintage reissues and variations than we can even keep up with. The latest, called the Vintage A100, is of particular note for its role in the Alien movie franchise.
That franchise is most associated, however, with a different watch: the Seiko x Giugiaro collaboration well-known to collectors as the Seiko "Ripley" after the character (played by Sigourney Weaver) who wore it in the 1986 film Aliens. Ripley wore a few watches in the franchise, but the watch you're looking at featured in the 1979 movie, Alien, and you might call it the "Casio Ripley." It was fitting for a sci-fi film at the time and today, even without the Hollywood connection, it looks wonderfully retro-futuristic — wonderfully, that is, if this is the type of nostalgia that speaks to you.
It's not just the movie that makes the watch interesting, however, as this is a modern remake of the F-100 watch that's also historically notable as the brand's first resin-cased watch. For Casio, that was a major milestone, as the brand would go on be known for its use of plastic — not least with its famously tough G-Shock line.
The look is like a variation of the the brand's basic digital watch formula with an LCD display and four buttons for various functions, but this one takes the buttons usually found on the case sides and places them right on the front. Further, rather than labeling them (as many Casio watches do), each button is simply identified by a different-colored bar next to it. There might be some practical benefit to having the buttons on the front of the watch, but most of all it lends a slightly funky, gadgety (reminiscent of the brand's calculator watches) and more colorful aesthetic.
The new watches come in four variations, none of which replicates exactly the one in the movie, which was all black with a positive (dark on light) digital display. The new watches come in basic silver, an ion-plated gunmetal finish (with negative display,) and a gold-toned version — as well as a special Pac Man version. Each is equally retro-chic, and they start at the crazily low price of $55 for silver, $75 for the gunmetal or gold-tone, and $99 for the Pac Man. You can pre-order now, and they're expected to be in stock at Casio by early September.