You may or may not know that I’ve been on an Alien franchise kick lately due to a commission for a Motion Tracker that came shortly after I started playing Alien: Isolation and which coincided with the need to come up with a costume for a ‘con in March.
It started while I was playing Alien: Isolation, when Ripley Junior does something you catch a glimpse of her double-watch. Which I think looks pretty cool!
I skipped through the internet to find out if anyone had made or was selling replicas, and I was surprised that no-one seemed to be. I shelved this for a few weeks since I had other things to work on, but eventually I came back to the idea of trying to put one together myself.
While I was looking at pics on the internet I found a couple of people showing images of Ellen Ripley’s watch from Alien, which certainly looks very similar.
It’s not the same!
Annoyingly (to me) I’ve seen people reference the watch from Alien saying it’s the same one as worn by Amanda in Alien:Isolation. They are clearly similar, but not the same at all. At this point people usually roll eyes, and to be fair, I agree. If I hadn’t been collecting images to make a replica I probably wouldn’t have noticed or care that there are differences.
Amusingly even this, the cosplay guide made for Amanda-cosplayers actually shows a picture of Ripley Senior’s watch!
Since by this point I’d already started on my Dallas costume, and that needed one of these double-watches and my housemate was putting together a Ripley costume, it meant I was already making the majority of a Ripley Junior watch anyway since the hard bit (the faces) are the same.
Ellen’s watch has two F-100’s connected in the middle in the area that used to be the strap connection. Her watch has an orange rubber surround that goes around both faces as once continuous unit. The straps come from the F-100 sides and go over the edge of the orange rubber surround. Amada’s watch features F-100 faces but the sides of the casing lack the angled bits that connect to the straps. The two faces are connected together by what looks like a small black strip. The orange surround is unique to each watch and is not joined (visibly). The strap seems to come from under the orange surround.
Building the Alien:Isolation watch.
I’ve already made the Riplay/Dallas watch for the costumes, so making a new version of the 3D files is no problem. A fresh pair of watch faces with flat sides, new unique orange rubber surrounds and a very thin bit of 3D print for the joining strip and we’re good to go!
One of the problems I had with the Ripley/Dallas watch was that because of the overall size of the double watch I found it quite uncomfortable to wear, it doesn’t fit my wrist very well because it’s too big. I’d also needed to hack a new hole in the strap to get it tight enough. I didn’t really want the same struggle with this one since it’s just supposed to be an everyday watch, and I figured that since this is a watch from a time some 15 years after the ones worn in Alien (in universe chronology), then I attribute the slight cosmetic differences to it simply being a new version.
Therefore I took some poetic licence and added a simple looping Velcro strap, which makes it MUCH easier to wear. I also did some jiggery-pokery (technical term) with elastic loops on the back of the faces to make them sit in the slightly V shapes angle you can see on the game-prop and it all comes together to make this watch actually comfortable to wear!