Timepieces in Starring Roles: Famous Movie Watches

Although the wristwatch has been a widely-used item for less than a century (it came to prominence during WWI as a way to coordinate artillery and attacks from the trenches), it has earned a prominent place in numerous films.

We thought you’d enjoy a brief look at how these timepieces have figured into some popular plots and movies over the past few decades. Here are a few you might remember:

  • Christian Bale’s Rolex. When he played the American Psycho, Bale’s wardrobe was carefully monitored by image-conscious luxury brands. The book on which the movie was based included the now-pop line, “Don’t touch the Rolex.” However, Cerruti demanded that the actor not be seen wearing the Datejust it provided when he was killing anyone. How’s that for being sensitive to time?
  • Aliens was considered a great showcase for the then-futuristic Seiko Speedtimer. Sigourney Weaver gave a boost to this design by Giorgio Giugiaro when she wore it as the central character in this 80s thriller.
  • James Bond’s impeccable taste was used to highlight his watch in a brief interchange in the film Casino Royale. When Vesper Lynd asks, “Rolex?”, Bond responds simply, “Omega.” Not a bad promo spot for the brands Seamaster Professional and Seamaster Planet Ocean models.
  • 2001:Space Odyssey served to recast the type of futuristic space movies we enjoy, and Stanley Kubrick famously left no detail unexamined. He asked Hamilton to design a watch that would fit with the theme of the movie, and the result was a stylish watch-of-the-future that is still sold today.
  • Pulp Fiction shocked audiences on a number of levels, and one of them included the story told by Christopher Walken about the Lancet he discusses. Bruce Willis focuses on the watch in a childhood flashback, remember how Walken showed up one day, presenting him with the strapless timepiece. The story accompanying the watch was, shall we say, not a normal way of preserving such a keepsake.
  • Tom Cruise steps into an unusual role in Collateral, but he does so stylishly. As a very dapper hit man, his IWC Vintage Ingenieur Automatic IW3233 is constantly on display with his extended hand and heavy pistol ready for action.
  • The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges, introduced a number of cultural icons, and John Goodman, AKA Walter Sobchak, is one of them. The Big Lebowski is now a revered film, and it includes the equally desirable and collectible Casio DW-5900, worn by Goodman throughout the movie.
  • Patek Philippe is a frequent movie goer, and got some good visibility on the arms of Ryan Gosling, along with his oft-commented on scorpion jacket. Worn with a leather strap, the watch plays a key role in Drive, making the Goslin’s character’s punctuality possible.
  • Batman Returns also brought us the return of the highly visible Reverso Garnde Taille, initially worn by Val Kilmer in the Dark Night trilogy. It looked equally stunning on the wrist of Christian Bale, and returned in the form of a special edition Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 in the Dark Knight Rises release.

You’ve undoubtedly noticed many other popular and stylish watches in your favorite movies, as this is considered a premier way to highlight the most desirable timepieces.

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