Watches of the Silver Screen
The Big Screen: where stars are born and epic sagas are told—and that's before you've even stepped out of wardrobe. Whether a watch is a part of the action, or simply a smart sartorial choice, there have been a number of iconic movie-watch pairings since the dawn of the silver screen—we take a look at just a few of them below.
He’s the international man of mystery every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with, so as you can imagine, James Bond’s wrist has always been prime real estate for watch brands. In fact, the creator of the world’s most famous spy, author Ian Fleming, gave Bond a Rolex—no doubt inspired by his own watch of choice, the Rolex Explorer.
So when Sean Connery assumed the mantle of Bond for Dr. No in 1962, it was a Rolex Submariner that he wore on his wrist—specifically, a reference 6538. With its distinctive bezel and robust design, this diver was an obvious choice for the ultimate action man who would need a timepiece that could keep up with his sensational lifestyle.
Since 1997’s GoldenEye, another watch has stepped into the Bond watch limelight: the Omega Seamaster Professional. As the story goes, Lindy Hemming, costume designer for Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal of 007, described the famous spy as, ‘A naval man, a diver and a discreet gentleman of the world,’ and decided that Omega’s iconic diving watch, the Seamaster, was what the Bond of the new millennium would wear. An Omega has been in every single Bond movie since.
With the watch’s strong maritime heritage and its links to the beginnings of professional diving, the sporty, reliable Seamaster evokes a sense of adventure that goes hand in hand with the fast-paced hit movies. Since 2002, after the release of Die Another Day, Omega has produced a number of commemorative pieces to make the most of this connection—and has equipped Bond with a further two models, the Planet Ocean and Aqua Terra.
Tag Heuer Monaco
At the dawn of the 1970s, with the excitement surrounding the Space Race slowly beginning to subside, there was one thing that captured the world’s imagination more than anything else: motorsport. In 1971, the film Le Mans was released, which tapped into the roar of the engines and the buzz of the crowds. It was something of a sleeper hit; though not initially all that popular, it became a cult favourite due to its authentic recreation of the dramatic 24-hour Le Mans endurance race, and heading up the cast was legendary badboy, actor Steve McQueen.
In order to faithfully recreate the character of a race car driver, McQueen adopted the calibre 12 Monaco watch by Heuer (the name of TAG Heuer before the brand was acquired by Formula 1 car part makers, Techniques d'Avant Garde). An enduring watch legacy was born. A beautiful example of a racing chronometer, the Monaco’s distinctively square case and retro styling became as much of an icon as the film itself, and the brand has kept the ties with McQueen strong in its marketing and in a series of limited editions dedicated to the films.
Panerai as worn by Sylvester Stallone
It’s always a god-send for a brand when a famous actor adopts one of their pieces as their go-to watch, and that’s exactly what happened for Panerai in 1993. In a stroke of fate, muscle-bound action hero Sylvester Stallone just happened to be holidaying in Italy when he walked into Panerai’s Florence boutique. From then on, the Hollywood star was smitten, and Stallone chose to wear a Panerai in the next film he was to star in: 1996’s Daylight.
Since then, a Panerai watch has been spotted on Sly’s wrist in a number of hit movies—including when he reprised the role of soldier John Rambo in 2008. Not enough Panerai action for you? Stallone also kitted out the cast of The Expendables with the PAM 332 Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante.
Then, of course, you have the other kind of movie watch: the one specifically designed and created to be featured in a film. That’s what Bremont did for the 2015 hit, Kingsman: The Secret Service. The British watchmaker teamed up with director Matthew Vaughn to develop a watch that would grace the wrists of the agents of his super secret British intelligence agency.
The watches played an important role as a go-to gadget watch for the agents—in particular, the star of the film, Taron Egerton, as a young, brash agent-to-be and his cool, collected mentor, played by Colin Firth. After the film hit cinemas, Bremont made the three models that were worn in the movie available to the public.
Some know him as the Dark Knight, some as Bruce Wayne—but both sides combined make up the beloved, gadget-laden superhero. What better watch for a man with a dual identity to wear than the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso?
Val Kilmer’s Batman was the first to wear the watch for 1990’s Batman Forever, and a limited edition watch with the bat logo was released as a promotion for both the film and the brand. But the Batman-Reverso connection doesn’t end there, and when Christian Bale stepped into the mask in 2008 for The Dark Knight, the Reverso made its return in the form of the Reverso Grande Taille. The understated sophistication of the Reverso watch is perfect for billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, with its dial concealed just as discreetly as his heroic alter ego.