The watch you wear says a lot about your personality, social standing, and taste. In the fictional world, choosing the right watch is just as important – it’s one of the ways a character’s persona can be built on screen.
After all, Bond wouldn’t be Bond without a beautiful, weapon-grade watch on his wrist, and Steve McQueen’s racer wardrobe would be incomplete without that dashing blue Monaco.
There are quite a number of watches that have appeared in films, and we bring you the most iconic:
James Bond is most associated with Omega, but his original watch was a Rolex – a Submariner ref 6538 to be exact. First worn by Sean Connery in Dr No, he continued to wear the Sub throughout his screen appearances. It became so associated with the British spy that in watch circles it is still referred to as the James Bond Submariner watch.
Launched in 1969, the Monaco was disruptive for its time, being the world’s first waterproof automatic chronograph with a square case — but the watch was not met with much enthusiasm from the start. When actor and racer Steve McQueen requested for an authentic racer’s wardrobe for the filming of Le Mans, his friend racecar driver and then Heuer ambassador Jo Siffert suggested he wear a Heuer – they chose the Monaco, which until now is always associated with McQueen.
The movie tells the story of the Apollo 13’s aborted landing on the moon, and the exploits of the men who successfully returned to the earth in their crippled spacecraft. There was no better choice for the movie, as it is indeed the Omega Speedmaster that was worn on the mission – in fact, the watch was used to time a 14-second maneuver that was critical for safely returning the crew back to earth. It was worn on the film by Tom Hanks, who played Commander Jim Lovell.
Based on the 1991 novel American Psycho, the movie of the same name tells the story of a wealthy New York investment banker and his hedonistic and violent fantasies. Many brands refused to be associated with the film, including Rolex, which was actually mentioned 26 times in the novel. Nonetheless, the lead character played by Christian Bale prominently displayed a Rolex Datejust 16013 throughout the film, but made no mention of the brand.
James Bond’s relationship with Omega began when Pierce Brosnan first wore the brand in the 1995 film Goldeneye. But it was in Casino Royale that the movie franchise showed where their loyalties lie. In a dialogue between Vesper Lynd and James Bond, she inquires about the watch he is wearing. She asks “Rolex?” and he responds with “Omega.” Daniel Craig was wearing an Omega Seamaster Blue Wave Dial.