6 Watches Named After Celebrities

paul newman

6 Watches Named After Famous People

In the watch world, it has become a common practice to give watches nicknames. Often, it’s because they have unique characteristics – like the green bezeled Rolex Submariner Kermit or the blue-red bezeled Rolex GMT Master Pepsi.

A reserve few, however, have been named after personalities. Over the years, distinguished individuals have helped cement the place of certain watches in horological history. Let’s check out 6 famous watches named after famous men:


Rolex "Paul Newman" Daytona


Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona

Actor Paul Newman took up motor racing in the 1960’s and was gifted by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, with a Rolex Daytona ref 6239. Newman was often photographed with the watch; and famously appeared on the cover of an Italian magazine while wearing it.

Since then, Daytona models with the same exotic dials have been dubbed “Paul Newman” models. They’re unique for their tri-tone dial, a feature present in the modern ref 116528 version pictured here.


Rolex "Steve McQueen" Explorer II


Rolex “Steve McQueen” Explorer II

Despite being named after him, actor Steve McQueen apparently never wore the Rolex Explorer II ref 1655. He did wear a Rolex or two, but it was this watch that was attributed to him, due in part to a misquoted interview for an Italian journal.

Nevertheless, the rumors that the legendary “King of Cool” wore the Explorer II helped popularize the watch. It also goes by other nicknames such as “Orange Hand” or “Freccione”, from the Italian freccia, meaning arrow.



Rolex Submariner reference 5512 on Steve McQueen
What Steve McQueen actually wore as his daily watch is the Rolex Submariner reference 5512. Auction house Antiquorum sold Steve’s actual watch in 2009.


Rolex "Clint Eastwood" GMT Master Rootbeer

Rolex “Clint Eastwood” GMT Master Rootbeer

Legendary actor Clint Eastwood loves his Rolex GMT Master so much, that he has worn it several times on the big screen, such as in 1982’s Firefox and 1993’s In the Line of Fire.

It’s clear that the watch is more than just a movie prop, as he was also often photographed wearing it off-duty. His choice model is the Rolex GMT Master “Rootbeer” reference 16753, with a two-tone gold and brown bezel.


Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea "Cameron" D-Blue Watch

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea “Cameron” D-Blue Watch

In 2012, Oscar-winning writer and director James Cameron set out on an expedition to the Mariana Trench. Located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, it’s said to be the deepest point of the Earth; and Cameron successfully descended to it.

To help with the mission, Rolex created a specially-designed timepiece that was built to handle the massive pressure under the ocean. Rolex later released the D-Blue dial version of the Sea-Dweller to celebrate the expedition’s success. It comes with a gradient black-to-blue dial and the Deepsea name printed in bright green.


Cartier Santos-Dumont

Cartier Santos-Dumont

The Cartier Santos-Dumont is one of the first wristwatches ever created. Louis Cartier himself designed the watch in order to meet the need of legendary aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont.

He complained about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch during flights and wanted a watch that he can wear safely while flying. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Cartier Santos-Dumont is still being produced and still bears the iconic octagonal case of the original design.


IWC Aquatimer Cousteau Divers Limited Edition Watch

IWC Aquatimer Cousteau Divers Limited Edition Watch


French naval officer, explorer, and researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau dedicated his life to the environmental movement, particularly the exploration and preservation of the seas. This work continues with the Cousteau Society, a non-profit that works to further his legacy.

IWC has been working with the organization since 2004 and regularly launches special editions of the Aquatimer Chronograph in his honor. The Jacques Cousteau Aquatimer watches feature a trademark deep blue dial and special back engravings.





PHOTO CREDITS: Main photo of Paul Newman (Paul Newman in Venice, 1963) from Lmattozz [CC BY 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons. Other photos: Paul Newman wearing Rolex Daytona from Paul Newman Tribute on Facebook / Jacques Cousteau from Cousteau Global on Facebook / Steve McQueen from Steve McQueen on Facebook / James Cameron by Gage Skidmore[CC BY 2.0] via Flickr / Alberto Santos-Dumont by The Appendix [Public Domain].
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