30.03.2022 - Showbiz

Top 8 Most Iconic Movie Watches of All Time

What timepieces do these world-famous movie characters wear on their wrists, and what does it say about them?

Good wardrobe choices can tell you many things about a character. You might not often notice a watch in a movie, but in subtle ways they can influence your perception. Don’t believe me? Here are nie examples of movie watches that helped define their characters. 

8. Phil Coulson’s Watch in The Avengers

Clark Gregg wears the Omega Speedmaster to reflect his smart and reliable personality

There are a few good superhero watches to choose from. The Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange is a beautiful watch, and the Dora The Explorer watch given to Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr) in The Avengers is great for a gag (and now sells for a surprising sum in real life). 

Our favourite of the super-watches, however, is worn by a character without any powers at all. The Omega Speedster is reliable, tough, and balanced. Just like Coulson.  

7. Jordan Belfort’s Watch in The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio wears the TAG Heuer 1000

What brand springs to mind when you say “luxury watch”,? There’s a reason that so many famous rich characters wear a Rolex. These Swiss watch are synonymous with wealth and success. As expected, most of the investors in The Wolf of Wall Street wear a Rolex… but not all of them. The main character, Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, wears a watch mande by TAG Heuer, a different luxury Swiss watch manufacturer.

In the film, DiCaprio declares that “at least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I turn up in the back of limo wearing a $2,000 suit and a $40,000 gold fucking watch.”

A TAG Heuer 1000 is not really worth $40,000, though the Rolex’s it resembles might be. 

The real reason an imitation watch is used instead of the watch you would expect is because in real life Leo is an ambassador for the TAG Heuer brand. But we think the imitation is more appropriate for the character of Jordan Belfort, who eventually lost the riches he was so desperate to show that he had. 

6. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) In Top Gun

Tom Cruise wears the Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph 1 because his character is no.1

Tom Cruise in Top Gun with Watch

In the collaboration with Swiss watch manufacturers Orgina, F.A. Porsche wanted a watch face with crystal-clear readability, . Their design philosophy was “speedometer on the wrist”. If and there are two words that describe the flight-style of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, “precise” and “fast” would be pretty good choices. 

Years after the release of the film, IWC took inspiration from Mavericks’s iconic watch and released the Pilot Chronograph Top Gun IW389101, designed to withstand changes in pressure and the twisting forces of rapid ariel manoeuvres — exactly what a pilot needs. 

5. Barney Ross’s Watch in The Expendables 3

Slyvester Stallone wears the Richard Mille RM 032, a large watch for a larger than life action hero

Sylvester Stallone in Expendables 3 with watch

This is a watch that stands out even among a star-studded cast. This Richard Mille has a distinctive aesthetic which can be summed up as “biggest is better”. The massive bevels and the chunky numerals are appropriate when you consider the muscular physique that it is strapped to. 

Choosing the red variation of this watch, complete with eye-catching crimson strap, is surely symbolic, a reminder of the violence Barney Ross’s hands are going to wreck throughout the movie. 

4. Tony Montana’s Watch in Scarface

Al Pacino wears the Omega La Magique to say “excess” and “decadence”

Al Pacino in Scarface with watch

The Omega La Magique is one of the most unique-looking watches on this list. Not only is the rectangular watch case distinctive in itself, but the watch face that sits in it is also almost completely transparent. This is achieved with a clever bit of engineering that puts the quartz movement off-center from the dial. 

To wear a more traditional luxury watch would not have the same effect for this character. The look tells us that Tony doesn’t play by the rules, without distorting the message of the the gold face and strap, which are reminding us of his ambition and his taste for the finer things in life. 

3. Bruce Wayne’s Watch in The Dark Knight

Christian Bale wears the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso to show the two sides of his character

It’s a bit on the nose (or “on the face”), but the watch face of the Reverso literally flips, just like Bruce Wayne flips to become Batman when the sun goes down. 

2. Jim Lovell’s Watch in Apollo 13

Tom Hanks wears the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch because this watch really did go to the moon!

Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 with watch

During the space race NASA researched watches that could be used by astronauts on the moon. They found that the Omega Speedmaster could continue to operate in the conditions that would be imposed on it during a lunar mission. Therefore both Neil Armstrong and Buz Aldrin had Omega Speedmaster’s attached to their wrists in 1968, but only one of those watches made it onto the moon. Neil chose to leave his own Speedmaster behind in the Eagle module, as he was concerned about the possibility of having both watches damaged during the spacewalk. 

Therefore, it was Buzz Aldrin that brought the first watch to the moon, and the Omega Speedmaster has been intimately connected with spaceflight ever since. 

The climactic manual engine burn in the Apollo 13 movie (required to adjust the angle of the craft’s reentry) occurred in real life, and that burn real was timed with a Omega Speedster. So of course Tom Hanks wears one in the movie — it’s historically accurate!

1. Patrick Bateman’s Watch In American Psycho

Christian Bale wears the Rolex Datejust Two-Tone because it is perfection, just like his character pretends to be

The Datejust line has a long history in movies. When Alex Baldwin tells the room of struggling real estate salesmen “This watch cost more than your car… That’s who I am.” in Glengarry Glen Ross, it was a Rolex Datejust that he was showing them. Decades later, the symbolism of the watch was clearly defined, which is why is was chosen for Matthew McConaughey’s character in The Wolf of Wallstreet. 

Each of these characters has a dark side to them, but not more than Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. This American all-star wears an all-star watch to match, but behind closed doors…

Thankfully, the grisly antics of Patrick Mateman have not tarnished this watch's reputation. Though the Datejust is popularly known as “the American Psycho Rolex”, it still sells for exorbitant sums at auction. 

And why not? Who wouldn’t want to own and wear a piece of film history like that?
Looking for a Rolex Datejust? You can find a wide range of them in the Luxe Watches store. Shop here.

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