watches in movies

Watches in Movies: The Magnificent Presence with Starring Roles

Watches in movies do truly bring their own charm.

Date Published
November 3, 2021
Author
Gnomon Watches
Category
Shop Highlights

What do you think when you see the presence of watches in movies? Fascinated or do you just barely ignore it? As a watch enthusiast, watch spotting in movies has been an interesting thing to do. I love to go deeper about a particular piece circling on the actor’s wrist. Giving a comment on how it is matched with the character, and sometimes even forgetting what the movie is about. When facing a deadlock of identifying which watch is worn by the actor, I’d just simply ask it to forums and blogs in search of the exact model. And that is what makes watch spotting in movies becomes challenging and intriguing.

For me, wristwatches in movies make their own charm that attracts the audiences, especially for watch lovers. It creates a distinctive persona when it sits in the right place that matches the character.  We’ve all known that the choice of watch tells a lot about the wearer’s personality or fashion — and so does the choice of watches in movies. It performs like a symbol — an iconic image to show what kind of character the actor is portraying.

Let’s take Kingsman: The Secret Service movie as an example where the audience can clearly see the presence of watches in the movie. Basically, the movie is about how to be a modern gentleman — a practical watch to support the character as a spy and a good attire from head to toe. Wearing the right choice very much defines the actors’ character for the audience and helps the actors to get into their roles. Therefore, it’s crucial to select the right one. Looking at this case, so, how could watches end up in movies?

Product placement of watches in movies

Haven’t heard about product placement? This is like a tradition in the movies industry to have certain products appear once or several times on scene without explicit narration from actors. After all, the audiences could judge the character’s personality based on their choices, be it clothes, jobs, words, actions, cars, and definitely not to leave out watches.

Hamilton watches in movies was the first watch placement that was started in the movie “The Frogmen” (1951). That becomes an important milestone for Hamilton as it continues to make watch appearances on successful movies, such as Interstellar, Blue Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, and many more. As such, that’s how Hamilton watches become one of the famous watches in movies.

Watches as product placement would bring benefit for the movie production as well — it helps defray the movie cost. We can imagine how expensive it would be if more than three actors need to wear watches to bring out their role — that would definitely increase the expenses and the budget wouldn’t be able to cover it. Therefore, a brand partnership could be a good solution. As for the watch brand, even a few seconds of screentime would be a valuable marketing strategy to elevate their product’s exposure. That way, product placement of watches in movies could be a win-win for every party.

The pattern of how watches could end up appearing in movies could come from any number of ways. A brand partnership between the movie and watch brand is definitely the obvious one. Sometimes, a movie production company would apply for a partnership with a certain watch brand about using their products. The watch brand’s history of making reliable and accurate watches would be the most important factor, such as Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” that gained a big popularity thanks to its participation in the Apollo 13 mission. 

Sometimes, it is also common for a watch brand to make a collection of watches that are specifically designed for a film, such as in the movie Interstellar (2014). In that movie, Murph’s daughter has an exclusive Hamilton watch made only for her. In another case, actors may also seek advice to bring their own timepieces on set. However, it is important to match the watch with the character in the movie, not the one in the real world as watches say much about the character’s personality. That way, the actor and the watch could be a perfect pair in bringing out the role.

A robust field watch in a thrilling crime movie

It elegantly exudes the rugged feeling that perfectly fits the nuance of a crime-thriller movie titled “The Virtuoso” (2021). The Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto Men’s Watch H70695735 made its appearance to accompany Virtuoso played by Anson Mount. The watch’s beauty and practicality managed to enhance the dark and mysterious aura inside Virtuoso’s character. The first time I saw it in the movie, I tried to take a peek at its design whenever Mount’s character checks the time before taking the shot with his rifle.

The dial is equipped with a small day-date window under the 12 o’clock position and above the 6 o’clock position, making it a practical function to indicate not only time but also day and date. It is complete with grey indexes, a black dial, and a black rubber band — one of the elegant and bold Hamilton watches in movies that strap the Virtuoso’s image as a hitman.

A bold watch for a charismatic person

Are you a fan of the Marvel Studios series? If it is a yes then you might want to know about this watch that was worn by Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes) in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021). The Citizen Brycen Chronograph Ref. BL5551-14H made its appearance to complete the charismatic yet mysterious assassin image of Bucky Barnes.

To take things up a notch, this watch has a Super Titanium™ case paired with an impressive black leather strap. That way, it creates a bold and rugged look that also matches Barnes’ personality as a headstrong and resilient person. In addition to that, it is always the image of Citizen watches to have an advanced watch movement with its Eco-Drive technology.

An impressive descendant of a professional tool watch

Let’s get back to the old and most famous 80’s action movie titled Predator (1987) where Arnold Schwarzenegger (played as Dutch) showed his exceptional duel against a killer to protect his team. Taking a closer look at his character, especially on his wrist, we could see the 1982 Seiko Hybrid Diver’s Watch perfectly sits on it — a tough and durable watch that fits well with Dutch’s image as a leader of a U.S. Army. This screentime has successfully made the 1982 Seiko Hybrid Diver one of the ever-so-popular Seiko watches in movies. 

Seiko Prospex Hybrid Diver "Arnie" Emperor Ref. SBEQ005
Seiko Prospex Hybrid Diver “Arnie” Emperor Ref. SBEQ005

As for now, Seiko has made a reissued version of this watch. They still carefully keep the same design, such as the chronograph with a digital readout and alarm functionality but featuring modern and advanced technology through their Prospex Hybrid Diver “Arnie” Emperor Ref. SBEQ005. The Citizen also proudly presents its latest solar technology that powers the Caliber H851 movement in this watch. That way, the watch could run reliably even for six months on a full charge.

My final thoughts

With all that being said, watches in movies do give essential impact for every party, be it the movie production, watch brand, the actors, and even the audiences. It helps to reduce the production cost, increase the brand exposure, help the actors to be more engaged with their roles, and make the audience better understand the characters. Therefore, I personally believe that this tradition will take place in the future. Famous celebrities paired with a magnificent piece of watches is a great combination to create an impression for the audience. So, which watches in movies become your favorites?

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.
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