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05/06/2021
 5 minutes

Top Watches in Movies: Classy Timepieces That Hollywood Loves

By Jorg Weppelink
Top Watches in Movies: Classy Timepieces That Hollywood Loves

It’s only been a couple of months since I wrote the first article about some of the greatest watches in movies. Obviously, that was only a small selection of the vast number of options out there. That’s why I’ve decided to write a second article to discuss even more watches that Hollywood actors can’t seem to get enough of. Thankfully, unlike when I wrote the last article, the end of the pandemic finally appears to be in sight. This hopefully means that we will soon be able to enjoy films on the big screen again. However, until then, we can still take advantage of the various streaming services to check out more movies that feature some brilliant timepieces. Let’s jump in and discover what’s out there!

Apocalypse Now: Rolex GMT-Master and Seiko “Captain Willard”

Let’s kick things off with a true silver screen classic: Apocalypse Now, released in 1979. During the movie, Martin Sheen wears a Seiko 6105-8110/9 diving watch that enthusiasts have since dubbed the Seiko “Cpt. Willard.” Just last year, the Japanese brand decided to reintroduce this iconic timepiece, much to the delight of the watch’s many fans. The movie also stars Marlon Brando, who wears a legendary Rolex GMT-Master ref. 1675, but one that lacks the usual blue and red Pepsi bezel. On top of that, the bezel-less GMT-Master features a leather strap rather than the original steel bracelet. In 2019, the actual watch Brando wore in the film sold at auction for a whopping $1,952,000. The Seiko and Rolex are two of the most iconic watches ever to feature in a movie.

Seiko 6105-8110/9, a.k.a. the “Diver Captain Willard Apocalypse Now”
Seiko 6105-8110/9, a.k.a. the “Diver Captain Willard Apocalypse Now”

American Psycho: Rolex Datejust

I am a big fan of Brett Easton-Ellis’ books. They often paint a decadent and over-the-top image of the 1980s. This also forms the backdrop to one of his most famous books made into a movie, American Psycho. Christian Bale stars in the film as a Wall Street banker, Patrick Bateman, who completely loses it and goes on an enormous killing spree. When it comes to watches, the book mentions Rolex twenty-six times. True to its source material, the film portrays Patrick Bateman wearing a Rolex Datejust 16013 on a Jubilee bracelet. Released in the early 1980s, this watch is perfect for a Wall Street hotshot. Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes story: Rolex did not want to be associated with the story of a murderous psycho and demanded that the movie makers replace any mention of the brand name with the word “watch.” Ultimately, these efforts did not prevent Patrick Bateman’s Rolex from becoming a highly sought-after Datejust among cinephiles.

Rolex Datejust 16013: the perfect watch for a Wall Street hotshot
Rolex Datejust 16013: the perfect watch for a Wall Street hotshot

The Wolf of Wall Street: Rolex Daytona, Rolex Datejust, and IWC Big Pilot

It’s no surprise that we see a lot of Rolexes in The Wolf of Wall Street. First off, the Genevan brand is the ultimate show of luxury and a clear choice for the rich and powerful. The second reason is that the movie’s director, Martin Scorsese, is a Rolex ambassador. Therefore, the movie’s connection with Rolex was very direct, probably making it easy to get the right watches on the wrists of the leading characters. Let’s start with Jordan Belfort, brilliantly portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. Belfort wears a solid gold Rolex GMT-Master on a Jubilee bracelet… or does he? As DiCaprio is a TAG Heuer brand ambassador, what looked like a Rolex GMT-Master is, in fact, a quartz 18-karat gold TAG Heuer 1000 series that was in production until 1992. During the movie, Belfort also wears a flashy gold-plated TAG Heuer 2000 Exclusive ref. WN5141 with a diamond bezel.

Another legendary performance comes from Matthew McConaughey, who plays Belfort’s boss, Mark Hanna, and sports a two-tone Rolex Datejust 16233. Finally, the film features Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff, the big baller who wears a solid gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 116528 with a black dial. It’s the star of the show when it comes to the movie’s watches. Some of the supporting actors don IWC’s iconic Big Pilot’s watches. All in all, The Wolf of Wall Street is packed with some great timepieces.

Rolex Daytona ref. 116528 is, without a doubt, the star of watches in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Rolex Daytona ref. 116528 is, without a doubt, the star of watches in The Wolf of Wall Street.

James Bond: Breitling, Rolex and Seiko

I dedicated part of the previous article to the famous Bond watches. Obviously, the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster 300M tend to receive the most recognition and coverage. However, Bond wears a great variety of other watches, using them to accomplish his missions. An early example is the Breitling Top Time 007, which Q gives to Bond in Thunderball. This heavily modified Top Time ref. 2002 from 1962 has an integrated Geiger counter that comes in handy during the movie. Fun fact: This was actually the first Bond watch in a movie to be adjusted and enhanced by Q.

Another iconic Bond watch is the Rolex Chronograph ref. 6238, which George Lazenby sports in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Lazenby also wears the Bond-favorite Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 and this rather rare ref. 6238. The latter model gets its time in the limelight during an undercover mission. Lazenby pretends to be Sir Hilary Bray to infiltrate Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s research institute in the Swiss Alps. It’s a truly stunning watch and my favorite vintage Rolex.

The Rolex ref. 6238 is an exceptionally rare vintage watch.
The Rolex ref. 6238 is an exceptionally rare vintage watch.

A third remarkable Bond watch is the Seiko 7549-7009, also known as the “Golden Tuna.” Roger Moore uses this watch in a diving scene in the movie For Your Eyes Only – and that’s exactly what Seiko designed Tunas to do. It’s nice to see a Bond watch that forgoes integrated gadgets and fulfills its intended purposes.

Crazy, Stupid, Love: Rolex Bubbleback, Rolex Submariner

Another Hollywood blockbuster with some great watches is the fun romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. In the movie, Ryan Gosling plays stylish ladies’ man Jacob Palmer. While Gosling makes a total of thirty-six outfit changes, he only wears two watches throughout the entire movie. The first is a yellow gold Rolex Bubbleback ref. 3372 on a brown leather strap. Produced in the 1930s and 40s, Bubblebacks are rather small by today’s standards. This ref. 3372 has a diameter of just 32 mm, but it makes for one classy statement. The second watch Palmer wears is a Rolex Submariner ref. 16610. It’s a great counterpart to the Bubbleback, as it’s the perfect modern-day watch that stands for good taste and class on any occasion.

Rolex Bubblebac
Crazy, stupid, watch love: The Rolex Bubbleback is a rare movie watch.

That concludes the second round-up of remarkable watches from iconic movies we all know and love. Obviously, there are many more to cover, so we might consider writing a third installment of the best movie watches. Stay tuned!

Read more

Hollywood Stars and Their Watches

Star Wars-Themed Watches: These Timepieces Rule the Galaxy

Chrono24 Buyer’s Guide: Rolex Milgauss


About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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