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ROLEX BLOG

The Most Famous and Iconic Movie Watches of All Time (That You Might Have Missed)

March 4, 2021

BY Paul Altieri

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Watches featured in films aren’t just handsome accessories; they tie into the storyline and add depth to characters. Back in the olden days, watches featured in the movies often became incidental icons – the right watch being strapped to the right (handsome) wrist. Later on, the watches in films became well-placed product placements orchestrated by the studio. But no matter how they got there, some of the luxury watches that have graced the wrists of Hollywood’s biggest actors have become stars in their own right.

Wolf Of Wall Street Matthew McConaughey Rolex Datejust

The silver screen is the world’s best billboard. Not only do you have the visual aspect, but you also have time to explain a product, associate it with a desirable movie star, and even (in some cases) give it a distinct character that audiences will forever associate with that timepiece. So much can be said about a character through their choice (or anti-choice) of wristwear. Throughout the ages of cinema, many characters have sported watches and fashions that have experienced unprecedented success or longevity as a result. Astute product placement can make a brand a lot of money, but more emotively affect our cultural backdrop in a real and tangible way.

What we particularly love about luxury watches on the silver screen is the awe they inspire. Avid collectors love rewinding to the past and seeing these beautiful (now vintage) – pieces. Often, these watches even inspired an entire generation to get into collecting. So here, we rounded up some of the most iconic movie watches that you might have missed.

Click here for a closer look at some of the most iconic luxury watches all collectors should know.

Luxury Watches

American Psycho (2000) — Rolex Datejust Two-Tone

Christian Bale Patrick Bateman American Psycho Rolex Datejust Two-Tone

– Movie: American Psycho

– Actor: Christian Bale

– Character: Patrick Bateman

– Movie Date: 2000

– Watch: Rolex Datejust

Rolex Datejust

American Psycho’s protagonist Patrick Bateman has become an unlikely pop-culture icon. Despite being a psychotic killer, Christian Bale’s character is stylish and well-groomed. So, it’s not a surprise that movie-goers paid special attention to his watch, a two-tone 36mm Rolex Datejust reference 16013 with a Jubilee bracelet and tapestry dial in the film.

The story unfolds in New York during the 1980s when two-tone watches, forged out of stainless steel and gold, were incredibly popular. Since its release in 2000, American Psycho has become a true cult-classic. So much so, that the Rolex watch worn by Bateman is to this day known as the “American Psycho Rolex” among many collectors.

Apollo 13 (1995) — Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

Tom Hanks Apollo 13 Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

– Movie: Apollo 13

– Actor: Tom Hanks

– Character: Jim Lovell

– Movie Date: 1995

– Watch: Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

Okay, this was an obvious choice, but still, not one that should be forgotten! In the Apollo 13 movie, Tom Hanks wears an Omega Speedmaster – the official watch certified for space flight by NASA. When Apollo 13 went into space, this is the watch that the astronauts actually wore, including NASA’s Gemini 4 mission and the historic moon landing.

The Omega Speedmaster is easily one of the world’s most famous and iconic timepieces. Seeing it on the silver screen just cements its status – especially because it was on Tom Hanks’ wrist during this famous Hollywood film.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) — Rolex Day-Date “President”

Alec Baldwin Glengarry Glen Ross Rolex Day-Date President

– Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross

– Actor: Alec Baldwin

– Character: Blake

– Movie Date: 1992

– Watch: Rolex Day-Date President

Rolex President

“You see this watch? You see this watch? … That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much did you make? You see, pal, that’s who I am. And you’re nothing.”

This watch only made a cameo in the famous film Glengarry Glen Ross. But today, we’re still talking about it. Alec Baldwin, who plays an outside exec “from downtown,” delivers these cutting words and flashes this famous yellow gold Rolex Day-Date and it immediately goes down in movie history. This watch was already famous for being worn by world leaders, dignitaries, and celebrities – the movie plug was really just a boost for this iconic gold Rolex watch.

Money Monster (2016) — Omega Speedmaster Professional 18k Gold

George Clooney Money Monster Omega Speedmaster Professional 18k Gold

– Movie: Money Monster

– Actor: George Clooney

– Character: Lee Gates

– Movie Date: 2016

– Watch: Omega Speedmaster Professional 18k Gold

Omega Speedmaster

This is a sneaky good movie with an even better luxury watch lurking on the wrist of the debonair Mr. Clooney. George Clooney plays the difficult role of Lee Gates with aplomb, but the wordless performance of his solid yellow gold Omega Speedmaster Professional is truly sensational.

The premise of Money Monster is scary. A disgruntled investor goes berserk and overtakes a game show while it is being broadcast live on TV. The show’s host? None other than George Clooney. His character, Lee Gates, is taken hostage along with his tantalizing ticker. To find out his (and its) fate, you’ll have to watch the film.

Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) — Rolex Datejust 36

Matthew McConaughey Wolf Of Wall Street Rolex Datejust

– Movie: Wolf of Wall Street

– Actor: Matthew McConaughey

– Character: Mark Hanna

– Movie Date: 2013

– Watch: Rolex Datejust

Rolex Datejust

Matthew McConaughey plays the uproarious Mark Hanna in this 2013 classic. Hanna is a perfectly played paradigm of the era. A genius of sorts, his methods and practices are…unconventional, to say the least. These men featured in the film were very much wolves in many senses of the word. You kind of needed to be a bit wild to survive in that dog-eat-dog environment.

The Rolex Datejust is a flawless badge of power but it can also double as a disguise to the rest of the world for characters like Mark Hanna. A luxury watch and a smart suit can go a long way towards earning somebody’s trust. One of the smartest investments he ever made…

Lucy in the Sky (2019) — Omega Speedmaster X-33

Natalie Portman Lucy in the Sky Omega Speedmaster X-33 

– Movie: Lucy in the Sky

– Actor: Natalie Portman

– Character: Lucy Cola

– Movie Date: 2019

– Watch: Omega Speedmaster X-33

Omega

We’re ending this list with a real curveball. Few people doubt Natalie Portman’s ability to play any role sent her way, but her performance as astronaut Lucy Cola is really something. The Oscar winner shines in the role, as does the unusual-yet-authentic Omega Speedmaster X-33 in titanium that calls her wrist home.

The film is a really compelling exploration of an astronaut’s mental state, having done and seen so much more than many mere mortals can ever comprehend. Perhaps that explains her somewhat oddball choice, although this unusual analog/digital hybrid quartz timepiece really is the model that astronauts wear due to the high degree of functionality that it offers. While it is far less recognizable than the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch, the X-33’s appearance in the film is highly accurate and only furthers the realism of this must-watch movie.

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6 Responses to “The Most Famous and Iconic Movie Watches of All Time (That You Might Have Missed)”

  1. David Keith Williams says:

    Ben Affleck wore a Silver Datejust Rolex in the movie Changing Lanes, which is one of my favorite movies. Also, I have a similar Rolex, and notice his watch each time I see that movie.

  2. Jason says:

    Christian Bale in American Psycho actually wore a Seiko SGF204 in the movie. Even though in the book there are several mentions of his Rolex, apparently Rolex wanted to not be associated with the movie. They changed the famous line, “Don’t touch the Rolex” to “Don’t touch the watch”. Albeit the watch looks very much like a two tone Datejust, look closely and you’ll see the day and date at the 3 o’clock position, also, the lack of a cyclops.

  3. ermanno Magnanini says:

    The Bond Rolex submariner,top of its class

  4. William W. says:

    What? No mention of the Omega 300M Seamaster worn by the James Bond’s, that made the Seamaster the icon it is still today? Also, the Omega Moon Watch , recently re-introduced to claim its claim of first on the moon, both as an exacting model with the 321 movement and domed crystal, and another with a flat sapphire crystal and 6603(?) movement. Quite an impressive accomplishment. All the watches cited were beyond exceptional, but Rolex really has a stiff competitor with Omega and its revolutionary advancement in styling and movements. I really like your blog, thank you. Sincerely, William.

  5. Cal says:

    You should add the watch that Tom Cruise pawned in Rain Man.

  6. Joe says:

    Hi there, I am a prop watch collector and own many on screen watches used in film and television from 2013-2019 it seems like every site just lists the same older listings. I would be glad to share my collection for new watches in film stories. Thank you😀

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