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The Watches of Mad Men

Paul Altieri

Bob’s Watches has been a Mad Men fan from the beginning, through all the ups and downs of Don Draper… and we can’t help but notice his Rolex is getting a lot of screen time this season. Whether it’s a plug or not, we love seeing Jon Hamm. He wears his stainless steel Rolex Explorer watch perfectly. Our favorite game lately while watching the show is “spot the Rolex”. It is guaranteed to make your Mad Men experience even more lively.

The Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570 is an iconic watch.
Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570 was featured in the movie” Mad Men.

Don Draper Watch Collection

Season 1: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox “Tuxedo”

Don Draper’s journey through the ’60s begins with the “Tuxedo” version of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Memovox. Its white dial with a black outer ring, encased in steel, epitomizes the era’s elegance. This watch, appealing to the frequent travelers of the time, mirrors Don’s restless and ambitious spirit in the first season, set against the backdrop of bustling New York City. The Memovox, with its unique mechanical alarm, served as a personal assistant for the busy businessman, aligning perfectly with Draper’s dynamic lifestyle.

Season 2: The Reverso Classique

In the second season, Draper transitions to a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique in yellow gold, paired with a brown leather strap. Originally designed for Polo players in 1931, the Reverso gained global admiration for its innovative reversible case. This feature is poignantly utilized by Don’s wife, Betty, who has the caseback engraved, adding a personal touch to the timepiece.

The Reverso’s legacy was celebrated in 2012 with the launch of the limited edition Grande Reverso Ultra Thin – Tribute to Mad Men. Limited to 25 pieces, this exclusive watch features a matte black dial with Art Deco accents and a caseback engraved with the logo of “Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce,” paying homage to the series.

Season 4: The Rolex Explorer I

vintage rolex explorer stainless steel
Vintage Rolex Explorer housed in Stainless Steel.

Reflecting a change in Draper’s professional engagements, season 4 sees him donning the Rolex Explorer I. This choice was both stylish and practical for an advertising executive; its smooth bezel, slim case, and clear 3-6-9 Arabic numerals on a glossy black dial make it an ideal accessory for the corporate setting, subtly elegant without being overly conspicuous.

Season 5: The Omega Seamaster DeVille

By season 5, the series introduces the Omega Seamaster DeVille ref. 166.020, dating back to 1966. Omega’s popularity in the U.S. during the 1950s and 60s, especially with their Seamaster range, made the DeVille a fitting choice. This line, more refined and elegant than the regular Seamasters, resonated with the show’s time period and Don’s evolving character.

The DeVille stands out as the watch synonymous with “Mad Men.” Worn by Don Draper from the beginning of season 5 to the series finale, it marks his most significant character development. Beyond the screen, this watch holds a special place for Jon Hamm, the actor portraying Don, as he was seen wearing it on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in April 2013, further cementing its legacy in the series.

Roger Sterling Watch Collection

In Seasons 5 and 6 the 1959 Tudor Oyster-Prince ref. 7967 made appearances. Roger Sterling, portrayed as the epitome of class and sophistication in “Mad Men,” makes a distinct style statement with his choice of watches. In Seasons 5 and 6, Sterling showcases his refined taste with a 1959 Tudor Oyster-Prince ref. 7967. This particular timepiece holds historical significance, featuring Rolex’s first automatic movement, marking a milestone in watchmaking history.

The watch’s aesthetic, coined as the “Tuxedo” Oyster-Prince by Derek Dier, is characterized by its elegant silver and black dial. This choice of color scheme reflects Sterling’s more conservative style, befitting his seniority and distinguished position in the advertising world. The “Tuxedo” nickname aptly describes the watch’s classic, timeless appeal, much like the formal attire it’s named after.

The Tudor Oyster-Prince stands out as a symbol of Sterling’s persona. Its design is less flamboyant yet exudes an air of quiet sophistication, mirroring Sterling’s own demeanor and status. This watch choice for Sterling is particularly noteworthy because it subtly contrasts with Don Draper’s more varied and often bolder watch selections, highlighting the different personalities and styles of the two characters.

Roger Sterling’s Tudor watch choice not only complements his well-dressed and classy image but also adds depth to his character. The watch serves as a visual representation of his maturity, experience, and the understated elegance that defines him as a key figure in the world of “Mad Men.”

Megan Draper Watch Collection

Megan Draper’s Jules Jürgensen Timepiece is a stunning watch. Megan Draper, portrayed as Don Draper’s stylish and sophisticated bride in “Mad Men,” adorns her wrist with a piece that perfectly encapsulates the glamour of the 1960s. She is seen wearing a 14k white gold Jules Jürgensen watch, a brand with a rich history dating back to 1740, known for its elegance and craftsmanship.

This particular watch, featuring an ellipse dial and a diamond bezel, exudes luxury and sophistication. The choice of an ellipse-dialled design, combined with the sparkle of the diamond bezel, reflects Megan’s fashionable and upscale lifestyle. It’s a timepiece that resonates with her character’s transformation into the glamorous world of advertising and the New York social scene.

The Jules Jürgensen watch on Megan’s wrist is more than just a timekeeping device; it’s a statement of her persona in the series. The elegance and refinement of the watch mirror Megan’s own grace and poise as she navigates her new life. The piece’s timeless design and luxurious appeal make it a perfect accessory for Megan, symbolizing her transition into the high-society life of the ’60s.

This watch choice for Megan Draper adds a layer of authenticity to her character, showcasing her as a modern woman of the era who appreciates the finer things in life. It subtly underscores her transformation throughout the series, marking her journey from a secretary to a key player in the advertising world and a figure of elegance and style.

Pete Campbell Watch Collection

Season 5: The Hamilton “Sputnik”

In “Mad Men,” Pete Campbell, portrayed as the ambitious junior accounts manager, makes a distinctive style statement in Season 5 with his choice of watch. Played by Vincent Kartheiser, Campbell is seen wearing the Hamilton “Sputnik,” a timepiece that stands out for its unique design and cultural significance.

The Hamilton “Sputnik” is notable for its flushed case and flared lugs, a design that boldly reflects the aesthetic of the 1960s. Its dial, which encapsulates the essence of the era’s décor, resonates with the show’s meticulous attention to period detail. The name “Sputnik” itself is a nod to the era’s fascination with space and the groundbreaking advancements in technology and exploration.

Choosing the Hamilton “Sputnik” for Pete Campbell’s character is particularly fitting. The watch’s unusual and forward-looking design parallels Campbell’s character traits of striving for advancement and being slightly ahead of his time within the advertising firm. The watch reflects his aspirations and the dynamic changes in his career and personal life.

The “Sputnik” is more than a timekeeping device for Campbell; it is a symbol of his character’s journey in the series. Its distinctive look sets him apart from his colleagues, symbolizing his constant search for recognition and his desire to be seen as a forward-thinker in the competitive world of advertising.

This choice of watch for Pete Campbell adds depth to his character, showcasing his ambition and his keenness to align himself with the modern and the new, which is a recurring theme in his storyline throughout “Mad Men.” The Hamilton “Sputnik” is a perfect embodiment of Campbell’s personality and his journey in the series.

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Paul Altieri