When it comes to film and television appearances, no watch company even comes close to the numbers put up by Rolex. While many manufacturers now pay for product placement, many of Rolex cameos have actually been the results of choices made by the filmmakers.
Sean Connery wearing his signature Rolex.
Bond. James Bond.
Although Omega now pays for the rights to have their watches featured in 007 films, James Bond originally wore a stainless steel Rolex in Ian Fleming’s novels. When the successful series of spy books were first turned into movies, it was a vintage reference 6538 Submariner that ultimately made it onto actor, Sean Connery’s wrist.
Sean Connery wearing Rolex Submariner Watch.
In the 1998 Oscar-winning film Rain Man, actor Tom Cruise wore a yellow gold Rolex timepiece while portraying self-centered car salesman, Charlie Babbitt. The iconic watch receives a good deal of screen time throughout the movie – especially during a scene in which Cruise’s character tries to pawn the solid-gold watch.
Tom Cruise wore a yellow gold, Rolex Day-Date while portraying self-centered car salesman.
In the late 1960’s, Rolex U.S.A. executive, T. Walker Lloyd gave Dustin Hoffman a red and blue GMT-Master. Hoffman would go on to wear that watch for the next several decades – both in his movies and in his personal life. The Rolex that Hoffman can be seen wearing in films such as Marathon Man and Straw Dogs, is the very same watch that was on his wrist when he accepted the 1980 Academy Award for Best Actor.
Rolex GMT-Master II otherwise known as a Pepsi was given to Dustin Hoffman.
As Rolex’s most famous watch line, the Submariner is frequently featured in movies; however international spies with a license to kill are not the only ones to wear this iconic dive watch. In the 2015 film, The Big Short, straight-talking hedge fund manager, Mark Baum (played by Steve Carell) wears a stainless steel Rolex Submariner. Due to its rugged and timeless design, the Submariner has become a Hollywood staple – both on and off the camera.
Steve Carell wearing a stainless steel Submariner in The Big Short (image via Paramount Pictures)
Another noteworthy Rolex that has repeatedly graced the silver screen is Clint Eastwood’s “Root Beer” GMT-Master. Much like the case of Dustin Hoffman and his Rolex, T. Walker Lloyd gave Eastwood a brown GMT-Master that he has sported throughout several films.
Although Eastwood’s GMT makes an appearance in more than three different movies, the actor plays a different character in each one, making it clear that he actually owned the watch in real life, and it was more than just a part of his costume.
Clint Eastwood wearing a Rolex GMT Master
Rolex has been featured in films and television long before product placement became a formal practice. Today, Rolex is one of the most well known, luxury watch manufacturers in the world. While an increasing number of watch companies are now paying to have their watches featured in films, Rolex was one of the very first to establish a presence in the film industry.