Celebrities talking watches

Many celebrities have a fondness for watches. Discover some of them here as they talk to The Watch Pages’ contributing editor Keith W. Strandberg about what makes them tick.

Harrison Ford, actor and activist

I am not a jewelry person but I like well designed, simple and functional watches. I am impressed by the craft and skill it takes to make a fine mechanical watch. Each time I play a new character, I choose a watch specifically to reflect his personality.

It was important for me to create a watch that reflects the mission and values of Conservation International, and each detail of the design of the Hamilton Khaki Conservation Auto Chrono limited edition echoes the theme of nature, longevity and sustainability, reminding us the fragility of time and the importance of immediate action.

I see opportunities to preserve the natural world slipping away, and I want to be involved in correcting the balance between the pressure of human population and the potential benefits to humanity of healthy ecosystems. We are the problem; we are the solution. Our health relies entirely on the vitality of nature and our fellow species on Earth. We have to recognize our responsibility and take action now.

This is the mission of the Conservation International organization and I can’t think of anything more relevant – to me or any other human being!


Harrison Ford talking watches he likes
Harrison Ford

John Travolta, Actor

I received my first watch as a gift when I was 9 years old and have loved them ever since. It is one of the few jewelry accessories a man can wear. When it comes to Breitling, their timepieces offer much more than the accurate time. They give the gift of vital data. The obvious reason is having accurate time in the time zone you are in, and using that as a point of reference for other zones of time. Accurate time is essential to calculate distances, fuel burn and times of arrival…these are just some of the things I use my watch for. My favorite watch is my Breitling Navitimer, all black.

John Travolta talking watches he likes
John Travolta

Michelle Yeoh, actress

I’ve always been fascinated with watches, particularly by the movements. It’s disappointing sometimes when ladies’ watches are more about jewelry than about the movements. I am just as interested in the movements, it’s like moving art and for me, that’s fascinating.

What started me off in watches was when my grandfather left me a watch, which taught that me that a watch could be something of great sentimental value, rather than just a timekeeper, something you could pass on. It was a very beautiful, elegantly designed Rolex and it spoke volumes to me. I have always loved big watches. I think it’s quite a contrast when a petite woman wears a large, man’s watch.

When I am working, I have to allow time to disappear. Time stands still and I completely lose track of it. I am only reminded of time when we have to stop for meals. It’s a unique juxtaposition for us actors, where we can immerse ourselves in a different world, a different time, then come back to reality.

Michelle Yeoh talking watches she likes
Michelle Yeoh

Nick Stellino, celebrity chef and bestselling author

My watch is a constant reminder that: “Time waits for no one.” My watch is an amulet, I believe in its magic ability to capture the passing whisper of every moment of my life.

My most precious watch is my oldest one, my father bought it when I was born. When questioned by my mother about the reason for such an extravagant purchase, he answered to her that he wanted to memorialize this milestone in his life and the promise he had made to his family. That watch, to him, represented what he wanted to become.

He always used to come, late in the evening, into our bedroom, to kiss me and my brother goodnight, he would let me wind his watch and say: “If you wind my watch, good and tight, I will always know what time it is and I will always come home for your goodnight kiss.”  And he always did!

I could tell you that what I like most about a watch is its dial, its precise timekeeping, the way it feels on my wrist, or maybe the decoration of its movement, but all this would be a lie.

I love a watch that can help me tell a story…my story.

Nick Stellino talking watches he likes
Nick Stellino

Emmanuelle Chriqui, actress

I love watches because, other than the fact they tell time, they are another piece of wonderful jewelry. They are a statement piece, you can wear something big, something little and elegant, and it really puts the outfit together. My father is a huge watch fan, and he has a nice collection of watches, so I have always been surrounded by watches.

The beauty of acting and make-believe is that time seems to stop. When I am on set and I am just doing what I love to do, even on the longest day, you can’t believe that it’s gone by so quickly. It really does feel like time vanishes.

There is nothing like a live audience and you are affecting them right there and in the moment. There is no going back and no going forward, there is just right there, right then. When you are having a great night and you are in tune with the audience, it is unlike anything else I have experienced.

I have a custom Baume & Mercier Linea watch that is so beautiful, understated and elegant.

Emmanuelle Chriqui talking watches she likes
Emmanuelle Chriqui

Joe Mantegna, actor

I got my first watch was when I was in a band in the ‘50s, we were playing a job in downtown Chicago. I was the leader of the band and I never knew when to take a break, so I bought a watch there for $10. I wore that watch for the next 10 to 15 years.

It wasn’t until much later that I got into watches. I was doing a movie and the product placement guy came to the set with the president of Maurice Lacroix watch company, who gave me a really nice Maurice Lacroix watch, and I really enjoyed wearing that watch and people would comment on it. Then, I started wearing different Maurice Lacroix watches in my films and TV shows. On Criminal Minds, I wear a Carl F. Bucherer, and I have been wearing that watch for four years.

Because I really love what I do, I never feel that the day is dragging on. If I am impressed by the time, I am usually surprised that it’s as late as it is. The time goes by quickly for me when I am working. When you are doing something that you enjoy doing, time becomes irrelevant.

Joe Mantegna talking watches he likes
Joe Mantegna

Michael Wilbon, journalist, co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption

I am not a guy that believes in men wearing a bunch of jewelry. I came to watches late; it’s only been about 10 years. I have some well-made watches, eight or nine watches that I rotate and I have my eye on a couple of other watches. I have come to appreciate nice timepieces –to be well dressed, I think you have to wear a fine watch.

I don’t walk out of my house without a watch. I don’t like this trend with young people that they don’t have a watch, they use their cell phone.

My life is completely and utterly governed by time. The “PTI” show is ten years old but I have been a reporter for 30 years. I am driven by deadlines; I know how much time it takes me to write a story. I have to be aware of time zones, because my deadline is always on East Coast time. Seems like I am always running late, but I don’t miss deadlines.

My favorite watch is my steel and gold Ebel, which I wear more than others. I had a great David Yurman with a blue face but it was stolen when my suitcase was stolen. I am still angry about it. I have my eye on a new IWC, but I also am looking at a new David Yurman.

Michael Wilbon talking watches he likes
Michael Wilbon

Elizabeth Hurley, Actress

I look at the time every few minutes: I have a horror of being late. I wear a watch every day. I like big watches; I don’t suit delicate ones.

I hate it when I feel time has slipped through my fingers. I like to be aware of every hour. I learnt that after my Dad died unexpectedly. I’d have given a lot for a few hours more of him. Every second of spare time I have is spent with family and friends.

Elizabeth Hurley and Elton John talking watches
Elizabeth Hurley and Elton John


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