Props and wardrobe help define a character in a movie or a TV show. What these characters are wearing, using, driving, reading, eating and more helps inform you, as the audience, about what type of people they are.
And that’s where watches come in. If James Bond is wearing a rough and tough Omega (which he does), we infer that he is a man of action. If he wore a watch covered in diamonds, we’d think something else entirely.
Watches are being used more and more to help illustrate character, which is good news for watch lovers and watch spotters. Here are the top ten watch brands that you are likely to see in the movies or on television.
Known as the movie brand, Hamilton has been featured in movies since 1932, on the wrist of Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express. Next, the brand appearance in the 1951 hit The Frogmen. Since then, the brand’s watches have appeared in more than 400 movies and TV shows, the latest being Amazon Prime’s newest show, Jack Ryan. Some of the highlights? How about 2001: A Space Odyssey, Men in Black, Interstellar, The Martian, Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii and many more.
As one of the leading watch brands in the world, Rolex has found itself on screen so many times it’s hard to keep track. Here are just a few of the highlights: The Color of Money, Network, Marathon Man, Titanic, The Deep, The Usual Suspects, Apocalypse Now and many more. Rolex is also the sponsor of the Academy Awards, which ups the brand’s visibility in Hollywood.
Omega has been on 007’s wrist for many years, and they have also been in many other movies, including Apollo 13, La La Land, Event Horizon, Minority Report, Ronin, Seven Years in Tibet, The Right Stuff, Gotti and is regularly on the wrist of screen legends George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, who are brand ambassadors.
A long-time favorite of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Panerai has been on the wrists of these action heroes in a number of films, including The Expendables series, Daylight, Eraser and more.
Schwarzenegger doesn’t just love Panerai, he also has a special relationship with Audemars Piguet. In fact, Audemars Piguet has made a number of limited editions to celebrate Schwarzenegger, starting with the 500-piece Royal Oak Offshore End of Days Limited Edition released in 1999. Next up was the Royal Oak Offshore T3 Chronograph to celebrate Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The last piece was the Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy in a 1,500-piece limited edition in 2011.
Aside from Schwarzenegger, AP has been on the wrist of Bill Murray in Quick Change and Scrooged, and has been featured in films and TV shows like The Mechanic, Black-ish, Mr. Robot and more.
The British brand Bremont is relatively new, but they have aggressively targeted big Hollywood movies like Kingsmen: The Secret Service and Venom, and they are always looking for more.
IWC supports film festivals around the world, ones like Tribeca, Beijing, Zurich, London and Dubai, and has been featured in such movies as The Bourne Legacy and TV shows like House of Cards.
Famous for the Reverso, Jaeger made a huge splash as the watch Bruce Wayne wears in Batman Begins, representing his dual personality. Jaeger has increased its profile in Hollywood by being a sponsor to many film festivals, including Venice and Shanghai International Film Festivals.
Carl F. Bucherer
A relatively young brand, Carl F. Bucherer has been working actively in Hollywood to get its watches on the silver screen. Two high profile appearances were on the wrist of Keanu Reeves in the John Wick movies.
As a stalwart of racing, TAG Heuer is often featured in movies related to the sport. One of the most famous is Le Mans with Steve McQueen, who was wearing the TAG Heuer Monaco. TAG has also been in The Bourne Identity, The Living Daylights, Breaking Bad and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Watch spotting in movies and TV is great fun and makes watching television a lot more engaging. Keep your eyes open and let us know what you see.