If it's true that movie stars can evolve, and are not so much born, then their watches are in good company. And, some of the best watches in the world attain movie stardom by design.
Early James Bonds are never on flat feet or without a Rolex Submariner, and Marty McFly will always remain cool sporting his Casio.
Vintage hunk Steve McQueen turned down Heuer's offer to accessorise his Le Mans film. But, the Tag Heuer Monaco got the part anyway and became an instant best-seller.
To recreate the events of Apollo 13 as accurately as possible. Ron Howard chose the Omega Speedmaster Professional, a NASA-approved instrument, for Apollo 13.
So, it's evident that these watches close-ups are much more than incidental. They become as famous as their human counterpart stars and enjoy the legacy of the films they adorn, as well as bringing in sales revenue for the manufacturer today.
Here are our picks for the top ten iconic watches in movies.
Unsurprisingly, Rolex watches have enjoyed lasting starring roles. And, it's not product placement in every case. Directors also choose Rolex for artistic reasons and to give dimension to the character.
1. Marlon Brando in Apocolypse, Now
This iconic role of a god-like Colonel run amok gave Mr. Brando a come-back status in the late 1970s. And, the Rolex GMT-Master was his crown.
2. Paul Newman in The Color of Money
"Fast Eddie Felson" may be an old hustler, but his watch is not. The Rolex Datejust he wears shows us greatness isn't skin deep.
3. Bill Paxton in Titanic
The leader of the Titanic expedition in the film wears a stunning Rolex Submariner in Gold. Like the old Bond movies which highlight this model many times, those who seek adventure better not be late.
Director James Cameron is an avid Rolex wearer, too.
4. Christian Bale in American Psycho
The Huey Lewis fanatic and the serial killer was also an investment banker by day. And, he looks damn good when not dripping with blood.
The Rolex Datejust in steel and gold accentuates his taste and style. But, only in broad daylight. On its part, Rolex would not allow Bale to wear it during the film's violent scenes.
5. Martin Sheen in Apocalypse, Now
As Captain Ben Willard, Sheen's iconic Seiko 6105 is the choice for those working in the trenches each day.
The classic style is perfect for special ops or any captain of their soul, for that matter.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator
The infamous action movie hero wore the Seiko H558 Quartz Diver in more than the Predator movies.
This cool-looking watch was also a star in The Running Man and Commando. It is worth a second look in real life, as this Seiko's price has doubled since then.
7. Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
As we know, Jason is no cookie-cutter hero. There is no big ego here. So the Tag Heuer Link Chronograph is ideal.
He can keep it in the drawer with his Bic pen, and no one will know which is the murder weapon.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
The extravagance of the 80's is raw in every scene of this acclaimed DiCaprio film.
And, the real-life stockbroker behind the story wore that decade's most famous watch. The Tag Heuer 1000 Exclusive. In solid gold, of course.
9. Daniel Craig as James Bond
The Omega Seamaster has quite a Hollywood history. It has shown its finest in prior Bond films, too. Pierce Brosnan wore an Omega in Tomorrow Never Dies.
But, Daniel Craig has brought our favourite spy and his watch back to the red carpet again. The Seamaster Professional, Seamaster Planet Ocean and Seamaster 300m 'Spectre' time every second of Bond action.
10. Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction
This is one of the most famous watch scenes of all time. Walken's Vietnam POW character holds a watch as if to hypnotize us. And, it works.
Though Walken offers up some of his ideas on the watch's origin, it remains a mystery. Some say it's a Lancet Field Watch from WWI.
Whatever the model, it's the way in which it made it to the U.S. that both intrigues and repels us.
A Few Honourable Mentions
Jaeger-LeCoultre watches are the star in the Batman franchise. Both Val Kilmer and Christian Bale sport the classic style, ideal for this hero flick.
And, the Reverso Grande Taille model the actors wear has a moving stainless steel back. The back can flip over the face of the watch for protection.
Goodness knows they need it.
Breguet also makes an appearance in a superhero film, the Tradition 7047PT with tourbillon and fusée and chain can be seen on Ben Affleck's wrist in Batman v Superman.
The Seiko M516 Voice Note watch appears in the original Ghostbusters. Characters Ray, Egon, and Peter (Bill Murray) use it as part of their gear.
They must record EVPs (ghost speak) with their watches, and this Seiko has a recording feature. Perfect for 1980's geeks, very few were ever in production.
It is a rare find today for collectors.
How could we do an article on watches in movies and not mention the Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000 which adorns the wrist of Sigourney Weaver's character Ellen Ripley in Aliens.
The Best of Watches in Movies
The reasons to admire watches in movies may vary from one fan to the next. Some love vintage pieces, and some like the stars who wear them. Or, both!
But, they can agree that owning a beautiful watch is a lasting tribute to the pride of artistry.
These unique pieces offer craftsmanship to last a lifetime. Like the movies in which they star.
We offer a wide variety of pre-owned pieces which bear the mark of greatness. Start shopping today!