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Watching movies: 10 iconic movie watches to die for

By SCOTT GARCEAU, The Philippine STAR Published May 18, 2022 5:00 am

It takes a certain type of film buff to be so immersed in an action movie, his eyes will immediately focus like the Terminator’s on whatever timepiece the hero is wearing on his wrist.

Hey, maybe we just like to see wrist candy that’s as iconic as our cinema heroes.

That’s why so much meticulous care goes into picking what particular brand Daniel Craig will wear as 007, or what Tom Cruise is displaying onscreen, or what Marvel superheroes prefer, or what Batman is currently choosing to tell time by.

Robert Pattinson’s caped crusader spawned a specially made Kross Design Studios timepiece for The Batman.

Speaking of the Batman, the most recent outing starring Robert Pattinson offered an interesting change-up: rather than the sleek, high-tech hardware that Christopher Nolan had leveled the franchise up to, The Batman went a bit old school. Pattinson’s Batmobile is a throwback muscle car — a modified 1970 Plymouth Barracuda with a Ford Triton V10 engine — rather than some souped-up urban assault vehicle.

And Bruce Wayne’s new watch (not really seen in the movie but inspired by the film’s Bat Signal design) is by Kross Design Studio, so it’s both futuristic and retro — and, of course, a collector’s item. The Swiss design studio came up with a 10-piece limited-number edition tourbillon watch and a new series of The Batman-themed watch rolls.

The collector’s set of 10 will set you back $100,000 (each engraved with a silver bat silhouette), a true luxury purchase, but it comes with its own illuminated Bat Signal art piece, so that will make those watches shine even more brightly. The watch rolls are priced more affordably ($250 each) and feature four iconic DC characters — two Batman editions, one Selina Kyle (Catwoman), and one Riddler.

Christian Bale was all about the sleek Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso in the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy.

Looking back, it was Christian Bale’s sleek Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso that caught the eye in the previous Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. And for Doctor Strange, the universe-hopping Marvel hero, keeping the seconds lined up in the latest Marvel venture requires a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar. That’s the jewelry the good doc sports in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Of Madness, whether battling Scarlet Witch or haggling with three other versions of himself. Got to look sharp, whoever you are at any particular moment.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s good doc sported a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar in the recent Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Of Madness.

Interestingly, for most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) characters, luxury timepieces are not really a priority (I guess watches aren’t really a thing in, say, Asgard). It could be that sleek timepieces draw too much attention away from all the other high-tech adornment worn by Peter Parker, Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. True, Robert Downey Jr.’s billionaire character does make a point of sporting a variety of luxury wrist candy in his Iron-Man movies, including a Bulgari Diagono Moonphase, various Jaeger-LeCoultres, Hublot Big Bangs and Omega Tourbillons, and even an indie Urwerk; but it’s kind of understood that wearing pricy jewelry into battle, like carrying loose change in your pockets, is an MCU no-no.

MCU heroes tend to avoid expensive jewelry on the battlefield, but Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is an exception, wearing his Bulgari Diagono Moonphase. 

Speaking of heroes, James Bond has had an illustrious lineup of watches through his onscreen history, from Sean Connery’s Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538, to Roger Moore’s many sleek Omega Seamasters, or Timothy Dalton’s brief dalliance with the TAG Heuer Professional Night Diver (in The Living Daylights), and back to a long line of Omegas with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. In fact, Craig’s final outing as 007 carries on the legacy, sporting an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co.

Watch bonding: James Bond has sported a long line of Omegas, from Pierce Brosnan down to Daniel Craig, who wears a Seamaster Diver 300M Co in the latest 007 entry, No Time to Die.

(But interestingly, his high-tech assistant Q, recently played by Ben Whishaw, goes decidedly fun and affordable with a specially designed Swatch Q SS07Z100 developed alongside costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb.)

In a movie about the importance of time, all eyes were on Marty McFly’s Casio CA53W in Back to the Future.

Speaking of geeks, in a movie about the importance of catching up with time, it’s not surprising that all eyes would be on the wrist of Marty McFly in Back to the Future. Michael J. Fox wears a nerdy Casio CA53W in the 1985 time-travel hit, and he’s constantly consulting his wrist, checking out the 8-digit calculator, stopwatch and alarm with a look of panic. Cutting edge at the time, it seems a little dated now, but some cinematic looks never go out of style.

Take me to the pilot: Tom Cruise wears a black-coated Porsche Design Chronograph with Lemania 5100 movement in Top Gun: Maverick, nearly identical to the one he wore in the 1986 original.

If there’s a highway to the classic watch zone, it’s probably been laid down by one Tom Cruise, who returns (finally) as Peter “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick, now ready for big-screen release. Fans will have already no doubt picked up that the new trailer features Cruise wearing a black-coated Porsche Design Chronograph with a Lemania 5100 movement that’s practically identical to the one he wore in the iconic original Top Gun from 1986. It was actually the first watch Porsche ever made, and yes, it’s a classic. If it ain’t broke, why change it? 

Boss watch: Tony Soprano (Tony Gandolfini) wore a top-flight Rolex 18k yellow-gold President Day-Date watch through The Sopranos

Not just heroes but antiheroes sport classic watches, of course.

There’s the 18k yellow gold Rolex President Day-Date watch that crime boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) wears through six seasons of The Sopranos (even as the FBI agents staking out his home wear noticeably cheap, simple Timexes.)

George Clooney’s Danny Ocean manages to look sporty, pulling off a heist in a Luminox Original Navy SEAL 3901.

Even thieves have style, as George Clooney’s master heist man Danny Ocean proves in Ocean 11’s, wearing a sporty Luminox Original Navy SEAL 3901 on his many jobs. The Luminox is functional, action-ready, and classic looking. Just like Clooney.

What good’s being a drug lord without a fine timepiece to make it all glitter even more? Al Pacino in Scarface, sporting an ultra-thin, ultra-rare Omega La Magique.

And Al Pacino’s Tony Montana may have sported some pretty atrocious ‘80s drug lord fashion in 1983’s Scarface, but he did have some great catchphrases — and he did sport a prized Omega La Magique. Considered ultra-chic and ultra-thin (it’s what all the best Miami kingpins wore at the time), the 18k timepiece is also ultra-rare: only 261 models are known to exist. So now we know that, when Al barked out “Say hello to my little friend!” he was probably referring to his watch as much as his faithful Colt AR-15.