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Are luxury watches on the big movie screen just product placement?

Movies are an incredible way to promote a brand or even a specific product. Faces of well-known celebrities, paired with a compelling plot, create memorable impressions for the spectator. The ideal platform for transferring a desired image to a brand. Of course, the watch industry has also discovered this advantage. In many films, the watches of the protagonists are apparently randomly staged.

These watches are worn by the most famous spy in the world

What would fit better than Bond movies: Sean Connery often wears Rolex modelsin the first movies. A Submariner appears in the 1962 "Dr. No“ as well as in both following films, including "On Her Majesty’s Secret Service" James Bond wears a Rolex Submariner.

Rolex James Bond

In the "King Kong“ adaptation from 1976, Ann Darrow and the anthropologist Jack Prescott meet on Skull Island before facing the giant monkey Kong. During the adventure, a Rolex Submariner also decorates the scientist’s wrist, played by Jeff Bridges.

In "The Color of Money“ from 1986, watch enthusiast Paul Newman plays former pool pro Fast Eddie Felson. During the course of the plot, Eddie finds a student named Vincent, played by Tom Cruise. During the pool scenes Paul Newman is often seen with his Rolex Datejust. Skilful marketing is almost an understatement here.

Raise the curtain on Omega!

Not only Rolex watches has had a presence in many films – so let's get back to 007 Agent Bond: Since 1995, the secret agent wears exclusively Omega. As a result, the company tries to transfer the image of the action hero to favor the brand’s recognition.

For example in the 2012 published Bond film "Skyfall“, the most famous secret agent in the world (Daniel Craig) wears an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M. Three years later, the same watch is again featured in the movie “Specter”.


Also in the movie "Money Monster“ an Omega watch can be seen. Actor George Clooney plays the host and presenter of a popular TV show when suddenly everything goes out of hand. The star is brand ambassador for Omega. In the film he often presents more or less intentionally a golden Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional.

Panerai enters the stage

Following Rolex and Omega’s successful product placement campaign, Panerai is imitating a similar marketing strategy.

The Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is known for far more other than the recent "Fast & Furious“ movies. He is outfitted in the movie "San Andreas“ by Panerai. The hero named Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) is a rescue helicopter pilot. As the San Andreas Fault begins to shift, he is not just worried about his family but probably his watch too. He is accompanied in the catastrophe film by his highly reliable Panerai Submersible Amagnetic, a model that complements a man like Dwayne.

Screen plays with IWC Schaffhausen

The company IWC picked up the idea: The hitman Vincent played by Tom Cruise almost always wears a grey suit in the film "Collateral“. Optimally tuned to it: His IWC Ingenieur Automatic Vintage IW3233, a watch with a simple design that radiates a certain statement.

Royal appearance with Cartier

In the 1966 movie "How to Steal a Million" a women’s Cartier Vintage watch is used during production. The lead role of Nicole Bonnet in the crime comedy is played by Audrey Hepburn. The daughter of an art forger surprises a detective who is following her father’s trace. Cartier is one of the first brands in the watch industry, and in the film she wears a Cartier watch used deliberately for product placement purposes.

Tag Heuer Monaco

How does a multimillionaire and a golden TAG Heuer fit together?

A strikingly famous watch scene from recent film history is one in the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street“. Of course, this scene refers to the golden TAG Heuer that the multimillionaire throws across his office using the words, „I’m wearing a $2,000 suit and a $40,000 watch!“. “Successful” is the only word to describe the life of infamous Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). The multimillionaire made so much money on the stock market that his biggest problem was spending it. Then comes the question, why is a TAG Heuer used in the movie?
Sure, TAG Heuer is not a cheap brand, but the company is not known for exorbitantly expensive watches. In a movie about money, prestige and more money, you’d expect a full golden Rolex, Audemars Piguet or even Patek Philippe. Admittedly, while the golden watch flies through the open-plan office in slow motion, the similarity to the Rolex Submariner is unmistakable. But just as little as the lettering of the brand TAG Heuer. A really successful product placement of the luxury watch. The compromise of the director to make the watch at least externally look like a Rolex can be considered a success. Rumors started circulating on the Internet and speculations grew as to whether there was a 40k TAG Heuer or whether it was built specifically for the film…

The right prop is crucial

Often, however, it is the other way around, a luxury watch that fits the film set and / or action, the director or his crew specifically sought and included as an accessory into the movie. Because watches say a lot about the character of a person. For one thing, there are people for whom the wristwatch should show the time, but who otherwise do not care about watches. This notion conveys a lower priced watch model. Then there are people who value functions, the watch has to be robust and able to do everything. Still others like to spend a lot of money on a watch, for them it is a symbol of status, they appreciate what they wear or have other, more personal reasons. Examples of all categories can be found in the following films, among others.

Rolex: Status and functional watch

In "American Psycho“, investment banker Patrick Bateman, played by Christian Bale, leads a life of lavish appearances. In his attempt to be part of the social elite, he wears a Rolex Datejust in the movie. Here, the watch was deliberately selected.

Rolex Datejust

The movie "The Deer Hunter“ on the subject of three American men in the Vietnam War is divided into three acts, the pre-war, active war and the post-war period. One of the three men is played by Robert De Niro, who wears a Rolex Sea-Dweller in the movie. A good choice, the Sea-Dweller is indeed a diver’s watch, but is therefore considered extremely robust – which can only be beneficial in the Vietnam War.

Watches that embody character

In the first part of the trilogy "50 Shades of Grey“, the young but rich Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, wears two different Omega watches. The Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m Co Axial and the Speedmaster Moonwatch Co Axial Chronograph, both models have been chosen wisely: They go very well with his extremely smart, restrained appearance and can be wonderfully combined with a suit.

Robust watches in adventurous thriller

Similarly, "Blood Diamond“, played in oppressed South Africa, where the trade in blood diamonds is booming. Matching the cold-blooded handling and the harsh environment, the protagonist and diamond smuggler, played by, Leonardo DiCaprio wears a robust Breitling Chrono Avenger, which can master more than just everyday situations.

Watches as status symbol

Another timepiece used as a status symbol in the plot, can be seen in the movie "Selfless“. The protagonist Damian Hale, played by Ryan Reynolds, wears an adorned Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 351. Mr. Hale experiences a transplant of his consciousness into a new body to become immortal. However, following this transformation, he realizes that such an intervention is not without consequences.

Rolex Cellini

Watches from Hamilton in true film classics

"Men In Black 3“, in which the Duo of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) are confronted with the evil in the form of aliens, is a classic. In this mix of science fiction, action and comedy, both agents wear a Hamilton Ventura, which seems to be made for the film with its futuristic theme.

The watch of the protagonist Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, also plays the lead role in the movie "Interstellar“. But no spoiler at this point. The film takes place in the not too distant future, the Earth is already doomed, and Cooper is being sent by NASA on a saving mission through space and time. On Earth: His Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date.

Rolex King Kong

Dramatic scenes with Seiko

The watch worn by Robert Redford in the drama "All is lost“ was also chosen as one of the few accessories in the film. The protagonist remains the only actor throughout the plot, personifying the lonely castaways of the high seas. His Seiko Core SKX175 does a good job here, the watch is functional and simple, does not catch the eye immediately, and just suits a man who sets his priorities differently.

Closer to the action

Rolex Titanic

In fact, luxury watches are more than often present in movies, which only really becomes aware upon closer inspection. Because the watches worn in movies  go well with the action or the person wearing them,  often the timepieces are almost unnoticeable! In other films attention towards a watch is intended and wanted. Here, the corresponding watch brand strategically places their timepiece- and the image of the performer subconsciously. The idea that many people would like to identify with movie stars is fully comprehensible. Watchmaster offers many certified, used luxury watches featured in the films discussed. Should you purchase a watch featured in a film, you can feel much closer to some of your favorite actors.