The Most Famous Vintage Watches from Film

When you think about how many wrists and watches have been seen on the big screen, it’s surprising that only a small handful have made an impact on the wider landscapes of fashion and culture.

This begs the question: what’s special about the ones that did? Is it because they appeared in movies that defined an era, because they were worn by leading actors and icons of their day, or, simply because the watches were born stars in their own rights?

More likely it’s a combination of the three, along with other factors such as product placement and the context within which they appeared. But whatever the reasons, as a result of their exposure, they’ve been hugely influential in the evolution of watch design and style in general.

Find out exactly how they’ve been impactful as we explore a collection of some of history’s most famous vintage watches from film.

Seiko 6105, Apocalypse Now

Seiko watches have made regular appearances on the big screen throughout history, including on the wrists of actors such as Roger Moore and Ed Harris.

Most famous of all, though, is the Seiko 6105 worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. Not only is the film one of the most revered depictions of the Vietnam War, but the watch was worn by the lead character and also had a close connection with the context in question.

The 6105 was a huge favourite among American soldiers while stationed in Vietnam. It was stylish and functional, but above all it was available to buy at PX stores that were situated on US military camps.

Rolex Datejust, American Psycho

Psychopaths may have a few more wires crossed than the next person, but they can still have great style. If there was ever a perfect example of this, it would be Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.

The Wall Street investment banker, who also happens to be a serial killer, always looks dapper in his sharp suits and lensless glasses. On his wrist, then, you’d expect nothing less than a Rolex Datejust 16013 with jubilee bracelet.

  • Rolex Air-King Mid Size Steel & White Gold 114234 Rolex Air-King Mid Size Steel & White Gold 114234

    Rolex Air-King Mid Size Steel & White Gold 114234

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  • Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 14000 Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 14000

    Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 14000

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  • Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 5500 Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 5500

    Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 5500 1979

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  • Rolex Cellini 18k Mechanical 4109 Rolex Cellini 18k Mechanical 4109

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The famous vintage watch fits the role of a financier in the eighties, but more so, Rolex was actually mentioned twenty-six times in the original book. Some of the lines had to be omitted from the film, though, as Rolex didn’t want their brand to become associated with serial killers.

Reverso Grande Taille, Batman Begins

Like Bateman, Bruce Wayne is a wealthy American with a secret identity. Although this time instead of killing people, he’s saving them.

Other than James Bond and Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne is perhaps the epitome of the guy that every man wants to be. If not for his gumption and wit, but for his style. In Batman Begins, he adorns an elegant Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso ‘Grande Taille’, a watch that has been the official timekeeper of the superhero for nearly two decades.

The Reverso Grande Taille appears in several scenes throughout the film on a brown leather strap. And as you’d expect, was not just used as a fashion symbol but as a highly-complex communications device.

Hamilton, 2001: Space Odyssey

Hamilton has had a close association with Hollywood and the media for years, and one of its watches even had the King of Rock himself as its ambassador.

Its involvement was so strong, many of Hamilton’s watches were purpose-made for movie scripts and the actors that were to wear them. One of the best examples is the futuristic Hamilton X-OI, specially commissioned by Kubrick alongside a table clock for the iconic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Today, the Hamiton X-OI still looks like something straight out of the future, and you can pick up a limited edition reinterpretation of the famous vintage watch for less than a grand.