Screen Time — How On-Screen Watches Add to the Story

We all like spotting watches in movies and television programs, and pondering their cameos. Regardless of whether its Anya Taylor-Joy’s sleek Bulova as she plays a chess champion in The Queen’s Gambit or wincing as Benedict Cumberbatch’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual gets obliterated in Doctor Strange, the choice of watch provokes a barrage of questions.

Was that watch’s appearance as deliberate as Omega in James Bond films? Or as accidental as Pedro Pascal’s made-up watch (internet sleuths thought it was a Lum-Tec Super Combat B2) in The Last Of Us? Is that watch brand trying to imply certain brand values by paying for a spot in that scene? Or is that filmmaker trying to imply something through that choice of watch? And ultimately, did the film make the watch look good, or did the watch make the film look better?

If you haven’t caught these movies yet we recommend you do, and happy spotting.

Breitling and Bullet Train

An action thriller peppered with a comedy of errors, Bullet Train stars 60-year-old heartthrob Brad Pitt wearing a Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition.

This beautiful tribute timepiece has the same screw positions and style of Arabic numerals as the 1953 Breitling Co-Pilot. A watch fan in real life, Pitt is known for his good taste – he has been seen wearing a range fo blue chip brands including A. Lange & Söhne, Patek Philippe, Rolex as well as unusual rare vintages too like the Cartier Tank à Guichet. He was spotted rocking the beautiful Vacheron Constantin 222 last year, a historic watch that was recently relaunched under CEO Louis Ferla.

Both ageless beauties, Brad and the iconic AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition were a great match. A skilled veteran of his field who chances upon a fresh start aboard a bullet train, Brad Pitt’s character Ladybug is mirrored by the Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953, a legendary and utilitarian pilot’s watch. It’s also fitting that superstar Pitt is wearing the platinum version.

Omega and Glass Onion

Daniel Craig might no longer be playing Double-O-Seven, but he’s still wearing Omega watches on screen. In Glass Onion, a Hitchcock-esque whodunnit that has more twists and turns than the Singapore Grand Prix circuit, the British thespian channels Southern charm when he plays private investigator Benoit Blanc.

In this high-octane murder mystery, he wears an Omega Seamaster 1948 Co‑Axial Master Chronometer Small Seconds. No stranger to Hollywood, Omega has also starred in popular flicks like Pulp Fiction and Scarface, and has also graced the wrists of several James Bond actors. This particular Omega rewards detailed inspection and is full of classical charm, making it a fine companion for Benoit Blanc, a highly intelligent detective who vigilantly pores over minute details.

There’s another fine watch in Glass Onion, on the wrist of former WWE champion Dave Bautista, who plays plays Duke Cody, a musclebound influencer who would be well suited to something ostentatious and oversized. In this case, Duke Cody wears the Panerai Submersible Goldtech OroCarbo. Combining Goldtech with a Carbotech bezel, this watch is perfect for the flashy, fighting-fit and tech-savvy Duke Cody.

Kudoke and Last Looks

“Have you seen what [watch] this man wears? It costs more than the house I grew up in.” Mel Gibson tells Charlie Waldo in Last Looks, which is another thrilling whodunnit with an all-star cast. Set in Hollywood’s cutthroat movie industry, Last Looks stars Charlie Waldo as Charlie Hunnam, a down-on-his-luck detective who is looking for salvation, alongside names like Morena Baccarin, Lucy Fry, Rupert Friend and Method Man of Wu-Tang Clan fame.

Waldo replies Gibson: “It’s a Kudoke Skeleton; they only make 35 a year.”

Were Waldo and Gibson just shooting the breeze, or might the ravishing Kudoke Real Skeleton play a role in solving this murder mystery?

We won’t spoil it for you. What we can reveal though, is that the mention of Kudoke in the book was not sponsored. The Kudoke team, which is a husband-and-wife team that works with three watchmakers and has won the “Petite Aiguille” Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, revealed that they were taken by surprise when someone told them that Kudoke was mentioned in the book, Last Looks, that Howard Michael Gould published in 2018. This rare beauty was later auctioned in New York by Phillips Auction House in December 2022.

Last Looks certainly did well in showcasing Kudoke, which was paired painstakingly crafted timepieces with perfectly tailored suits.

So, whether you’re firing up Netflix or heading to the cinema, keep an eye on the wrists and think about the hard work put into finding the right watch for the character.

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