5 watches made famous in films

Posted on 19 May 2022

The thing about being experts in luxury watches is that everyone always expects you to be on time. That’s the cross we have to bear at AlmaGrove. 

On the plus side, we know about a lot of cool stuff, like iconic timepieces from the silver screen. To prove it, we’ve pulled together our top five. What made them so special and how much are they worth in the current market? Read on to find out….

And don’t forget, if you’re looking to borrow against a luxury watch, we can help.

Rolex Submariner 6538  – Doctor No

“I can assure you my intentions are strictly honourable,” Sean Connery’s 007 says as he introduces himself to Honey Ryder (played by Ursula Andress) on the beach of Doctor No’s private island. Knowing Bond as we do – let’s just say he’s never been reluctant to make the first move – it’s fair to label this claim as questionable. 

But one thing is hard to deny: the timepiece that JB wears on his wrist is legendary. 

Collectors love the Rolex Submariner 6538 diving watch for its trademark ‘Big Crown’, made so it’s easier to wind on a top-secret underwater mission. The ‘Mercedes’ hour hand, so-called because it bears more than a passing resemblance to the German car manufacturer’s logo, is another standout feature.

When it was launched in 1953, the Submariner cost a tiny percentage of its current market value. We’re taking a few hundred quid – that’s cheap even taking into account inflation. These days, thanks to the Bond effect, they’re sold for anything from $50,000 to $500,000 at auction.

 

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch – Apollo 13

“Something broke on your daddy’s spaceship,” the wife of astronaut Jim Lovell explains to their son as the Apollo 13 moon mission hits the skids. Thankfully, that ‘something’ wasn’t his watch.

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, as worn on the wrists of Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon in the 1995 Hollywood dramatisation, was, in fact, critical in averting a space disaster, as it allowed Lovell and his crew to accurately time their re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere after a string of mechanical mishaps.

Watch collectors sitting through the movie are rooting for the Speedies’ safe return; the thought of those timepieces burning up is too much to bear, especially as they fetch anything from $4,000-$70,000.

Alsta Nautoscaph – Jaws

While most people remember Jaws for its main protagonist, a 25-foot shark with anger issues, we appreciate the 1975 Spielberg thriller for the shiny wrist adornment worn by Hooper, Richard Dreyfuss’s oceanographer turned sea-monster slayer.  

It was engineered by Swiss brand Alsta, who made professional divers’ watches so tough they’d probably give Jaws a toothache should he chomp down on one. 

Sadly, Alsta went out of business a few years after the movie hit the cinemas. But the company was brought back to life by a Scottish start-up in 2014 and they’ve resurrected the Nautoscaph with several faithful re-editions.

Rolex Datejust 16013 – American Psycho

In American Psycho, Christian Bale plays a New York yuppy with a taste for the finer things in life. These finer things include the Rolex Datejust 16013, a two-tone, gold and silver bracelet watch that oozes retro-cool. 

The problem for Rolex was that Bale’s Patrick Bateman also had a thirst for blood. And let’s face it, brutal murder scenes aren’t a great look for brands.

In the end, Rolex agreed to the inclusion of the Datejust on the basis that it was removed during the more gruesome moments. And it was probably for the best; you wouldn’t want to splatter blood on one of these, given that they sell for between $11,500 and $14,500.

Tag Heuer Monaco – Le Mans

Steve McQueen was known for his fast living – and exquisite taste in watches. Arguably his most famous was the Tag Heuer Monaco, worn in the 1971 car-revving classic, Le Mans. 

Apparently, McQueen had a number of these in his collection, many used as spares during shooting. In December 2020, one he’d passed onto a crew member sold for an incredible $2,208,000 at auction. Somewhat appropriately, hearts must have been racing.

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