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Hollywood stars and their watches (2)
Watch Stories

Hollywood stars and their watches (2)

Friday, 04 January 2019
By Frank Rousseau
Frank Rousseau

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8 min read

They are screen legends, the larger-than-life characters of Hollywood cinema. Away from the camera, they make their presence felt with strongly voiced opinions or through their dedication to a cause. And by wearing a watch that speaks volumes about their personality.

Tom Selleck

“When Magnum, P.I. was taken off the air, I expected to go home with the Ferrari. That didn’t happen, but I did leave with a Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi. Now there’s a legend! I’ve always loved that watch. It was the perfect match for Magnum. It’s a watch that likes action, and believe me I’m know what I’m talking about. I’ve had my fair share of “sport” watches but never one as tough as the Rolex. It’s been underwater, buried in sand, taken I don’t know how many knocks, and never a problem. It’s called the Pepsi because the bezel colours are the same as the Pepsi logo. Personally, I thought the red went well with the Ferrari and the blue matched Hawaii’s lagoons and sky.”

Jason Statham

“I wouldn’t call myself a collector, although I do own a lot of watches. A collector is someone who has to have this or that model to put on show. I don’t wear jewellery, neck chains, bracelets, rings, that sort of thing. But I do love watches; to have on my wrist an object that represents human intelligence and creativity. Behind every finely crafted watch there is an intellectual process, a challenge, and the desire to always set the bar higher. This is precisely what I like about certain brands: the love of a job well done and the determination to never rest on their laurels. It blows me away to see all those tiny components, those incredibly complex parts put together by the craftsman’s hand. That level of dexterity never ceases to impress me.”

Antonio Banderas

“You have to be a genius to be a watchmaker. I mean, it takes a special kind of brain to create such complex micro-mechanisms. The thing that never fails to impress me about watchmaking is its capacity to constantly come up with new ideas. There are the classics that never change, of course, but alongside them are the watches that keep pace with trends, fashions and what people want. Preferably worldwide. I’m amazed when I see a particular watch flying off retailers’ shelves in all four corners of the globe. Every culture is different after all, but for some strange reason certain watches are able to go beyond borders and reach all kinds of people. The minute they see them, they want them, as though there were some irresistible force, like a magnet.”

Pierce Brosnan

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the watches my characters wear have a function beyond simply giving the time. They help build the character. In Thomas Crown, for example, the watch was a way of indicating his social status, his need for precision and efficiency, and the sophisticated world to which he belonged. In the James Bond films, the watch plays a vital role because it helps the Commander get out of some tricky situations. It even saves his life. A watch reflects your personality and, to a certain extent, helps deliver a message. The one that means the most to me was given to me by my wife. It’s a Blancpain which she had engraved with the words, ‘Time travels on love’s wings'”.

Michael Douglas

“I have a soft spot for vintage watches. You always feel they have a story to tell. On the other hand, I can’t abide watches that eat up your entire wrist. You know, the ones that look like you’ve strapped the mantlepiece clock to your arm. I prefer something more discreet, which wasn’t necessarily the case when I was younger. I used to buy watches as a way of saying, look at me, I’m successful. You get the producers smoking their big, fat cigars. Me, it was watches. I had boxes full of watches of every size by every maker. Then one day it all seemed rather vulgar and I started to tone it down.”

Hugh Jackman

“Why did I say yes to Montblanc? Because the brand is known the world over for its dedication to making and selling only quality products. To be invited to become part of this family is an offer you can’t refuse. In fact it’s something to be proud of! Today I’m wearing a Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar. This is a globetrotter’s watch and perfectly suited to life on the move. It certainly stands up to the life I lead! I understand it goes through over five hundred hours of testing. One of the things I most appreciate about this high-precision watch is that it always shows the correct time, thanks to automatic winding.”

Colin Firth

“When I was young, I was a huge James Bond fan. I was totally enthralled by the action and the exploits, of course, but what captivated me the most was Bond’s devotion to queen and country! This isn’t so surprising when you consider I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, in the middle of the Cold War. Our heroes were The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Harry Palmer, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and of course James Bond. So what if it was all rather far-fetched, we didn’t care. When Sean Connery unzips his diving suit to reveal the impeccable dinner jacket and bow tie underneath, the perfect attire to enjoy a quiet vodka martini at the bar, of course you have to smile, but for sheer class it can’t be beat. 007 had watches that could do the most amazing tricks. I remember the Breitling that detected radioactivity in Thunderball, the Rolex Submariner that neutralised magnetic fields in Live and Let Die, the telex watch in The Spy Who Loved Me and the laser-beam watch in Never Say Never Again. Any kid would have loved to have one of those gadgets on his wrist, starting with me!”

Henry Cavill

“While shooting the film version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I did some research into men’s accessories, and in particular watches worn by 1960s spies, who apparently liked to invest in showy timepieces. Beautiful watches but so imposing they’re all you see. A watch says so much about the person who wears it. Not just their standard of living, but their lifestyle too. A watch is non-verbal communication for the wrist. All of which is something of a paradox, given that the role, the very essence, of a spy is to be discreet. A good spy knows how to blend into the background. It’s certainly not someone who walks around wearing an attention-grabbing watch, or if he does it’s part of his cover!”

Jake Gyllenhaal

“My first ever watch was a Swatch my sister gave me. I must have been five or six years old. It got confiscated pretty quickly! [laughs]. I don’t know what happened to it, but if my memory serves me well, it was orange and pink. Maggie, my sister, bought if from a Swatch shop on Times Square. I remember the shop was packed with customers and I couldn’t make up my mind which of the dozens of styles I wanted. Later, my grandfather gave me a Swiss army watch. I’d just got my high school diploma and he wanted to mark the occasion by having it engraved. Just for me. That’s the moment I chose to tell him I wanted to become an actor. He turned to me with this disappointed look on his face and said, “How about getting a real job instead”. He still gave me the watch. It was incredibly tough, I wore it for years. Otherwise, if anyone has any clues as to where my Swatch is, let me know. I mean, come on guys, it was my first watch!”

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