featured 03, Dec 2021 02:25pm
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6 watches we’ve spotted in TV shows. And why they are special.

If you, like me, can’t watch a movie or a web series without spotting what the leading ladies and gentlemen are sporting on their wrists, this is a story worth reading. Here are 6 watches that caught our eye in popular TV shows.

In 1996, when the United Nations decided to dedicate November 21 to television, many people thought it was unnecessary, but soon realised the purpose was to encourage the exchange of cultures, ideas, and information. Today, for timepiece enthusiasts, that means being able to notice a cool watch on the wrist of a cultural icon, while also developing curiosity about the said piece. Let’s look at some of these watches spotted on screens, worn by some of the most iconic TV characters (actors) of today.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12, Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

Breaking Bad, the multiple award-winning TV show, with its anti-hero Walter White aka Heisenberg played by Bryan Cranston, can be considered a turning point in television, and in the development of the anti-hero narrative. In Season 5, Episode 4, White’s student-turned-apprentice, Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, gifts him a TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12 (Ref. CAW2111.FC6183) that White is proud to wear.

The 39mm automatic watch, introduced first in 1969, pays tribute to the Monaco Grand Prix, and the original was worn by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans. The Breaking Bad version is powered by an automatic chronograph Calibre 12, and features a blue dial, with a seconds sub-dial at three o’clock, a 30-minute chronograph at 9 o’clock, and a date window at 6 o’clock. With a power reserve of 40 hours, its angular chronograph pushers flank the crown, and the steel case is water resistant to 100 mts. The strap of this watch is made of black calfskin leather with a special finish inspired by racetrack asphalt.

Panerai Luminor, Grey’s Anatomy (2005–present)

Winner of multiple awards, this medical drama has got a strong global fan following, so much so that it’s been playing for 16 years straight. The timepiece we spotted here was worn by Dr Owen Hunt (played by Kevin McKidd), a Panerai Luminor. This watch comes with a date indicator and small seconds on a black Luminor-style sandwich dial, and with a black leather strap and a titanium case.

Movado 1881, Scandal (2012-2018)

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a Washington DC fixer, made crisis management look ultra chic in Scandal, and helping her was a Movado 1881 piece. A placement seems obvious in the light of the fact that Washington was a brand ambassador of Movado at the time.

The 1881 quartz timepiece, Ref 0607098, is a 28mm stainless steel watch with a textured silver dial featuring dauphine hands. The watch is water resistant to 30 mts, and the case is flanked by a steel bracelet. The watch is a 2017 model, with the signature Movado Museum dot at 12 o’clock.

Hamilton Khaki King, House M.D (2004 - 2012)

The cynical protagonist of this medical drama, Dr. Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie, takes inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyal’s most famous character, Sherlock Holmes. Leading a team of diagnosticians at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in Princeton, New Jersey, Dr. House solves medical mysteries, much like one of literature’s most popular detectives.

Not without some watch flex though. For the first four seasons and in Season 8, House dons a Hamilton Khaki King watch. With a large day/date display at 12 o’clock, this 40mm timepiece is powered by a Hamilton H40 Automatic calibre, giving it an 80 hour power reserve with a water resistance of 50 mts. The Khaki King featires both 12- and 24-hour markings, and comes in both brushed and polished stainless steel in an exhibition caseback, and gets its name from the brown leather strap that is shaped with Khaki stitching.

Rolex Explorer and Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Classic, Mad Men (2007 - 2015)

Created by Matthew Weiner, the story takes viewers on a journey from March 1960 to November 1970 at Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York Cit, where they are introduced to Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the talented Creative Director of advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Draper is a mysterious man and is regarded by many as a genius. His intellect is also reflected in his refined taste, including his choice of watches.

In the fourth season, we see him wear a Rolex Explorer, the original version of which was part of the expedition that conquered Mount Everest. The timepiece comes in a oystersteel case with an oystersteel bracelet with a black dial with luminous hands and linear hour markers, though 3, 6 and 9 o’clock are marked by Arabic numerals in this 39mm watch.

In season 2, Don Draper was seen donning a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic, a distinct timepiece perfectly in sync with the duality of the character itself. The Reverso is recognisable from a mile away, its case known for easily sliding out and flipping. On Mad Men, the watch featured had a gold case and brown alligator leather strap. So symbolic did the watch become that it eventually led to the brand releasing a watch inspired by the show: The Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to 'Mad Men'. Limited to only 25 pieces, the watch featured the Sterling Cooper Draper Price logo on the reverse.

Cartier Tank, House of Cards (2013-2018)

Created by Beau Willimon, the political drama was an adaptation of the 1990 BBC series, and based on the 1989 novel by Michael Dobbs, of the same name. Set in Washington D.C, House of Cards tells the story of Congressman Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, next in-line to be Secretary of State who initiates a dubious plan to attain power aided by his wife Claire Underwood (Robin Wright).

A series based on power struggles calls for a strong timepiece. So, viewers saw Claire wear a Cartier Tank in Season 1 and 2, but in Season 3 this was switched for a Cartier Tank Louis watch with a quartz movement. The timepiece had an 18-karat gold case, a beaded crown with a sapphire cabochon, with the strap made of alligator leather. The watch had a calendar at 3 o’clock with a silver-grained dial, and blued-steel sword-shaped hands.

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