9 of the most iconic watches in cinema: from the Jaeger-LeCoultre of Doctor Strange to the Casio of Marty McFly
“Good evening, I’m Dr. Emmett Brown. I’m standing in the parking lot of the Twin Pines Mall. It’s Saturday morning, October 26, 1985, 1:18 a.m., and this is time experiment number one.” Marty McFly, a Marty McFly, dressed in a red vest, films Doc with a bulky JCV camcorder as he gets out of a famous car that makes time spin. about to get interesting. A little clunky and embarrassing now, in 1985, a calculator watch was the pinnacle of cutting-edge technology. Hamilton’s Pulsar had caused a stir and companies were scrambling to develop digital quartz technology. Capable of storing digit names and phone numbers, it’s no coincidence that the bewildered hero of the film chose a Casio CA53W to speed into the future at 88 mph. This will forever remain one of the most emblematic of cinema.
Heuer Monaco (Le Mans, 1971)
You know the photo, that of McQueen as racer Michael Delany, wearing a flame-retardant white riding suit, an American flag on his left arm and a prominent “Heuer Chronograph” in red lettering on his right shoulder. The story goes that McQueen was originally tempted by a Speedmaster, before settling on the now iconic square-faced waterproof chrono due to the Heuer branding on his character’s costume. It turned out to be a prudent choice for both McQueen and Tag Heuer, with the watch becoming one of their signature designs and a legend of movie props.
Although there isn’t a ton of Monaco in the movie itself, legend has it that McQueen – who did all his own stunts – had it on his wrist as he drove a Porsche 917 at speeds of over 200 mph on the Mulsanne directly on the final day of filming. Oh, and the original, which was gifted to McQueen’s mechanic after filming, sold at auction for £1.61million in 2020. Not bad.