THE BEST ROLEX CAMEOS IN CINEMA

Posted on 9 October 2017

How can you tell what makes a character tick? From Jacob Palmer in Crazy Stupid Love (Ryan Gosling), David Sanders in The Deep (Nick Nolte, above) and Michael Vronsky in The Deer Hunter (Robert de Niro), there are countless films in which the big-name star wears a wristwatch to match.

That Rolex has become a go-to choice for costume designers reflects not only the iconic nature of the watches, but also that they say something about who’s wearing them. They can help to place a character - in the boardroom or on the high seas - and imbue him (or her) with charisma and authority. “Watches are as rich in symbolic complexity as they are in mechanical complications,” says The New York Times.

Here are a few of Rolex’s most memorable big screen cameo roles.

ROGER MOORE IN LIVE AND LET DIE

The original Bond always wore Rolex - as Sean Connery does in Dr No and Ian Fleming’s character did in the novels. But it was the big screen’s Q and his department of clever gadgets that ensured 007’s wristwear did more than just tell the time. In Live and Let Die, Roger Moore’s Submariner could generate a magnetic field, while its bezel doubled as a mini buzz saw.

MICHAEL CAINE IN GET CARTER

The watch itself - a Datejust - is rarely seen in Get Carter, and when it does appear it tends to be overshadowed by the wrong end of a shotgun. But the fact that Michael Caine’s Jack Carter wears one - with a gold dial, on a brown leather strap - to complement his Doug Hayward suit conveys his status. “Carter, of course, is a paragon of strength, intelligence, ruthlessness, sexual attraction and even a dry sense of humour,” said The Daily Telegraph in its 1971 review of the film.

DAVID OYELOWO AS MARTIN LUTHER KING IN SELMA

In dressing fictional characters, film-makers may reach for a Rolex to lend weight to a protagonist of their own creation. But in Selma, the 2015 biopic about Dr Martin Luther King Jr, the substance came from the man himself, and David Oyelowo’s portrayal of his central role in the civil rights movement. The watch was simply a matter of historical record: King’s timepiece of choice was a yellow gold Rolex Datejust.

ALEC BALDWIN IN GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS

“You see this watch? That watch costs more than your car,” boasts the head honcho salesman in David Mamet’s 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, whose concerns are a little more material than those of Martin Luther King. The watch, a gold Day-Date worn by Alec Baldwin, was a signifier of success, and an era-defining status symbol. “That\'s not to say that it\'s not a beautiful piece,” says Esquire.

ROBERT SHAW IN JAWS

Jaws may have had a greater impact on the public psyche than any previous movie, to the detriment of sharks and the benefit of Rolex, whose association with adventure and expertise was subtly underlined in the film. It was a double bill for the brand: not only does Robert Shaw’s gnarly shark hunter wear a Submariner but so does Richard Dreyfuss’s shark expert. And there was a third Rolex-wearer lurking behind the scenes: Peter Benchley, the author of the original novel - and the star of a Rolex magazine advert of the time. “If, like Peter Benchley, you ever feel the urge to take a closer look at a shark, the Rolex Submariner has another useful quality,” read the text. “It is virtually unaffected by shock.”

STEVE MCQUEEN IN THE GREAT ESCAPE AND THE HUNTER

Steve McQueen, a true connoisseur of watches, topped and tailed his career with a Rolex on his wrist. In The Great Escape, which launched him onto the A-list, he wore a Speedking - and with good historical reason. “When British servicemen arrived in German POW camps, they routinely had their watches stolen by the guards,” explains Crown and Caliber. “Rolex learned of this and began replacing them, often sending the watches with Red Cross packages straight into the camp.” Years later, in his final film, The Hunter, McQueen was allowed to wear a watch of his own choosing, and picked a Rolex Submariner.

Newsletter

Sign up for our latest updates, product releases and blog entries.

Select the areas you are interested in hearing about:

Plymouth

No.2 Cornwall Street
Plymouth
Devon
PL1 1LP

plymouth@michaelspiers.co.uk
01752 661 981

Truro

82 - 83 Lemon Street
Truro
Cornwall
TR1 2QA

truro@michaelspiers.co.uk
01872 272 264

Taunton

1 High Street
Taunton
Somerset
TA1 3PG

taunton@michaelspiers.co.uk
01823 333 152

Exeter

22 Cathedral Yard
Exeter
Devon
EX1 1HB

exeter@michaelspiers.co.uk
01392 666 590

We accept these payment methods
Visa Card Master Card Maestro Amex
Credit subject to status and affordability. Terms & Conditions Apply. Michael Spiers (Jewellers) Limited} trading as Michael Spiers (Jewellers) Limited is a credit broker and is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit is provided by Novuna Personal Finance, a trading style of Mitsubishi HC Capital UK PLC, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register no. 704348. The register can be accessed through http://www.fca.org.uk

« BACK

×

We value your privacy
On our website, we use services (including from third-party providers) that help us to improve our online presence. The following categories of cookies are used by us and can be managed in the cookie settings. We need your consent before being able to use these services. Alternatively, you may click to refuse to consent, or access more detailed information and change your preferences before consenting. Your preferences will apply to this website only. You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or visit our privacy policy.

By authorising third-party services, you allow the placement and the reading of cookies and the use of tracking technologies required to keep our website reliable and secure.
Review and set your consent preferences for each partner below. Expand each partner list item for more information to help make your choice. Some personal data is processed without your consent, but you have the right to object.

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are rquired to run available services and provide basic shopify functions.

These cookies are exempt from the need for informed consent under ePrivacy regulations

Personalisation

These cookies provide a custom experience on our website.

Analytics and Statistics

These cookies allow us to measure visitors traffic. They also help us understand which product and actions are more popular than others.

Rolex (Adobe Analytics and Content Square)

Privacy policy: https://www.rolex.com/legal-notices/cookies.html
Purposes (consent)
Legitimate Interest Purpose(s)