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From Sherlock Holmes to Samuel L Jackson – Celebrity Watches On Street And Screen

by Joanne Ward
9 May, 2013
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About the author

Joanne juggles a demanding job as a mum of two with a challenging job as a writer of articles for Click Tempus. Appropriately taking time out to raise a family, she was formerly an Editorial Assistant with Time Out magazine. Joanne can turn her talents to writing about ladies watches, men's bags and woozy whiskey cocktails all while entertaining the kids with soothing lullabies.

Sherlock Holmes

There’s nothing quite like a certain fashion item being worn by a cool, trendsetting celebrity to get the general public salivating and wanting a piece of the action.  Most savvy, big-name watch brands understand that taking a prominent ambassador on board can really pack a punch in marketing terms, as does gifting their goods to Hollywood heavyweights and their ilk for personal or screen use.  Sometimes the product placement is anything but subtle, but that’s just the point; show off the goods and inspire countless others to emulate their idols by decking themselves out in the same wristwear.

Barack Obama – Jorg Gray JG6500


A strong-minded character needs a strong watch, and the Jorg Gray JG6500 regularly spotted on President Barack Obama’s wrist is his perfect partner.   The stainless steel and black watch was apparently given to the President as a birthday gift from his secret agent guards in 2007, and since then has accompanied him on a good number of outings, perhaps most notably his victory speech in November 2008.  Despite the age of the watch, and the fact Obama probably has a good number to choose from, it seems he favours this one, which is sleek and sophisticated, much like himself.  However, his isn’t a standard JG6500 model; it comes complete with the 000000000United States Secret Service seal on the matte black dial, and the black Italian buffalo leather strap completes this man-of-the-world watch.

Bruce Willis – Rolex 35mm Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master

Bruce Willis isn’t a man you’d choose to argue with, but then you’d probably agree with him anyway if you were to have a discussion about quality watches.  His current favourite is the Rolex 35mm Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master in stainless steel, and he wears it well with pared-down, relaxed attire – although the watch pretty much steals the show.  Just like him and his film career, you can trust the Rolex to last for years and still look good.  This sturdy, sporty-looking model signifies a link between Rolex and the sailing world, one that harks all the way back to the Fifties.  The dial – available in either blue or mother of pearl – is designed to reflect the colours of the sea, and is in keeping with the overall marine theme of the watch.

David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane – Breitling for Bentley Supersports Limited Edition Light Body QP and IWC Portuguese Tourbillon Mystere

In late February this year, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane attended an autograph session at a Paris Adidas store and engaged in a very subtle Battle of the Watches.  Beckham sported a green Breitling for Bentley Supersports Limited Edition Light Body QP, which – being the new face of the Swiss luxury watch maker – was a wise choice.  It was a wise choice for Breitling, also, having secured a brand ambassador with the capacity to give their products a supercool seal of approval.  This particular watch commemorates the achievement of Finland’s former rally driver Juha Kankkunen driving one of Bentley’s Continental Supersports convertibles across the frozen Baltic Sea at a staggering 205.48 mph; a feat that Beckham is clearly in awe of, having chosen to wear his with pride.  This 49mm, textured titanium-cased edition is limited to only a thousand, with the Royal Ebony dial complete with subdials offering lots to look at.

Zinedine Zidane, on the other hand, opted for more subtle wristwear in the form of the IWC Portuguese Tourbillon Mystere, luxurious in 18 carat rose gold and black with an alligator strap.  Again, this is a limited edition piece, but perhaps not as attention-seeking as Beckham’s at a slightly smaller 44.2mm diameter.  The dial within the slimline case is a sleek Ruthenium black – a hard, shiny precious metal from the platinum group that is extremely rare – and is punctuated with an impressive skeletonized tourbillon at12 o’clock.

Jason Statham in Parker – Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa

Jason Statham is far from just being the Brit actor in blockbuster films that likes to leave an imprint of his fist in bad guys’ faces; he is also capable of being a style icon, and this is apparent in his latest film, Parker.  In one scene, where he is posing as a wealthy Texan gazing out from a balcony over a luscious landscape, a rose gold Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa mounted on a black rubber strap can clearly be seen peeking out from under his shirt sleeve.  The Brazilian race car driver’s name has been given to the watch as he in fact wears this model most of the time, and what an honour it must be to lend your name to such a masterpiece.  The tonneau-shaped case is actually rather long and wide – 50mm x 40mm – therefore not suited to the more slender of wrists, but then again this is a piece designed to look like a precision machine rather than a piece of time-telling jewellery.  The visible, skeleton movement serves as the dial of the watch, with a red-framed date window, and a sapphire crystal at the case back exposes the automatic rotor within.

Jay-Z – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore


The latest watch choice for Jay-Z is bold, beautiful and unique; an obvious choice, given he is married to singer Beyonce.  The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore accompanied the rapper and his wife to a recent basketball game, and the players could easily be forgiven if they were distracted by its arresting appearance.  In brushed, 18 carat rose gold, this piece is characterised by its oversized proportions and chamfered, octagonal bezel punctuated with screw detailing.  The anthracite dial showcases a Méga Tapisserie, grid-style motif together with three subdials, date window and baton-style,Royal Oak hands.

Samuel L Jackson – Piaget White Gold Polo Chronograph


The prestigious family-run watchmakers Piaget, overseen so far by four generations, have found a firm fan in Samuel L Jackson.  Seen chilling out on set of the new Avengers movie in facial SFX makeup and tracksuit, he chose to continue wearing the timepiece that is part of his character Nick Fury’s wardrobe.  The neat and sharp Piaget Polo Chronograph in 18 carat white gold is a fitting choice for this King of Cool – who has been spotted at several recent events wearing the watch – and is 43mm diameter with a silver chronograph dial and white gold hour markers.  It’s a sophisticated piece, with a pleasing symmetrical arrangement and unusual bevelled-stripe bezel supported by an ever-stylish black leather strap.

Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s Sherlock – Rotary GS0242421 Vintage Stainless Steel


The BBC’s Sherlock may be a mysterious super sleuth, but he’s not so mysterious when it comes to showing off his wristwear of choice.  Those eagle-eyed enough to notice would have determined that the detective, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, has been rocking a stunningly simple Rotary GS0242421 Vintage Stainless Steel, a fine example of the classic contemporary dress watches that the company is renowned for.  Blending the old with the new, this distinctive 38mm watch takes its circular form and echoes it within the textured dial, with ever-decreasing circles from the minute markers to the hour indices, all the way down to the single subdial at 6 o’clock.

Joanne Ward | Website

Joanne juggles a demanding job as a mum of two with a challenging job as a writer of articles for Click Tempus. Appropriately taking time out to raise a family, she was formerly an Editorial Assistant with Time Out magazine. Joanne can turn her talents to writing about ladies watches, men's bags and woozy whiskey cocktails all while entertaining the kids with soothing lullabies.

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