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The window to watch: 1990s

by Michael Weare
12 September, 2011
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Leonardo-diCaprio

What clothes, what watches, what cars and what music were people into in the 1990s? This is the fifth in our Window to watch series of feature articles that walks through the decades in terms of changing tastes in these key areas.

The main picture shows Leonardo diCaprio who was the baby face heartthrob in the 90s thanks to the epic world-wide ubiquitous smash hit movie Titanic. But instead of going down with the ship, Leo went on to show that he is a movie star of great range, presence and talent. Leonardo diCaprio is also a huge fan of watches and in the past he has been spotted on screen and off screen with cool watches like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater, the Breitling Chrono Avenger and of course being a brand ambassador for Tag Heuer, he has been spotted with a Tag Heuer Aquaracer and the Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic as seen in his hit film Inception.

Fashion: Britpop

Britpop Desert boot

By the mid 90s Britpop had taken a firm grip on both music and fashion, and on both sides of the pond too, just as it had done way back in the 60s. Egged on by the belief that Britannia was cool once more, Union Jack’s began appearing on all manner of clothing, and the retro Mod look, complete with floppy fringe, sunglasses and furry hooded parka were to be seen everywhere – most often on the front pages of the newspapers where Liam Gallagher would treat photographers to his trademark one or two fingered salute depending on the mood. It was all relatively harmless compared to the Sex Pistols throwing up all over the place in the 70s.

Watch: Casio G-Shock

Casio G-shock

The Casio G-Shock, which was actually invented in 1983, seriously took off in the 1990s. They were huge in both senses of the word. You could forget about trying to slip a Casio G-Shock under your shirt, but they would fit nicely under your wide sleeved parka.

They protruded massively on your wrist. It was said to be possible to drop a G-Shock from a 30 storey building and expect it to survive. By 1998, 19 million G-Shocks had been sold worldwide. 220 new models were released in that year alone.


Andy McNab
would drop a no doubt sponsored mention of his ex-SAS action hero Nick Stone checking his Baby-G in several of his novels. Since that time Casio has collaborated with many designers, musicians and other pop culture luminaries to release hundreds of limited edition G-Shocks with custom designs. There are still many avid collectors of the G-Shock worldwide.

Car: Renault Espace

Renault Espace

The maroon Renault Espace was blocking your view of the traffic lights along every street in Britain in the 90s. Despite being an extended family 7-seater boxy monster from French manufacturer Renault, the Espace invariably had – and still has – only one person in it. Although developed by Englishman Fergus Pollock in the 70s and first manufactured in 1984, the MPV craze didn’t really catch on until the launch of the Espace II in 1991. When it did it spread like wildfire across Britain and dozens of other manufacturers leapt onto the people carrier revolution. Infamously, a maroon Renault Espace was the vehicle of choice of mass murderer Dr. Donald Shipman. His Espace, seen parked outside the houses of elderly ladies, became a link to his nefarious doings. The latest reincarnation of the Espace is the Espace IV, however there is rumoured to be an Espace V hitting the roads soon.

Music: Oasis vs Blur

Liam Gallagher vs Damon Albarn

In the mid 90’s the battle for Britpop supremacy raged between Blur and Oasis providing the tabloids with untold acres of gossip and news. “The Battle of Britpop” as it was known, gained significance even though initially the two bands praised each other. Over the course of 1995, antagonisms between the two bands increased which whipped up a now familiar ‘media storm’ over really very little. The groups became engaged in what the NME called the “British Heavyweight Championship” with the pending release of Oasis’ single “Roll With It”, and Blur’s “Country House” on the same day. The battle pitted the two bands against each other, with the conflict as much about British class and regional divisions as it was about music. Blur won the battle of the bands, but eventually Oasis outsold Blur both at home and abroad. You’ll be relieved to know they’ve patched everything up these days – it was all just a bit of fun.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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