Vintage spotting, Omega watches in Dunkirk film

Vintage spotting, Omega watches in Dunkirk film

After being worn by Tom Hardy in the film, the Omega CK2129 is helping gain recognition for the role Swiss watches played in World War II.

I recently saw the summer blockbuster film Dunkirk, which is beautifully directed by Christopher Nolan. The film tells the story of The Battle of Dunkirk, where almost 400,000 British and Allied troops were cornered and forced to retreat to a beach on the Northernmost coast of France.

Dunkirk movie directed by Christopher Nolan with Tom Hardy

In the two-hour epic, the film’s characters engage in a land, air, and sea battle to remove stranded troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. One of the film’s central characters, Farrier, is played by Tom Hardy. Farrier is a RAF (Royal Air Force) pilot defending the evacuation of the troops. Throughout the film, there are numerous aerial dogfights exquisitely shot using period-correct Spitfire aircraft.

Omega CK2129

The Omega CK2129 makes an appearance

While Farrier was engaged in a dog fight with the Luftwaffe, he looks down at his wrist and for a split second you can see a small Omega with a rotating bezel. The watch is identified as the CK2129.  Omega produced 2,000 of the model for British Army and Navy squadrons.

For us watch geeks, it’s always great to spot a well-placed timepiece in our favorite movie. However, the inclusion of this watch wasn’t simply a product placement, it was a true representation of the watches worn by RAF fighters during World War II.

Omega CK2129

During the great war, Omega supplied more than 110,000 watches to the British military forces. This number accounts for nearly 50% of the Swiss watch shipments to the UK during the war. Beyond watches, Omega and other Swiss brands also manufactured instruments for numerous aircraft. WWII-era Omega’s are becoming rarer as the vintage market heats up, so it was nice to see Mr. Nolan’s attention to detail at all costs.

Two things stuck out for me when I saw the piece on Tom Hardy’s wrist; First, I thought about Switzerland’s neutrality and the role it played in the war. Second, the life or death roles these watches played in combat. Beyond being timing instruments, these pieces were used for fuel monitoring, bombing strikes, navigation, and much more. I would image these military-issued timepieces were an essential companion to many a soldier.

Omega Ad from 1945

Vintage Ads

After speaking with the team at Omega, Watchonista got a peek at a few of Omega’s vintage advertisements from the era. Nearly all the watches feature Radium dials, which fell out of favor long ago.  While the styles and materials have changed over the years, the basic ethos of Swiss watchmaking is still there. 

A French Ad from 1916

For more information about the film, visit here : http://www.dunkirkmovie.com/

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