The Envelope Please: 2022’s Most Memorable Film-Related Timepieces
In anticipation of the 95th Academy Awards this weekend, we wanted to look back at five watches from 2022 that were blockbusters both on the screen and wrist.
All of us here at Watchonista love movies. And from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Seiko H601 in Commando to Al Pacino’s Breguet Classique Moonphase Power Reserve in House of Gucci to have done our fair share of cinematic watch spotting.
So, as cinephiles and compulsive watch spotters, we thought it would be fun to have our own award show honoring movie-related timepieces that caught our attention in 2022.
And the winners are…
Best Adapted Screenplay
The epic sci-fi classic Interstellar may have come out in 2014. However, it seems time hasn’t dampened fans’ enthusiasm for the movie and the protagonist’s timekeeper, a slightly altered version of Hamilton’s classic Khaki Field military watch.
Then in 2022, the brand launched the Khaki Field Murph 38mm. A scaled-down sequel to the 2019 version that sported a 42mm case, critics rejoiced, some calling this version, priced at $895, even better than the original.
Best Animated Feature
Not to be outdone, in 2022, Hong Kong-based watchmaker Undone expanded the Minion-inspired horological universe with two new watches that hold a special appeal for Gen-Z kids who grew up watching Despicable Me and its many sequels.
Inspired by 8-bit art and the #gentleminions TikTok craze from earlier this year, there are two timepieces in the Undone x Minion collaboration. The first is a black-cased 8-Bit Speedster flyback chronograph, and the second is a single-eyed time-only model called Stuart that can be purchased as part of the Undone x Minions Box Set or individually via Watches.com.
We still love the Konstantin Chaykin version, of course. But the fun, Undone versions are a great gateway into watch collecting for general audiences. After all, the 8-Bit Speedster’s Japanese TMI VK63 mechanical-quartz hybrid flyback chronograph calibre is not only horologically interesting but makes the price quite accessible, with the 8-bit Speedster coming in at only $399.
Best Special Effects
Last year Omega announced the James Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm. And while there is no denying we love Bond and the Seamaster, we weren’t expecting to get this moved by the action on this watch.
Rather than the usual commemorative collectible tricks (a logo here and an etched caseback there), this stainless steel edition features a striking blue dial (a tribute to the first Bond Omega, a blue Seamaster 300M quartz worn by Pierce Brosnan in 1995’s Golden Eye) and a fascinating animated caseback that captures the iconic opening title sequence with the spy silhouetted inside a stylized spinning gun barrel.
There is a lot of technical know-how on display with this “moiré” effect animation. But to explain it as simply as possible, a laser-engraved disc is linked to the watch’s lollipop second hand in a technique similar to the animated caseback display on the 2020 “Silver Snoopy Award” Speedmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph.
In further good news for Bond collectors, the watch is rather reasonably priced at $7,900 and is not a limited edition.
Best Supporting Actor
The blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick not only featured some of the most exhilarating aeronautics we’ve ever seen on the big screen, but the characters are also decked out in some pretty amazing pilot’s watches.
So, while star Tom Cruise wears a vintage Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph 1, the rest of the cast sport IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII TOP GUN Edition “SFTI” and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “SFTI” – two timepieces that, at one time, were only available to instructors and students of the real-life Top Gun Navy Fighter Weapons School.
Finally, squeaking under the wire, the highly anticipated sequel to 2009’s Avatar – Avatar: The Way of Water – hit theatres in mid-December 2022. And to coincide with the movie’s release, Citizen launched a mini-collection of three red carpet-ready timepieces with picture dials, all based on the film’s themes of water and conservation.
First, the 46mm stainless steel Avatar Wave ($325) depicts the Leonopteryx, an aerial predator used for transport in the film, and features a bi-color case ring reminiscent of crashing waves against a shore.
Next, encased in black IP stainless steel, the 36.6mm Avatar Tree of Souls ($295) also features the silhouette of a Leonopteryx. However, on this iteration, the creature hovers above a vivid purple, blue, and pink dial depicting the seeds from the Tree of Souls.