Almost all of the world’s most iconic timepieces have at some point found themselves on the big screen, whether it’s the Rolex 6538 on James Bond’s wrist in Dr No, the TAG Heuer Monaco in Le Mans or the Seiko 6105 in Apocalypse Now. Leading with some of the longest screen time however is IWC Schaffhausen, who for the last 150 years has excelled in their luxury watch manufacture, all while adding depth to the stories and its characters of the world’s biggest blockbuster films.
Top Gun (1986): Tom Cruise & IWC Pilots Chronograph
A cameo that eventually led to its own namesake collection, an IWC Pilots Chronograph watch made its introduction in arguably one of the greatest flight films of all time, Top Gun. Adorned by the character of Maverick, a hotshot fighter pilot in training and played by Tom Cruise, the durable design made such a lasting impression on movies goers that several decades later, the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer launched its own IWC Pilots Top Gun collection inspired by the movie and of course the flight school it depicts.
Miami Vice (2006): Jamie Foxx & IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Street smart Ricardo Tubbs’ and his elegant IWC Portugieser Chronograph remains another icon of the silver screen worn on the wrist of Jamie Foxx in the 2006 film Miami Vice. Its distinctive aesthetic was easily recognisable for its large sleek black dial and silver chronograph subsidiary dials and it became a design quickly coveted by watch and movie enthusiasts. Sadly, the watch was an extremely rare, limited edition with only 50 pieces launched, all engraved with a special Miami Vice logo on the case back. The more recent IWC Portugieser reference IW371609 is a close match for those on the look out for a similar design.
RED (2010): Bruce Willis & IWC Pilots Mark XVI
Another action star spotted sporting an IWC watch is Bruce Willis in the American action comedy RED where he plays a former black-ops CIA agent who is “RED” (Retired, Extremely Dangerous). Of course, it isn’t long before Willis is in action and the IWC Pilots Mark XVI becomes his companion for battle. It’s robust 43mm stainless steel case and highly legible black dial is a perfect choice for staying resilient in combat, and although the collection is now discontinued, the new IWC Mark XVIII series delivers a similar aesthetic with improved performance.
The Meg (2018): Jason Statham & IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar
We’re not sure anyone fancies hunting for a 75-foot prehistoric shark underwater, but if we had to, we’d want the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar on our wrist too. Worn by Jason Statham who plays deep-sea diver Jonas Taylor in the 2018 film, the deep-sea diving instrument is a sight to behold. Dressed in all-black Ceratanium, a material which combines the lightness of titanium with the scratch resistant of ceramic, the 50 Years Special Edition Aquatimer delivers remarkable performance including a 100 metre water resistance and a perpetual calendar with large double-digit displays for date and month and leap year.
Ocean’s Thirteen (2007): Matt Damon & IWC Portugieser Chronograph
During an ambitious plot for revenge in the 2007 blockbuster Ocean’s Thirteen, Matt Damon’s character Linus Caldwell must disguise himself as “Lenny Pepperidge”. As part of his camouflage, he adorns himself with a large prosthetic nose and an IWC Portugieser Chronograph watch. It’s handsome blue dial and sleek stainless steel profile looks incredibly similar to the Portugieser Chronograph reference IW371606 which we could see perfectly appealing the high end tastes of the Ocean’s Thirteen crew.
Mr & Mrs Smith (2005): Brad Pitt & IWC Pilots Spitfire
Last up on our list of “IWC Watches in the Movies” is the IWC Spitfire under ref 3706. Although no longer in production, the design remains a must-have piece for collectors both for its immaculate construction and for its cameo on the wrist of Brad Pitt in the 2005 film Mr & Mrs Smith. Many describe the IWC Pilots Spitfire 3706 as the archetype of a classic pilot’s watch delivering luminous Mark hands and matching black counters at the centre. Those looking for a similar looking design should take a look at the IWC reference IW377710.