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Thread: Watches of the wrong period in films

  1. #1
    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Watches of the wrong period in films

    As Christmas can be a time for a TV binge, I watched two historical dramas.
    The Bonfire of Destiny, set in 1897 shows the leading lady looking at a 1960s bangle wrist watch !
    Even worse, Thieves of the Wood, set in the 18th century in Belgium, has the leading man lovingly admiring his quartz pocket watch !
    Seems like the property masters haven't got a clue about the history of watches and it kind of spoils the period fantasy.

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    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Argo, set in 1979, has Ben Affleck wearing a Rolex DeepSea....


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    Rumour has it that Spartacus has extras wearing watches, but I’ve not noticed personally.

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    Master Lammylee's Avatar
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    Watches of the wrong period in films



    Air America set in 1969, looks a bit more 80’s.

    Last edited by Lammylee; 5th January 2020 at 01:18.

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    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    I posted on here a year or so ago when I watched a western where the cowboy raised his shirt sleeve to get the time from his 1865 wristwatch !
    The BBC go to a lot of trouble to get the period right and I'd like to think that a letter I wrote to them in the 70s helped a little when a Victorian drama had 20th century pendant wound pocket watches in it. Got to keep them on their toes !!

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    Costume and props usually are quite particular with the “hero” artefacts . However usually its a case of needs must to make up the numbers for the extras or lesser cast.

    Usually the limitations are known about and flagged ( many Highly paid eyes on film sets) but film making is always chaotic and fluid , plans change , things break , the director may like a shot or part of a shot that wasn’t meant to be used months later in the edit and may prioritise the performance or something over an error of incidental detail.

    Films are not reality and human beings can only do so much . The whole is greater than the sum of its parts but its extremely rare for something to go in noticed for the film geeks to discover. Usually its been well flagged beforehand and dismissed as not a priority.

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    Watches of the wrong period in films

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    I believe Brad Pitt’s character in once upon a time in Hollywood is wearing a Citizen bullhead chrono first produced in 1972, and the film is set in 1969. Unlike Tarantino to miss little bits like that!

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    None of it is real so it matters not to me. If i do spot one though i kind of like it and find it amusing.

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    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    We notice watches because we know about them.

    I'm sure there are a myriad of wrongly used components in films that we are unaware of and people on other forums are pointing out at this moment.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    We notice watches because we know about them.

    I'm sure there are a myriad of wrongly used components in films that we are unaware of and people on other forums are pointing out at this moment.
    There is the famous Starbucks coffee cup in 8/4 of Game of Thrones. I once saw a jet trail in the sky background of a medieval film ! Lots of bloopers, but watch periods are often wrongly dated.

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    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy2254 View Post
    In The Vikings Carl Douglas strides to the prow of the ship, puts his hand up on the wood & reveals a gold wristwatch...
    The vikings like many people of the time had a liking for gold.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

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    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    We notice watches because we know about them.

    I'm sure there are a myriad of wrongly used components in films that we are unaware of and people on other forums are pointing out at this moment.
    Indeed Neil, telephones are a regular 'offender'.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

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    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy2254 View Post
    In The Vikings Carl Douglas strides to the prow of the ship, puts his hand up on the wood & reveals a gold wristwatch...
    I watched Vikings ! How did I miss that ? Perhaps I couldn't believe it.

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    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Neither can I: who is this Carl Douglas you speak of?
    Memento Mori

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    The Silent Enemy

    In The Silent Enemy, which is set in the Second World War, Laurence Harvey wears a Rolex Submariner.

    The sub was first produced at around the time the film was made, long after the war.

    But it’s still a good film.


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    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    I believe Brad Pitt’s character in once upon a time in Hollywood is wearing a Citizen bullhead chrono first produced in 1972, and the film is set in 1969. Unlike Tarantino to miss little bits like that!


    Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood, a Watch Was Miscast
    https://wornandwound.com/once-upon-a...h-was-miscast/

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    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Neither can I: who is this Carl Douglas you speak of?
    He had a No.1 hit in 1974 (I think) with a record called 'Kung Fu Fighting'.

    Kirk Douglas was unmoved, I understand.
    ______

    ​Jim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Neither can I: who is this Carl Douglas you speak of?
    Oops! I meant Kirk Douglas, of course I did...

  20. #20
    The Big Short - Steve Carell who plays mark Mark Baum is wearing a maxi case Sub when the film is based in 2007/2008.

    Le Mans 1966 - Matt Damon playing Carol Shelby is wearing a Heuer Carrera Reference 7753 introduced circa 1970.
    Andy

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    In Force 10 from Navarone, Robert Shaw looks at his Hamilton 6b a watch issued about 23 years after the film was set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainRockNRoll View Post
    I believe Brad Pitt’s character in once upon a time in Hollywood is wearing a Citizen bullhead chrono first produced in 1972, and the film is set in 1969. Unlike Tarantino to miss little bits like that!
    Thank you for mentioning this! I noticed it when I first saw it in August, and when I rewatched it last week. I was racking my brain trying to think what watch it could be that existed in 1969.

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    Journeyman SydR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    We notice watches because we know about them.

    I'm sure there are a myriad of wrongly used components in films that we are unaware of and people on other forums are pointing out at this moment.
    Don’t get me started on medical equipment in films

    e.g the film Flatliners (among others) using a defibrillator on asystole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SydR View Post
    Don’t get me started on medical equipment in films

    e.g the film Flatliners (among others) using a defibrillator on asystole.
    What's an asystole ??

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    Journeyman SydR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webwatchmaker View Post
    What's an asystole ??

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    Its a cardiac arrest rhythm with no electrical activity from the heart. Untreated you die. It is a non-shockable rhythm so a defib is wrong for it.

    Treatment is CPR combined with an intravenous vasopressor such as epinephrine (aka adrenaline).

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    Quote Originally Posted by SydR View Post
    Its a cardiac arrest rhythm with no electrical activity from the heart. Untreated you die. It is a non-shockable rhythm so a defib is wrong for it.

    Treatment is CPR combined with an intravenous vasopressor such as epinephrine (aka adrenaline).
    Thanks for clearing that up. I thought it was a typo....haha !!

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  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Neither can I: who is this Carl Douglas you speak of?
    He’s a well known maker of perhaps the finest single and double sculls (rowing boats) money can buy: https://www.carldouglasrowing.com/

  28. #28
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    RailUK Forums is a joy for this sort of thing

    Yesterday I went to see the film "Official Secrets", which is about GCHQ whistleblower Katherine Gun. It is based on a true story about a leaked memo about the 2003 Iraq war, and it takes place in Cheltenham, where GCHQ's main site is, but according to Wikipedia it was actually filmed in Yorkshire.

    There are a couple of scenes of her on board a Class 101 DMU, supposedly travelling from Cheltenham to London and back. 2003 was the 101s' last year of service on the national rail network, but by that time the then First North Western was the only train operator still using them. If you look carefully, the unit used in the film appears to have FNW signage. Does anyone know which railway those scenes were filmed on? My guess would be the Keighley & Worth Valley or the East Lancs, or it might have been filmed on board a regular FNW service train.

    If the film had been set in the 1980s, a 101 would have been authentic, as I would guess that in those days if you were travelling from Cheltenham to London at a time when there was no through train, you would have taken a DMU to Swindon or Worcester and then changed for London Paddington.

  29. #29
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    Don Draper in Mad Men wore a number of different luxury watches throughout the series. Article about the here:

    https://www.watchtime.com/blog/5-watch-brands-mad-men/

    I seem to remember reading somewhere else that the Rolex Explorer reference he was wearing in season 4 would not have been available at that time. At a guess I think season 4 would’ve been set around 1964/5. I think in one episode Don was trying to land the Rolex account, and I remember them definitely having Hamilton as a client.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidj54 View Post
    Don Draper in Mad Men wore a number of different luxury watches throughout the series. Article about the here:

    https://www.watchtime.com/blog/5-watch-brands-mad-men/

    I seem to remember reading somewhere else that the Rolex Explorer reference he was wearing in season 4 would not have been available at that time. At a guess I think season 4 would’ve been set around 1964/5. I think in one episode Don was trying to land the Rolex account, and I remember them definitely having Hamilton as a client.
    I remember an extensive Bulova advertising pitch.

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    The Bank Job, set in 1971 sees Jason Statham wearing a reissue TAG Heuer Monaco, not the worlds biggest blunder but it’s still wrong.

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    Apprentice DJDJ's Avatar
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    ....which is odd as Jason Statham is supposedly a big watch fan


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    I try not to let it worry me... like these saddos who used to write in to ITV to complain about Heartbeat using a car which wasn't released until the month after supposed setting, or using a song from 1969 in a 1968 scene... how the hell dare they???!!!

    I quite like watch spotting on telly but hunting for inaccuracies? Lifes too short. When I start writing to the BBC it's time to hide my shoelaces, it means the end is nigh.
    (No offence intended to anyone, not a swipe at webwatchmaker, I just cant imagine reaching that point myself).

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    RailUK Forums is a joy for this sort of thing
    That does not surprise me, they are an odd bunch (about as odd as people on watch fora) and I am sure it is infectious. I've only been involved in a couple of rail and Underground projects but have felt the same compulsions. While watching an episode of Sherlock I found myself thinking that the carriage in the scene could not have been the one discussed in an earlier scene as it wouldn't have run on that line. I immediately took myself away from the TV and gave myself a cold shower to quell the demons.

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    Master Webwatchmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    I try not to let it worry me... like these saddos who used to write in to ITV to complain about Heartbeat using a car which wasn't released until the month after supposed setting, or using a song from 1969 in a 1968 scene... how the hell dare they???!!!

    I quite like watch spotting on telly but hunting for inaccuracies? Lifes too short. When I start writing to the BBC it's time to hide my shoelaces, it means the end is nigh.
    (No offence intended to anyone, not a swipe at webwatchmaker, I just cant imagine reaching that point myself).
    Offence not taken. But watchmaking is an art for the self critical perfectionist. And it is fitting that dramas should try to get the periods right. Property buyers and set dressers get paid enough and for the most part they are quite good.
    I must admit I notice things like longcase clocks that are never working in the backgrounds but I guess there's a reason for that.
    Historical accuracy is important to me as TV and film should be educational as well as entertaining.
    Apart from that I find it amusing to spot these bloopers.

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  36. #36
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    The single biggest anachronism is horse tack.

    You’ll regularly see modern equipment on horses in films set hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

    They’ll wrap some leather strips around it and rub some dirt in but its really akin to seeing someone driving a 60s mini cooper un a roman epic.

    Not much to be done given the safety requirements involving animals these days ( I still think some people abuse horses on film sets and it should he stricter).

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    Watching Knightfall, a drama set in the 12th century. The alchemist is asked 'How are the stars reading ? '. He replies 'Mars and Pluto are aligned'.
    Curious as Pluto was only discovered in 1930 !

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  38. #38
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    I know these things are only fiction, but sometimes the period sloppiness really bugs me. Its that you know someone is being paid possibly huge sums of money to create an accurate period set in a film or TV programme, but even I can tell that there are so many errors.

    As we've already mentioned train failings, these are just ludicrous. The recent TV adaptation of War of the Worlds seemed to imply that Woking or wherever it was set on the Waterloo main line was served by a GWR branch line! OK most normal people won't care, but I'm sad enough to be irritated!

    As for watches, the Xmas TV was so bad I had to watch Carry On Up the Khyber for the umpteenth time. I did notice that in the very final scene Kenneth Williams had obviously forgotten to take his watch off - I don't think wrist watches were that common in 1893 when the film was set! I understand that the shooting schedule for the Carry On films was so rapid that they wouldn't have reshot the scene even if anyone had noticed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidj54 View Post
    Don Draper in Mad Men . . . I seem to remember reading somewhere else that the Rolex Explorer reference he was wearing in season 4 would not have been available at that time.
    That's right, it was a 14270/114270 (1989+) decades too early (set in early 60s if I recall). Still, he looked very dashing, as ever.

  40. #40
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    I'm not good enough to spot inaccuracies for the most part but I often get distracted by scenes that are set at one time of the year but film at another.

    Usually it's the background that's wrong; you'll watch a scene set in winter and there are clearly deciduous trees covered in green leaves behind the actors.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Parabola View Post
    I'm not good enough to spot inaccuracies for the most part but I often get distracted by scenes that are set at one time of the year but film at another.

    Usually it's the background that's wrong; you'll watch a scene set in winter and there are clearly deciduous trees covered in green leaves behind the actors.



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    That's a good start ! When you get as bad as me you'll moan about the shiny fillings on the back teeth of 'medieval' actors when they bark ! If my dear mum was alive she'd say 'haven't you got anything better to do'....

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