Unsurprising to many, Hamilton extends its legacy as the ‘movie watch brand’ with a cameo in Christopher Nolan’s new film. Six of Hamilton’s vintage watches feature in ‘Oppenheimer’, which stars Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt.
However, it’s not the first time the director and Hamilton have teamed up. Their relationship began with Interstellar (2014), when Nolan contacted Hamilton about making a custom watch for the film. As a big fan of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, a film that Hamilton also made a custom watch for, it was inevitable that Nolan would opt for Hamilton in the first place.
Interstellar, Tenet, and Hamilton’s Part in the Cast
In both Interstellar (2014) and Tenet (2020), Hamilton played a significant role of its own. As with many of Nolan’s films, time was a central plot point in both of these films. For Interstellar, Hamilton’s custom Khaki Field ‘Murph’ watch served as the only point of connection between Cooper, the protagonist, and his daughter, Murph. Symbolic of their unbreakable bond, it allowed them to communicate with each other via Morse code. In the end, the watch also ended up being the key to saving the fate of humanity.
Meanwhile, in Tenet, the custom-made Hamilton prop watch worn by Robert Pattinson displayed the time going forwards and backwards simultaneously. Contrary to popular belief, this was not CGI and used the Khaki Navy BelowZero as its base. As per Nolan’s request, Hamilton engineered the base watch to fuse its analogue dial with a digital display. This allowed the display of both passages of time at once, an essential aid to the protagonists’ mission in the film. Painstakingly, the creation of this watch took over a year to complete. The process even involved removing the watch’s mechanical movement entirely to make space for a big enough battery. But, against all odds, Hamilton made it happen.
Which Hamilton Watches Feature in Oppenheimer?
For its feature in Oppenheimer, Hamilton sourced period-specific timepieces in keeping with the era of the widely anticipated film. Consulting its network of proud vintage Hamilton collectors and enthusiasts, the brand gathered a lineup of 1930s and 1940s watches to set the scene for Oppenheimer. These are worn by three principal characters, namely: the protagonist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), his wife Kitty Oppenheimer (Emily Blunt) and Lieutenant General Leslie Groves (Matt Damon).
For J. Robert Oppenheimer himself, the brand selected a range of charming silhouettes. The first is a warm gold Cushion B model from the 1930s. From the 1940s, the brand also picked a monochrome Lexington and an Endicott with a tan leather strap. Meanwhile, Kitty wears a beautiful 14k white gold 1947 Lady Hamilton A-2.
In contrast, Lieutenant General Leslie Groves sports a rugged Military Ordinance watch from the 1940s. In other scenes, he can also be seen with an art-deco-style Piping Rock, dating back to the 1920s.
Previously, for Tenet and Interstellar, Hamilton has released a limited edition line of watches that replicate those in the film. We can predict that, potentially, the brand will surprise fans with some vintage re-releases for Oppenheimer. However, nothing has been mentioned as of yet. But, if you’re looking for a modern reinterpretation of these models, we can help you out! Below, we have rounded up some of the closest look-alikes we have found.
Lookalikes of Oppenheimer’s Vintage Hamilton Watches
This Khaki Field piece closely resembles the 1940s Military Ordinance worn by Matt Damon’s character. Bursting with vintage military charm, it’s complete with a khaki NATO strap that imitates that of the Military Ordinance. At its centre, there is a black dial with white Arabic numeral indices and hands. For added practicality, these are luminescent to ensure the time is legible even in low-light conditions. A 38mm stainless steel case frames the dial, duly protecting the watch’s inner mechanism. Beating at the heart of this is Hamilton’s exclusive H-50 hand-wound movement, which boasts a staggering 80-hour power reserve. With its rugged but old soul, we highly recommend this Khaki Field as a modern alternative to the Military Ordonance.
Directly inspired by pocket watches from World War II, this Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer reminds us of Oppenheimer’s Lexington piece. This resemblance is particularly evident in the dial’s design. Its grainy black texture is coupled with contrasting hands and Arabic numeral indices. At 6 o’clock, there is a small seconds subdial that echoes that of the Lexington. However, the Pilot Pioneer diverges slightly from the Lexington with its rustic brown leather strap. Moreover, the Pilot Pioneer is built with contemporary technology and materials, protecting it against water damage up to 100 metres. Shielded by its 43mm stainless steel case and sapphire crystal is an automatic mechanical movement with 50 hours of power reserve. Nostalgically designed but robustly built, this Pilot Pioneer is certainly an impressive substitute for the Lexington.
Our final suggestion is this American Classic Intra-Matic model. Its tuxedo colour scheme and internal black bezel mimic the 1920s Piping Rock worn by Lieutenant General Leslie Groves. On the other hand, the silver-tone baton indices and hands put a contemporary spin on the classic colour palette. Additionally, the internal bezel is updated with Arabic numeral indices to provide extra ease of reading. In the same style as the Piping Rock, completing the design is a versatile and ergonomic black leather strap. Beyond its appearance, there is plenty more to love mechanically about the Intra-Matic too. At the heart of its inner mechanism is Hamilton’s own H-10 calibre automatic movement. With a generous 80 hours of power reserve, the watch is incredibly reliable. For the same elegant look but with updated features, this Intra-matic is the perfect modernisation of the Piping Rock.
Did you already predict Hamilton would feature in Oppenheimer, or did you spot it when watching the film? And do you think they will re-release modern replicas of the watches featured in Oppenheimer in the coming months? Let us know below!