1960s FLASHBACK:

5 Watch Brands We’ve Seen on “Mad Men”


AMC’s hit period drama series “Mad Men” wrapped up its award-winning run in 2015, but some people are still discovering the show and the array of vintage timepieces that its characters were wearing across the show’s seven seasons. Here are five iconic watch brands that we’ve identified on the wrists of the show’s characters.

Set in the turbulent 1960s, “Mad Men” achieves its authentic 1960s look thanks to the meticulous attention to detail in everything from set design to clothing fashions. One of the aspects the show’s staff pays special attention to is the watches worn by the characters on the show, with vintage watches carefully selected to be as true to the era as possible. Here are the brands and models we’ve seen represented.

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Don Draper wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Don Draper wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Jaeger-LeCoultre has been one of Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) go-to brands since the first season. In Season One, he wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox. In Season Two, he began sporting a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. In an interview with AMCtv.com, the show’s prop master, Gay Perello, reveals that she and “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner wanted to give Don a new timepiece during that season (presumably, for storyline reasons, one that would reflect the big raise that Don gets when he makes partner at the firm then known as Sterling Cooper). They chose a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, which Hamm at first didn’t care for, calling himself “more of a round watch face guy.” However, when Perello showed him the Reverso’s features and he started flipping and playing with the two-sided case, he began to really like it.

Don Draper wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox
Don Draper wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox

The brand also released a limited-edition watch inspired by the show: the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men.” The watch, of which only 25 pieces were made, featured the Sterling Cooper Draper Price logo on the watch’s reverse side. (Click here to learn the tale of how the special-edition watch came about.)

Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men”
Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men”

Rolex

In Season Four, Don swapped out his Jaeger-LeCoultre for a Rolex Explorer.

Don Draper wearing a Rolex Explorer
Don Draper wearing a Rolex Explorer

Omega

In Season Five, Don wore an Omega Seamaster Deville.

The vintage Omega Seamaster Deville seen on "Mad Men."
The vintage Omega Seamaster Deville seen on “Mad Men.”

Hamilton

In a Season Three episode, which takes place in 1963, account executive Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) struts into his colleague’s office beaming about the gifts he has just received from a satisfied client: tickets to the Mets game (the Mets were, of course, a very new team in 1963) and the new watch that he is wearing, which he proudly refers to as a “Hamilton Electric.” The first Hamilton Electric watch was released in 1957, and remained popular until the first quartz models rendered them obsolete in 1969. Ken’s Hamilton watch only makes a brief appearance onscreen, but some believe it may be a Hamilton Ventura, which at the time would have been a very hot item, as it had been seen on the wrist of Elvis Presley.

Ken Cosgrove shows off his new Hamilton Electric.
Ken Cosgrove shows off his new Hamilton Electric.

In Season Five, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) also wore a Hamilton watch, a Hamilton Sputnik from the 1960s, supplied to the show by vintage watch seller Watchestobuy.com.

The vintage Hamilton Sputnik seen on "Mad Men."
The vintage Hamilton Sputnik seen on “Mad Men.” (photo from watchestobuy.com)

Tudor

In Seasons Five and Six, Roger Sterling (John Slattery) wore a Tudor Oyster Prince with a “tuxedo” dial. The watch was also supplied to the show by Watchestobuy.com.

Vintage Tudor Oyster Prince on Roger Sterling
Roger Sterling wearing a vintage Tudor Oyster Prince. (watch photo from watchestobuy.com)

Are there any watch lovers out there currently binge-watching “Mad Men” and finding other watches or watch brands that we’ve missed? Let us know!

(This is an update of an article originally posted on June 23, 2013.)

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8 Responses to “5 Watch Brands We’ve Seen on “Mad Men””

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  1. Cherie DesChenes

    Questions….in your opinion where is the best place to sell preowned watches? I have a 18k Omega Constellations and a Chopard Happy Sport.

    Thank you!
    Cherie

    Reply
  2. CometHunter

    I am not convinced that Ken Cosgrove wears the Ventura. Using my magnification app, the watch appears to have a round dial rather than the Ventura’s triangular one. To double-check, I matched it with my own Hamilton quartz re-issue of the Ventura…again, no match. More likely is one of the electric variations of the Hamilton Nautilus.

    Reply
  3. Atually, It was a Movado chronograph. I am thrilled to be supplying all the other watches to Mad Men. Over 30 very cool watches will be appearing over the next 2 years on the show. It has been an amazing experience! Watch Sunday!

    Derek Dier

    Reply
  4. Ilija

    I’m suprised that nobody noticed the watch that Ted Chaough was wearing the entire season: Zenith El Primero Chronograph, that I think wasn’t even around till 1969, and the sixth season took place in 1967/68. If it is a Zenith, that’s a huge mistake on Weiner’s part, and a really uncharacteristic one, since he’s known to be obsessed with period detail. Am I wrong? Is it an El Primero?

    Reply
    • Jason Francisco

      Good catch! Did anyone else notice what watch it was? If it is a Zenith El Primero, you’re right, that would be an anachronism.

      Reply
      • rodrigo sucesso

        I think Ilija is right! looks like a zenith el primero. I just saw it !

        Reply
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