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 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.
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.)
In Season Four, Don swapped out his Jaeger-LeCoultre for a Rolex Explorer.
In Season Five, Don wore an Omega Seamaster Deville.
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.
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.
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.
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.)