Watch Spotting: Clint’s Root Beer Rolex


Films and television are natural places for a watch enthusiast to potentially take in some good eye candy. There are posts on all the major discussion forums about what an actor is wearing in a movie as well as websites dedicated to the same. It’s a fun way to add in some extra entertainment into a viewing, especially if you can be the first to identify and claim those bragging rights.

Another fun part of it is looking for patterns in a watch. We have seen this across the Bond films: Rolex at first, then Seiko then Omega. Patterns of a repeating brand are common, especially on a certain actor if they are a brand ambasador. Another pattern to look for is the personal watch; when an actor wears a watch of his own in his films, and one of my favorites is Clint Eastwood’s Rolex “Root Beer” GMT Master.

This is not an example of a reoccurring watch for a character, as the examples I have seen are worn in movies where Eastwood has played a different character in each. There are three examples that I have seen (so far) of his watch appearing in his movies span just over a decade, beginning in 1982 with Firefox.

Firefox features Clint as Mitchell Gant, who is a pilot in the film. Given the nature of the character and the history of the GMT Master as a pilot’s watch, the GMT Master is a perfect fit. It fits so well that it would be a natural assumption that the watch was part of wardrobe, and who knows, it may have started out that way, who’s to say (well, Mr. Eastwood, of course).

The next appearance is in Tightrope from 1984. Here Eastwood plays detective Wes Block who is pursuing a serial killer in the film. Rolex prices today are probably a bit out of line for most law enforcement salaries (they are for mine) but in the 80’s I suppose it would have been a bit more plausable. With this being the second appearance (that I know of) of the GMT it is certain that it is in fact Clint’s personal watch.

There is quite a gap between Tightrope and the next film and I would have to hazard a guess that there should be another appearance or two of the Rolex between them. But, since I have no photographic evicence we will proceed with In the Line of Fire from 1993. Again in law enforcement Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan, a Secret Service agent who takes his trusty Root Beer Rolex into the field with him.

I am naturally curious as to if Eastwood still owns this watch and wears it. And I am still on the hunt for any other appearances by the Root Beer Rolex in his other films. I’ll be sure to share if I find any others.

by James Enloe

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Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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