Watches on the Screen: The American

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George Clooney is a handsome assassin who, along with his awesome watch, hope to make his next job his last.

The Film: The American (2010)

** Spoilers Ahead; yes the film has been out for a few years, but just in case you have not seen it, note that the below gives away some key plot points. **

The movie opens with Clooney’s character, Jack, and his lover falling under an attack from an unknown gunman. Jack manages to kill the gunman and, setting the tone for the character right off the top, Jack coldly slays his female companion after he instructed her to run to the cabin to call for help. After the attack Jack takes refuge at first in Rome and then in the small town of Castel del Monte. His contact for assignments reaches out to him and offers Jack a job where he will not have to kill anyone. Rather than an assassination, the assignment is for Jack to construct a compact gun with a high fire rate and accuracy. Jack takes the assignment and begins work on the weapon. While working on the job he encounters a local woman named Clara and the two start a relationship.

Jack has the weapon ready for testing so he meets his contact, Mathilde, to demonstrate the gun. It works as requested, but Mathilde asks for some additional modifications and special ammunition. Soon after Jack is chased by a Swedish assassin associated with the attempted hit at the beginning of the film. Jack is able to turn the hunter into the prey and kills the assassin. Jack tells his contact that the weapon is ready to be dropped off and this would be his last job, which angers his handler. Jack hands over the gun to Mathilde who has her own gun ready to kill Jack, but is interrupted by a group of children.

Mathilde later finds Jack and Clara in a town square together and prepares to use the gun Jack created on Jack. Rather than firing and killing Jack the round misfires and explodes in Mathilde’s face. Jack had suspected he was the intended target and sabotaged the weapon. Rather than getting away clean, however, Jack is hunted and shot by his handler, Pavel, although Jack does kill Pavel after being shot. Jack is still able to drive to the rondevu point where he collapses as Clara sees him enter the picnic spot.

The Watch: Omega Speedmaster Professional

The film overall is good, but has a bit of a slow build-up. One bit that caught some on-line buzz in the watch community was the trailer for the film which showed several clear shots of Jack’s watch: an Omega Speedmaster Professional on a black strap. The watch can be seen during the scenes where Jack is constructing the weapon he was contracted to build.

Given that Clooney has been an Omega brand ambassador since 2007 it is completely logical that he would wear some sort of Omega in the film. The Speedmaster seems a good choice for the character: it is functional and very legible, and given Jack’s skills as a craftsman in the film it seems the character would appreciate the mechanical construction of the watch. As an assassin the chronograph could be useful for reconnaissance in planning a job; learning the habits of the target in tracing their steps. The watch also is one that would hold up well, although I would suspect an assassin would opt for the sapphire crystal as the hesalite would be too prone to scratches. The watch also can blend in with any setting, whether casual, dress or anywhere in between.

The movie is, as mentioned, a bit slow, but it does have it’s interspersed moments of action. Clooney’s character is equally calm & confident and careful & suspicious. If you have a rainy afternoon this would be a good film to stay inside and watch to spot that Speedy.

by James Enloe

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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