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Why the watches in Netflix’s The Gentlemen are so good

Guy Ritchie's latest venture, The Gentlemen has at last premiered on Netflix. A riotous, country-squire-meets-gangster-underworld romp, it features a reported £6million worth of rare and covetable timepieces. We take a closer look at the opulent Omegas, Patek Philippes and Rolexes that feature in the show

25 March 2024

By Kim Parker

Yep. Tweed has never looked *quite* so cool. Guy Ritchie’s latest country-aristo-meets-gangster romp, The Gentlemen, has finally landed at Netflix and luxury watch spotters have been having a field day ever since. The eight-part series – a take on Ritchie’s 2019 action-comedy movie of the same name – has provided glimpses of some serious wrist candy since it debuted in early March, worth a reported £6million in total.

Featuring fabulous watches and jewellery in a TV series is nothing new, of course, but show runners are increasingly aware that, as far as possible, the authenticity of watches and jewellery can no longer be an afterthought. Indeed, they can say as much about a character as the rest of their wardrobe. Think back to HBO’s award-winning series, ‘The Sopranos’, from the late 1990s and early 2000s, in which Tony Soprano wears a distinctive yellow gold Rolex ‘President’ Day-Date – a fitting signifier of his complex personality as well as his mob boss status.

According to The Gentleman’s costume designer, Loulou Bontemps, watches were definitely a carefully considered part of every look, revealing essential insights into each role’s psyche and background. “What’s interesting about watches is that you have wealthy people versus actually collectors, who aren’t necessarily wealthy but through time have collected what are now huge investment pieces,” she told GQ Magazine. “These watches essentially get passed down through the family, so we played with that idea in The Gentlemen.” Due to their rarity and value, many of the timepieces were loaned to the costume department for the duration of filming.

The Gentlemen on Netflix
Theo James (centre) plays Eddie Horniman in The Gentlemen, who swaps his military Bremont watch for a sparkling gold Patek Philippe Nautilus once he has inherited his father’s title and estate

For those who haven’t tuned in yet (and you definitely should), The Gentlemen revolves around former army officer Edward ‘Eddie’ Horniman (played by Theo James), the second son of the Duke of Halstead, who unexpectedly inherits his family’s country pile and various business interests on the death of his father, who has opted to ignore his incompetent eldest son, Frederick Horniman (played by Daniel Inge). What Eddie doesn’t realise is that the estate also comes with a side order of sleazy underworld drug dealers, which is when all the chaos (and fun) ensues.

Freddie Horniman, played by Daniel Ings, is the hapless eldest son of the Duke of Halstead, passed over in his father's will in The Gentlemen
Freddie Horniman, played by Daniel Ings, is the hapless eldest son of the Duke of Halstead, passed over in his father’s will in The Gentlemen. Here, eagle-eyed watch fans can spot his vintage Omega timepiece peeking out from his left cuff.

Along the way, we get glimpses of some great timepieces. Freddie, for example, doesn’t inherit the title of duke or any of his father’s estate, but he does get given his father’s vintage 1960s Omega Constellation. Meanwhile, Eddie upgrades his hard working Bremont military watch for a luxurious gold Patek Philippe Nautilus ref 5990 (as seen in the image above) once he has inherited the Halstead estate, hinting that it may have been passed down to him from his father.

Henry Collins, played by Max Beesley, in The Gentlemen
Henry Collins, played by Max Beesley, is a wealthy boxing promoter in The Gentlemen, which is reflected in his choice of wristwear

In contrast, the successful and flashy boxing promoter, Henry Collins (played by Max Beesley) wears a beautiful but much more flamboyant Rolex Daytona in yellow gold. With a billionaire’s fortune at his disposal, the sleek, ‘new money’ character of Uncle Stan (played with glee by Giancarlo Esposito) is a keen watch collector, as evinced by the multiple rare pieces he wears throughout the show, including a classic FP Journe Chronomètre Souverain, a tricked out Girard-Perregaux x Ferrari Chronograph with a scarlet leather strap (see below) and a Patek Philippe ref. 1518 (a watch that, in real life, sold at auction in 2016 for an eye-watering £9million).

Uncle Stan in The Gentlemen
As a keen watch collector (not to mention a billionaire), the character of Uncle Stan sports a variety of luxurious watches throughout the show

And with interesting and mysterious female characters also in the mix, such as the widowed Lady Sabrina Horniman (played by Joely Richardson) and Susie Glass (Kaye Scodelario), there will undoubtedly be some fabulous women’s watches to keep an eye our for as well. That is, if they ever roll up their tweedy sleeves…

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