December 18th, 2012
04:02 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - My cousin Anson Chiou, who lives in Boston, has three passions: Movies, the New England Patriots and wristwatches. I saw him in the U.S. a few weeks ago for the Thanksgiving holiday and we got into a long conversation about two of those passions.

While watching Ben Affleck's new movie "Argo," he noticed something odd in a one-second scene. Ben Affleck's character, (pictured in the image above) was putting on a Rolex in his hotel room.

My cousin noticed the clasp on the Rolex was too modern for the movie’s 1979-1980 timeframe. "Ben Affleck is wearing a Rolex Submariner. It's been around since the early 50s and has had a few updates and upgrades. One of the major updates was on the clasp a few years ago. It's much more beefy looking - solid and modern versus the older thin tiny clasp," he said.

My cousin wasn’t the only one who noticed. Immediately after the movie's premiere, there was a whole thread on watch chat forums about this minor movie mistake. One watch aficionado wrote: "They show a close-up in one scene of the back of his wrist and it is clearly the new style glide lock clasp, brushed finish, so it is either the newer ceramic sub or DSSD … it is definitely not a vintage Rolex model associated with the time period of the movie." Another comment on the thread was more succinct: "My wife thinks you guys are nerds."

Watch aficionados notice everything. They keep track of how many times actor Daniel Craig wears an Omega watch in his James Bond movies. They will tell you that Arnold Schwarzenegger wore an Audemars Piguet in “Terminator 3.” And did you know Elvis Presley sported an Omega while Gandhi owned a Zenith pocket watch? Fascinated by this watch subculture, I reached out to watch expert Genki Sakamoto of Antiquorum, an auction house for luxury watches.

He said Swiss watches (the best of the best) saw a record year in 2011 with a 19% increase in exports. Asia was the main growth driver with Chinese buyers capturing 49% of that growth.

"Fashion and status are the reasons collectors are so passionate,” Sakamoto says. “Watch collectors love and enjoy the story behind every watch."

There is often a story behind a great watch. Tenzing Norgay wore the Rolex Explorer when he climbed Mount Everest. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore the Omega Speedmaster on his mission to the moon.

If you ask my cousin, he says most of watch geeks are men. Why are they so passionate? "Watches are an art form where guys get into the technology of the automatic watch - all those gears, wheels, levers and springs where you don't need a battery and the watch winds itself,” he says. “They are kind of cool living machines!"

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soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. speese1

    Reblogged this on Intended Success and commented:
    I do find this interesting, that in many movies in today's cinema world, people forget about the tiniest details such as these.

    December 26, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  2. Adeline

    Waw, intresting notice.

    December 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  3. dougaussie

    is there any human beings on earth who actually change the date on watches?

    December 28, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  4. John Watson.

    I really like the way you expressed!! :) thanks for posting.
    schedule conference

    December 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. tvnewswatch

    Interesting article. However I am somewhat bemused that people pay thousands of dollars for a watch that essentially only tells the time and it otherwise only a status symbol or a matter of style. An Audemars Piguet might set you back $20,000 or a great deal more. A Rolex, despite an asking price of over $5,000 can only guarantee an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds in a year. Many of these watches need regulkar servicing or battery replacement too.

    Meanwhile Casio produces ProTrek watches that are solar powered, thus rarely if ever needing a replacement battery. Furthermore they are 100% accurate given they are radio-controlled, with the time set daily through a series of world wide transmitters. In addition these time pieces show the tide, moon phase, and have the functionality to measure and display ambient temperature, altimeter and barometric measurements as well as point to north through an in built compass. At less than $300 a Casio ProTrek PRW-2500-1AER seems far more practical than any of the fanciful watches mentioned above. Perhaps one exception to the rule might be a Breitling Emergency watch with its built-in microtransmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency. This would be useful should you find yourself shipwrecked or involved in a plane crash, though given such an unlikely scenario the $8,000 price tag is not worth it for the average Joe.

    Maybe a Casio isn't exactly classy in the eyes of watch aficionados, but there are far more useful things surely to spend such vast sums of money on.

    December 30, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  6. James E.

    There are websites dedicated just to watch spotting like this: is probably the biggest.

    January 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  7. Perpetuelle

    Nothing gets past the watch nerds! Good article.

    January 23, 2013 at 2:14 am |
  8. Perpetuelle

    Speaking of websites devoted to watches in movies, try for another definitive guide.

    January 23, 2013 at 2:15 am |
  9. BP Kamal

    The world has the potential to multiply its economy by 10 times from 68.7 trillion dollars to 687 trillion dollars in a span of 20 years. Read the simple, practical,creative and innovative economics in my book WORLD ECONOMICS and the new world economic order.Contact me at my mail join me in giving job to 100 million people of the world in my new project other than book above of 1000-2000 dollars every month

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    September 27, 2013 at 7:22 am |
  10. M. Q. Davis

    A lot of men view watchesthe same way that women view jewelry. They're often shiny, expensive and come adorned with precious metals and jewels.

    January 28, 2014 at 2:03 am |
  11. patek phillipe smith

    Watches are an art form where guys get into the technology of the automatic watch. They are a kind of cool living machines. Sell patek Philippe watch

    February 25, 2014 at 10:14 am |

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