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Spot the Watch: Revisiting the 1980s classic film, Wall Street

by Nick Gould on October 3, 2016
Watches

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit”.  One part of the famous speech made by Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street, which has become an iconic film due to its subject matter and characters.  

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Greed is Good. Gordon Gekko from the 1987 film Wall Street. Picture (C) EW

Michael Douglas played the corporate raider, Gordon Gekko and the way the character dressed stood out, with his tailored suits, choice of shirts and accessories.  We know the watches in the film have been brought up before and today’s Spot the Watch is on how the young Charles “Bud” Fox, played by Charlie Sheen is influenced by his idol Gekko for his choice of timepiece and why his idol wore one a particular watch over another.

At the start of the film, Bud Fox is a junior broker whose idol is the major Wall Street player Gekko.  Early in the film we get to see the timepiece that is on the wrist of the aspiring broker.  It is a gold quartz dress watch with a white face and Roman numerals from Lorus.  Not a timepiece from Switzerland.  This is perfectly understandable since he holds a junior position but still wants to look the part.

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Bud Fox sporting his Lours timepiece early in the film. Picture (C) Watches in Movies

Bud Fox finally manages to score face time with his idol Gekko and this is where we get to see the watch of choice of the legendary Wall Street player.The character of Gordon Gekko was based on corporate raiders of time on Wall Street such as Asher Edelman , Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn and T Boone Pickens.   From viewing photos of these major players during the 80’s they are all seen wearing nicely tailored suits and wristwatches but nothing that seems to stand out.

Gordon Gekko’s style stands out on screen immediately with his white collared blue shirt, patterned tie,  suspenders and accessories on his wrist when see Bud Fox first meet him.    On his right wrist is a gold bracelet and on the left wrist is a gold wristwatch.  Now the most likely choice would be a Rolex Day-Date, since it is such an icon and associated with success.   Instead the watch sitting on his wrist is a Cartier Santos in gold with bracelet.  Certainly a selection that is different and stands out.  The Santos stands out for its rounded square case shape and has its place in the history of horology.  As the character of Gekko goes against the status quo, it seems befitting that it isn’t a Rolex on his wrist since he has a certain flair about him.

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Gordon Gekko with his gold Cartier Santos and signature business attire.

As Bud Fox becomes more successful from his dealings with Gordon Gekko, he begins to emulate the fashion sense of his idol.  His hair is slicked back, he acquires tailored suits and wears suspenders of various colours.  Bud moves from his modest apartment to a penthouse and ups his wrist game.  He replaces his Lorus with a gold Cartier just like his mentor.  He chooses a Panthere instead of a Santos most likely to differentiate himself slightly.

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Bud Fox played by Charlie Sheen wearing a gold Cartier Panthere. Picture (C) Pinterest

As Wall Street was made to reflect the culture of the 1980’s, was Cartier more in vogue than a Rolex for choice of watch for that time period?  It certainly made a statement on the wrist of Gordon Gekko and hats off to the costume designer for choosing a timepiece that reflected the characters uniqueness.

That concludes this retro themed Spot the Watch.

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