The Great Gatsby launches in cinemas this week. Set in the roaring 20s, and based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it follows the rise and fall of the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby.
In visually stunning style, to match the decadence and excess of its protagonist, the film tells the story of Gatsby’s hedonistic lifestyle, his parties, and his obsession with Daisy Buchanan.
How does this have anything to do with watches?
We could wax lyrical about how wristwatches are beautifully and intricately crafted, just as F. Scott Fitzgerald crafted his magnum opus on the French Riviera.
But more significant is the fact that the 1920s, a decade of opulence, saw the rise of the wristwatch as a luxury fashion accessory for both men and women. Although it had been invented over 50 years earlier, for decades the wristwatch was seen as women’s wear. Men wore pocket watches.
This only changed in the First World War. Pocket watches were impractical on the front lines of the battlefield, so they were adapted to be worn on the wrist.
With men adopting wristwatches, a new industry was born, and watchmakers set to out-compete one another creating gorgeous timepieces for the rich and powerful. The art deco designs they created – reflecting the dominant design principals of the period – continue to influence wristwatch design to this day.
To celebrate the launch of The Great Gatsby movie, watch blogger Ariel Adams has put together a list of his top 10 art deco timepieces, and these include some of our favourites at Jura.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. A design classic that has continued for over 80 years, the Reverso first launched in 1931. As Adams points out, the watch was most likely designed in the in the 1920s. In Adams’ own words, “The Reverso is one of the iconic (and enduring) art deco style timepieces that is sold today.”
Longines Evidenza. Retro and sleek, the Evidenza, according to Adams “would fit into a 1920s theme with ease” and “offers a dressy 1920s era look”.
Bell & Ross WW1. With a 45mm dial, the WW1 is designed to reflect the way in which soldiers during the First World War adapted pocket watches to wear on their wrist. “The historic look has been coated with a sleek modern interpretation that is still retro in flavour,” Adams says
Finally, we’d like to include another watch we love for its elegance, the Oris Artelier. This is a timepiece that redefines art deco for the modern audience.
Which timepiece will you choose to bring a touch of Gatsby elegance to your watch collection?
(Image credit: Alden Jewell.)