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This is WATCH THE WATCH, a new series uncovering the most iconic watches seen on screen. From cult classics to new releases, we uncover the cinematic presence behind the cameras. In this week’s edition, we uncover the inspired signature models in the 2016 American dark comedy-crime War Dogs.

It’s been two weeks since Jonah Hill had the words ‘Body Love’ tattooed on his back. No stranger to public scrutiny, in February this year, Hill took to Instagram to pen his frustration at the media for their gruelling comments against body positivity. Often, Hill’s impressive filmography has been marred by conversations surrounding his physique, distracting from his repertoire of dynamic performances from Donnie Azof in The Wolf of Wall Street, X in Moneyball  to his earlier role as Seth in Superbad. Criticism has often yielded Hill as an actor of novelty, for his often frivolous roles, but any fear of typecasting has been thwarted by Hill’s dexterous appearance in 2016 in War Dogs.

Under the direction of Todd Phillips, who brought the Hangover trilogy to life, War Dogs follows the story of two childhood best friends – the other played by Miles Teller –  making money as international arms dealers, against the backdrop of the war in Iraq. By exploiting the U.S government regulations in order to secure a $300 million deal to supply to Afghan forces, the film follows the unravelling of relationships between the pair as they encounter difficulty with dubious forces along the way. 

While the story arc has been conceptualized in places, War Dogs is based on a true story, it perhaps seems startling at points as the reality of the narrative appears more uncanny than the imagination. In a tale of men behaving badly, War Dogs oddly came under scrutiny for its plotline, dubbed as original. But the onscreen chemistry between Teller and Hill and their embracing of each character, Teller’s, an apprehensive David Packouz struggling to make ends meet selling duvets in Miami and vehemently against the war, while Hill’s Efraim Diveroli is a sociopathic, sweaty and unapologetic arms dealer constantly craving more. 

Calling on his familiar cohort of collaborators from the Hangover, director Todd Phillipps turned to costume designer Michael Kaplan to conduct the persona for the two leading male roles. Indicative of their swift ascension for wealth, reputable timepieces feature on the wrists of Teller and Hill, investing their recent financial triumph on a watch. From the outset, Hill’s character arrives at a funeral clad in Gucci and flashes a Rolex Submariner throughout. The stainless steel model features a black dial and black ceramic unidirectional rotatable bezel with 60-minute graduations. Fitted with an Oyster bracelet and deployant clasp, the watch has a self-winding automatic movement and sapphire crystal. 

Hill’s tasteful preference for Rolex here isn’t a first for his on-screen roles; in Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Hill can be seen wearing a discontinued yellow-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with a black dial, which would retail today in a pre-owned market for just shy of £30,000. Another watch of note is a 18k solid yellow gold Cartier Americaine, but Hill’s penchant for the cult of Rolex collectibles doesn’t stop there. Outside of set, the Californian actor has been spotted wearing a Rolex Daytona Ref.116520, a Rolex Milgauss Ref.116400V and a Rolex Submariner Ref.116610L.or

As the narrative of War Dogs unravels, the staggering heights of wealth wedge David and Ephraim further apart, and the mood turns to a competitive one. Prior to his partnership with Efraim, David can be seen sporting a Ca­sio Men’s F108WH Il­lu­mi­na­tor in a black resin strap, priced under £30, only to be replaced by an Omega Speedmaster Analog Display. With fixed stainless steel and a tachymeter bezel, and three chronograph sub dials, Teller’s character made a £4,000 increase on his timepiece. The pairing of two acclaimed watches, Rolex and Omega offers a subtle allegory for the over zealous relationship between the two pairs, quietly looking to thrive more than their counterpart. 

A movie you don’t have to think too hard about when watching, War Dogs is a film that serves exactly what it says on the tin. The tale of overarching hubris, and in turn, the fall from grace isn’t a new one. But a stellar performance by both Hill and Teller and the pageant of timepieces that progress alongside their quest for wealth makes for viewing where you can at least lose track of time in style. 

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Scarlett is a writer, editor, and creative consultant specializing in art, fashion, culture and digital strategy. Drawing on her work from previous titles including Dazed, LOVE Magazine, The Perfect Magazine, AnOther and 1 Granary, as the Editor-in-Chief of The Next Hour, Scarlett is leading the editorial vision toward new territories providing an alternative lens of social commentary to recontextualize the world of watchmaking for the next generation.