Ollie’s digital Casio fits in with the nice but inexpensive aesthetic of the social-climbing character, while Felix’s Rolex Bubbleback—reportedly Elordi’s own watch—speaks to the character’s inherited wealth and how he treats it as casually as the vintage timepiece he pairs with a Livestrong rubber bracelet. Felix’s mother, Lady Elspeth Catton (Rosamund Pike), wears a Chopard Happy Diamonds befitting a socialite party girl who married into an old money family. At the end of the film, the link between class and watches is highlighted once more when a now-adult and wealthier Ollie is seen to have traded his Casio for a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.
Other “eat-the-rich” films in recent years have used wristwatches similarly: Take, for another example, last year’s The Menu in which the ultra wealthy Richard Leibrandt (Reed Birney) wears a Cartier Tank, while obnoxious business bro Soren (Arturo Castro) has on a large skeleton dial watch. Or 2019’s Ready or Not, which features a murderous gaming dynasty patriarch Tony Le Domas (Henry Czerny) hunting his new daughter-in-law Grace Le Domas (Samara Weaving) while wearing what appears to be a gold moonphase chronograph (possibly the Sinn 6026).
On the billionaire’s island that serves as the setting for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a group of wealthy movers and shakers run around trying to find the murderer in their midst while wearing enviable timepieces like the Omega Seamaster 1948 favored by polished and stylish detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), or the classy, subtle Cartier Tank Francaise worn by the corrupt politician Claire Deballa (Kathryn Hahn). Men’s rights influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) fittingly wears a burly looking Panerai Submersible, the sort of watch made popular by action movie stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1990s. Working-class protagonist Helen Brand (Janelle Monáe) doesn’t wear a timepiece, while an assistant to a former supermodel who gets dragged to the island, Peg (Jessica Henwick), wears a simple digital Casio.