When I was six years old, Smokey and the Bandit was released. It was the second highest grossing film of that year after Star Wars. I have older brothers, and my parents in their wisdom would often send me on dates with him as a chaperone. What trouble could he get into with a six-year-old in tow? It pretty much worked, but I did probably see some not age-appropriate films earlier than I should have, including this one. Of course, a lot of it was over my head, but I did appreciate the constant car chases (and crashes). Everyone wanted to be Burt Reynolds (who plays trucker and bon vivant Bo Darville) after watching this film, as this was the height of his fame, and he was the height of cool. But not me. I wanted to be the car! For about two weeks after, I ran around the playground yelling car noises and running through the gears, and always just escaping my pursuers.
Later in life, I ran across the movie on TV and watched it again. As I was watching, I caught a glimpse of the watch on Burt’s wrist. I freeze-framed and studied it. I went to the internet to see if anyone had identified it. There were some good guesses, and finally an answer. It’s a specific Timex from the early 70’s, on a silver and turquoise watch cuff. I did eBay searches, and after fishing for a week or so, I found one! I bought it right away. Then I found a cuff on Etsy that I felt approximated the one from the film and got it headed my way. The cuff has scallops on each end that cover the top and bottom of the watch, and underneath that a silver ribbon that goes through the spring bars. It was an absolute nightmare to put together, so I got professional help from a local silversmith (Tootsie Bell). One of the ribbons was torn and needed repair anyway, so I asked her to mount the watch while she was at it.
I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the watch, and since the first one, I have bought seven more. It’s a 25M automatic with a black bezel and tuxedo dial. The bezels are often missing, but I don’t think it takes too much away from the watch, and honestly works better with the cuff if it is absent. There are several different seconds hands I’ve found fitted to the watches, from the authentic (film original) orange triangular second hand, to white triangular, to my favorite, what my friend calls the “canoe paddle”.
It’s a ridiculous watch, but it never fails to get noticed. People ask about it every time I wear it, and I love relating the story of how I put together my homage. Whether you have the Trans Am or not, if you want to recapture some of that 70’s glory, we have several examples in our shop.