Bradley Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a military pilot contractor that needs to return to Hawaii to oversee the traditional blessing of a pedestrian gate. This gate is important to billionaire Carson Welch’s (Bill Murray) plans to construct a space centre nearby.
On arrival in Hawaii, Brian finds his ex-girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) married with two kids. One of which he later finds out is actually his daughter.
Emma Stone plays Captain Allison Ng, a young spritely “quarter Hawaiian” love interest that shares the same fascination with space and exploration as Brian did as a youngster. Brian would eventually turn his affections from Tracy to Allison.
Whilst generally considered a box-office flop (generating $26 million at a cost of $52 million), I really enjoyed seeing Bradley Cooper wear a watch he clearly admires, in a plot line that makes complete sense for him do do so (ie a pilot wearing a pilot watch).
Cooper wears the statement watch throughout the movie. There’s actually few scenes where he doesn’t wear it. This wasn’t some prop decision, this is most likely Cooper’s personal watch as he is a long-time fan of IWC.
He’s been spotted wearing the exact same watch multiple times, including to the tennis with Gerrard Butler and to the movie premier of the Guardians of the Galaxy (both below):
In 2018, IWC decided to cement their relationship with Cooper by making him an official brand ambassador saying:
“With his pursuit of quality and creativity, he is a perfect match for IWC”
The IWC Big Pilot is an impressive watch that incorporates vintage 1930’s design into a practical, well designed iconic timepiece. If you like larger watches and have a good sized budget to spend, this is definitely worth adding to your shortlist.
Want to pull off a similar look to the IWC Big Pilot, but don’t have that sort of cash handy? Then, the Citizen Eco-Drive Avion is a great choice. Featuring a slightly smaller size of 45mm and also in stainless steel, this watch might be the sensible introduction to big watches you need before investing in something more expensive.
So, you’re checking out a new addition to your watch collection and the model comes in both titanium and stainless steel. Or the model is more high end and only comes in titanium, and you’re wondering whether it’s worth the 20% price increase compared to the non-titanium model? Valid questions that I’ve also pondered, so here’s my thoughts on titanium vs stainless steel.
Spoiler alert for high end watches- it’s complicated when it comes to material used in expensive watches. This is especially true when patents and specialized coatings are used by the manufacturer.
I recommend basing your purchase on aesthetics rather than quality of material as there aren’t many general rules that will apply in all circumstances.
The pros and cons of each titanium vs stainless steel are summarised below:
HIGHER CORROSION RESISTANCE
DOESN'T IRRITATE SKIN
Great for larger watches
SCRATCHES MORE VISIBLE
LOWER CORROSION RESISTANCE
CAN IRRITATE SKIN
larger watches can be heavy
SCRATCHES LESS VISIBLE
Do you like a heavy or a light watch? To many that is the deciding factor on whether to fork out extra for a titanium watch. One of the key benefits of titanium as a material is that it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. This means that a titanium watch can be lighter than it’s stainless steel cousin, but remain very strong.
If considering a smaller watch (ie less than 41mm), the light weight and feel of titanium can be a turn-off as it can make the watch “feel cheap”. If this is you, then stick to stainless steel. There is little to be gained from the extra price.
If you’re more comfortable wearing a lighter watch, or considering purchasing a larger watch (say 42mm or more), than titanium may very well be what you’re after.
There is a healthy debate around whether titanium does actually scratch more. If comparing the main type of stainless steel used in watches; 316L, to the most common titanium used in watches; Grade 5 (or Ti-6Al-4V), then titanium is indeed harder and should therefore scratch less.
But, the downside of titanium is that when scratches do occur, the oxidation properties of titanium kick in and form a new layer, making the scratch appear a different color to the rest of the material and therefore scratches are more visible. The good news is that these small scratches can generally be buffed out.
Titanium’s superb corrosion resistance properties make it a clear winner on this front. This is especially true if you’re thinking about getting a quality dive watch or even if you plan to wear it during activities where you’re likely to sweat.
Stainless steel watches can react to the skin if you have a nickel allergy. Titanium has no nickel and therefore won’t irritate the skin the same way. Titanium is often used in medical devices partly because the body doesn’t react to it. If you know you have sensitive skin, then a titanium model may be a great investment.
Titanium is more expensive to produce as it requires a lot of energy during manufacturing using the Kroll Process and is much more difficult to work with than stainless steel. One of the main issues with producing products out of titanium is the tools used to machine it have a short lifespan before needing to be replaced.
So whilst titanium may be a superior material in many regards, it’s not scarcity like gold or diamonds that influences price the most. The difference mostly comes from the increase in cost required to produce the alloy and machine the watch case (or bracelet).
Shallow as it may be, unless you have a real need for titanium, then it really just comes down to good old fashioned aesthetics. Do you prefer the dulled grey look of titanium or the shiny classic metallic look of stainless steel? It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than this for most people. If you like the look of titanium and are happy to pay a little more because it’s worth it to you, then by all means go grab a titanium watch and add it to your collection.
We’ve singled out the Citizen Eco-drive because we like this watch and it has both titanium and stainless steel variants. Note, the titanium version has a blue ion coating, which makes the titanium pop a little more and reduces the dullish look that can be associated with titanium. This is indicative of many different treatments that manufacturers apply, making it very difficult to compare apples with apples based on raw material quality alone.
Citizen Eco Drive
Bernie Sanders, the United States Senator for Vermont raised to fame during the 2016 Presidential election when he eventually lost out to the Democratic nomination for US President to Hillary Clinton.
Known for his strong stance against corporate greed in applying his interpretation of democratic socialism, Sanders rallied a vocal fan-base that continued to find support after the 2016 presidential nomination defeat. Given his strong political views on the influence of corporations and role of social welfare, we thought it would be interesting to find out what watch the Senator chooses to wear.
The stainless steel dress watch is 39mm wide, with a black face, three hand functions, date function at 3 o’clock and water resistance rated to 30m – but certainly don’t take it diving (check out our guide to dive watches for this). Citizen has done a really good job of marketing their watch to the “everyday man” since their founding in 1930’s, something Bernie is no doubt aware of when choosing this watch as it fits his political profile perfectly. The Eco-Drive technology pioneered by Citizen does mean that Bernie can campaign without ever having to worry about changing his watch battery (unlike Donald Trump’s largely ill-received foray into watch manufacturing).
The model that Bernie wears (BM0910-57E) is hard to find for retail purchase today. But, that doesn’t really matter as we prefer the style and sleekness of the titanium version of the eco-drive. Both versions of the watch are affordable and stay true to Bernie’s “everyday” appeal.