From the Movado Watch Archives, Including One Worn by Elizabeth Taylor

If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, you’re probably well familiar with Movado—the Swiss-made watch brand that’s forever ingrained in our luxury timekeeping lexicon and, especially, the American pop-culture consciousness, as “the museum watch”—instantly recognizable by the company’s signature high-noon dot.

Earlier this week, I popped by Movado’s New York City headquarters at the behest of a close friend of mine (who’s a total Movado aficionado). He wanted me to see some of Movado’s iconic archive pieces. I was expecting lots of ultra-sleek and super-modern dot-emblazoned faces. Boy, was I wrong. I was so blown away by what I was shown—how beautiful and intricate the handcrafting is on some of these collector’s items—I had to show you guys some of my favorites.

Like these stunning secret watch bracelets from the late mid-1900s—fit to be worn at formal affairs!


They all feature hinged panels and watches inside, like this:


There was this platinum and diamond 1920s heirloom piece—Kerry Washington’s worn it on the red carpet (who can blame her—it’s stunning—in that romantic, Miss Havisham way, I think):


And my absolute favorite from the earlier part of the 20th century was this bracelet watch—which looks so delicate with its thin chain band but had a strength and gravitas that was immediately obvious when you hold it in your hand:


Here’s the piece that originally convinced me to stop by for an appointment: a one-of-a-kind solid-gold flex wrap-bangle bracelet watch that was made for Elizabeth Taylor:


Just look at how delicate and intricate these watch bands and beautiful faces are. I wore a watch all throughout my teens but stopped when I got a cell phone in the late ’90s. Sometimes I think I should go back to wearing one—but only if they’re this beautiful:


I was also completely taken by this antique jeweled piece on the right—it was tiny and delicate and stunning:


There were also some novelty timepieces that were to die for—like these pocket watches and shell-enclosed clocks:


And this lighter! Divine!


These days, these particular pieces are no longer available for purchase—but Movado creates so many pieces in its modern collections using inspiration from its own archives. Where can you see these antiques for yourself? Just tune in to period shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire—Movado loans era-specific watches and collections to the costume designers on those shows. Jon Hamm wears a 1960s Movado leather-strap watch on Mad Men, as does January Jones. And the entire cast of Boardwalk Empire is decked out in Movado pieces! Lucky Kerry Washington also gets to borrow whichever pieces she wants for the red carpet—she’s been the brand’s spokeswoman for seven years.

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