You haven't heard of Chris Pine's vintage watch, and that's the point

In Milan, the actor wore a 1950s Baume et Mercier grail that only a true connoisseur would recognise
You haven't heard of Chris Pine's vintage watch and that's the point

There is something rather savoury about the idea of Chris Pine – of Star Trek, Wonder Woman, and didn’t-he-get-spat-on-by-Harry Styles fame popping into a vintage watch shop in West Hollywood on his lunch break, having a nosey around, firing off a few pics to his ‘Famous Actors Called Chris’ Whatsapp group for feedback before falling head over heels with a watch made in the ‘50s by a brand that few people will have heard of. At least, that's how we imagine the events leading up to Pine owning a 18ct pink gold 33mm Baume & Mercier Bumper Automatic 3103, from circa 1956.

MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 19: Chris Pine is seen on the front row at the Zegna Spring/Summer 2024 fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week menswear spring/summer 2024 on June 19, 2023 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris PineVictor Boyko/Getty Images

Over the past year or so, Chris Pine has been copping a fair bit of that weird internet Zaddy energy. Not to Pedro Pascal levels, but whenever he’s spotted strolling somewhere, you can bet the Just Jareds of the world have something to say about him. This was certainly the case earlier this week in the fashion capital of Milan. Much of the attention around Pine’s appearance at the Zegna show was centred on his approach to summer suiting – high-waisted trousers paired with a perfectly-fitted – but it was his new vintage grail find that caught our eye.

Pine has strong watch game. For much of that eventful Don’t Worry Darling press tour, people enjoyed his loosey goosey fit of a gold Rolex Day Date. By that, we mean the bracelet to his classic Rollie was loose enough for it to slide up and down his wrist – think the free the nipple movement, but for watches.

MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 19: Chris Pine attends the Zegna Spring/Summer 2024 fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week menswear spring/summer 2024 on June 19, 2023 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

It’s the kind of louche sartorial choice we’ve come to expect from Hollywood’s most quirky dresser, not least because it is the opposite of how a banker wanker boardroom numbskull would wear his Day Date (having googled best Rolex to buy, then how to wear a Rolex just to fit in at the office).

Back to Milan, when we clocked Pine’s latest watch flex wasn’t a Rolex, Patek, Omega, AP or Cartier, after a quick round of applause for being famous but not conforming to wearing a usual suspect, we were immediately struck by its unusual design and how the lugs go over the sides of the case, as well how masculine it looks for a watch that looked pretty (and) small.

“Back in the ‘50s, lugs over the case was something Patek Philippe and Baume et Mercier did in some of their models, but nobody really did it very much,” says Bonham’s Global Head of Watches, Jonathan Darracott when we give him a call to get the lowdown on Pine’s new grail. “But then Baume et Mercier liked it so much they reintroduced it into the brand image under their Capeland models, so you'll see a very similar sort of watch being created now,” he adds.

Darracott reckons if it came to auction today, it would probably go for around the £3000 mark, and what he likes most about it is how, given it’s from the ’50s, it shows that the fashion for wearing small has been, gone and is now coming back again.

Image courtesy of Kibble Watches

Michael McIver

“We are seeing a resurgence of unusual case shapes and smaller watches coming back, this model is a 33mm watch, which to most would still be considered too small, but as you can see it looks effortless classic on Chris Pine's wrist, especially with the oversized and pronounced lugs on this specific solid gold model from the 1950s,” says James Kibble of Kibble Watches, who recently sold a watch almost identical to Pine’s.

We’re not privy to quite how much Pine knows about Baume et Mercier, but seven years shy of a 200th anniversary, they clearly know a bit about watchmaking – even if not everyone knows this particular Swiss brand. With decent ties to cars, as Darracott mentions, the Capeland, Clifton and Riviera collections are their go-tos these days. Maybe Pine saw one of the newbies, liked the design then did some digging to find a vintage one?

Darracott notes that Baume et Mercier have always been known for good quality wearable watches, but says Pine’s choice is “very cool. It's under the radar. It's not what you'd normally expect to see on a celebrity's wrist, and for that I applaud him. I think it's very clever to find a watch like that, which is not by one of the top makers that's probably being rammed down his throat by everybody. It's something very off-piste.”