The Ultimate Watch Buff – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Watch & Bullion22 November 2017 | 5 min read
Last Updated April 2020
The life of Arnold Schwarzenegger has been nothing less than action packed! Born in Austria in 1947, Arnold moved to the US at the age of 21 to pursue his dream of making it big in bodybuilding. This dream was realised in 1970 when he won his first Mr Olympia title – his first of seven titles in total!
From bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger moved into acting getting his first big break playing Hercules in the blockbuster Hercules in New York. He went on to star in other big hits such as Conan The Barbarian, The Expendables and Commando whilst being best known for his leading role in the Terminator franchise.
As if that wasn’t enough, in 2003 Arnold successfully ran for American Public Office being elected as the Governor for California – a post he held for over 7 years.
Despite the changes in Arnold’s professional life, one thing has remained the same – his love of beautifully designed watches. From his personal collection, movie accessories and now his own personal range, we will take a look at the premium timepieces the Terminator star has wielded throughout his successful career.
1. Panerai Luminor
A staple of the luxury Swiss watch market, the Panerai Luminor is a must have for any avid watch collector. An iconic scene in the 1996 film Eraser, shows Arnold’s character John Kruger, winding the classic timepiece. At a sturdy 44mm diameter, the water resistant Luminor can be picked up today for around £4,000.
Outside of the movie role, Arnold took a personal liking to the Luminor and has often been spotted wearing it out and about. It is rumoured that Arnold first received the Panerai as a gift from fellow hollywood action hero and friend Sylvester Stallone. It seems the Expendables co-stars have similar tastes when it comes to Swiss watches!
Like the look of the Luminor? Click here to see which Panerai watches we have in store right now!
2. U-Boat U1942
Moving away from the classics, Arnold has often been spotted wearing the modern U-Boat U-1942 piece. The Italian designer is one of the new boys on the block, first releasing it’s military themed range in the year 2000.
The U-Boat design is known predominantly for its size, with face diameters starting at an impressive 45mm moving up to a whopping 65mm. Water resistant to 400m and hand crafted in Italy – the Limited Edition 1942 which Arnie is often seen wearing is hard to come by with similar models being sold for anywhere up to £40,000!
3. Rolex GMT Master
Now for a name which is known the world over – Rolex. Being the watch buff that Arnold is, it’s only right that he has a Rolex somewhere in his timepiece collection.
The GMT Master was the result of a collaboration between Rolex and Pan Am Airways in the 1950’s. As the flight industry boomed, the GMT Master was one of the first watches allowing the wearer to track the minutes and hours across different time zones.
Despite its relatively small face, this watch was still a favourite of young Schwarzeneggers. Nicknamed the ‘Pussy Galore’ it featured heavily in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger.
Want to get your hand on your very own GMT Master? Take a look at Watch & Bullion’s GMT’s both past and present!
4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
Another piece from the Swiss watch archive is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch. First released in the 1970’s, the Royal Oak is distinctive for its modest face size and large external screws. With it’s intricate exterior, the Royal Oak has survived the test of time and is still a popular watch of choice for many collectors today.
In 2003, the Royal Oak Offshore featured heavily in Arnold’s third portrayal of his most famous role as Terminator when starring in Terminator 3. Whilst Arnold also wore the Royal Oak whilst appearing in the film Collateral Damage, Audemars Piguet released a limited edition ‘T3’ specifically for the Terminator film.
This watch became a favourite of Schwarzenegger’s outside of the silver screen too. In 2011, Arnold and Audemars Piguet came together to release the “Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Legacy Chronography Edition.” This 48mm, pink gold and black ceramic piece became a instant collectors item with only 1,500 manufactured and sold worldwide – here’s some quick facts about the piece:
- 48mm Case
- 14.8mm Thickness
- Calibre 2326 / 2840 Movement
- 4Hz Frequency
- 38Hr Power Reserve
- 100M Water Resistance
- Aramide / Black Alligator Strap
- As of April 2020, pre owned market price c. £22,000.
5. The Schwarzenegger Watch Range
The ultimate goal for any watch fan is to design and retail your own range of premium timepieces. The former Governor of California, often nicknamed the ‘Govenator’ has done exactly that, releasing his own range in 2015.
Drawing upon his love of military style, large faced watches, Arnold teamed up with the Brazilian Magnum Group to release his own 18 piece range with one clear goal in mind.
“I have always been interested in watches but the ones that I liked [are] not something everyone can afford…the idea was to create a watch line that looks like that, that it could be fifty thousand dollars or one hundred thousand dollars but it cost only between eight hundred and fifteen hundred dollars.”
Through Arnie’s action packed life, his love of watches has always remained the same. From Swiss classics such as the Luminor through to the household name of Rolex, Arnold has always been graced with some of the finest timepieces known to man. At the age of 70, he shows no signs of slowing down so next time you see the big man himself on TV, check out what he’s got on his wrist!