Many people have seen the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. After all, who doesn't remember John Travolta with his iconic dance or Samuel L Jackson in the diner scene? The truth is, there are a lot of rather iconic scenes in that film. One of them involves a watch that supposedly belonged to Bruce Willis's character, held in the hands of none other than Christopher Walken. At first glance, it seems that this watch is quite different from most of the watches available today. That part is obvious. The harder question is, what is it and what was it used for away from Hollywood?
As it turns out, this watch has been around for a long time. It was produced in 1918, to be exact. At the time, these watches were not unique. While it stands out today, it only does so because it's so different from everything that is routinely produced by today's standards. Back when it was actually made, it was one of the most common watches available. In fact, soldiers used it in World War I. Obviously, this was a watch that was easy to produce and it didn't cost a lot of money to make it. As a result, it was one of the more widely produced watches of its time. The thing is, it was only produced in large quantities for soldiers. As a result, almost no one outside of the military had one at that time. Once the war was over, the few soldiers brought the watches back home. Eventually, one of them wound up in Pulp Fiction.
Giving an Old Watch New Life
Clearly, the watch that appears in the movie was given new life. This caused a lot of people to develop an interest in these types of watches, something that most people hadn't really thought of in decades. As a matter of fact, it became so popular after the movie that people were trying to buy samples of this watch anywhere they could find them. The truth is, this particular style of watch, known as the Lancet, became so popular that it was even featured in an article for GQ Magazine. The entire article centered around the overwhelming demand for these watches, further disseminating where people could find one and how much they were likely to pay if they did happen to be fortunate enough to get their hands on one. Up until that point, the Lancet had largely been forgotten. There were probably a few that were still stored safely away in lock boxes somewhere, but there were very few people who actively tried to find them with the idea of purchasing one for themselves. As soon as the movie became popular, all of that changed.
An Iconic Timepiece
Make no mistake about it, the timepiece wasn't considered all that iconic when it was actually produced, especially by the people that carried it. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with it. In fact, its design was very well thought out. It was practical and it was capable of taking a great deal of abuse and continuing to show accurate time. That said, it was so common that people just didn't think anything about it when they were issued one of these watches during the first World War. You have to remember, the military isn't about frills. It's all about getting something accomplished with the least expense and doing it as quickly as possible. As a result, the watch was about as bare-bones as you could get. The thing that makes it iconic is that it ended up showing up on a movie screen, pointedly held up by Christopher Walken. Fans of the film got a good look and wondered what this gold watch with the white face was all about. In that moment, the watch itself became almost as iconic as the movie. From that point on, there was this ever-increasing desire for dedicated fans to find an identical watch that they could add to their own collections. Suddenly, the 1918 Lancet that had been all but forgotten for decades was more sought-after than some of the most exclusive watches ever made.
It’s Not Always About Luxury
If you want one of these watches today, you'll be lucky to find one. A few are occasionally available on eBay, but that's about the only place that you can even consider the possibility of finding one. Of course, you could potentially get lucky at a flea market somewhere, but the chances are slim at best. It's also worth noting that you will have to fork over a decent amount of cash if you do find one. In fact, you might be spending more on one of these little watches than you would ever dream of spending on some of the most luxurious watches available. The thing is, it isn't always about luxury. Sometimes, it's about nostalgia. That is precisely where this watch lies and why it's become so widely sought after over the years. Even all these years later, people are still clamoring to find a watch like this one, an example of movie magic that has become the unofficial poster child for Pulp Fiction.
When it’s all said and done, the watch has become synonymous with the movie itself. People who are dedicated fans of the film know exactly what the watch symbolizes. Even casual fans know that the watch is from the movie. They may not get as excited about seeing it as more dedicated aficionados, but they still recognize it. As the movie itself gets older, flocks of new fans are exposed to the same iconic scenes. That means that even more people are likely to find themselves in the market for the little gold watch that holds so much nostalgia, both on and off the big screen.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith