Although Hollywood Watch Company’s story began in 2017, the prologue goes all the way back to the Hollywood Hills, more specifically, Mount Lee, in Los Angeles in 1923…
1923 – AN ICONIC LANDMARK STAR IS BORN
Originally constructed as a publicity gimmick to help generate sales for a real estate development called HOLLYWOODLAND, the original Hollywood sign was erected in 1923. The workers erecting the large sheets of metal on the slopes of Mount Lee could not possibly have known how important their project would become. The “HOLLYWOODLAND” real estate development would sell out. The prominent advertisement would go on to become one of the world’s most important and iconic symbols; a symbol of hope, glamour, success and the American dream.
1978 – THE ORIGINAL HOLLYWOOD SIGN IS REPLACED
The original sign - the sign that presided over the golden age of silent films and black and whites that would have been touched and gazed upon by the likes of Fred Astaire, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra - was replaced in 1978. The sign stood for almost sixty years before time, weather and the elements took their toll. Unable to bear the thought of this global icon disappearing forever, an effort was launched in the late seventies to replace the Hollywood sign with an identical, but more sturdily built design. Hollywood notables such as Warner Bros. Studios, Alice Cooper, Hugh Hefner and others raised the funds necessary to save the sign.
When the new sign was erected in 1978, the original grand old lady – having surveyed the birth and growth of global film, television and musical domination – was to be scrapped. Through certain twists of fate, she escaped this undistinguished end. Her white-painted metal, imbued with the magic and the mystique of sixty years of Hollywood, was quietly tucked away in storage… until now.
2017 - THE FOUNDERS WATCH
Working with America’s most renowned old-world boutique watchmaker, Roland Murphy of RGM in Pennsylvania, we created a “proof of concept” limited edition luxury men's watch with a section of the original sign integrated into the dial.
Only twelve were made of this extremely limited “Founders Watch” timepiece, all of which have sold.
Treated metal from the original Hollywood Sign is affixed to the dial of the watch in the form of a full Hollywood plaque.
The design by RGM incorporates subtle elements of Hollywood’s golden age: the case indicative of the housing of a spotlight, the dial with a subtle film reel in the background and a nod to art deco in the numeral font. The heartbeat of the watch is a Swiss-made movement and the watch itself is Swiss made – a perfect fusion of American design and panache and the time-proven accuracy, quality and desirability of Swiss watch-making.
2017 – HOLLYWOOD WATCH COMPANY IS FOUNDED
In 2017, Hollywood Watch Company purchased all of the remaining metal from the original Hollywood Sign. We acquired the metal with the goal of celebrating history… but more than that, our goal was to find a way to hand the world’s sign back to the people. History should not be forgotten and distant. History can and should be at our very fingertips. Connected. Relevant. Timeless. So after much deliberation over how best to achieve this, we decided to fuse history and time together… and Hollywood Watch Company was born.
2018 - THE PREMIERE EDITION LAUNCHES ON KICKSTARTER
The Premiere edition of 1,923 43mm Swiss-made timepieces and 1,923 36mm Swiss-made time pieces is launching in September 2018. The Premiere Watch design subtly tributes the glamour and style of the Golden Age of Hollywood in its contemporary yet timeless design with multiple variants available within the limited edition – silver, gold, and rose gold cases and metal bracelets and leather straps.
The watch features Swiss-made movements and a plaque cut from the letter “H” from the original Hollywood Sign metal affixed to the dial under the 12 o’clock position. The metal on each plaque has been sandblasted, flattened and treated to maintain the integrity of the authentic weathering of the sign, and hence, no two are identical! Each watch is inscribed with a limited-edition number on the case back. The Premiere watch is being manufactured by one of the most reputable private label watchmakers in Switzerland.