WATCH SPOTTING: Brad Pitt’s perfect TAG Heuer in Moneyball and the interesting story behind it

Throughout the pandemic, many individuals have utilized their time at home to catch up on recommended TV series or films they might have missed during busier periods or revisit beloved favorites. In my seventh or eighth run-through of The West Wing television series, my excitement reached a point where I almost spilled my beer upon spotting an Omega dress watch on my favorite fictional president (Bartlet 2020?). This pastime has heightened the awareness of watch enthusiasts regarding the timepieces worn by actors on screen.

Just the other week, I received a message from a friend inquiring about the watch adorning Sam Neill’s wrist in Jurassic Park III (it’s an Oris, in case you were curious). A true mark of a watch enthusiast is when you find yourself rewinding and pausing, even at the risk of annoying friends and family, to capture the perfect screengrab of a watch worn by a character in film or television. These captures are then shared in your replica watch group, sparking a race among your to identify the spotted reference on your favorite character. The most recent watch discovery during pandemic movie night? Brad Pitt’s finest imitation TAG Heuer in Moneyball

Moneyball, adapted from Michael Lewis’s book ‘Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,’ narrates the tale of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its analytical general manager, Billy Beane. Faced with the challenges of a struggling franchise (having recently lost star player Jason Giambi and others), Beane revitalized the team using advanced statistics and mathematical probabilities. This approach marked a groundbreaking departure from the traditional methods of analysis and recruitment prevalent in baseball at that time.

The innovative and critical thinking introduced by the ingenious mind of Billy Beane has since evolved into the standard for how teams seek the next generation of talent in the realm of baseball.

Fortunately for those intrigued by wristwatches, Brad Pitt often dons a short-sleeve shirt, providing ample screen time for the Swiss fake TAG Heuer on his wrist. Jeff Stein, the founder of OnTheDash and an authority on all things replica TAG Heuer, made the identification process straightforward. Interestingly, Jeff played a role in making it possible for Brad Pitt to wear the watch in the film.

During the first day of filming, the property master for Moneyball presented Brad Pitt with three watch options. While two were from the property master’s collection, the third was borrowed from a crew member. Brad chose the crew member’s actual watch, the TAG Heuer Kirium, as the one worthy of adorning his wrist. Enter Jeff Stein, a renowned TAG Heuer historian and expert, who not only identified the watch for the property master but also sourced three backup watches for continuity.

To maintain consistency and ensure the crew member got his watch back, the prop master sent a photo of the watch to a production company, which then contacted TAG Heuer. TAG Heuer, in turn, reached out to Jeff for assistance since the watch was no longer in production or featured in their catalog. Jeff identified the watch and procured three examples at a cost of approximately $400 to $500 USD each. Hence, he unequivocally knows that the watch on Brad Pitt’s wrist was the TAG Heuer Kirium WL1113.

The high-quality fake TAG Heuer Kirium WL1113 was crafted by TAG Heuer in the late 1990s as part of its Professional collection. The specific watch worn by Brad Pitt in the film boasts a midnight blue dial, Mercedes-style hands reminiscent of Rolex sports models, a unidirectional rotating dive bezel, and a classic case structure with water resistance up to 200 meters. Fitted with its factory-integrated stainless steel bracelet, it proved to be an ideal choice for a dive in the ocean or a dive on the baseball diamond.

According to Jeff’s insights in the forum post, this watch truly suited Brad’s character. As a pragmatic thinker working for a struggling MLB team, the Kirium made sense for someone with a discerning eye for value. Being a reliable and robust timepiece, it was a perfect match for the film’s protagonist. While Brad Pitt’s Citizen “Bullhead” Challenge Timer in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood wasn’t period-correct, the Kirium, produced in the late ’90s, aligns with the early 2000s setting of the film.

Accessories like belts, hats, sunglasses, and watches are often relatable to most men, serving as windows into their character and taste. Whether a conscious or subconscious choice, these accessories reveal how a person thinks and expresses themselves. This is why enthusiasts rush to identify and source watches spotted in their favorite films – it’s a testament to the emotional connection horology and its consumers share. If the Kirium watch resonates with you, the good news is that it won’t require a movie star’s budget to acquire one today; a decade later, they are generally available for a comparable price to what Jeff paid on behalf of the studio.

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