MOVIES THAT MADE US WATCH: Science Fiction Superstar
In the late 80’s to early 90’s, Lowell Cunningham had an idea for a comic book series after seeing a black van driving around. His friend introduced him to the idea of “Men in Black”, no name government agents that were not supposed to exist (Think Agent Smith style). His idea grew and became a short comic run that began in January of 1990 and ran until March of the same year. In May of 1991, he picked up the pen again and wrote another 3 issues which concluded the series in July of that same year. In the comic, the Men In Black agency investigates and protects Earth from paranormal and alien activity, and keeps the public unaware of any of it, using any means necessary.
Like any comic book nowadays, the Men In Black (MIB from here on) became a feature film starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. MIB was released in 1997 and follows Jay (Will Smith) a police officer in New York City who runs into Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and gets brought into the secretive world of the MIB. Now tasked with keeping alien life on Earth under control, Jay and Kay work to stop a mysterious visitor from terrorizing the city, and endangering the planet.
Once Jay gets inducted into the organization, he is given his standard issue uniform of the classic black suit and tie which appears on the posters for the film. To complete the look, both he and Kay wear Hamilton Venturas (The specific model of which is the Ventura Quartz H24411732). Just like it is for Chadwick, the Ventura is the perfect watch for our pair of secret government agents. First off, the watch has the black dial and stainless steel case, complementing the rest of the outfit worn by the MIB. At one point in the film, Kay is telling a brief history of the organization and mentions their first encounter with extraterrestrial life that occurred back in the 1950’s. Combining the era that the MIB is founded in, with their nature of otherworldly or futuristic technology, the Ventura is the best watch to fit them. Arbib’s design could not have fit the setting of the movie any better. Along with the masterful design, the guts of this new iteration fit the needs of Jay and Kay to a tee. With the watch being quartz, the agents were able to keep near perfect time, as that plays a major factor towards the end of the film.
Agent J reaching for the final touch of his MIB uniform (Movie Screencaps)
MIB was the most popular movie in America for the first 3 weeks of July and a critical success, bringing in over 50 million dollars in the opening week. Because of this massive success, the Ventura was back in the spotlight and became such a signature piece for the franchise that it was used in each of the sequels. A version of the Ventura has been spotted on the wrists of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones through each of the original MIB movies, and most recently, Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth for Men In Black: International.