If you have a good sense of humor, like to laugh at Hollywood, and want to see some actually very impressive special effects (not to mention makeup) go see the movie Tropic Thunder. While it contains some controversial joking around (people will find issue with almost anything these days), it has a great cast, and some very good acting. Honestly, this is an excellent role for Jack Black. Seriously, see the movie and tell me that Jack Black doesn’t play his character very well. Not to mention Robert Downey Junior and of course Tom Cruise.
Speaking of Cruise, his character in the movie is Les Grossman. A satire (and reality) of certain Hollywood execs and Tom Cruise himself, who is as many know, in addition to being an actor, is also a Hollywood exec as co-owner of United Artists Pictures. You can read elsewhere about the ridiculous amount of makeup and body padding (and massive amounts of faux body hair) he wears, but the most noticeable part of his wardrobe is the large Panerai watch on his wrist. Cruise is not the largest man, and the PAM on his wrist looks enormous (it is 44mm wide which is big but not huge), and pretty bad-ass to be honest. Certainly a watch fit for the role. Like Sylvester Stallone, I would guess that this Panerai is from Tom’s personal collection as opposed to being furnished by Panerai. Mainly because if I have correctly spotted the model, it is no longer being made and Tom Cruise is a known watch lover often with other large watches such as an IWC.
In Tropic Thunder, Cruise wears what is obviously a Panerai, but not a typical model. It is the Panerai PAM 63 GMT Luminor. It is one of the few Panerai watches I know that lacks a subdial, as most (but not all) Panerai models typically place at least the seconds hand in a subdial. This particular PAM 63 GMT has a jet black face (obsidian shiny with a gentle horizontal line texture) a highly polished steel case. The dial has a good deal of markings on it, which might be considered cluttered in Panerai terms, as the standard look of Panerai faces is spartan to say the least. The GMT hand has a dedicated set of numerals around the out dial from 1 to 24. I really like this, as it adds to the legibility of the GMT function, but the smaller size of the GMT arrow ensures it does not get into the way. You also have a date window with an upside down magnifier lens, and a large seconds hands. The hour hands are in Panerai’s modern style with only the tips and edges visible, a really nice technical look. As the Luminor name attests, the superluminova applied all over the watch is thick and bright when it needs to be. In the movie, Cruise wears one with a glossy polished black leather or possibly crocodile (more often with a glossy finish) strap, but the watch can sometimes be found with a brown strap or steel bracelet.
The PAM 63 GMT is no longer being made. An updated model is the PAM 88 (which does have a subdial). Though you can still get PAM 63 watches from time to time. There was a limited edition PAM 63C model, but to be honest, I am not sure how it differed from the standard PAM 63 model. The prices I have seen for a Panerai PAM 63 GMT are in the $6,000 – $8,000 range. This is by far the nicest watch I noticed in the movie. Other watches displayed look to be sell interesting or vintage style military watches (I think I saw a Marathon in there a few times). You’ll like the movie, I promise. And if you don’t well at least you get to see Tom Cruise in a (somewhat) fat suit with a bald head.
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