A pre-eminent creator of custom rubber watch straps, Rubber B has spent the last several years crafting watch straps for watches for some of the most highly respected watchmakers in both Europe and North America, including Rolex, Tudor, and Apple. Rubber B has a wide selection of colors, styles, and materials to choose from for these timepieces, and all of these straps are made exclusively from 100% vulcanized rubber.
In this blog post, we are going to take a look at some of the classic Miami Vice watches that were worn by Detective James “Sonny” Crockett during his time on the iconic 1980s TV show “Miami Vice.”
James “Sonny” Crockett was notably portrayed by actor Don Johnson for the show’s entire run, which was from September 1984 to January 1990. We will learn more about Don Johnson, the character of James “Sonny” Crockett, and the notable Miami Vice watches that were worn throughout several episodes of the show.
Who is Don Johnson?
Don Johnson is an actor and singer who was born on December 15th, 1949 in Flat Creek, Missouri. He would perform in several roles during his high school theater career, including playing the part of Tony in “West Side Story.” He would complete high school in 1967 and then enroll at the University of Kansas as a theatre major. However, he would leave the program after only one year.
Johnson would move to San Francisco and would end up working on stage and screen in the area for several years, and although some of these projects were well received, none of them would bring him the stardom he was looking for at the time.
In 1984, after 15 years of working to establish himself as a reliable actor, he was given the role for which he arguably remains best known today – James “Sonny” Crockett, one of the co-leads on “Miami Vice.”
What Kind of Impact Did “Miami Vice” Have on Popular Culture?
When “Miami Vice” originally debuted in September of 1984, it was immediately a hit, as it was different, largely, from anything else that had previously been seen on network television. The show was created by Anthony Yerkovich and developed and produced by Michael Mann, the legendary filmmaker who would go on to make the 1995 crime thriller masterpiece “Heat,” as well as a film version of this very show, which was released in 2006.
While the show was noted for its usage of contemporary music and a more exciting visual style, the show’s characters, and their iconic fashion sense, also became prominent parts of pop culture as well. This was due, in large part, to Don Johnson’s portrayal of James “Sonny” Crockett.
Within the context of the show, Crockett is revealed to be a deeply dedicated, highly moral man with a tough exterior who is passionate about putting criminals behind bars, particularly drug dealers and smugglers and the people who enabled them. He also tended to take cases personally when innocent civilians were harmed or killed. He also shared a fierce loyalty to his partner, Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs, who was played by Phillip Michael Thomas.
The context of the show largely reflected the challenges that Miami, as a city, was going through at this time. This was the era of the “Cocaine Cowboys,” and drug trafficking, and the violence that comes with it, was at an all-time high. As such, “Miami Vice” was one of the first programs to accurately portray the challenges that those who work in drug enforcement deal with on a day-to-day basis.
What Were the Miami Vice Watches?
The look of the characters in “Miami Vice” had a significant impact on men’s fashion, particularly Crockett. The character was known for wearing sports jackets with t-shirts, which in years prior would have been considered a major fashion faux pas. He was also known for wearing brightly colored clothing, which was not something that you saw prominently featured in men’s fashion before that time.
There were also several prominent luxury watches featured on the show as well, which is in keeping with the themes of opulence and wealth that surrounded the drug dealers and other criminals that the two detectives were trying to apprehend. Some of these watches would include the Rolex Day-Date, which Crockett is seen wearing throughout most of the pilot episode.
Throughout the run of the show, he is also seen wearing a two-tone Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet, a Zenith Ebel Sport Classic Chronograph, and an Ebel 1911 BTR Chronograph. While some of the Rolexes were confirmed to be fake watches, so as not to be damaged during shooting, Zenith did provide several real watches for the characters to wear on the show.
The Miami Vice watches are the two-tone stainless steel and gold watches worn by Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) in the popular 1980s television show “Miami Vice.”
The timepieces were manufactured by Rolex, a Swiss watch firm, and were especially the Rolex GMT-Master versions. The show’s prop crew customized the watches with black dials and black bezels, giving them a more sleek and modern appearance.
The popularity of the show fueled demand for Miami Vice watches, which quickly became a sought-after fashion accessory. GMT-Master models are still popular among watch collectors and aficionados today, and “Miami Vice” watches are a symbol of 1980s fashion and culture.
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