How a TAG Heuer Watch Helps Propel the Love Story in ‘The Idea Of You’

[This story contains spoilers from Prime Video’s film The Idea Of You.]

In the new romantic movie The Idea of You, Nicholas Galitzine — playing Hayes Campbell, a One Direction-like lead singer of a boy band — falls hard for Anne Hathaway’s art gallery owner character, Solène.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

Over the course of the new couple’s relationship ups and downs, a watch plays a surprisingly prominent role, becoming a major plot point in the film.

Early on, after Solène — a single mom who’s more than a decade older than Hayes — tells him, “I can’t do this. Because you’re you and I’m me and we just don’t fit,” the lovestruck singer surreptitiously leaves the watch he’s wearing on a table in her house before he departs. “We’ll see,” he says.

From there on out, the watch is sometimes worn by her (when things are going well) and then at other times by him (usually when things aren’t working out between them.) During the good times, it becomes a sort of talisman, signifying the couple’s connection. “Well, I think it looks a lot better on you,” says Hayes in one scene where Solène is wearing it.

As The Idea of You prop stylist Karen Neasi describes it, “The first moment you realize the watch isn’t just an accessory is the scene where Hayes takes it off his wrist and leaves it at Solène’s house to create a reason for her to have to see him again.” From then on, Neasi says that the watch, “became its own entity — essentially another character in the film and intrinsically part of their love story. As the viewer you can glean the status of their relationship.”

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway (wearing a TAG Heuer Carrera) in 'The Idea of You'
Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway (wearing a TAG Heuer Carrera) in The Idea of You.

So what watch is it? The timepiece is a sleek classic, the TAG Heuer Carrera, a 39mm model in steel with a brushed silver sunray dial and matching steel bracelet that looks great on both Hathaway and Galitzine.

According to TAG Heuer, it was not a paid product placement; the Carrera timepiece won its supporting role in the film fortuitously. The film is based on the original book of the same name by Robinne Lee, who wrote that Hayes’ watch was a TAG Heuer Carrera.

However, as Neasi told GQ this week, the production considered giving the prop role to a timepiece from another company. According to GQ, she rejected “a different watch brand that was initially supposed to have star billing — but wasn’t quite up to her standards. These original pieces were ‘not attractive, not cool, old man watches,'” according to Neasi, who then reached out to TAG Heuer about getting the Carrera for the film.

TAG Heuer Carrera with brushed silver sunray dial.
TAG Heuer Carrera with brushed silver sunray dial.

TAG Heuer Carrera Three-Hand Date Watch

$3,200 AT Watches of Switzerland

$3,200 at TAg HEuer

Sharp-eyed timepiece lovers also spied that the watch that Hathaway’s character wears before putting on Hayes’ TAG Heuer is an IWC Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 in gold. But it barely gets more than a few seconds of screentime compared to the TAG Heuer.

Adds Neasi of the Carrera, “The watch took on a life of its own. As a prop stylist, it’s so gratifying to see how an accessory can transcend being simply a prop, and end up wielding tremendous power within the storyline.”

Nicholas Galitzine - The Idea of You - New York premiere
Nicholas Galitzine wore the same TAG Heuer Carrera Date seen in The Idea of You to the film’s New York premiere on April 29, 2024.

TAG Heuer — whose brand ambassadors include Ryan Gosling (who wears a Carrera Chronograph in the new film The Fall Guy), Patrick Dempsey and Alexandra Daddario — has debuted more than a few cool new watches in recent weeks, including a just-released collaboration with hot fashion brand Kith and an unexpected haute horologie stunner shown at Watches & Wonders, a Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph in titanium that goes for $138,000.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter