So, I was sick.
Late 2006ish I was home from work with a terrible cold, wrapped up on the couch watching DVDs. One after the other after the other, just mindlessly sitting there, probably drooling a bit at the same time (ick).
While watching the Angelina Jolie & Denzel Washington thriller, “The Bone Collector”, a very clear shot of a TAG Heuer worn by Ed O’Neil (perhaps still best known as Al Bundy) popped up on the screen.
Seeing the watch on the screen triggered something; it actually motivated me to do something that had been kicking around in the back of my mind for a bit. Throughout the first few years of the 2000′s there were several lists put together of the appearances of watches in certain movies. Usually, though, the lists were short and very rarely were there any images. On top of that many of them had incorrect information to boot. I decided, after seeing this TAG Heuer, that I had enough DVDs (about 350) and with a 3 DVD at a time Netflix subscription I could begin to capture actual images of the watches from these movies. Rather than finish the film, I staggered up and put the DVD in my PC and snapped a screen shot of the image. Watches in Movies was then born.
The first incarnation of the site was not actually self contained, as it is now. I ran the site as part of my personal domain, jitteryjim.com (which is now just a rarely used Tumblr blog) for the first year or so; until it became too unwieldy to manage in the fashion I had set it up. In December of 2007 I obtained watchesinmovies.info (and .net & .org) and set the site off on its own domain in January of 2008.
At the time I had grand visions of the domain having the hosted images, a blog and a forum, all under the watchesinmovies.info umbrella. The blog never got off the ground and the forum software I was using was constantly being riddled with spam, so it was ditched as well. Also, I made the unfortunate mistake of using Coppermine as the image gallery, which too was prone to frequent spam attacks, and was not as welcoming to comments or discussions. Nevertheless, that is how the site ran for about 18 months, until the fall of 2009.
I had been requesting submissions from fellow watch-nerds since the beginning, and while some did come in they were pretty sporadic. My feeling was the Coppermine set-up partially was to blame for the slow participation and I made the decision to move off Coppermine to a site running on WordPress. I began the conversion in September of 2009 and had the site ready to go by mid-October that same year. The new format was easier to view, easier to search, allowed for better interaction and more options like links, features, pages and eventually a few ads. Shortly after the migration and relaunch things began to take off. Submissions came in more steadily and more people began commenting on posts as well.
This has resulted in the site now having 775 entries (618 movies, 148 TV shows and 9 various) and over 2,000 images (as of July 13, 2012). Since the site was revamped in 2009 there have been over 675,000 visits and almost 4,000,000 page views. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Sure, traffic isn’t huge, but given the topic and audience, I think it’s not too bad.
As I have said before, it would not have been possible for the site to grow where it is without the help of the watch community. The submissions keep coming in; and I am getting back on a more regular update schedule to keep new content coming. I am hoping in the future I can work out something with some of the watch brands to have them announce their appearances in films here, as well as some additional sponsors to help keep the site maintained.
Even without those extras, it’s still fun and something I enjoy doing. And I thank you for visiting.