Rashida Jones stars as Laura, a writer who suspects her husband’s having an affair – a suspicion exuberantly enabled by her father, a New York art dealer and socialite played by Murray. The plot revolves around Laura’s birthday, and the two replica watches she receives as gifts. It’s about fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the passage of time – how our lives fundamentally change. There’s no better object to illustrate those ideas than a watch (or in this case, watches plural). But Coppola’s script – she wrote the film in addition to directing it – didn’t always specify the exact make of the watches. For that, she needed a prop master.
Which is where David Schanker comes in. Though not a watch guy himself (“It’s just part of the movie process for me,” he says), Schanker definitely knows how to pick ’em. He and Coppola collaborated to choose many luxury fake watches during pre-production, arriving at a diverse array outfitting nearly every principal character. Here, Schanker takes us watch by watch.
This Swiss movement Panthère de Cartier replica watch (which, spoiler, appears in the very last scene) holds the most significance. It singlehandedly unlocks the secret of Laura’s adulterine suspicions about her husband. The Panthère De Cartier serves as the movie’s McGuffin, taking Laura and her father on an adventure which eventually – and circuitously – leads back to the watch.
As Schanker explains it, “the final watch, the Cartier copy, might’ve been the only watch scripted. Cartier had a say in what they wanted us to use, and then we let Sofia make the ultimate choice. One option was the Panthère, and the other, the Tank. In the end, she chose the Panthère.” While it’s interesting that Coppola chose the Panthère over the Tank, it’s not altogether surprising. The Tank is the household name – it has that deco, classic, early twentieth-century flair.
The Panthère de Cartier replica with blue hands represents a newer generation. It’s a watch born in the 1980s, featuring a sleek bracelet and concealed clasp. Pierce Brosnan and Keith Richards wore one. It stands to reason that the director of Marie Antoinette – a period piece set to the sounds of The Cure and New Order – picked this watch for Laura.
Cartier was not merely a fixture in front of the camera, but also behind. Schanker explains, “Cartier actually gave Sofia one watch as a present for the product placement, which she wore on set while directing.”