Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher, turned master crystal meth maker in the wildly popular 5 season AMC series Breaking Bad. Played by Bryan Cranston, Walter turns to drug manufacturing once he learns he has cancer and needs the money to pay for treatment and to provide for his struggling family.
Full of resentment for previous failures such as selling his share in a company he helped found for a measly $5,000 and finding it hard to get ahead and live the American dream, Walter’s morality can be questioned when he starts to make decisions based on pure greed long after he’s successfully fulfilled his original, relatively modest financial goals.
The shift towards the darker side throughout the seasons is part of the reason this series has proven to be so gripping, winning critical acclaim and numerous Emmy awards.
The Casio CA53W makes an early appearance, featuring prominently in the second episode of the first season in a car scene with Jesse Pinkman (see image above). This is perhaps the exact type of watch you’d expect from a no-frills chemistry teacher that values practicality above all else.
The Casio CA53W is a bit of a cult classic, but given Walter’s straight-forward approach to life at the beginning of the series, it’s pretty clear he wears this watch mainly as a practical tool.
This is a calculator on your wrist straight from the 80's. It brings me pangs of nostalgia just looking at it. I recall kids at my school that had one and the jealousy it built inside me.
Am I more likely to use my phone calculator now? Yes. But I don't care.
If nostalgia for the past or retro-chic is your thing, then the Casio CA53W will provide.
Walter is given a TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph as a gift for his 51st birthday by Jesse during the 4th episode in season 5. Jesse hands the watch to Walter whilst he is in a car, complete with the gift box. Walter later uses the watch as a symbol of trust during a one-sided conversation with a despondent Skyler:
“I want to show you something. See that watch. It was a birthday present. The person who gave me this present wanted me dead too. Not that long ago, he pointed a gun right between my eyes right here and he threatened to kill me. He changed his mind about me Skyler, and so will you.”
The last scene of the episode features Walter taking off the watch and leaving it on the bedside table as he undresses and goes to bed. The scene exits with an extreme close up of one of the dials showing the seconds ticking with a distinct ticking sound. It’s all rather ominous, with the watch playing a key role the sense that time is running out for something…
The Tag Heuer Monaco is a very iconic watch, with this particular model bearing a close resemblance with the watch worn by actor and racer Steve McQueen in the 1971 film La Mans.