Why Mr. & Mrs. Smith Made Donald Glover’s Character a Big Watch Guy

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David Lee

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The new Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a show about the high-stakes, perilous, adrenaline-surging, and logic-defying world of…watch collecting. (What? Did you take something else from the series?) The show’s costume designer (and former GQ fashion director) Madeline Weeks envisaged Donald Glover’s character John—who enters a fake marriage with Maya Erskine’s Jane to cover up their mercenary status—as a watch guy (one of us!). His card-carrying status as a member in this world demonstrates how the show carefully considered every detail to reveal more about its characters.

“He loves nice things, but he’s not a snob,” Weeks told my colleague Gabriella Paiella. “Every time he does a mission, we were thinking that John might go shopping.” So, he’s into nice things and likes to go shopping to commemorate a special occasion or accomplishment? Sounds like a watch dude to me!

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine
David Lee

The choice in watches makes it clear that Weeks didn’t just raid her local boutique, either. The pieces are both excellent watch-nerd fodder (they even got the forum approval!) and fitting choices for a spy who wants to duck under the radar. Notably, they are also watches that can seamlessly transition between John’s split lives as domestic husband and trained assassin. “He owns these watches that are crazy expensive, but not flashy, no diamonds or anything like that,” Weeks said. “We wanted everything to be covetable.”

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in *Mr. & Mrs. Smith*.
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in *Mr. & Mrs. Smith*.

The show’s costume designer—and former *GQ* fashion director\!—Madeline Weeks on Donald Glover’s “smoldering” Margiela tanks, Maya Erskine’s The Row silk shirts, and sourcing sharp clothes you can still run and fight in.

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine

Everything we know about a second season of Donald Glover and Maya Erskine's scenes-from-a-marriage spy reboot.

Not flashy, but still covetable and crazy expensive: three boxes ticked by nearly every watch that appears on Glover’s wrist. Befitting a spy, John mostly sticks largely to classic Rolex sport pieces. He wears some of the brand’s most recognizable models, including the Daytona, Submariner, and a pair of GMT-Master II. The latter is one of the gems of the season: the brand’s beloved two-tone model appears in both the black-and-brown “Root Beer” and red-and-blue “Pepsi” configuration. “Each Rolex that he wears, you can't even get those watches,” Weeks added, correctly.

But even in the Rolex world there are choices a little more off the beaten path. One highlight in John’s collection is a custom Rolex with Snoopy painted on the dial, a much quirkier watch than the others Glover’s character gravitates towards (It’s hard to spot in the show—take a close look at episode seven—but Weeks said it appears in a few episodes). These Snoopy-dial Rolex are not authorized pieces from the brand, but the Peanuts pooch appears not infrequently on custom Air Kings and Oyster Perpetuals from the ’70s and ’80s.

Maya Erskine, Donald Glover

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Maya Erskine, Donald Glover
David Lee

Weeks and Glover expanded their horizons beyond just Rolex pieces, though. John has a penchant for exquisite watches across brands. One of Weeks’s favorites is an Omega outfitted with a custom leather band that John paired with an ivory sweater. Others are more straightforwardly rare. In the farmer’s market scene where John and Jane encounter another couple in their line of work, John wears an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. It’s deployed perfectly: paired with track pants and a relaxed shirt unbuttoned to Glover’s liking and worn out casually to the farmer’s market. This was what the Royal Oak was built for—quiet luxuriousness contained in a watch meant to be worn everywhere. John’s tastes are consistent, too. In addition to the Royal Oak, he also wears the similarly sports-chic Patek Philippe Nautilus.

The thoughtful selections didn’t just apply to Glover, though. “John cares about the fashion of course,” Weeks said. “But Jane is wearing that same watch the whole time. She doesn’t need a new watch.” The model of choice for a non-watch person? Oh, just a Cartier Tank.

Maya Erskine

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Maya Erskine
David Lee

Originally Appeared on GQ