Anybody else go and see ‘The Martian’ this last weekend?

Ridley Scott’s epic adaptation of Andy Weir’s book of the same name features a stranded astronaut (played by Matt Damon, nearly reprising his role from Interstellar) left alone on Mars, after a freak storm forces his team to abandon their mission and him, thinking him dead. Mark Watney awakes after the storm, miraculously still alive, and must figure out how to survive for years on supplies meant to last just 60 days.

Seriously, go see it if you haven’t. Or at least read the book – it’s awesome.

Space movies tend to feature some pretty cool wrist watches (that would make a good future post wouldn’t it?). The Omega Speedmaster (commonly known as ‘The Moon Watch’) is probably the most common sighting, but there’s definitely been many others. I hadn’t done any research before the movie concerning what watches were going to be featured, but I was keeping my eyes peeled throughout the film, figuring at some point they’d show Matt Damon looking awesome in his space suit and sporting some kind of awesome timepiece.

Sure enough, about three quarters of the way through the movie, there’s an in your face wrist shot of Watney’s Hamilton BelowZero watch, which he seems to be using to time how long his rover’s batteries need to charge.

The Martian Mark Watney's (Matt Damon) Hamilton BelowZero Wrist shot

In your face wrist shot of the Hamilton BelowZero.

So why’d the producers and director choose to include the BelowZero as ‘The Mars Watch?

From what I understand, Hamilton’s made a name for themselves as an easy company for studios to work with. When Ridley Scott and his team were looking for tough watches designed for extreme environments, they of course looked through Hamilton’s catalog. The BelowZero’s styling jumped out at them as a perfect fit with the overall feel of the movie. I can see why. The brief glimpse while watching The Martian in theaters definitely intrigued me, with it’s gear looking bezel and hex nuts facing outwards. It looks quite utilitarian and perfect for a space environment.

Lets take a closer look.

The Hamilton Khaki Navy BelowZero Diver’s Watch


  • ETA 2826-2 Mechanical automatic movement
  • Lacking ISO Diver’s certification?
  • 1000m (3330ft) water resistance
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Sapphire crystal
  • 46mm case diameter
  • 16mm height
  • 55mm lug-to-lug distance
  • 24mm band width
  • 38hr power reserve
  • Unsure of weight
  • Date window
  • Luminous hands + dial markers, first 15 minutes on bezel (Heard it’s bad)

Reviews of the BelowZero are incredibly mixed. People seem to either love it or absolutely hate it. Looking at the various photo’s available, I can see why. It’s quite non-traditional looking, with it’s fine toothed bezel and the hex nuts located on the face. Personally, I think it’s a cool looking watch and would love to get my hands on one to see in person.

The one consensus is that Hamilton’s lume is pretty poor for a watch at this price point. So something to consider if you’re inspired to buy one after seeing it worn by Matt Damon in The Martian.

At the time of this writing, the Hamilton Khaki Navy BelowZero is available on Amazon here: 

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Writer, sailor, photographer, kayak guide and SCUBA diver. Based on Bainbridge Island, Washington State, USA