“Don’t touch the Rolex”: The American Psycho Datejust

What kind of watch does Patrick Bateman wear?

In his 1991 novel American Psycho, Brett Easton Ellis skewered the consumerist boom years of the mid-1980s. His unforgettable antihero Patrick Bateman, played by Christian Bale in the 2000 movie adaptation, is obsessed by markers of wealth and status. Valentine Couture suits, Oliver Peoples glasses, and of course finely printed business cards: Bateman’s style is killer.

This extends to his murderously good-looking watch, the Rolex Two Tone Datejust 16013. Mentioned twenty-six times in the book, the classic high 80s brand also features in the movie. Rolex refused to be associated with the blood-heavy film, so Bateman’s famous line “Don’t touch the Rolex” became “Don’t touch the watch”.

The piece we know as the American Psycho Rolex is one untouchable watch. Released in 1984, the Datejust 16013 features a distinctive Rolex-18-carat-gold fluted bezel and two-tone gold strap with hollow end links. The glass is acrylic plexiglass (later models were sapphire glass).

Held in a classic 1950s-style oyster case, Patrick Bateman’s Rolex has a famously reliable 3035 movement resistant to 10ATM. Its face has Roman numerals, tapestry dial, and the signature applied crown at 12 o’clock. Other classic Rolex touches include the spring bar holds and screw-down caseback.

Christian-Bale-Patrick-Bateman-American-Psycho-Rolex-Datejust-16013The dial reads: Rolex. Oyster Perpetual Datejust. Superlative Chronometer. Officially Certified.

In the book, Bateman also says, “instead of my Rolex I’m wearing a fourteen-karat gold watch from H.Stern” and packs a weekend bag with a “Tag-Heuer sports watch”, but its the Rolex Datejust 16013 that is indelibly tied to American Psycho.

It’s one killer watch.

The American Psycho Rolex. Two Toned Datejust 16013.
The American Psycho Rolex. Two Toned Datejust 16013.


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