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Typically, the creation of a costume, especially one for a prestige drama series like HBO’s Succession, involves many, many hands—even if it’s just to get something on a character’s wrist. There are costume directors, prop masters, and even fat documents from Hodinkee editors (more on that later!) required to help make that decision. Unless, of course, you are Jeremy Strong. Because if you are the infamous method-acting Strong, you simply let the essence of your character Kendall Roy soak into your very marrow until the correct wristwatch is sucked into your orbit.
“Loro Piana sent me a one-of-one jacket that I wore this season, and Jerome Mage made me a pair of sunglasses for Kendall, and Amanda Mille, who runs the Richard Mille company [her title is brand and partnerships director], gave me a watch to wear for Kendall,” Strong told GQ’s Gabriella Paiella. Which is why, as Strong prepped for the penultimate episode of Succession—in which Kendall attends his father’s funeral—he realized he had the opportunity to do the funniest thing ever… and he took it. Strong has worn that aforementioned Richard Mille, the perfect watch for a character who constructed a tiny town with a “VIP treehouse” for his 40th birthday, throughout the fourth and final season of Succession. RM makes the world’s most ostentatious sport watches, the type of thing to show off on a yacht or private jet. Naturally, Kendall would think it was the ideal complement to his black mourning suit.
Not all of the show’s cast members are lucky enough to broker a deal with a Richard Mille executive, though. Most of the watches in Succession are chosen carefully by prop master Monica Jacobs, who works closely with the costume director and actors to land on their pieces. “I like to sit down with each cast member and talk through what they see for themselves, and then what I’ve sort of picked out for them,” she told Esquire. “With the actors who care about watches it’s a few emails back and forth first, and then we’ll meet in person and actually try things on.”
Jacobs, who said she wasn’t always the biggest watch nut, isn’t doing it entirely on her own, however. For the fourth season, the show tapped Danny Milton, the managing editor at watch site Hodinkee, to help inform the watches for characters like Cousin Greg and the bumbling PR duo Karolina and Hugo. Milton’s work on Succession speaks volumes about how seriously the show treats these decisions: he drafted multi-page documents detailing the personalities of every character, and then provided a list of potential watches for each.