TNT’s Dallas Styles: J.R.’s Wristwatch

Watch out

The most poignant moment in “Changing of the Guard” finds Bobby visiting J.R. in the nursing home, where the older brother sits motionless and speechless, a captive of his own depression. Director Michael M. Robin ends the scene with a tight shot of Larry Hagman’s hands, and that’s when we see his character is wearing an elaborate gold wristwatch. Emblazoned on the band: the initials “J.R.”

The first time I glimpsed the watch, I didn’t like it. This didn’t seem like something J.R. would wear. After a tip from a reader (see below), I realized J.R. did in fact wear this watch – or at least one similar to it – during the original “Dallas’s” later years. For much of the show’s run, though, he was among its least flashiest dressers, favoring boring business suits and nondescript neckties.

Regardless, this isn’t who J.R. is anymore. When TNT’s “Dallas” begins, his career is over. He’s lost his fortune, his family and any semblance of his youth. J.R. is old now.

The watch symbolizes this. Yes, wearing a timepiece with your own name stamped on it is pretty gauche, but maybe it’s the only way J.R. has to hold onto his identity. It reminds him of who he used to be.

The wristwatch may offer a reality check, too. Watches are clocks after all, and maybe seeing “J.R.” on his wristband helps him understand the sad truth: Even J.R. Ewing can’t control the passage of time.


  1. JR wore that same watch in the original series.

    • You’re right: In some of the later episodes, it appears he does wear this watch, or at least one similar to it. I’ve adjusted the post to reflect this. I appreciate the correction. Thank you.

      • Yes. Actually he began using this watch (or a similar one) on the tenth season just when Pam woke up. I remember that he didn´t even take it off to sleep.

      • Ha ha. Given how expensive the watch probably is, I suppose I don’t blame him for sleeping with it. I probably wouldn’t let it out of my sight, either!

  2. the show gave him that Rolex…..he calls it his Texas Timex. He had the designs added to the sides.

  3. derek cleminshaw says:

    Where can I buy a replica?

  4. I would really like to know where to buy/order this wrist band. Anyone please?

  5. Here’s a photo of him wearing it

  6. John Ross wears it on season 2 last scene opening briefcase.

  7. Angelo Jr. says:

    since I’m a JR I’d love to have that watch!!!! since its a Rolex and was on a popular show there are bound to be replicas popping up soon!!! any ideas where??????

    • I’m not aware of any replicas being sold, Angelo. It sounds like lots of “Dallas” fans would buy them (especially if they were reasonably priced).

      • Angelo Jr. says:

        it would be a great item to have and wear! I’d definitely buy one or two! JR was and will be the best!

  8. Troy Hensley says:

    Where or who has JR’s famous Gold Rolex watch with hus initials on it???


  1. […] scene’s kicker – “Just don’t tell my wife” – I was sold. (On a related note: Is that J.R.’s watch on John Ross’s […]

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