About unique jewel in the mini series “Queen’s Gambit”

The mini series “Queen’s Gambit” about the genius chess player Beth Harmon is not so fascinating from the jewelry point of view. Maybe the choice of “no-jewelry” could be the fact that a woman is building a career in an absolute “male world” and jewelry would bring a touch of glamor to such an intellectual struggle of minds.

The German journalist Josef von Westfalen pointed out that “the intentions of a chess game include nothing but opponent’s annihilation. It mercilessly excludes the possibility of a fluke that sometimes helps you in life. Only opponent mistakes help. This is a game without mercy, without charm, without a joke.” (from the article “WARUM ICH NICHT SCHACH SPIELE”)

Does such a sport have a place for gold, sparkling of diamonds and  delicate white pearls?! There is only a chess “battle field” between the opponents, their intelligence and constant clock ticking. It has always been considered a man’s game. Hoevewer it is the men in the series who admire Beth’s talent and genius, help and cheer her up. 

The unique jewel in the series has an important role. The adoptive mother gave Beth a watch as her high school graduation present. On the back there is an engraving “with love from mom”. It’s Bulova watch from the American Girl collection.

Firstly my inner pragmatist takes the floor and reminds me that the Bulova brand has always been inventive when it comes to marketing. It became the first company to standardize watches production on a massive scale, to release an exclusive men’s watch line, to air the first advertising campaign on radio and than on television, to create an entirely electronic clock and finally managed to “send” a watch to the Moon. Such a brand simply could not miss the movie about a woman in the male chess world.

However, my inner romantic spoke up.

Why her mother gave her the watch and not the earrings, for example?

The clock and time motif is very important for the series: constant flashbacks, opposition of day and night, Beth’s life phases, time control in a chess game.

Beth almost never takes the watch off. Neither in life nor during the game. They became for her that connection with the image of the mother, albeit symbolic that she lacked from her childhood. This fact strongly influenced her personality, behavior and character-building.  At this case the brand’s choice is based on historical accuracy. In the 50s-60s in America Bulova was a very popular watch and a mom’s gift is very plausible.

  • Kris Asis


    Passionately summarised post, linking a unique jewel, the American Girl by Bulova, to the essence of time.

    I absolutely like it!

    25 October 2022