A wristwatch was a timepiece worn on the wrist by people during the 20th century in Hill Valley. During the 19th century, pocket watches were carried by individuals, and by the 21st century, wristwatches were less popular. Emmett Brown wore three watches in 1955, and was later a collector of clocks. In the McFly family in 1985, nearly everyone — Marty, his parents George and Lorraine, and his brother Dave, wore watches on their wrists — although his sister Linda did not.
- Marty wore a digital watch on his left wrist, and attracted attention in 1955 when a beeping alarm went off while he was in Lou's Cafe. After he was hit by a car and taken into the Baines family home to recover, the family removed the watch and his other belongings while he recovered. He didn't wear the watch after getting re-dressed, nor did he have it at hand when he was trying to convince Doc that he was from the future. When Marty posed as a student in 1955, he didn't wear the watch, but he put it back on when he changed back into his 1985 clothes after the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.
- Doc Brown wore a watch on each wrist, and carried a pocket watch as well. The watch on his right hand showed local time, while the one on the left was four hours ahead. On November 8, when Doc was demonstrating his plan to send Marty home, the "right" watch, like the clock on the wall, was at 4:00 and the left hand watch was at 8:00. At 9:55 pm on November 12, Doc cursed as he looked at all three watches while waiting for Marty, who had only nine minutes left before the lightning strike.
- George insisted on wearing his watch on his right wrist, though most men wore watches on the left.
Behind the scenes
- As part of the theme of the passage of time, the characters in Back to the Future regularly look at their watches to see what time it is. At the film's beginning, Marty has a watch, but relies instead upon Doc's large collection of clocks that all indicate that it's not yet 8:00 in the morning. Had he looked at his watch, he would realize that the clocks are all 25 minutes slow.
- In Back to the Future, clocks and watches can be seen throughout the film to show what time of day a certain event is happening.
- Because the same scene was filmed at different times, watches can seem to vanish and reappear as a scene shifts.