Abraham Lincoln's Real Watch Was Used In The Oscar-Nominated Film


Photo: Sony / Columbia Pictures screencap

If you listen closely while watching “Lincoln,” you’ll hear the ticking of the late president’s actual watch. Really.  

Director Steven Spielberg could have used any old watch to replicate the noises of Lincoln’s ticker; however, the sound team tracked down the watch Lincoln had in his pocket when he went to Ford’s theatre to use in the film. 

During a recently released 20-minute mini-documentary on the film, sound designer Ben Burtt said since there were no recordings of the period – audio recording wasn’t invented until after the president’s passing – he wanted to try include sounds of items and surroundings Lincoln heard daily. 

He sent a recording partner to Kentucky to record the watch for the film. 

lincoln watch

Photo: Sony / Columbia Pictures screencap

“They let Greg record it from the front, from the back, and they opened the watch up and he put a little tiny mic inside the watch so, we got it from every perspective,” said Burtt. “When I got those recordings back it was really a thrill to know that this ticking was the sound that was around every time Lincoln was probably alone in his office.”

SEE ALSO: How Sally Field lost 25 pounds for her role in “Lincoln” >

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