The best James Bond watches of all time
He’s the James who doesn’t need to be introduced. The spy who has served Her Majesty for over 60 years, who defeated 104 nefarious sorts and still managed to find time to sleep with 52 women (although these are just the movies). And he’s a man who most certainly knows his James Bond watches.
Although James Bond first strutted through the fictional landscape of Casino Royale in 1952, it wasn’t until the next Live and Let Die book that a Rolex was mentioned. However, it wasn’t until the 1961 Thunderball that you found out which one, when a CIA agent told 007, “You’re still wearing your old wristwatch with the big numbers in phosphorus.”
This description, and the fact that Ian Fleming himself wore one, led fans to believe he was describing an Explorer Ref 1016. Although the model and part number have changed, it is only in 1981, when British novelist John Gardner took over the franchise that Bond switched watch allegiance and wore a Luminox, presumably because Gardner believed the resilient brand would be perfect for the modern secret agent. However, the Rolex was returned to its rightful place on Bond’s wrist by Anthony-Horowitz in 2015, writes Trigger Mortis.
James Bond watches on the screen: the early years
Connery wearing a Submariner on the set of Dr. No, 1962
On screen, Rolex dominated Connery’s early years, save for two small cameos from a Gruen Precision. Goldfinger’s Pussy Galore even jumped into the action with their very own GMT Master Ref. 6542.
In 1965, James Bond watches continued with a Breitling Top Time, which he used as a Geiger counter, relying on his trusty Sub to tell the time. This exact Breitling, which has been modified with a large water resistant case, showed up at a garage sale in the UK in 2013. Some buyer’s detective work and a confirmation from Breitling gave him -even revealed that it was the prop used in the film. ; a find that brought the lucky boot scavenger £ 103,875 when Christie’s put him under hammer that same year.
Connery and his Breitling Top Time in Thunderball, 1965
George Lazenby’s only outing in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was accompanied by both a submariner ref. 5513 and a delightful pre-Daytona chronograph Ref. 6238.
Then things changed in 1973 Live and Let Die when Roger Moore arrived on the scene and Q was allowed to add a few more features, including a bezel that also served as a circular saw; a change that, according to a 2016 article on the brand’s Instagram feed, is still working.
George Lazenby and his submariner in OHMSS, 1969
This film also featured a rather new Pulsar LED from Hamilton, which appears to have been the watch that paved the way for Seiko’s addition to the James Bond watch mix.
From 1977 to 1985, when Moore handed over his license to kill to Timonthy Dalton, Bond wore around eight different iterations of the Japanese brand, including one with a TV screen feature that was only used to watch breasts. a colleague to a rather handsome diver. 150m.
Roger Moore wearing a Hamilton Pulsar LED while holding a Submariner in Live and Let Die, 1973
This inclusion saw some purists sniff it out, but remember it was in the midst of the quartz crisis, not only was the Swiss watch industry on its knees, but the reason it was struggling was because the smart men of the city wanted to wear quartz; Bond is such a man, so a Seiko made sense.
The Omega era of Bond watches
Timothy Dalton was the only Bond to wear a TAG Heuer, a Professional Night-Dive Ref. 980,031 to be precise, then after a hiatus in 1995 Pierce Brosnan showed up on our screens and ushered in the Omega era.
Despite the product placement accusations, it was actually Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming who picked the Seamaster 300m for Brosnan. “The color blue really suited Pierce,” she says. “I dressed her in lots of blue shirts and the Seamaster’s blue bezel and dial matched perfectly. Plus, of course, blue was also suitable for Commander Bond’s naval experience.
Pierce Brosnan wearing Omega in Goldeneye, 1995
“I had also known contemporaries when I was in their twenties,” she continues, “who were military and naval, and some who worked in the field of energy and electricity, who swore by their Omega. Therefore, as one of the first tasks in the design of the new Bond, Pierce Brosnan, I went to a “props and hand props” meeting and advocated for the use of Omega. “
It’s a partnership that spanned 24 years and survived the Ice Palace collapse, hotel flood and a version of Home Alone in the Scottish Highlands. When Daniel Craig stepped into those blue trunks, he received a Planet Ocean, alongside his Seamaster, which was upgraded to a Planet Ocean 600m for all of the water-based shenanigans of Quantum of Solace, while a Aqua Terra was seen in the opening sequence for Specter.
Daniel Craig wearing Omega in Casino Royale, 2006
And now, for a whole new decade of James Bond watches and the 25th film, comes a Seamaster with a difference. The blue dial is gone and has been replaced with a more robust vintage vibe, enhanced by the absolutely amazing aged brown dial and complementary bezel.
Rather than the traditional link bracelet, this time it is on titanium mesh; a bracelet never seen on a Seamaster since the 1960s. It’s manly, retro and very 007. Fleming would have approved.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition
The five best James Bond watches
If you’re looking for the best James Bond watches to add to your collection, check out these top five picks.
The hidden gem: Gruen Precision
While Rolex got every inch of the column, the watch that gets the distinction of being the first Bond watch on screen is a Gruen Precision which can be seen on Connery’s armband in the casino scene at the start of Dr No. This dress watch also accompanied him and his tuxedo in From Russia with Love and Goldfinger.
Although Gruen, an American brand, went bankrupt in 1977, if you’re quick you can find them quite frequently on eBay.
The Classic: The Rolex Submariner Refs 6358 and 6538
Star of the first four Bond films in two references, it is for many purists the James Bond watch par excellence.
It just shows the time – none of the Q upgrades here; apparently the fake Nato strap it’s on at Goldfinger is too narrow and legend has it that Rolex couldn’t or wouldn’t lend a watch, so producer Cubby Broccoli took his own Rolex and gave it to Connery .
The odd one out: the Seiko Diver 150m
Bond’s love affair with Seiko began in 1977, when The Spy Who Loved Me saw Roger Moore attach a 0674 with a built-in ribbon printer. In 1985, A View to A Kill, he had three rotating Seiko, including the Diver 150m, a big little powerhouse, although technically not a diver’s watch, whose legacy lives on in the Prospex Automatic Divers 200m.
The modern classic: Omega Seamaster 300m Quartz Professional
In 1995 we got a new Leap in the form of Mr. Remington Steele himself, Pierce Brosnan. It also meant the pursuit of new James Bond watches. Omega so impressed the film’s costume designer, Lindy Hemming, that she was convinced “Commander Bond, a naval man, diver and a low-key man of the world would wear this rugged but sophisticated watch.”
It is a classic diver’s watch and, like Mr. Brosnan, is as beautiful today as it was 24 years ago.
The instant bestseller: Omega Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition
So we’ve only seen it on paper and in the trailer (review for this motorcycle stunt alone), but we call it – the latest of the Bond watches designed for No Time To Die will be sold out.
It has a nice vintage military vibe, this dial color is just stunning (the blue was getting a bit obvious), this is the first 007 edition not to be limited and this is the first time that a Seamaster has received a titanium mesh bracelet from the 1960s.
On top of that, you get all of the superlative coaxial master chronometer technology you’ve come to expect from Omega. Place your order now; no time to wait.
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