The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond

The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
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Sean Connery's 007 in a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Ref. #6538
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Sean Connery's 007 in a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Ref. #6538

Source: The Rolex Submariner, possibly the world's best known and most loved dive watch, set the trajectory for the 007 timepiece.

Want to sport the O.G. Bond look? Eleven James offers five different Submariner models in our Aficionado Collection, including the Connery classic on a stainless steel band.
Sean Connery's 007 in a Gruen Precision Subsidiary-Seconds, Ref. #510
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Sean Connery's 007 in a Gruen Precision Subsidiary-Seconds, Ref. #510

Source: Despite 007's association with the Submariner and other dive watches, the Gruen Precision Subsidiary-Seconds 510 was Connery-era Bond's dress watch of choice, from when he first arrives in Jamaica in Dr. No. Gruen timepieces can still be found, though the company went out of business in the 70's.
Sean Connery's 007 in a modified Breitling Top Time
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Sean Connery's 007 in a modified Breitling Top Time

Source: Breitling made a twofer appearance in Thunderball, where we saw both a Navitimer 806 as a plot-driving prop and this funky number on 007 himself. The modified casing is housing a geiger counter, obviously.

Are you a Thunderball man? Get your hands on a variety of Navitimer models in our Aficionado Collection. And while we can't help you find the Top Time geiger counter of your dreams, we think this very elegant Breitling Transocean would do a smashing job guiding you to the Bahamas and beyond.
George Lazenby's 007 in a Rolex Chronograph 6238
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
George Lazenby's 007 in a Rolex Chronograph 6238

Source: One of the few non-Submariner Rolexes in the 007 franchise, George Lazenby's signature sophistication and class was well-matched by this sexy chrono. This model is considered by many Rolex historians to be the precursor to the Daytona.

Fond of this look? Might we recommend this stunning two-tone Daytona, available in our Connoisseur Collection, or a classic vintage Datejust from our Enthusiast Collection?
Roger Moore's 007 in a Hamilton Pulsar P2/2900 “Astronaut”
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Roger Moore's 007 in a Hamilton Pulsar P2/2900 “Astronaut”

Source: In an abrupt shift into the quartz era, the introduction of Roger Moore brought with it a whole lotta Seikos, but it began with this Hamilton Pulsar, the world's first digital LED watch.

We may turn up our noses to these types of watches around here, but one can never accuse 007 of not being at the vanguard of timepiece technology!
Timothy Dalton's 007 and a Tag Heuer Professional Night Dive 980.031
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Timothy Dalton's 007 and a Tag Heuer Professional Night Dive 980.031

Source: Arguably the least-loved Bond of all, the perfectly dashing Timothy Dalton also had the distinction of being the only 007 to wear Tag Heuer.

Digging on this look? Achieve it with this action-ready Rolex Sea Dweller or the more contemporary Tudor Pelagos.
Pierce Brosnan's 007 in an OMEGA Seamaster 300M
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Pierce Brosnan's 007 in an OMEGA Seamaster 300M

Source: The 90's reintroduced secret agent James Bond with a new face and a new watch Brand. Pierce Brosnan wore a quartz Seamaster Professional with an ultramarine bezel and dial in Goldeneye, and although it was replaced with a mechanical model for subsequent films, the Seamaster, in various styles, has remained the Bond watch ever since.

Once can experience the Bond look in a variety of Seamaster models, courtesy of Eleven James' Enthusiast and Aficionado collections, and if the deep-sea blue really floats your speedboat, you'd do well to check out this Aqua Terra model, worn by subsequent 007 Daniel Craig in 2012's Skyfall.
Daniel Craig's 007 in an OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Daniel Craig's 007 in an OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M

Source: In addition to the previously mentioned Aqua Terra model, the slightly more sober James Bond played by Daniel Craig outfitted himself with this austere Seamaster Planet Ocean.

You can, too, with this very same model on a rubber strap, or enjoy the chronograph version on a stainless steel band.
Daniel Craig's 007 in an Omega Seamaster 300M Master Co-Axial
The Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond
Daniel Craig's 007 in an Omega Seamaster 300M Master Co-Axial

Source: For the upcoming 24th Bond flick, Spectre, OMEGA has released the newly styled Seamaster 300M Master Co-Axial, and never has there been a Bond watch better-suited to both deep-sea crime fighting AND high-speed car chases.

We're digging its similarity to this Jaeger-LeCountre Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea, available through our Aficionado Collection.

And if you love the fast-car feel of a nylon strap, you'll be high-speed-chase-ready in this Tudor Fastrider Black Shield, part of our Enthusiast Collection.

The catalog of 007 cinema represents a very specific history of modern iconic watches, from the enduring Rolexes and OMEGAs to groundbreaking LED and quartz innovations. Are such horological giants as the Submariner and Seamaster ever-beloved because of their association with James Bond, or were fellows like Terence Young and Ian Fleming just style-savvy enough to know they’d never go out of style? We’ll never know, but we’re grateful for 50 years’ worth of 007 tickers to choose from as we channel our inner Bond.

The Rolex Years

Dr. No, 1962 (Sean Connery)

James Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the death of MI6 agent John Strangways. He finds his way to Crab Key island, where the mysterious Dr. No awaits.

WATCH: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner, Ref. 6538, leather strap. In keeping with the 60’s-era fascination with diving as an endeavor of the bold and adventurous (and sexy), Bond’s Submariner would become a staple of the 007 legacy and foment this workhorse tool watch’s reputation as a sought-after luxury. The classic diver would appear with three different bands over Connery’s 007 career and apper periodically on post-Connery Bonds until OMEGA became the brand of choice in the 90’s.

From Russia With Love, 1963 (Sean Connery)

When MI6 gets a chance to get their hands on a Lektor decoder, Bond is sent to Turkey to seduce the beautiful Tatiana and bring back the machine. With the help of Kerim Bey, Bond escapes on the Orient Express, but might not make it off alive.

WATCH: Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538, leather strap.

Goldfinger, 1964 (Sean Connery)

The Bank of England has detected an unauthorized leakage of gold from the country, and Bond is sent to investigate. The suspect is one Auric Goldfinger, the richest man in the country. Bond catches Goldfinger cheating at cards, with the assistance of Jill Masterson, who is killed and painted gold in revenge. Bond must foil Goldfinger’s plots while avoiding his deadly henchman Oddjob.

WATCH: Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538, striped canvas strap.

Thunderball, 1965 (Sean Connery)

Emilio Largo, the Number 2 at SPECTRE, has stolen two nuclear warheads. He threatens to destroy cities in the United States and England unless a large ransom is paid. Bond is sent to the Bahamas to investigate.

WATCH: Breitling Top Time Ref. 2002 & Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538, stainless steel bracelet. Q Assist! The Breitling featured a handy geiger counter mod, in addition to a highly customized case, courtesy of EON Productions’ prop department. Christie’s Assist! This funky number sold at auction in 2013 for a cool $160,383.

You Only Live Twice, 1967 (Sean Connery)

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is hijacking American and Russian space shuttles in an attempt to start a war between the two nations. Bond is sent to Japan to investigate, with the help of Tiger Tanaka. Armed with over 100 trained ninjas, Bond infiltrates Blofeld’s volcanic lair.

WATCH: Gruen Precision Subsidiary Seconds, Ref. 510. The Gruen Caliber 510 wristwatch is only glimpsed in You Only Live Twice. However, this dress watch appears throughout Sir Connery’s tenure as Bond’s dress watch of choice, but the Rolex divers roundly eclipsed these understated pieces to become the Bond-associated icons they are. The Gruen Watch Company ceased to exist in the mid-1970s.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969 (George Lazenby)

Bond rescues the suicidal Tracy Di Vicenzo, and is brought at gunpoint to meet her father, Marc-Ange Draco, the head of one of the largest criminal organization in Europe. Draco strikes a deal with Bond, agreeing to reveal the location of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, if Bond will look after his daughter.

WATCH: Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6238 & Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513. Q Assist! A modification to the Chronograph 6238 to act as a compass. Offscreen, this model is notable as being considered the “pre-Daytona” chrono. 

Diamonds Are Forever, 1971 (Sean Connery)

Sean Connery returns for a fast paced hunt through a diamond smuggling pipeline. MI6 arrests small time smuggler Peter Franks, and Bond takes his place, meeting courier Tiffany Case. He follows the trail of the diamonds, as everyone who touches them gets killed. At the end of the pipeline is Blofeld, with another plan for world domination.

WATCH: Rolex Submariner Date.

The Quartz Years

Live and Let Die, 1973 (Roger Moore)

Several British agents are killed in a short period of time, during routine surveillance of dictator Dr. Kananga. Bond is sent to New York to investigate, and falls into a trap of gangster Mr. Big, thanks to his psychic tarot card reader, Solitaire.

WATCH: Hamilton Pulsar P2/2900 “Astronaut” & Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513. Q Assist! While the Pulsar may have been introduced to give newbie Moore a differentiating accessory (and as the first digital watch on the market it was hella futuristic for 1973), the Rolex still rocked the gadgets: a buzz saw for cutting through enemy binds and a high-powered magnet perfect for unzipping dresses from afar!

The Man with the Golden Gun, 1974 (Roger Moore)

MI6 is sent a golden bullet with 007 engraved onto it. M fears that Bond will be assassinated by Francesco Scaramanga, the $1 million-per-shot hitman known for his golden gun and sends Bond to hunt Scaramanga down first.

WATCH: Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513.

The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977 (Roger Moore)

British and Russian submarines have been hijacked, and the two countries come together, sending 007 and Russian Agent Anya Amasova to track down a stolen microfilm and investigate. Tensions rise as Amasova discovers that Bond had killed her lover in the course of duty. Bond needs to get Amasova on his side as a life insurance policy against her threat to kill him when their mission is over.

WATCH: Seiko 0674. Q Assist! Label-maker-style ticker tape messaging.

Moonraker, 1979 (Roger Moore)

A space shuttle on loan to MI6 by Hugo Drax is hijacked in mid-air. Bond is sent to investigate Drax, under pretense of an official apology. Bond discovers that Drax hijacked the shuttle himself and stumbles upon a secret lab with fatal poisons. Drax plans to create a space colony and commit a global genocide to regenerate a perfect species.

WATCH: Seiko M354. Q Assist! Built-in Plastique explosive detonator with internally-coiled detonator cord.

For Your Eyes Only, 1981 (Roger Moore)

A ship containing an Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), which can control ballistic missile attacks, is sunk. Bond is sent to retrieve the ATAC before the Russians do. MI6 had sent archaeologist Timothy Havelock to discretely locate the ship, but he and his wife were murdered in front of their daughter Melina. Bond tracks down their killer, Hector Gonzales, and must complete his work before Melina takes her revenge.

WATCH: Seiko Alarm-Chronograph duo-display H357-5040/WHV005 & Seiko Professional Divers’ 600M S60583 7549-7009. Q Assist! Futuristic digital messages via the WHV005’s LED display.

Octopussy, 1983 (Roger Moore)

Agent 009 is stabbed and crashes through a window of the British Embassy in Berlin, holding a forged Fabergé egg. Bond is sent to investigate, and begins at the Sotherby’s auction for the real Fabergé counterpart. 007 is lead to India, finding corrupt Prince Kamal Khan and his beautiful associate Octopussy.

WATCH: Seiko G757 5020 Sports 100 & Seiko Liquid Crystal TV Watch. Q Assist! The G757 featured GPS tracking capability useful in recovering the stolen Fabergé Egg, while the TV Watch did a fine job of receiving satellite video calls from Madam P.M. and tracking enemy cleavage.

Never Say Never Again, 1983 (Sean Connery)

A remake of Thunderball—and considered by many purists to be unworthy of inclusion in the official 007 canon—NSNA features an almost identical plot. SPECTRE steal two nuclear warheads and try to extort NATO, and Bond must eliminate the organization before it makes good on its threats.

WATCH: Though there is some internet-wide debate over this (involving outlier brand Oris, among others), the general consensus is that the one briefly-featured watch in NSNA is a still unidentified all-black Rolex. But since there’s not a lot of love for this flick, little attention has been paid to the timepiece. But there’s a Q Assist! Laser beam, people. Laser beam.

A View To A Kill, 1985 (Roger Moore)

Bond investigates a drugged horse racing scandal, and is led to Max Zorin, an eccentric industrialist who plans to destroy Silicon Valley so that he can create a monopoly on microchip technologies. The chase leads Bond to the Eiffel Tower, a subsequent blimp ride, and a tense climax atop the Golden Gate Bridge.

WATCH: Seiko SPR007 (no kidding) caliber 7A28-7020, Seiko Quartz Two-Tone SPD094-6923, Seiko Diver’s 150M Duo-Display SPW001-H558. The most notable highlight of the View to a Kill watches seems to be their record as the most watches worn by Bond in a single movie. Was EON Productions trying to compensate for something by doubling and tripling up on Seikos in all the Moore films? We’ll never know, but it’s also worth noting that the SPR007 (seriously!) was the world’s first quartz chronograph, keeping 007 ever on the vanguard of technology, even if we snigger at the ticker tape label-maker tricks now.

The Living Daylights, 1987 (Timothy Dalton)

Bond is assigned to protect Georgi Koskov, an ex-KGB officer who is defecting to the British. Koskov is to escape during the intermission at the Bratislava concert hall, and must be protected from a KGB sniper. Bond sets up across the street, but decides against assassinating the sniper, when he realizes no real threat is posed—because it’s just a sexy lady!

WATCH: Tag Heuer Professional 200M 980.013 & Tag Heuer Professional Night Dive 980.031. Non-Q Assist! The stealth capacity to fool millions of fans into believing they were Rolex Submariners!

License to Kill, 1989 (Timothy Dalton)

Bond and Felix Leiter catch drug lord Franz Sanchez during a raid in Miami, but Sanchez escapes after bribing DEA agent Ed Killifer. Sanchez kills Leiter’s wife, and Leiter is fed to a shark, losing a leg. Bond must infiltrate and destroy Sanchez’s operation, and avenge the death of Leiter’s wife.

WATCH: Rolex Submariner Date, Ref. 16610.

The OMEGA Years

Goldeneye, 1995 (Pierce Brosnan)

Xenia Onatopp and Colonel Ourumov hijack a special helicopter that is immune to electromagnetic pulse. The pair then go to a soviet bunker that is the control base for the Goldeneye satellite weapons. They kill the staff and destroy the base with an electromagnetic pulse from one of the satellites, themselves protected by the helicopter. Bond must investigate the attack.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster Quartz Professional, stainless steel strap. Q Assist! A laser for cutting through armored panels and remote activator/detonator for blowing up magnetic mines, naturally.

Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997 (Pierce Brosnan)

Media mogul Elliot Carver plans to use a stolen encoder to start a war between China and the United Kingdom and boost ratings for his cable networks. Carver’s wife Paris is an ex-girlfriend of Bond’s, and her assistance costs her her life. Bond must fight Carver with the help of Chinese spy Wai Lin.

WATCH:  OMEGA Seamaster 300M (mechanical), stainless steel strap. Q Assist! Detachable remote detonator.

The World is Not Enough, 1999 (Pierce Brosnan)

Renard, a terrorist who feels no pain and is slowly dying due to a bullet lodged in his brain, assassinates billionaire Robert King. Bond is assigned to protect his daughter, Electra King, and must fight Renard with the help of Valentin Zukovsky and Christmas Jones.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster 300M. Q Assist! Luminous markers bright enough to generate mood lighting in an avalanche survival balloon. Oh, and also a grappling hook.

Die Another Day, 2002 (Pierce Brosnan)

Bond is betrayed during a mission in North Korea, and is captured and tortured for 14 months. After revealing nothing, Bond is released in a deal with MI6, who release a terrorist in return. Bond escapes from MI6 to find the traitor and kill the terrorist he was traded for.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster 300M. Q Assist! Detonator pin, ice-slicing laser.

Casino Royale, 2006 (Daniel Craig)

In a sort of prequel to the series, Casino Royale opens with Bond gaining his 00 status, by killing two enemy agents, and earning his license to kill. Bond must win a high stakes poker game against terrorist financer Le Chiffre in order to bankrupt him and make him the target of his murderous lenders.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster Co-Axial 300M & OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M, rubber strap.

Quantum of Solace, 2008 (Daniel Craig)

In a continuation of Casino Royale, Bond is set to eliminate Dominic Green, a wealthy businessman trying to control the water supply of Bolivia to extort its government. He also seeks to avenge the death of Vesper Lynd, the one woman to capture his heart.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Chronometer.

Skyfall, 2012 (Daniel Craig)

James Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 itself comes under attack, Bond must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M & OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra.

Spectre, 2015 (Daniel Craig)

A cryptic message from his past sends James Bond on a quest to uncover a sinister organization while M battles political forces that want to shut down the British secret service.

WATCH: OMEGA Seamaster 300M Master Co-Axial, striped NATO nylon Strap.

Bonus Stats!

For the number-crunchers out there, we’ve got a tally that might just make you the Grand Poobah of all 007 trivia, courtesy of jamesbondwatchesblog.com:

16.7% of all James Bond movie watches detonate explosive charges.

12.5% of all James Bond movie watches emit laser beams.

12.5% of all James Bond movie watches receive messages.

29.2% of all James Bond movie watches perform some other, singular gadget-related function.

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