The subtle art of measuring something as complex as time has been taken up by numerous watchmakers around the world, but only a few can claim to have done it with panache. On the other hand, it takes a certain level of charisma to justify wearing such comprehensive instruments of horology. And who better to take inspiration from the interpretation of the world’s most prominent secret agent and personality – James Bond
The essence of the right timepieces for the adventurous missions is evident in the Ian Fleming’s texts. The portrayal of his novels has taken the use of watches from the regular practice of telling time to employ them as gadgets to escape from the clutches if the infamous villains. Check out these watch brands donned by the actors while filming the most iconic films:
It is only logical that the first Bond ever – Sean Connery wore the illustrious Rolex Submariner for his character Dr. No in 1962. Rolex was and still is considered as one of the best watchmaking companies in the world. It only made sense for the character to have sported a diving watch when scuba-diving was gaining fame in the 60s.
Different versions of the watch were worn by Connery for his upcoming films. The famous “Cigarette Lighter Rolex” was actually a Rolex Submariner in the movie Goldfinger.
The heartthrob Pierce Brosnan played 007 for the first time in GoldenEye in 1995 and with some style. Trapped in a Russian military train, Bond uses his Omega Seamaster which releases a laser beam to set him free from the train which eventually explodes. The same watch in a different version was frequently seen on the wrist of the actor in the subsequent movies like Tomorrow Never Dies where it is equipped with a removable detonator. And a grappling hook in The World is Not Enough. Brosnan wore the same watch in Die Another Day as well.
The company made only 5007 pieces of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean which was seen on the wrist of Daniel Craig’s in his first 007 role in Casino Royale.
The only brand in the world to equip its major models of the watches with chronometer-certified movements – Breitling has had the privilege to be worn by a 007 character. While James Bond uses a Rolex Submariner in Goldfinger to measure time, he relies on his Breitling Top Time for a Geiger counter. Exchanged for the Rolex from the Q-branch at MI6, Bond successfully employs the watch to locate stolen atomic bombs; quite an achievement for a watch. The original prop worn by Sean Connery was auctioned for a sum that reached five figures. A Breitling is worth splurging simply for the reason that the pieces are sturdy, reliable and attractively priced.
If you cannot spend thousands of dollars on Swiss counterparts, Seiko should be your go-to brand. Watches to come out of the factories of the Japanese brand offer great value. The watches can be said to have more of substance than style, which is why the Seiko Quartz series was worn by Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. The digital watch functions also as a pager that transmits messages from M at the MI6 chambers.
The Roger Moore TV watch caused all the hubbub with the release of Octopussy was also a Seiko. It is known for making self-recharging quartz watches and quartz regulation with no battery – properties exclusive to the brand.
Another watch brand that has featured in the Bond movies apart from the famous Omegas and Rolexes is TAG Heuer. Timothy Dalton wore the TAG Heuer before the succeeding actors wore the famous Seamaster. As it turns out, the particular Heuer watch worn by Bond in the movie remained a mystery until a Bond fanatic Dell Deaton took it upon himself to unravel the particular watch which is now known as TAG Heuer 980.031.
The legacy of watches worn by Bond is long and detailed, however, only a few brands (the aforementioned) can affirm to have been associated with this timeless iconic character. If you’re looking for timepieces by these brands, check out the detailed catalog of Horology at Ethos.