A Complete History of James Bond Watches

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007 has rich history of owning some of the most sought after watches around the world; and with a commitment to saving the world over the past 57 years, it’s fair to say that any watch that the super spy chooses to wear must be ready to stand the test of time.

With the announcement of the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond Limited Edition Watch, we thought we would take a closer look at the history of James Bond watches throughout the years.

Rolex Dominates The Early Years of 007

In 1962, James Bond made his first appearance on the silver screen in the classic film Dr. No – where Bond, played by Sean Connery, had a Rolex Submariner adorning his wrist during his hunt for Dr. No. The Rolex Submariner 6538 was also used in the films From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball. In Thunderball, Bond actually wears two watches, as he uses the Rolex Submariner to keep a track of time – but uses a modified Breitling Top Time when he requires a Geiger counter

In 1969, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service released and featured Australian actor George Lazenby as 007. In his only appearance as Bond, Lazenby wore a Rolex Submariner 5513 and a Rolex Chronograph 6238.

Roger Moore’s debut as James Bond came in 1973 where he starred as 007 in Live and Let Die, and its follow up, The Man with the Golden Gun. The films featured the Rolex Submariner 5513, which were equipped with a whole host of gadgets and additional functions added by Q. For the first time, 007 had a watch which boasted more than just time keeping capabilities, with the Rolex Submariner boasting a circular saw and a built in magnet to deflect bullets.

In 1977, The Spy Who Loved Me hit our screens and once again, Bond chose to wear two watches. A Rolex GMT Master was used by 007 to keep a close track on time, while a Seiko 0674 LC was used as a pager, with a label-making printer which was hidden inside the watch ejecting strips of paper bearing important messages for the secret agent.

Rolex didn’t make an appearance on Bond’s wrist again until 1989, with Timothy Dalton choosing to wear a Rolex Submariner in his final stint as 007 in License to Kill.

Technological Revolution – Seiko Takes Over

With Seiko making an appearance in The Spy Who Loved Me alongside Bond’s trusty Rolex, 007 made the Seiko his watch brand of choice in 1979 in Moonraker. In the film, James Bond finds himself in outer space, his timepiece of choice for this mission is a Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar. The watch has a fantastic secret explosive device concealed within, which 007 puts to good use when blasting his way through enemy forces.

1981 saw Roger Moor take a trip over to the Aegean Sea in For Your Eyes Only, in the films, he chooses two Seiko watches to adorn his wrist throughout the mission: a Seiko 7549-7009 and a Seiko H357 Duo Display.

A Seiko TV Watch was preferred by Bond in Octopussy as he investigates the murder of 009, who was killed in East Berlin. At the time, Seiko were ahead of the competition when it came to cutting edge technology incorporated into watches.

Omega – A Long Standing Partnership With 007

Since 1995, Omega watches have continued to adorn the wrist of James Bond, through Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig’s stints playing the spy. The partnership began when Brosnan wore the Omega Seamaster Professional 300m (ref 2541.80) in his first movie as 007, GoldenEye.

Brosnan stayed loyal to this particular timepiece throughout his tenure as Bond preferring the Omega Seamaster Professional in all four of his adventures. In the World Is Not Enough, Bond relies on his Omega Seamaster Professional as a source of radiant light during one of his daring missions, and also utilises the watch as a rescue cable with a grappling hook.

007’s faith in the Omega Seamaster Professional paid off in Die Another Day, as once again the chronometer saves Bond’s life thanks to an explosive charge that can be detonated via the bezel. In this film, the watch also featured an impressive laser in the watch’s crown, which enables him to best villain Gustav Graves.

The Omega Seamaster was preferred by James Bond for an impressive 7 year stint.

In 2006, the Daniel Craig Bond era began; in his first film Craig featured in Casino Royale, where the secret agent opted to alternately wear an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M and an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch. Daniel Craig’s commitment to Omega’s divers’ watches stuck as he wore a watertight Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M in Quantum of Solace, a watch that is renowned for being extremely reliable both on land and under water.

In Skyfall Bond wears several watches, which includes one that was specifically designed and built for the film. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M has a titanium case, which is completely unique as the serially manufactured version is stainless steel. The watch was auctioned after Skyfall aired in 2012 and sold for almost €200,000.

In 007’s most recent outing, Bond is seen wearing two distinct Omega watches during Spectre. For the vast majority of the film, Craig wears the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre, but in the opening sequence of the film, you will see Bond sporting the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra.

A pre-Christmas Bond watch has recently been released; the stunning Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond Limited Edition Watch boasts a self-winding automatic movement, and the timepiece comes with a water resistance up to 300m and two straps, one rubber and one stainless steel – this particular timepiece has already sold out across most major retailers though.

Whilst we’re still not sure what watch Bond will wear for his 2020 adventure, if you would like to be among the first notified of the release of the new James Bond watch, please enquire with us to be placed on the notification list.

At Banks Lyon, we stock a whole host of watches which bear resemblance to Bond’s watches over the years. Why not pop into either our Lancaster or Kendal showroom to view our collection of watches in person? Our team of personal shoppers will be on hand to discuss your exact requirements when it comes to finding the perfect watch for you. If you would prefer an experience fit for the likes of James Bond, then feel free to enquire about our discreet viewing service, where we can whisk you off to your very own private viewing room where you can enjoy a tipple of your choice, shaken not stirred, of course.