Time To Watch: The Ultimate Guide To James Bond’s Watches

23 February 2020
James Bond Watch, Seiko, Omega Seamaster, ROLEX, Hamilton
From Omega to Rolex, Hamilton and Seiko, these are the watches that have put in a shift on Her Majesty’s secret service

There are few film franchises that have endured quite like the James Bond series has. He’s the spy that can’t be killed, the cold, hardened womaniser, the wearer of suits and deployer of suave one-liners that would never work in the real world. He’s quick-witted and calculated, yet also happens to have excellent taste in wristwatches.

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Bond is most often associated with Omega, thanks to the long-running partnership that continues to this day. But back in 1962’s Dr No, it was a Gruen Precision that graced Sean Connery’s wrist in his uber-slick opening scene. This elegant dress watch perfectly complemented his tuxedo, slipping neatly under his shirt cuff, but Bond was better suited to something a bit more rugged – which is where Rolex comes in.

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A Classic Bond Watch

The Swiss titan is utilised by Bond on his jaunt to Jamaica in the same film. A Submariner was chosen, which makes perfect sense. Made from stainless steel, it was tough, lightweight and waterproof, and also featured a diving bezel, meaning Bond could time how long he spends underwater. Variations of the Submariner were to be used in the next four films, and provided the template for Bond watches going forward – 007 needed a tool he could rely on and the Sub fit the bill perfectly.

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Hamilton and Seiko

That’s not to say Q Branch didn’t steer off course though. Roger Moore’s Bond had a penchant for cheaper, quartz watches made by Hamilton and Seiko with quirky gadgets – one of the latter watches even had a camera and TV screen that allowed him to leer at a co-worker’s cleavage. It wasn’t until Brosnan became Bond in 1995 that there was some on-wrist consistency again. This was, and still is, the era of Omega – every film since has featured the brand in what is one of the longest running movie tie-ins ever.

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Omega Seamaster

The first of the modern films, Goldeneye saw blue-eyed Brosnan rock a blue-dialled Omega Seamaster Professional 300M, picked, so says costumer designer Lindy Hemming because the two matched. The blue waves of that very dial are an iconic design trait of Omegas and still feature in those worn by Daniel Craig’s Bond. We saw him sport one at the poker table in Casino Royale, but for the latest film, No Time To Die, things have been taken back to basics.

The Omega Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition will be worn by Craig in the film, and is a purist’s dream. Gone are any extraneous details, this is a tool watch befitting of an undercover agent (or an office worker in Media City). Made from Grade 2 titanium, it’s as tough as they come, and its clear tropical brown dial and oversized luminous hour markers ensure it can be read in the darkest of conditions. Clever touches include the broad arrow logo - historically used to signal something issued by the British government – as well as the mesh bracelet and red detailing on the dial. It harks back to Bond’s early days with its simplicity. It’s just a great-looking, easily-wearable diving watch, and for that it could be the best one yet.

For more watches, Dive into GQ Middle East’s best diving watches and see The watches that will make any outfit sweeter.