Top 7 Bond timepieces: The most iconic watches worn by each James Bond
There are so many classic characteristics shared by every Bond depicted on the big screen, from the iconic Vesper martini to the suave suits. But one of the key things that all Bonds share is their fantastic choice of luxury timepieces.
That being said, every Bond is also unique and each has their own signature style, which includes their own distinctive watch. These watches are so iconic to the film franchise. In fact, when thinking about these models, the first thing that many people think about is the Bond film they featured in!
The character of James Bond has worn over 40 watches throughout his time on the big screen. In this blog post, we're going to take a close look at the most iconic timepiece worn by each of the seven iterations of this classic character.
Sean Connery (1962–1967, 1971, 1983) – Rolex Submariner
The film franchise began in 1962 with fan favourite Sean Connery, who wore possibly the most iconic Bond watch of all time, the Rolex Submariner. Rolex has always been a part of Bond's character. In fact, a timepiece from the luxury Swiss watchmaker was worn by Bond in the first of Ian Fleming's novels, Casino Royale, in 1953. And the brand wasn't just popular with Bond, but with the actor who played him too. Sean Connery was reportedly a big fan of Rolex timepieces and was often spotted sporting one.
The specific model worn by Connery is the Rolex Submariner 6358, which is known by many as the James Bond Submariner. It's easy to see why this was the chosen model for one of the most well-dressed Bonds. The model is a unique one, with a particularly large 8mm crown. In Goldfinger, the stylish watch is shot perfectly when the dial is illuminated by a lighter to show the piece off in all of its glory.
This model is a staple of the Sean Connery era and was worn in the first four of his six stints as Bond. These films actually had a major impact on the public's perception of the watch, as it was largely considered to just be a watch for divers before being worn by Connery. Today, it's considered to be Rolex's most popular model, and the brand no doubt has the James Bond franchise to thank for that.
David Niven (1967) – Rolex GMT Master
The inclusion of David Niven may be a controversial choice for Bond fans, as his 1967 edition of Casino Royale is largely considered to be a parody film and not truly part of the franchise. However, it's hard to argue that the choice of timepiece for his single stint as Bond, the Rolex GMT Master, isn't an iconic one.
Choosing a Rolex for this film stays true to Ian Fleming's portrayal of Bond, as we already know that Rolex was his brand of choice in the Casino Royale novel. This particular model is a great choice for this Bond film too, as it's one of the more colourful Rolex models which makes it suit a Bond parody film well. However, it's still elegant and sophisticated enough for that classic Bond sense of style.
The Bond franchise isn't the only film to show this model on the silver screen. The Rolex GMT Master has been worn by stars in a number of hit films, including by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl. And even within the Bond franchise, David Niven isn't the only one to sport the model, as it was worn by Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, which is also believed to be the first time a woman wore a men's Rolex on screen.
George Lazenby (1969) – Pre-Daytona Rolex Chronograph
Just like David Niven, George Lazenby only had one stint as James Bond. His take on the role vastly differed to Connery's. While Connery's Bond was suave and sophisticated, Lazenby was more rough-around-the-edges in his portrayal. But one thing that you can't deny is sophisticated about this Bond is his fantastic choice of timepieces.
George Lazenby wore two Rolex's in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but the Pre-Daytona Rolex Chronograph is the overwhelming favourite amongst fans. In the film, the watch has a red second hand which was used as a compass by Bond. It's believed that this change was made after a producer on the film requested it, making the model worn by Lazenby particularly rare.
So, it's no surprise this watch has been sold for staggering figures over the years. In 2003, the timepiece was sold for an impressive £23,400.00, and has been sold a number of times since then (although no selling prices have been given). And just like Connery, Lazenby is believed to be a fan of Rolex timepieces too, as he's been spotted wearing some fantastic watches from this luxury brand over the years.
Roger Moore (1973–1985) – Seiko 0674 LC
In Moore's portrayal of Bond, Seiko watches became a staple piece of the characters style. While Roger Moore's Bond did wear watches from other brands, including a Rolex Submariner and a Tissot Seastar, it's safe to say the character at this time was best known for wearing Seiko's.
The shift to Seiko watches was an important one, as many of the Seiko models worn by Bond were digital. Not only did this make it feel more futuristic for the viewers, but many of these timepieces were used as nifty gadgets too.
He wore a number of different models, including the Seiko G757 Sports 100 and the Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar. But the Seiko 0674 worn in The Spy Who Loved Me is no doubt the most memorable for many Bond fans. This watch essentially doubled up as a pager and could be used to receive printed messages from other spies. This impressive feature was a hit with fans, making it one of the most memorable timepieces from the franchise.
Timothy Dalton (1987–1989) – Rolex Submariner
Although Dalton only portrayed Bond in two films and was considered to be one of the least popular Bonds when they were released, his performance is now a hit amongst fans. In fact, a recent study has found Dalton to be the most popular Bond despite his short-lived performance (ScreenRant). He certainly changed how future actors would portray the character. Dalton's Bond was much darker and more serious than the way he was previously depicted, especially by the man who he succeeded, Roger Moore.
As Dalton's portrayal was much more serious, it’s no surprise that he wore sturdy yet stylish timepieces. Watches weren't as big a feature of Dalton's Bond than previous iterations of the character — the TAG Heuer Professional Night-Dive was on screen for less than 10 seconds in The Living Daylights. However, the watches we did see were very fitting to his character, including the strong and durable Rolex Submariner.
Many Bond actors have sported a Rolex Submariner throughout the years, including Sean Connery and Roger Moore. But what made Dalton's use of the watch so iconic is that it was the last time that a Rolex has been worn by Bond to date. Rolex timepieces were a staple of Bond's style, both in Ian Fleming's novel and in the early years of Bond on the screen, so many find it disappointing that the brand hasn't been worn by the character since. However, with a new Bond actor due for the next film, there's always a chance that Rolex may come back into the forefront of the franchise.
Pierce Brosnan (1995–2002) – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M
While we'd seen the last of Rolexes at this point (at least for the time being), Pierce Brosnan's iteration of Bond marked the start of something new — James Bond's love for Omega timepieces. Omega watches weren't worn by Bond before Pierce Brosnan took the role, but during his span he only wore timepieces from this luxury Swiss watchmaker.
Not only did Brosnan prefer Omega watches, but he sported the same model in all four films: the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M. However, all four of the models were slightly different, as each one was used in a different way in every film. For example, in Tomorrow Never Dies, the watch could be used to remotely detonate a grenade, while in The World is Not Enough, the timepiece was a handy source of light.
However, many fans found the watch most memorable in Brosnan's final instalment, Die Another Day, in which the watch has both a built-in laser in the bezel and a detonator.
Daniel Craig (2006–2021) – Omega Seamaster 300M SPECTRE Limited Edition
The most recent actor to portray Bond on screen, and a favourite of many, is the legendary Daniel Craig. Just like Pierce Brosnan, the style in Daniel Craig's era has been defined by Omega.
Craig has worn a number of Omega Seamasters in the films, from the Seamaster Planet Ocean worn in the opening credits in his first Bond film, Casino Royale, to the lightweight Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer in his last instalment, No Time To Die. There was also the stunning Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M featured in Skyfall, which sold for an impressive €200,000 (£168,049) at auction.
It's hard to pick just one iconic watch from Daniel Craig's era, but the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition stands out for many fans. This sleek and stylish watch has a grey and black NATO strap and is engraved. Not only was the timepiece designed exclusively for this film, but it was the first watch worn by Daniel Craig's iteration of Bond to act as a spy gadget, as it was used as an explosive device.
What's next for the franchise?
Omega watches have been a staple of the franchise since the mid 90s. But now Daniel Craig's era is over and a new actor is set to take over the role of Bond, could we also be seeing a new watch brand take centre stage? There are so many fantastic luxury watchmakers to choose from which haven't featured heavily (or even at all) in the films, such as Breitling, Patek Philippe, and Hublot. And of course, we could see the return of Rolex, which was a major part of the franchise in the 60s and 70s.
Whichever type of timepiece the next Bond uses, they're sure to make it their own and wear it with style.
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