The Watches of James Bond

Since his inception in 1953, James Bond has been defined by his style. One of the most important aspects of his fashion has been his watch. Not only does he wear them as a status symbol, thanks to Q it’s helped him get out of more than one spot of bother over the years.

The first reference to Bond’s watch appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Ian Fleming wrote that, ‘Bond surveyed his weaponsThey were only his hands and feethis Gillette razor and his wristwatch. A heavy Rolex Oyster Perpetual on an expanding metal bracelet. Used properly, these could be turned into most effective knuckle dusters.’ In the books at least, 007 remained loyal to the Rolex brand. No surprise then that his creator was also a Rolex man – Fleming’s timepiece of choice was the Rolex Explorer.

 

The James Bond of the big screen, for most of his cinematic career at least, also prefers Rolex. In the 1962 film Dr. No Sean Connery can be seen wearing a Rolex Submariner. It was a stylish watch that he wore throughout the films, right up until Thunderball, when he also opted for a Breitling Top Time. Interestingly, iconic Bond Girl Pussy Galore wears a similar watch to her lover in Goldfinger, marking the first time a woman has appeared on-screen wearing a man’s Rolex.

 

The next time a recognisable watch brand appeared was in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Bond was back with a new face, his classic Rolex Submariner, and also a Pre- Rolex Chronograph. It was a one-off appearance, for both the watch and the Bond. George Lazenby was replaced with Roger Moore, who not only returned to the Submariner fold, but also added the Hamilton Pulsar to Bond’s armoury – the first digital watch worn by Bond, in Live and Let Die. The Submariner reappeared in The Man with the Golden Gun but wouldn’t be seen again until Timothy Dalton took over the role in 1987.

 

Bond chose a Rolex GMT Master for the 1977 outing The Spy Who Loved Me before switching allegiance to Seiko. Like the rest of the films during this period, gadgetry and gimmicks were in abundance, and the watches were no different. Featuring bullet-deflecting watches and miniature buzz saws, they became little more than stylish deus ex machinas until 1981’s low-key For Your Eyes Only.

 

After the Rolex’s return in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill, Pierce Brosnan’s run from GoldenEye to Die Another Day favoured the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M (With built-in laser, of course). 007’s relationship with Omega continues to this day. Daniel Craig’s secret agent wears Omega Seamaster Diver’s and Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean’s in his first two films, before adding the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra to his wardrobe in the latest Bond film, SkyFall.

 

Ian Fleming once said: “A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Savile Row suit.” We agree. Whether your watch was broken by a villain bent on world domination, or is just showing signs of everyday wear and tear, for Omega watch repairs Martins of Glasgow offer a professional repair service that can’t be beaten. Contact Martin today on 0141 946 6333 or email martin@martinsjewellery.co.uk.