There are three gadgets James Bond can’t live without: his Aston Martin, his Walther PPK pistol, and his watch. These days, 007 wears an OMEGA – but what if he didn’t? We let our imaginations run wild…
Since 1995, when Pierce Brosnan took up the mantle of the world’s most famous fictional spy, James Bond has worn OMEGA watches – usually the Seamaster Diver 300M. Over the years, Bond has also worn Breitlings, Rolexes, Seikos and TAG Heuers, just to name a few – but most of his watches have been hardy tool watches.
But Bond has always been a bon vivant, fond of the finer things in life. He’s also normally on a mission in some pretty fancy locations, such as the Casino Royale or Swiss alpine lairs… So why shouldn’t he wear a more luxurious watch to fit into his swanky surroundings?
We’ve had a punt in Photoshop to see what Bond in some of his different incarnations would look like wearing some more glamorous timepieces. Are they necessarily that practical? Not really. But since when has practicality and realism ever affected our enjoyment of a Bond movie?
Daniel Craig – Richard Mille RM 030
First up, we have our most recent Bond: Daniel Craig. Craig’s Bond was easily the least flashy and most serious of all the Bonds: Craig brought a sort of military efficiency and dark wit to the character that no other actor has ever brought to the role.
Still, he had that Bond penchant for the finer things. That’s why we reckon a Richard Mille is the perfect watch for Daniel Craig’s Bond, as it’s pretty damn luxurious yet super high-tech and sporty.
WATCH our guide to the best watches James Bond has ever (actually) worn below.
This ‘Millie’ in particular is the Richard Mille RM 030 Blue Ceramic EMEA Limited Edition (EMEA stands for Europe, Middle East and Africa – places Craig’s Bond definitely served) and features a highly scratch-resistant blue ceramic case with a white quartz TPT case band.
It boasts a unique movement that can adapt the rewinding of the mainspring to the user’s activity level, either speeding up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements or slowing it down during sporting activities (e.g. punching someone in the face). It’s shaken, not stirred.
Craig wore a mixture of OMEGAs during his five films as Bond, even wearing multiple different timepieces in single appearances, such as in Quantum of Solace (2008). They were all different Seamasters, though: the Diver 300M, the Planet Ocean, the Aqua Terra and the retro Seamaster 300.
Sean Connery – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Or should that be an “Audemarsch Pigwet”? Sean Connery, with his barely-disguised Scottish brogue, is (in my opinion at least) the most iconic Bond as well as the most insalubrious. Connery was peak Bond sleaze, but that’s why we all love him, right?
It’s also why we love the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak on him, especially in gold: no other watch oozes old-school cool and swagger than a Royal Oak. It’s also a surprisingly practical choice thanks to its relatively slim case dimensions and integrated bracelet, which lets it sit under the cuff of a tuxedo (or under a wetsuit) with ease.
Connery wore a number of different watches in his long stint as 007. In the first-ever Bond film, Dr. No (1962), Connery wore a Rolex Submariner, which he personally owned. He also wore a modified Breitling Top Time in Thunderball (1965) and a Gruen Precision in You Only Live Twice (1967).
George Lazenby – Patek Philippe Nautilus
George Lazenby’s single stint as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) saw the suave Australian rock a Rolex ‘Pre-Daytona’ Chronograph ref. 6238, now a very coveted watch. At the time, however, it would have been seen as a somewhat utilitarian choice.
That’s why we’ve given him a Patek Philippe Nautilus in rose gold – we reckon that’s much more Lazenby’s speed. Chunky, eye-catching, expensive and Swiss: perfect for a mission on the Piz Gloria and romancing countesses.
It must be pointed out that Lazenby’s Nautilus and Connery’s Royal Oak are somewhat anachronistic, as both watches didn’t come out until well after both actors’ stints as 007.
Roger Moore – Rolex Daytona Rainbow
Despite being the most camp Bond, Roger Moore wore the most understated Bond watches in the film franchise’s history, mostly opting for (at the time) high-tech quartz Seiko watches such as the infamous TV watch he uses to perv on a woman’s breasts in Octopussy (1983). It was a different time, etcetera etcetera.
But he did wear a Rolex Submariner in his debut as James Bond, in Live and Let Die (1973), and its follow-up, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Indeed, other than OMEGA, the watch brand Bond is most closely associated with is Rolex.
That’s why we thought a Daytona made sense, but why not have a rainbow Daytona? As a secret agent, Roger Moore’s Bond would certainly have the connections to get such a rare ‘off-catalogue’ piece as this…
Timothy Dalton – Jacob & Co. Astronomia
Finally, we’ve saved the biggest stretch till the last. Dalton wasn’t a bad Bond but he was probably the most boring Bond, which is why we thought we’d give him the most interesting (and also least practical) Bond watch.
The Astronomia is the embodiment of horological excess: it’s a giant sapphire crystal box on the wrist that showcases a unique four-arm vertical movement with a magnesium and hand-lacquered globe of the earth; a spherical-shaped diamond with 288 facets known as the “Jacob-Cut”; a patented triple-axis tourbillon, and a subdial for the hours and minutes with a patented timepiece-differential gear system.
Every other watch on this list has at least a modicum of practicality, but this one doesn’t. That’s why we love it.