Timepiece Chronicle

In-depth, passionate and entertaining articles that explore the stories behind great watches

In-Depth: All the Watches of James Bond: Dr. No to Spectre

In-Depth: All the Watches of James Bond: Dr. No to Spectre

James Bond has been a staple of popular culture for 55 years and shows no signs of stopping. Whilst some may fawn over his suits, his cars or his companions, I'm more interested in his watches. Bond has worn six different brands since 1962 and below is every single watch seen on film.

If, after reading this article, you still want more then I heartily recommend visiting JamesBondWatches.com, written by special agent, special investigator Dell Deaton. It was Mr. Deaton who confirmed with Seiko UK the identity of the watches worn by Roger Moore in his films. Some of these watches are only visible on screen for a few seconds so discovering what they were is quite the achievement. Mr. Deaton also curated the Bond Watch exhibition at the National Watch and Clock Museum and is a true expert when it comes to the watches of Bond, James Bond. 

Dr. No, 1962

The most overlooked Bond watch, the Greun Precision 501 as seen in Dr No.

Contrary to popular belief, the Rolex Submariner was not the first watch worn by James Bond on screen. Instead it was the Greun Precision 501. This watch is worn during the opening casino scene where Bond introduces himself and is briefly shown on his wrist on his trip to Jamaica before being replaced by the Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538.

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6548 seen in Dr No. 

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6548 seen in Dr No

There is much debate regarding the owner of the Submariner; some believe it to be Connery's personal watch (unlikely), others believe it belonged to either Terence Young, the director, or Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli, the producer. Others say that it belonged to an ex-Royal Navy diver who was on the crew of the film. It is likely that the knowledge of who owned this watch has long been lost to time. What we do know is that, unlike in future films, Bond wears his Submariner on a black leather strap rather than a nylon strap.

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: It is stuntman Bob Simmons, not Sean Connery, who stars in the famous opening gun barrel sequence. Connery's first gun barrel sequence was in 1965s Thunderball

From Russia With Love, 1963

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 and the colored nylon strap seen in From Russia With Love.

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 and the colored nylon strap seen in From Russia With Love.

Once again, Sean Connery as James Bond wears the Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538. This is the first appearance of the colored, 'regimental' nylon strap that is commonly associated with Goldfinger. As much of the debate around this strap is around its appearance in Goldfinger, I'll discuss it more below.

The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Full Calendar. Photo courtesy of Salon QP.

The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Full Calendar. Photo courtesy of Salon QP.

In the novel, the villain Red Grant is said to have worn "a Girard-Perregaux model designed for people who like gadgets, and it had a sweep second-hand and two little windows in the face to tell the day of the month, and the month, and the phase of the moon". Funnily enough, Girard-Perregaux never made such a watch when Fleming wrote those words, but have since released the 1966 Full Calendar which fits Fleming's description accurately. 

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: From Russia With Love was likely the last film that President John F. Kennedy saw. He arranged a private screening on November 20th, 1964, just 2 days before he was assassinated

Goldfinger, 1964

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 in its most iconic scene in Bond history. 

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 in its most iconic scene in Bond history. 

For the third time, Sean Connery is seen wearing the Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 and this is its most iconic appearance. With a red rose, a white dinner jacket and silver lighter in hand, Bond nonchalantly checks the time on his watch whilst a heroin factory explodes in the background. This was the first close-up of James Bond's watch and it remains the definitive 'Bond watch' to many watch fans even 53 years later.

There has been much debate over the years in regards to the color and type of strap worn by Bond throughout the film.  

Versions of the film released on VHS led many to believe the striped strap was grey/black. However higher quality releases reveal that it is in fact multicolored with red, green and blue stripes. Some have speculated as to the meaning behind the colors and whether it can be considered a 'regimental' color strap, or maybe it was the colors of Cubby Broccoli's London gentleman's club? In my opinion, I doubt that the colors have any significance at all to the character of Bond, but you are free to associate whatever association you wish with it.

One thing is for sure is that it is not a 'NATO' strap. One-piece, pull-through straps made of nylon had been around since the Second World War but the term 'NATO strap' or 'G-10 strap' wouldn't be used until 1973. One of the defining features of a NATO strap is a shorter piece of nylon that threads through the spring bars to 'seal' the watch in-between the two pieces of fabric. It is clear when looking at screenshots that there is no such additional piece on Bond's strap. 

The briefly seen Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 6542 worn by Pussy Galore in Goldfinger

The briefly seen Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 6542 worn by Pussy Galore in Goldfinger

BONUS WATCH: A Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 6542 worn by pilot and Bond girl Pussy Galore. This is the first and only time that the GMT-Master would be seen during a Bond film.

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: One of the models of Fort Knox, used by Auric Goldfinger to explain his criminal plan, is now on display at the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Thunderball, 1965

Once again, Connery wears the Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538

Once again, Connery wears the Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538

For the fourth and last time, James Bond wears a Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538. It is seen a number of times throughout the film but the most commonly associated watch with Thunderball is the Breitling Top Time Ref. 2002. This is the first and last time that James Bond wore a Breitling on-screen, and is the first time that MI6 Quatermaster Q, played by Desmond Llewellyn, gives Bond a gadget in the form of a watch. 

The Breitling Top Time Ref. 2002 with added water-proof case and geiger counter from Thunderball

The Breitling Top Time Ref. 2002 with added water-proof case and geiger counter from Thunderball

The Top Time Ref. 2002 is a two-register chronograph manufactured by Breitling but it was rendered almost unrecognizable in the film with the addition of a large water-resistant external case. This case was made by the Valley Tool Company and surrounds the standard watch case to make it water-resistant and to make it look more like the Geiger counter gadget as seen in the film.

This watch would be lost for many years however it resurfaced in 2013 at a British car boot sale (A wonderful British tradition where a group of people drive their cars into a field, open their boot/trunk, and try and sell all the tat in their house to someone else. Invariably you leave with more tat than you came with) where it was sold for £25. The buyer had struck up a conversation with the seller who was associated in some way with Pinewood Studios (the film studio were Bond is filmed) and decided to research the watch more. It was sent to Breitling who verified the watch as the Thunderball Breitling and then it was sold at Christies in 2013 for £103,875. It remains the only watch worn by Sean Connery to have been discovered, verified and then sold at auction. 

The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 seen in Thunderball

The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 seen in Thunderball

BONUS WATCH: A Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 worn by Francois Derval, the French NATO pilot who was killed and replaced with a SPECTRE agent surgically altered to resemble Derval.

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses his Q-Branch issued Breitling Top-Time as a Geiger counter to detect stolen nuclear missles
  • Bond Trivia: Thunderball remains the highest grossing Bond film (when adjusted for inflation) with a revenue of $624,000,000. 

You Only Live Twice, 1967

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This is the first of two films where it is impossible to know what watch James Bond wore, if he wore one at all. It is believed that he wore the same Greun Precision watch as seen in Dr. No but there are no moments in the film where even a glimpse of the watch is noticeable. 

BOND TRIVIA: The screenplay of You Only Live Twice was written by renowned children's author Roald Dahl, who said that it was Fleming's worst book. A few years prior, Dahl had writen the screenplay based on another Fleming book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969

A quick shot of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 worn by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

A quick shot of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 worn by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

This was George Lazenby's first and last time as James Bond. In preparation for the audition as Bond, Lazenby (who had never acted before) bought a Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513, an Anthony Sinclair suit that Connery never picked up and even went to Connery's barber to have the same shave. Lazenby's personal Submariner can be seen is most noticeable when he takes it off whilst cracking open a safe. This would be the first time that a Rolex Submariner would be worn on the original steel bracelet in a James Bond film.

The first and only time a Rolex chronograph is seen in James Bond. 

The first and only time a Rolex chronograph is seen in James Bond. 

This was also the first and last time that James Bond wore a Rolex chronograph, specifically the Ref. 6238 which Bond wears whilst pretending to be Sir Hilary Bray. It is most prominent when Bond is timing cable cars whilst trying to escape from captivity. After production of OHMSS finished, the costumes were sold to EON staff and one lucky person bought the Rolex chronograph worn by Lazenby. It remained in his possession until his death in 2003 where it was sold at Christies Auction house for $39,936, along with a production still featuring the watch and the original receipt from Bucherer of Switzerland to EON productions, dated October 23rd 1968. It was just 790 CHF at the time. 

The winner of the Christies auction died a few years later and the watch was sold through Matthew Bain. The watch resurfaced in 2016 for sale at French auction house ArtCurial, along with the production stills and original receipt, however it did not sell. Unfortunately the lot is no longer available on the ArtCurial website, but you can read my article on its announcement here

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: Lazenby lied to producers Broccoli and Saltzman to get the role by saying he had starred in films in China, Czechoslovakia and Russia. He had never acted before and hoped that these countries were so remote that they couldn't check that he was lying.

Diamonds Are Forever, 1971

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This is the second time that it is impossible to know what watch Bond is wearing during the film. Again, it is assumed that he is wearing the same reference Greun Precision as Dr. No.

Bond Trivia: Connery donated his entire salary, a record breaking $1,250,000 at the time, to the Scottish International Education Trust.

Live and Let Die, 1973

The Hamilton Pulsar P2 digital LED watch. 

The Hamilton Pulsar P2 digital LED watch. 

For the late, great Roger Moore's first time as James Bond, he wore a Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 that was full to the brim with gadgets, but it wasn't the first watch we see Moore wear. In the moments after the title credits, we see Moore being woken by his door bell and he checks the time on his Hamilton Pulsar P2 digital LED watch. It's a very dated watch with its red LED display and 70s case but it would have been the epitome of luxury in 1973. Quartz movements were becoming the thing and it would have made sense for a man of wealth and taste to have the latest, most advanced wristwatch of the time. 

The clearly modified Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 from Live and Let Die.

The clearly modified Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 from Live and Let Die.

Moments later, Moneypenny gives James Bond his repaired Rolex Submariner with two gadgets from Q: a magnetic field generator and a bezel capable of acting as a circular saw. There were two modified Rolex Submariners made by the prop department; one with a special dial whose hour markers changed to red upon turning the bezel and another with a mechanism to allow the bezel and dial to spin at high speeds. Both watches had the second hand removed from the dial and the movement removed from the case. 

The location of the magnetic field Submariner is unknown but the saw-tooth bezel Submariner was sold at Phillips in 2015 for 365,000 CHF. It is possible that it was Rolex who bought the watch as in 2016, they released an Instagram video showcasing the watch still spinning after 43 years. 

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses the magnetic field of his Submariner to unzip the dress of a lover. Later in the film, he uses the same magnetic field to attract an anti-shark tablet from across the room (Quite the feat in a room full of metal objects) and then uses the saw-tooth bezel to free himself and Solitaire from rope. 
  • Bond Trivia: It was Ross Kananga, owner of the alligator farm seen in the film, who performed the stunt of jumping across 3 live alligators. Click here to see the 5 takes it took him to do it

The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974

The final appearance of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 in a James Bond film.

The final appearance of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 in a James Bond film.

Roger Moore as James Bond returned to the franchise and can be seen wearing the Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 throughout the film. It would be the last time that Moore would wear a Rolex as Bond. Perhaps as a reaction to the heavy use of 'watch as gadget' trope in the previous film, this Submariner has no special function. 

The Rolex Cellini King Midas Ref. 9630 as worn by Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun

The Rolex Cellini King Midas Ref. 9630 as worn by Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun

BONUS WATCH: Christopher Lee, as Bond Villain Francisco Scaramanga, is seen wearing what is believed to the Rolex Cellini King Midas Ref. 9630. Rolex produced several different dials for this watch and the one shown in the film appears to be a brown 'tiger eye' dial

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: In the novel, it is implied that Scaramanga might be gay because he was unable to whistle (Flemming had more than his fair share of hang-ups about homosexuality)

The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

The Seiko Ref. 0764 LC "Ticker Tape" as seen in the beginning of The Spy Who Loved Me.

The Seiko Ref. 0764 LC "Ticker Tape" as seen in the beginning of The Spy Who Loved Me.

For Roger Moore's third time as James Bond, he wears the Seiko Ref. 0674 LC throughout the entire film. It is seen most prominently in the opening scene where Bond receives a ticker tape message from MI6. This marks the point where Moore would only be seen wearing a Seiko timepiece, although promotional images of The Spy Who Loved Me do show him wearing a Rolex GMT-Master.  

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From a modern perspective, its easy to look down upon the camp nonsense that Moore's Bond was doing in the 1970s and 1980s, and similarly his clunky Seikos. It's important to know that at the time, these were the pinnacle of technological horology and having Bond wear a Seiko made perfect sense. A Bond gadget in Goldfinger was a in-built GPS in his Aston Martin and 13 years later, here was Bond wearing a digital watch, a Q gadget that you could buy from any jeweler. 

  • Gadget Function: 007 receives a 'ticker tape' message from MI6 requesting that he return to HQ, immediately. 
  • Bond Trivia: Production designer Ken Adam had difficulty lighting the gigantic tanker set so he asked old friend Stanley Kubrick to help him. Kubrick said he'd help on the condition of no-one knowing he did it. So on a quiet Sunday morning, he snuck into Pinewood Studios and lit the entire stage by himself.

Moonraker, 1979

The Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar as seen in Moonraker.

The Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar as seen in Moonraker.

Once again, Roger Moore wears a Seiko in this film. This time it was the Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar, one of the first 'smart' watches. It was sold for $250 (Around $930 today), had a full calendar function for 88 years and could be programmed to flash reminders on chosen days. You may scoff at the basic LED display, but remember that in 40 years your grandchildren will look at pictures of an Apple Watch and laugh at how it doesn't have hologram technology. 

Moonraker marks the first and last time that James Bond would go to space. Throughout the years, Bond films have had a tendency to chase the latest craze or technology (blaxploitation films for Live and Let Die, John Woo-esque gun play for Tomorrow Never Dies or Bourne Identity shaky cam fight scenes for Quantum of Solace) and in 1977, a little film called Star Wars had set the world on fire.  The novel Moonraker has little to no similarity to the plot of the film but it had a space-themed title so it was chosen and the rest is history

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses an explosive charge hidden in the watch case to blow open a door to escape being burnt alive by rocket engines
  • Bond Trivia: The cable that Jaws bites, whilst atop Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janerio, is actually made of licorice

For Your Eyes Only, 1981

The Seiko Ref. H357 Duo-Display from For Your Eyes Only

The Seiko Ref. H357 Duo-Display from For Your Eyes Only

For the first time in 7 years, Bond is seen wearing a watch with an analogue display, specifically the Seiko Ref. H357 Duo-Display. As the name suggests, the Duo-Display has both an analog and digital read-out, quite the technological achievement for the time.  

Something that keeps happening with Bond is the films getting more bombastic and ludicrous which prompts a swing back to center with a more grounded and serious plot. It happened with You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret ServiceDie Another Day and Casino Royale, and from Moonraker to For Your Eyes Only. Then again, Roger Moore 'serious' isn't very serious at all, as the film ends with a macaw flirting with then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

  • Gadget Function: Q uses the digital display of the watch, along with an in-built radio transmitter, to contact Bond so he can talk to the PM. Instead, Bond first gives it to a macaw and then throws it overboard.  
  • Bond Trivia: The location of the church where Bond visits the grave of his wife is across the street from Stoke Poges Gold Club, where Odd Job famously decapitated a statue with his hat in Goldfinger

Octopussy, 1983

The Seiko Ref. G757 Sports 100 as seen in Octopussy.

The Seiko Ref. G757 Sports 100 as seen in Octopussy.

In Roger Moore's penultimate appearance as James Bond, he is seen wearing the Seiko Ref. G757 Sports 100 throughout most of the film.  The Seiko Ref. T001-5019 makes an appearance in a Q Branch scene where Bond uses the Liquid Crystal display to show a co-workers cleavage. Classy guy...

The real Q gadget is whatever prevents Bond from being sued for workplace sexual harrassment. 

The real Q gadget is whatever prevents Bond from being sued for workplace sexual harrassment. 

  • Gadget Function: The Seiko Sports 100 is able to pair and track a small transmitter device. The Seiko 'TV Watch' is only used to show a women's cleavage
  • Bond Trivia: The theme song 'All Time High' was the first Bond theme not to mention the title of the film (Not including the instrumental themes to From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service).

A View To A Kill, 1985

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In Roger Moore's final appearance as James Bond, he wears three Seiko watches: the Ref. SPR007 7A28-7020, the Ref. H558-500 SPW001 and the Ref. 6923-8080 SPD094. If it wasn't for the excellent work of Dell Deaton, who contacted Seiko UK directly to ask for these references, there is no way I would have been able to identify the final two watches. 

The Seiko Ref. SPR007 7A28-7020 is clearly visible at the beginning of the film when Bond is seducing a fellow agent whilst aboard a boat disguised as an iceberg. The Ref. H558-500 SPW001 is worn during the chase sequence atop the Eiffel Tower but it is only visible for a few moments and without Mr. Deaton's efforts, it would have been impossible to identify.

The same goes for the two-tone Ref. 6923-8080 SPD09 which Bond wears at Zorin's chateau whilst pretending to be Sir James St. John Smythe. It is only visible in passing and the dial of the watch is never clearly shown. 

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: Roger Moore decided to step down as Bond when he realized he was older than the mother of the Bond girl, Tanya Roberts

The Living Daylights, 1987

The blink and you'll miss it appearance of the TAG Heuer Ref. 'Night Dive'

The blink and you'll miss it appearance of the TAG Heuer Ref. 'Night Dive'

In Timothy Dalton's first appearance as James Bond, he wears a TAG Heuer Ref. 980.031 and is the first and only Bond to wear a TAG Heuer. Why the decision was made to switch from Seiko to TAG to Rolex within the course of 3 films is unknown. Throughout the film, the main henchman is also seen wearing a TAG Heuer divers watch.

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  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: Timothy Dalton had been offered the role of Bond 5 times but had turned it down because he felt too young or because of scheduling conflicts. Pierce Brosnan was going to be announced to star in The Living Daylights but his contract for Remington Steel was renewed (despite the show being cancelled) because of the buzz created around his speculated casting as Bond.

Licence To Kill, 1989

Rolex makes its first appearance since 1974 with Timothy Dalton wearing a Rolex Ref. 16610 throughout License to Kill. This would be the last appearance of Rolex to date with Omega having been worn exclusively by Bond since 1995.  

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: This was the first EON production James Bond film not to take its title from an Ian Fleming novel or short story. The next James Bond film to have a title based off a novel or short story would be 2006s Casino Royale.

Goldeneye, 1995

This is the first appearance of a Gadget watch since 1983s Octopussy.

This is the first appearance of a Gadget watch since 1983s Octopussy.

After a six year hiatus, Bond returned to cinemas and was played by Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan would be the first Bond actor to wear an Omega as James Bond, a partnership that has continued for the last 22 years. On his wrist was the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80. 

You know 006 is evil because he wears his Seamaster on a black leather strap.

You know 006 is evil because he wears his Seamaster on a black leather strap.

This marked a turning point in the Bond franchise with increasingly visible product placement. Bond crashes through a larger Perrier truck in Russia, BMW signed a 3 picture deal to feature their cars and there are numerous close-ups of Bond's Omega Seamaster throughout the film. Product placement has always been present in Bond films and is an unfortunate reality of contemporary movie making, but the visibility and frequency of products featured increased during Pierce Brosnan's tenure as 007.

  • Continuity Error: 007 and 006 are seen wearing the Ref. 2541.80 during the opening scene, set in 1987. The Ref. 2541.80 was not released until 1993. 
  • Continuity Error: Despite wearing the exact same reference, Alec quips to Bond about his watch being a new model
  • Gadget Function: Bond uses a laser fitted in the helium release valve to cut through the floor of a train. In a later scene, Alec pushes the same helium release valve to deactivate the limpet mines Bond has 
  • Bond Trivia: Pierce Brosnan had injured his hand before filming so his son Christopher Brosnan was used as a hand double, including the scene where Bond uses his Omega to cut through the train floor

Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997

It's unclear in the context of the film whether this is an MI6 issued Omega that the Chinese acquired, and then modified, OR whether it's a Chinese copy of an Omega.

It's unclear in the context of the film whether this is an MI6 issued Omega that the Chinese acquired, and then modified, OR whether it's a Chinese copy of an Omega.

 In Pierce Brosnan's second outing as James Bond, he wore the new Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80, which was the automatic version of the quartz watch worn in Goldeneye. The watch can be seen clearly when Bond picks it up in a Chinese safe house.

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The Omega Seamaster was stored in a watch box next to watches that looked like (but probably aren't): a Rolex Datejust (Or it could be the two-tone Seiko from A View To A Kill), a TAG Heuer SEL, a Cartier Tank and four unidentifiable watches. The watch worn by Brosnan in the film was auctioned off during Antiquorum's 2007 'Omegamania' sale with a modified case back that read 'Worn by James Bond - 1997 - Tomorrow Never Dies". 

It may be one of the most recognizable Bond watches, but I cannot stand the bracelet on the Seamaster. Sorry everyone. Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.

It may be one of the most recognizable Bond watches, but I cannot stand the bracelet on the Seamaster. Sorry everyone. Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.

During the opening credits of the film, an X-Ray of the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M makes an appearance and the mechanical movement of the watch is clearly visible. This is the only time a watch of James Bond has featured in the opening credits.

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses the helium release valve connected to a microchip to remotely shatter a glass jar holding a grenade. Oddly enough, the watch is used to prime the microchip/thing (It's not clear in the film what it is) but the glass shatters after Bond touches something on his wrist, not after touching the watch.
  • Bond Trivia: Monica Bellucci auditioned for the role of Paris Carver, an ex-lover of Bond's, but Teri Hatcher won the role instead. 22 years later, Bellucci was cast in Spectre and is the oldest Bond girl at aged 50.

The World Is Not Enough, 1999

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For Pierce Brosnan's third performance as James Bond, he wears the same Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80.00 as seen in Tomorrow Never Dies.  

I think it would have been preferable to leave Denise Richards, as Dr. Christmas Jones, inside the silo rather than having to suffer through her performance.

I think it would have been preferable to leave Denise Richards, as Dr. Christmas Jones, inside the silo rather than having to suffer through her performance.

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses the Seamaster to light up the inside of an inflatable avalanche safety ball and uses a grappling hook to escape the nuclear silo with Dr. Christmas Jones.
  • Bond Trivia: The Bond family motto 'Orbis non sufficit' or The World is Not Enough was first seen in On Her Majesty's Secret Service when Bond visits the College of Arms.

Die Another Day, 2002

One of the many times that Pierce Brosnan uses the helium release valve as a Q gadget. Maybe that's the reason Omega keep it on their watches?

One of the many times that Pierce Brosnan uses the helium release valve as a Q gadget. Maybe that's the reason Omega keep it on their watches?

In Pierce Brosnan's final appearance as James Bond, he wears the same Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80.00 as seen in the previous two films. 

I don't want to talk about Die Another Day, so I won't. 

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses the helium release valve as a primer for C4 explosive and twists the bezel to detonate the explosion. He also uses the crown of the watch as a laser.
  • Bond Trivia: Even Roger Moore felt that Die Another Day took it too far and was quoted as saying "I thought it just went too far – and that’s from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please!"

Casino Royale, 2006

Mr. Craig as James Bond during an intense firefight.

Mr. Craig as James Bond during an intense firefight.

In Daniel Craig's first outing as James Bond, he wears two watches: the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2220.80.00 and the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2900.50.91.

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The Planet Ocean is seen during the parkour chase scene at the beginning of the film on a black rubber strap. This watch was sold at Antiquorum's 2007 'Omegamania' auction, complete with the orange dirt it acquired during filming. During the rest of the film, Craig as Bond wears the Seamaster Professional 300M like his predecessor Pierce Brosnan but this reference has the Co-Axial escapement inside. Seeing Bond wear a divers watch during the Casino scenes shows how much fashion has changed since 1962's Dr. No, where he wore a slim gold dress watch instead of his Submariner. 

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This film contains one of the more contentious lines in Bond wristwatch history. Whilst grilling each other other dinner, Vesper Lynd remarks on Bond's watch saying "...former SAS types with easy smiles and expensive watches. Rolex?", Bond responds with "Omega". A lot of people hate this line as it smacks of paid product placement from Omega. Several years ago, I asked a Training Specialist at Omega about this line and she said that Omega didn't pay for it and that they didn't even know about the line until the film came out. I believed her but I do understand why some balk at the line as it is very on the nose.

The Omega Seamaster 300 worn by Daniel Craig during Casino Royale. Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.

The Omega Seamaster 300 worn by Daniel Craig during Casino Royale. Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.

Other than the Submariner being an important watch in its own right, its presence in the Connery and Moore films was understated, even when it was being used as a circular saw. This contentious line was the first time that the word Rolex was used in the entire history of James Bond films, and it was used in a rather disparaging way with Bond deflecting Lynd's guess with a smug response. Times change and the character of Bond has changed a lot since Ian Fleming first wrote him, but it's impossible to deny that product placement has forever changed Bond. 

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: Daniel Craig is the first actor to play James Bond who is younger than the film series itself

Quantum of Solace, 2008

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In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig wears only one watch as James Bond, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2201.50.00. The watch makes very little appearance in the film and can be seen when Bond is tying a makeshift bandage around his arm after killing an enemy agent. 

As Omega becomes a larger part of the Bond image, it is interesting to see how frequently his watch is updated between films and how the character is treated by Omega. Over the course of 4 films, Daniel Craig as Bond has never worn the same Omega watch twice and Omega consider James Bond as an ambassador for the brand, seperate from the actor playing him. This is why on Omega's website you'll see images of both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig on the James Bond ambassador page. 

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: The full name of Gemma Arterton's character is Fields, Strawberry Fields.

Skyfall, 2012

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In Skyfall, Daniel Craig wears two Omega watches: the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 232.30.42.21.01.001 and the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 231.10.42.21.03.003.

The Planet Ocean is first seen during the opening action sequence on a train where it is shown quite prominently during a close-up of Bond's wrist. The shot lingers on the watch with Bond's cuff pulled back just enough so we can see the entire watch without it being obscured.

Skyfall had a lot of product placement with products from Sony, Heineken, VW and many others being featured which paid for a large proportion of the films budget. When Silva, played by Javier Bardem, is escaping through the London Underground, there are two large Omega adverts present on the walls behind him, one for the Planet Ocean and the other for the Seamaster Aqua Terra Day Date. 

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The Aqua Terra worn by Craig can be clearly seen during his brief briefing with M in the underground MI6 facility, during the casino scene in Macau and again during the fight scene on the frozen lake near Skyfall estate. It is believed that Daniel Craig wore his personal Aqua Terra during filming.  

  • Gadget Function: None
  • Bond Trivia: Judi Dench, as M, has more screen time in Skyfall than Desmond Llewellyn, as Q, did in his 17 appearances over 36 years

Spectre, 2015

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In what is currently the latest James Bond film, Daniel Craig wears three Omega watches: The Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 231.1039.221.03.001, the Seamaster 300 Ref. 233.32.31.41.21.01.001 and a vintage Omega Chronograph Ref. ST. 101.010. 

The Aqua Terra can seen most prominently in the opening scene in Mexico City and when Bond is in his comically unfurnished London flat (How things have changed from Moore's copper filled kitchen from Live and Let Die).  

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The Seamaster 300 is a very special watch within the history of Bond watches, as it is the first watch worn by James Bond in a film to be released as a limited edition. The Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition differs from the production Seamaster 300 as it has a lollipop seconds hand, a branded 007 buckle and has a 12 hour rotating bezel as opposed to a backwards count minute bezel.

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When Bond activates the 'loud alarm' of the watch by spinning the crown, the hour markers flash red in a way reminiscent of the magnetic field Rolex from Live and Let Die. This was the first time that Daniel Craig has had a 'gadget watch'.

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In the final scene of the film, Bond is briefly seen wearing a vintage Omega chronograph which is believed to be the reference ST.101.010. This watch is from 1965, the same year as the Aston Martin that he's driving into the sunset with. It's a classic watch and is the only time we've seen Bond wearing a vintage watch (for the period of filming) throughout the 55 year old franchise.  I do not think this will be a trend happening product placement of modern watches is too integrated into how the business of Bond works. 

  • Gadget Function: Bond uses a timed explosive inside his Seamaster 300 to free himself from being tortured by Blofeld
  • Bond Trivia: This was the first Bond film since 1971s Diamonds Are Forever to mention SPECTRE and the first since 1981s For Your Eyes Only to feature Blofeld. 

Sources

In-Depth: The History of the Omega Seamaster

In-Depth: The History of the Omega Seamaster

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