Editor’s note: Before you ask, yes we have a date. April 2, 2021. It ain’t exactly days away, but at least we know how long the advent calendar has to be. A fair bit of chocolate is the upside. We are happy to report that one of the largest entertainment-related casualties of the pandemic, the delay of Daniel Craig’s last outing as James Bond in No Time to Die, can at least have closure with a release date.
The anticipation factor being this high not unusual. Bond films have been eagerly anticipated pieces of cinema for the last 50 years, causing great buzz and excitement when they are announced. For watch enthusiasts though, it doesn’t mean there is only a new movie to watch – it means a new Bond watch to lust and drool after. From Rolex, Seiko, Hamilton, and most recently Omega, actors who have taken on the role of 007 have always had some spectacular timepieces on their wrists.
For the first time however, a Bond actor has actually had a role in the design of the watch worn in a film, with Daniel Craig playing an advisory role in creating the last watch he will wear as the character. With the latest entry in the 007 saga on the horizon, we felt now would be a good time to review the complete list of Bond watches – now including the watches of No Time to Die. Let’s take a look …
We all know James Bond, AKA 007, the suave British secret service agent who has been on missions all over the world. Throughout many of the films, he has always had a wristwatch to keep track of the time and, in some cases, help him get out of a jam. Today we take a look at the watches that have featured in the films.
Dr. No – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538
Ian Fleming wrote in the original Bond novels that a Rolex was the wristwatch of 007. For the first film, Dr. No, actor Sean Connery, playing Bond, wore a Reference 6538 Submariner. It was worn not on the stainless steel bracelet but a leather strap.
From Russia With Love – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538
The watch was on the wrist of 007 again in the next film, From Russia With Love, on the leather strap.
Goldfinger – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538
In the opening scene of third film, Goldfinger, we get the money shot that cemented the Submariner in cinematic history. Connery lifts his tuxedo jacket to check the time, with the aid of a cigarette lighter, and the details of the watch are clearly shown. The leather strap has been replaced with a multi-coloured regimental fabric strap that was a tad small for the watch since the spring bars are visible. Another notable watch is found on the wrist of the character Pussy Galore, a female pilot who wore Rolex Reference 6542 GMT-Master.
Thunderball – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 & Breitling Top Time
In addition to the Submariner, Bond is given a watch for the first time that has been tweaked by the resident quartermaster AKA “Q” and Q Branch. It was a Breitling Top Time Chronograph, with a modified case, and it doubled as a Geiger counter. (This watch was found at a car boot sale and bought for £25. It sold for more than £100,000 at the Christie’s Bond auction in 2013. One of the greatest car boot purchases ever!)
You Only Live Twice – no watch visible
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Rolex Submariner Reference 6358, 5513 and Reference 6238 Chronograph
Australian George Lazenby was next to play 007, after Connery finished You Only Live Twice. Lazenby has the distinction of being the first Bond to wear a Submariner on an Oyster bracelet. He wore a Rolex Submariner Reference 5513, but during the scene where he has to break into an office to open a safe and copy some documents, he takes a reference 6358 off his wrist and puts it on the machine with the crown unscrewed. Later in the film he is sporting a Reference 6238 Chronograph also on stainless steel bracelet.
Diamonds Are Forever – no watch visible
Connery was asked to reprise the role of Bond one more time, after Lazenby stepped down after one film.
Live and Let Die – Rolex Submariner Reference 5513
Roger Moore made his Bond debut in Live and Let Die. When the film starts, he checks the time on a Hamilton Pulsar P2 digital LED watch, before getting his Rolex Submariner 5513 back from Q Branch. We get to see one party piece of the watch straight away, when Bond activates the magnet and M’s teaspoon gets stuck to the watch. Later in the film, to get out of trouble, Bond uses the magnet feature and the second feature of the watch, a circular saw, which causes the whole dial and bezel to spin, cutting the ropes around Bond’s wrists.
The Man with the Golden Gun – Rolex Submariner Reference 5513
The Reference 5513 Sub is again the watch of choice for 007, but doesn’t feature any gadgets this time.
The Spy Who Loved Me – Seiko Ref. 0674 LC
We see a change of direction in timepieces, with Bond wearing a digital watch from Seiko. This was a sign of the times, as the 1970s saw the rise of quartz timepieces and digital watches. The only gadget this watch features is a ticker tape messaging system.
Moonraker – Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar
In Moonraker, a more complicated Seiko is on the wrist of Roger Moore and it features an explosive charge hidden in the back of the watch.
For Your Eyes Only — Seiko Ref. H357 Duo-Display
The H357 Duo-Display from Seiko was the watch selected for the thirteenth Bond film. It featured an analogue time display along with a digital display which was used to transmit messages along with a built-in microphone to communicate with 007.
Octopussy – Seiko Ref. G757 Sports 100
This watch is a digital sports chronograph. The extra feature added by Q Branch is the ability to keep tabs on a planted tracking device indicated by the red dot.
A View to a Kill – Ref. Seiko SPR007 7A28-7020, Seiko Ref. H558-500 SPW001, Seiko 6923-8080 SPD09 and a Rolex Datejust.
This was Roger Moore’s last film as James Bond and he wore four different watches. The first was the Seiko SPR007 7A28-7020, a white-dialled quartz chronograph seen at the start of the film. The second watch was a Seiko H558-500 SPW001 Dive Watch and can be seen briefly when Bond is chasing someone up the Eiffel Tower. The third Seiko was 6923-8080 SPD09, a two-tone watch, which is seen for the briefest of times underneath Bond’s shirt cuff. A Rolex Datejust is seen on Bond’s wrist when he finds his driver dead.
The Living Daylights – Heuer Ref. 980.031
This was the first of two Bond films to star Timothy Dalton. The watch of note that Bond wore was a Heuer Ref. 980.031 quartz dive watch with a fully black case and bracelet. The other noticeable feature of the watch was the luminous dial.
Licence to Kill – Rolex Submariner Reference 16800/168000
In his final Bond film, Dalton wore a Rolex Submariner, and since the film came out in 1989 it is most likely a Rolex Submariner Reference 16800/168000. This is the last film featuring a Rolex Submariner on the wrist of James Bond.
GoldenEye – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80 Quartz
The seventeenth Bond film featured Pierce Brosnan making his debut as 007 along with Omega being the watches of James Bond. The model on Bond’s wrist was an Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80 quartz dive watch. It also had a couple of extra features built into it by Q Branch. One was a laser in the pip of the bezel, and the other was a connection to a remote detonator in the helium escape valve.
Tomorrow Never Dies – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80
Brosnan sported the automatic chronometer version of the Seamaster in this film and it featured a device from Q Branch, which enabled Bond to remotely release a catch on a hand grenade.
The World Is Not Enough – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80
The same watch is again on the wrist of 007, but the difference this time around is the gadgets. The first is the watch can light up an area with the use of the hour markers with a light generator. The second is a grappling hook which is deployed from underneath the crown.
Die Another Day — Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80
In his final Bond appearance, Brosnan’s watch doesn’t change but the gadgets have changed once again. The helium escape valve acts as a detonator for explosives and we see the return of the laser.
Casino Royale – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2220.80.00 and Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2900.50.91
In his first outing as the British secret service, Daniel Craig wears two Omega watches. The first is seen in the opening sequence, where he is wearing a Planet Ocean. For the rest of the film he sports an automatic Seamaster with Co-Axial escapement. Both watches were auctioned off in the Omegamania sale in 2007.
Quantum of Solace – Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2201.50.00
The watch Craig wears in this film is a Planet Ocean on stainless steel bracelet, but it doesn’t really get much screen time.
Skyfall – Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001 and the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 18.104.22.168.03.003
In the opening scenes of Skyfall, the Planet Ocean on Craig’s wrist is clearly seen. It was a unique piece made from titanium, and it was auctioned off in the 50 years of Bond sale by Christie’s. The other watch that appears on Bond’s wrist is a blue-dialled Aqua Terra in stainless steel and on a bracelet.
Spectre – Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 22.214.171.124.03.001, the Seamaster 300 Ref. 126.96.36.199.21.01.001
Craig wears two watches in Spectre, starting with a black-dialled Aqua Terra model. The second watch received much more screen time and was the first time a watch was designed specifically for the franchise. The Seamaster 300 Spectre featured a NATO strap and, for the first time in a Daniel Craig Bond film, the watch had a gadget from Q Branch, which was a grenade activated via the crown, or as Q put it: “A rather loud alarm.”
Daniel Craig himself was the one to suggest that a watch featuring a gadget should be reintroduced and it was done so very successfully.
There you have it, all the watches that have featured on the wrist of 007 in the Bond films. We’ll have to wait and see what Bond 25 will bring.