Think of James Bond, and you’ll probably think of fast cars, cool gadgets and guns with silencers – but there’s a much cheaper, less illegal way to get 007’s look. Throughout the years, Bond’s choice of timekeeper has been as iconic as the vehicles and one-liners he’s had to use along the way – and we’ve put together a list of our favourites.
While a logical step for Bond nowadays would be to embrace the smartwatch and buy an Apple Watch (Roger Moore's digital watches could be considered early smartwatches), he's remained a stalwart supporter of the luxurious analogue timepiece which is what we'll be showcasing here.
Rolex Submariner 6538
Daniel Craig may have made his mark on the secret service’s most decorated agent, but for many people, James Bond will always be Sean Connery or Roger Moore. And that means, for many, the Rolex Submariner will always be the ultimate Bond watch.
There are countless variations of the Submariner, and Rolex has tweaked its design for decades – but the 6538 is widely regarded as the classic Sub. Released in 1956, and worn in 1962’s Dr No, the ‘big crown’ Submariner has the iconic red markings on the bezel, and is filled with cream and gold over a black face. Bond wore it with a leather strap, but also a nylon NATO one, too.
It’s one of the more expensive watches here, but there is a way to get that classic look for less.
Featuring a domed screen, the red triangle of the bezel and the classic black-and-gold lettering-face combo, the Tudor Black Bay is a modern reproduction of the famous Bond Submariner. And it’s much cheaper.
Rolex Submariner 5513
Roger Moore’s Submariner is a little different; it takes the same Submariner formula and gives it a tweak. Alongside the integrated buzzsaw on its big screen performance, the 5513 Submariner is chunkier and adds a crown guard. There’s also less gold and more silver, and the overall effect is to make this Submariner more like the tool-watch it’s become today.
Rolex Pre-Daytona Chronograph 6238
The year is 1969, and George Lazenby is wearing the famous tux in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. To tie in with the space-age vibes, Bond puts down the Submariner for the majority of the film, instead going with a special one-off Rolex chronograph.
Called the 6238 Pre-Daytona chronograph, Lazenby’s watch has a slick vintage look in keeping with the style of the late ’60s and early 70s. There’s a brushed silver face, intricate text and small black hands – but then a large red seconds hand to add contrast and readability.
The bad news? This one was a one-off designed specifically for the film and ordered through the Swiss Bucherer store. It’s been up for auction recently and went for well into six figures.
Omega Seamaster Professional
Fast-forward to the 90s, GoldenEye and the beginning of the Brosnan era. Costume designer Lindy Hemming decided that a new Bond needed a brand new watch, and instead of Rolex she went for Omega, and the Seamaster Professional.
It made sense; Omega already has links to the English military, and it was also a good-looking watch. Featuring a blue rotating bezel, blue dial and bracelets with polished and brushed links, the Seamaster became and instant part of the new Bond. Indeed, Brosnan wore it in every film.
Omega Planet Ocean
The latest modern is far more rugged and violent than before, and costume designers thought he needed a watch to match. Enter the Planet Ocean; a bigger, more functional version of the dressier Seamaster we first saw in Goldeneye.
Available in steel or titanium depending on the variant you get, it’s a tool watch in a similar vein to the Submariner from before. The lugs are chunky, the face is stylish but utilitarian – and there’s even a small date window.
Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial
The Seamaster 300 was first revealed in 1957 and made for divers – but more than half a century later Omega revived it, before placing it on Bond’s wrist. The looks are from the 50’s but the construction isn’t; rhodium-plated hands sit on a black face, and the bezel ring is now made of Omega’s ceramic Liquid metal.
Inside, you’ll find a movement resistant to magnetism, and a glass case back means you’ll be able to see it in motion, too.
There’s even a special version of the watch to celebrate its appearance in Spectre. The main difference? The diving scale is replaced by a second time zone, which probably makes sense for Bond’s globe-trotting life.