From Russia with love
On her Majesty's Secret Service
License to kill
James Bond has worn a number of watches over the years. Rolex and Omega are the most famous brands to have graced Bond's wrist. The Submariner and the Seamaster have joined him on countless missions. However, 007 has worn other watches as well.
James Bond's adventures have been attracting movie-goers to theaters since 1962. Just like the agent himself, his many watches have earned cult status among fans and watch enthusiasts alike. Over the years, Bond has explored different brands and models. His first watch of choice was the Rolex Submariner. However, in the 1970s and 80s, he also wore pieces from Seiko, Hamilton, Breitling, TAG Heuer, and Gruen.
In 1995, Her Majesty's secret agent finally settled on one manufacturer: Omega, and he's been a loyal patron ever since. According to the company, then-CEO Jean-Claude Biver cut a deal with the franchise's filmmakers. As a result, Pierce Brosnan wore a quartz-powered Omega Seamaster Professional 300M in the 17th Bond film, GoldenEye.
Bond has since donned different models from the Seamaster collection, including the classic Seamaster 300, the Aqua Terra, and the Planet Ocean. The 25th movie in the series, No Time to Die, debuted in 2020. In it, 007 (played by Daniel Craig) wears a special edition Seamaster Diver 300M. Omega has also released numerous limited-edition Bond watches in recent years. These timepieces are particularly popular among fans of the series and watch collectors.
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Film|
|Rolex Submariner, 6538||155,000 USD||Dr. No|
|Rolex GMT-Master, 6542||50,000 USD||Goldfinger|
|Rolex Cellini King Midas, 9630||12,000 USD||The Man with the Golden Gun|
|Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre, 184.108.40.206.01.001||10,000 USD||Spectre|
|Omega Seamaster Diver 300M, 220.127.116.11.01.001||9,500 USD||No Time to Die|
|TAG Heuer Night Dive, 980.032||2,300 USD||The Living Daylights|
|Breitling Top Time, 2002||2,200 USD||Thunderball|
|Omega Seamaster Professional, 2541.80.00||1,800 USD||GoldenEye|
|Hamilton Pulsar, P2 2900||1,100 USD||Live and Let Die|
|Gruen Precision, 510||440 USD||From Russia with Love|
Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner in the very first James Bond film, Dr. No. Most experts agree that it was the ref. 6538. Distinctive features include its big crown and missing crown guard, as well as a relatively thick case. This particular model is highly coveted among collectors. Pre-owned pieces often change hands for around 155,000 USD.
There are also some more wallet-friendly vintage alternatives, such as the ref. 5510 and ref. 6205. You can purchase a well-maintained ref. 5510 for about 44,000 USD, while the ref. 6205 costs roughly 35,500 USD in good condition.
The range of Omega James Bond watches is massive. The first Omega 007 ever wore was the Seamaster Professional ref. 2541.80.00. This 41-mm stainless steel watch is water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) and features a helium escape valve. The quartz caliber 1538 powers this timepiece. This movement is based on the ETA 255.461. The Swiss manufacturer ceased production of this model years ago. However, you can find a large selection of well-maintained models on Chrono24 for around 1,800 USD.
Daniel Craig took over the role of James Bond in 2006. At the same time, Omega released a new special-edition Seamaster Diver 300M. This watch shares much of its design with the Professional. The main difference between the two models is that the 007 version uses an automatic in-house caliber. The standard edition with the reference number 18.104.22.168.01.003 sells for about 3,800 USD new and 3,000 USD pre-owned. The special Casino Royale edition from 2006 bears the reference number 2226.80.00. This model has a dial decorated with the famous gun barrel spiral from the opening sequence of every Bond film. What's more, the second hand also features the 007 logo. This timepiece requires an investment of just over 4,400 USD in mint condition. Used watches demand about 4,000 USD.
The 2015 movie Spectre features two Bond watches. One is the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150 M ref. 22.214.171.124.03.004. This 41.5-mm stainless steel timepiece has a blue dial and is water-resistant to 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft). It's powered by the Co-Axial caliber 8500, which can withstand magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss. It costs about 6,000 USD new and was limited to a run of 15,007 pieces.
The other Bond watch seen in Spectre is the Seamaster 300 Spectre. This model had a limited production run of 7,007 pieces. Its 41-mm stainless steel case is water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). Omega mounts the case on a gray and black striped NATO strap. The Co-Axial caliber 8400 ticks away inside this timepiece. You can find the Seamaster 300 Spectre under the reference number 126.96.36.199.01.001, but supplies are highly limited. Be prepared to spend around 10,000 USD for this watch.
The 25th Bond film, No Time to Die hit theaters in 2020. Omega marked the occasion with new special-edition Diver 300M watches. One example is the James Bond Limited Edition ref. 188.8.131.52.01.004. Like some of its predecessors, it also features a gun barrel spiral on its dial. You'll also find the Bond family coat of arms at 12 o'clock and the "7" from the 007 logo in the date display. Omega only manufactured 7,007 copies of this timepiece. You can call one of these watches your own for about 8,100 USD.
Omega also introduced another 007 edition of the Diver 300M. This timepiece bears the reference number 184.108.40.206.01.001. Its 42-mm titanium case contains the in-house caliber 8806. The dial and diving bezel are both matte black and feature indices and numerals that glow bright blue in the dark.
The so-called "Broad Arrow" symbol adorns both the dial and the titanium case back. The British government has been marking its property with this symbol since the 16th century. The case back is also engraved with the 007 logo and an inventory number that ends in "62." This is a nod to the first Bond movie, Dr. No, which came out in 1962. Omega sells this timepiece for 8,100 USD on a NATO strap and 9,200 USD on a titanium Milanese bracelet.
With the rise of quartz watch technology in the 1970s, it was only a matter of time before Bond got his hands on one of these battery-powered timepieces. In 1973's Live and Let Die, he wore a Hamilton Pulsar P2 2900. This watch shows the time using red LED numbers that light up when you press a button. Otherwise, the display is dark to conserve the LED lights. Today, this timepiece is extremely rare. However, you'll sometimes find a well-maintained model on Chrono24 for around 1,100 USD.
Seiko dominated the late 1970s through the 1980s. Bond wore a Seiko 0674 5009 in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me. The next adventure (Moonraker, 1979) features a Seiko SFX003 (M354-5019) with an integrated database. In Octopussy (1983), a Seiko G757 5020 Sports 100 helps Bond track down a priceless Fabergé egg. Bond used quartz Seiko watches until the 1985 film A View to a Kill. However, these Japanese timepieces haven't become beloved Bond watches like their iconic Rolex counterparts have. Furthermore, very few of these watches remain today, making them extremely difficult to find. Their prices also vary greatly depending on the model. While the most affordable pieces cost around 60 USD, the more feature-heavy editions can cost up to 2,200 USD.
The introduction of Timothy Dalton as James Bond saw another change of watch manufacturer, this time to TAG Heuer. Dalton's Bond wore the diving watch ref. 980.032. Luminous material fully coats the dial, lending this timepieces the epithet "Nightdiver." You can purchase this watch for about 2,300 USD in good condition. If you can do without the luminous dial, the ref. 980.013 offers a more affordable alternative. Other than its traditional black dial with glow-in-the-dark indices, this version is identical to the Bond watch. Be sure to have roughly 1,300 USD on hand for this timepiece.
Other historical Bond watches include the Gruen Precision Model 510, which appeared in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger. Prices for this 31-mm manual dress watch sit around 440 USD.
In Thunderball (1965), Bond uses a Breitling Top Time 2002.3/N to track down stolen atomic bombs. Q, the MI6 quartermaster, outfitted the watch with a Geiger counter for measuring radioactivity. Fittingly, it was no common Top Time on Sean Connery's wrist. In fact, it was a custom piece built specifically for the film. Connery's watch from the movie went up for auction in London in 2013, where it sold for a record 103,875 GBP (160,175 USD at the time). At around 2,200 USD, a well-maintained standard edition of this vintage chronograph is markedly more affordable.
Bond isn't the only Rolex fan: His adversaries also have a taste for luxury. In The Man with the Golden Gun, Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) wears a Rolex Cellini King Midas . This Cellini is one of the few dress watches ever to appear in a Bond film. As its name suggests, the King Midas is made of 18-karat gold. The edition on a gold bracelet demands over 12,500 USD, making 3,600 USD for the version on a leather strap seem rather affordable.
In Goldfinger, Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) – Bond girl and head pilot for 007's nemesis, Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) – has on a Rolex GMT-Master ref. 6542. The GMT-Master is one of the most highly coveted vintage Rolex watches. Plan to spend at least 50,000 USD to get your hands on a ref. 6542.
Unsurprisingly, Bond's rivals were not all loyal to one brand. Pilot Angelo Palazzi dons a Breitling Navitimer ref. 806 in Thunderball. Palazzi uses this refurbished pilot's watch to help Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Emilio Largo attain atomic bombs. Today, you can purchase a watch from this series for about 5,800 USD.
There are many reasons why Bond started his film career wearing a Rolex. For one, James Bond is anything but modest. This luxury watch pairs perfectly with tailored suits, shaken martinis, and sports cars like the Aston Martin DB5. On the other hand, there are also literary reasons for Bond's choice.
Bond creator Ian Fleming (1908-1964) released the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1953. Published in 1963, On Her Majesty's Secret Service specifically mentions 007 having a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. However, it also says the watch has large luminous numerals and a metal bracelet. This is why many feel the literary Bond doesn't wear a Submariner, but rather an Explorer, just like Fleming himself. While it may not be as famous as the other Bond watches, the Explorer is perhaps the most authentic of them all.