- Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels
What makes James Bond a perennial classic? He’s everything we want to be: cool under pressure, sophisticated, self-reliant, suave. Bond is a perfect blend of yesterday’s good taste and today’s best innovations.
Come to think of it, that sounds like a recipe for a luxury watch. People don’t wear luxury watches to keep time. It’s impossible today to lose track of time. We wear luxury watches because of the way they make us feel. And it’s not far-fetched to say that James Bond has something to do with it.
Before James Bond hit the silver screen, he kept a generation of readers entertained. British author Ian Fleming used punchy sentences packed with detail and glamour and obsession. The result? The creation of one of pop culture’s most enduring heroes.
Over 100 million Bond novels have been sold, and the films have earned over $10 billion. And it all started with a young British boy whose father died on the battlefields of World War I. Author Ian Fleming lived an adventurous life, and many of the details used in the books came from firsthand experience.
Did we mention that Ian Fleming loved luxury watches? He wore a Rolex Explorer himself, and he often described Bond wearing a Rolex in his novels. The spy’s preference for luxury watches translated to the big screen with Sean Connery wearing a Submariner in “Thunderball” and “From Russia with Love.”
In 1995, when the 007 movies experienced a reboot with Pierce Brosnan playing everyone’s favourite spy, costume designer Lindy Hemming chose Omega for Bond’s wardrobe. Since then, several iconic Omega models have graced the hero’s wrist. In fact, the latest Omega, the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, was allegedly developed with input from actor Daniel Craig, who has played James Bond for more than a decade now.
Let’s take a look at some of the iconic luxury watches from the James Bond Phenomenon. If you’re seeking confidence and coolness, perhaps you can find it by strapping one of these onto your wrist in the morning.
Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner, purportedly from his personal collection, in the 1962 film “Dr No.” It was worn on a leather strap rather than the standard stainless steel bracelet.
In 1965, the fourth James Bond film, “Thunderball,” debuted, and our hero sported a Breitling Top Time Chronograph with a modified Geiger counter.
1973’s “Live and Let Die” introduced a new Bond actor to the world. Roger Moore may have been a fresh face, but the Rolex on his wrist hearkened back to traditional Bond lore.
By 1977, digital watches were all the rage, so it made sense outfit James Bond in the latest technology. In the film, his watch could print messages from another spy.
Timothy Dalton replaced Roger Moore in the 1980s, and in 1987’s “The Living Daylights,” Bond wore one of the most glamorous luxury watches of the franchise, a TAG Heuer Professional Night-Dive.
Dalton last appeared in a Bond film in 1989, and that film, “Licence to Kill,” was also the last Bond movie that featured a Rolex watch. Interestingly, Dalton didn’t wear the watch himself. His stunt double wore it during the scene in which Bond wages war with the leader of a Mexican drug cartel.
Pierce Brosnan assumed the role of James Bond in GoldenEye (1995), and his Omega Seamaster Professional 300M played a supporting role by featuring high-tech gadgets within the watch, such as the built-in detonator.
Designed exclusively for the James Bond film “No Time to Die,” this Omega Seamaster features a NATO strap while doubling as an explosive device. It was sold as a limited edition (without the explosive device, of course).
A new “No Time to Die” film version is set for release in April 2020, and it will feature a brand new Omega luxury watch. Actor Daniel Craig had a hand in developing the timepiece, which promises to be sturdy and lightweight while maintaining a vintage appeal.
Some people try to justify their horological obsession by focusing on complications, mechanical ingenuity and resistance to the elements. But let’s face it. When you strap that beauty on your wrist, you feel a bit like...Bond. James Bond. And what’s better than that?
Image Credit: Man of Many