Almost from the start, watches have been part of the 007 legend. Some were for show. And others—tricked out with unorthodox complications—were for blowing up things.
In the second of Ian Fleming novels, Live and Let Die, we learn of Bond’s predilection for Rolex, a natural choice for the MI6 agent, given the author wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer ref. 1016. Fleming once wrote: “A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Savile Row suit.”
For the debut Bond film, 1962’s Dr. No, Sean Connery, himself a fan, donned a Rolex Submariner on a brown, leather strap. Over the decades, Bond would wear a parade of watches from Breitling, Gruen, Seiko, Pulsar, TAG Heuer, and, last but not least, Omega.
In 1995, the Bond franchise was resurrected with GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan. At the time, Omega’s director of international marketing, the legendary Jean-Claude Biver, inked a deal establishing Omega as Bond’s official watch, a marketing coup that continues to this day. In the film, Bond wears an Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80 quartz dive watch equipped with a detonator and a laser that he uses to cut through a steel plate to free himself from the villain’s burning train before it explodes.
Another memorable lifesaving watch appears in 1973’s Live and Let Die, when Roger Moore’s Bond wore a Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 equipped with high-powered magnets that could deflect bullets, as well as rakishly unzip co-star Madeline Smith’s dress.
Fast forward to the upcoming release of the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, starring the brooding Daniel Craig. Last December, Omega unveiled its latest Bond watch, the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition. It appears in the film, which has been postponed until November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Omega took input from Craig and the filmmakers on the retro, military-inspired design. The 42-mm watch features ultralightweight Grade 2 titanium and comes with a titanium mesh bracelet ($9,200) or striped NATO fabric strap ($8,100). A slimmer profile was achieved with a new domed sapphire-crystal glass over an aluminum dial. Its brown shade mimics the faded, patinated “tropical” dials found on some rare vintage watches. The NAIAD LOCK caseback is engraved with a series of digits that follow genuine military watch codes. In addition, the numbers 007 and 62 give a nod to the first Bond film in 1962. As for any Q-branch special effects, you’ll just have to wait to see the movie.