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James Bond's Watches (Part 1)

Q-branch have issued James Bond with many watches over the years, and the popularity of the Bond franchise is such that any watch shown in the films tends to become an instant best seller and also often grows into something rather iconic in horological circles. For many James Bond represents the ultimate expression of sophistication and masculinity so it is no wonder that the charachter informs people on their future watch choices and helps shape peoples opinions of some of the finest timepieces and watchmaking brands that money can buy. Here we present a chronological history of James Bond's most famous watches for you to enjoy over a cup of coffee at your leisure. Remember these are James Bond's watches and not the versions you will find for retail, so expect laser beams, x-ray scanners, plastic explosives and various other devices as standard in the timepieces shown below. Enjoy!

The Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner is credited as being the first real James Bond watch. Originally it had absolutely no real gadgets attached to it whatsoever, and this just goes to inform on the exclusivity of such a sophisticated timepiece when the film Dr. No was released. In fact it was not until 1963 when From Russia With Love was released that it gained any extra features, in this case a piano-wire, perfect for strangling your opponents. Of course it was not James Bond who utilised such a cunning and sneaky device, but rather he was on the receiving end when Red Grant attempted to strangle him.

The Breitling "Top Time" Diver Chrono
When Thunderball was released in 1965 James Bond had switched from using Rolex to now use Breitling engineered timepieces. The Diver Chrono that was used in the film pushed the boundaries of believability thanks to the inclusion of not only a Geiger counter device for measuring radiation but also a fitted camera used for taking sneaky photographs. The watch itself is very different from the previous gold and black submariner; it is primarily silver and features a much chunkier setting surrounding the fascia in order to reflect the more action oriented approach of this particular film.

Hamilton Pulsar 'P2 2900' LED Digital Watch
The Hamilton Pulsar was one of the most iconic of James Bond's watches because even though it featured nothing in the way of gadgets it marked the beginning of the digital era and is a true piece of horological history. Along with a new Bond (Roger Moore) this new watch heralded the dawning of a new age and proved so exciting that it went on to be a best seller and a genre defining piece of history. The watch is very minimalist and reflects the design aesthetic of the period in which the film was created.

The Rolex Submariner (with gadgets)
The Rolex Submariner also appeared in Live and Let Die alongside the Hamilton Pulsar, however in order to appeal to a more tech-savvy audience the timepiece was loaded with gadgets and modifications making it one of the most famous of James Bond's watches. It is utilised in a number of scenes from the cheeky and entertaining (unzipping Miss Caruso's dress using the built in electro-magnet) to the dramatic (using the magnetic functions to attract a compressed air bullet when being lowered into the shark pool) to the exciting (using the built in rotating saw feature of the watch to cut through the rope binding his wrists).

The Seiko 0674
This timepiece is rather unassuming when lined up against many other watches that James Bond has used over the years. Whilst it does feature a gadget it is less of a focal point in the film as previous watches have been. This one of James Bond's watches actually features a built in communication system that prints out messages received from MI6. In The Spy Who Loved Me James Bond receives a message telling him to report immediately back to headquarters. Of course our hero is disappointed to hear that his current mission, complete with log cabin and stunning blonde KGB agent is being cut short.


Continue to Part 2...