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"James Bond Wore Quartz Wristwatches. You Noticed," by Dell Deaton, 2015, page 429.

“James Bond Wore Quartz Wristwatches. You Noticed,” by Dell Deaton, 2015, page 429.

Finally, with the 1987 introduction of TAG Heuer as James Bond watch in The Living Daylights, that motion picture opened the door to the sort of content for debate that would keep ‘James Bond watches’ a heated topic in perpetuity. Titans were identified and set into irreconsilable opposition: Japanese horology versus Swiss.

Even before the World Wide Web was established, ample fodder for flame wars was in place.

With quartz-tech market share en route to passing 93 percent of units sold worldwide in 1995, Omega inaugurated its own relationship with EON Productions by placing a quartz Seamaster model on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan when he entered as Agent 007. Two years later, that piece was switched-out for a virtually indistinguishable Seamaster Chronometer.

Why not? The Quartz Revolution had come to an end. Its victors had nothing left to prove.

James Bond was poised to take winnings from this as well. In the movies, his obviously fictional character had become established as a go-to watch-wearer whose choice of latest timekeeper would never again go without notice.

That attention now begins before cameras even start to roll on the next film.

In 2006, Daniel Craig became James Bond. He made three movies prior to SPECTRE, which is where we started with this article. Craig’s Agent 007 has thus far worn a total of five different watch models through just three movies. A couple of different styles, too.

But he has never worn the same watch model for more than one movie.

Now we all have a clearer basis for discussing why.

— Dell Deaton
James Bond Watch researcher, author

"James Bond Wore Quartz Wristwatches. You Noticed," by Dell Deaton, 2015, page 428.

“James Bond Wore Quartz Wristwatches. You Noticed,” by Dell Deaton, 2015, page 428.

In 1960, this space age technology was offered to consumers in the Bulova Accutron.

So, did Bond ever switch up to an Accutron wristwatch in any Ian Fleming book? No. Did EON Productions appoint Sean Connery’s Bond with an Accutron? Never.

Still, EON movies continued to up the ante on presenting time-as-enemy threats. Unquestionably.

In 1964, for example, the nuclear device in Goldfinger accounted for seconds ticking away before its detonation, by frequently cutting to close-ups on its multilayer edge-lit numeric display unit. That was exotic stuff in its day.

Yet the James Bond character never seriously advanced his wristwatch accuracy or precision.

His watches had to be regularly wound.

They aged: Sean Connery wore the same two wristwatch models (if not physical pieces) throughout his first three appearances as Bond. By 1969, EON Productions had made a total of six James Bond movies, featuring only five different watch models.

It wouldn’t be fair or sufficient to say that there was still no interest in James Bond watches back then. Rather, I think the more correct statement is that there was little or no effort put into shining a spotlight on any wristwatch choices made.

In any case, the public wasn’t paying much attention contemporaneously.

The advent of quartz wristwatches radically changed all of that.

“And this made for a period during which horological breakthroughs were able to capture the minds of Bond movie producers and society at large, because continue reading…