TAG Heuer 980.013 James Bond watch, "The Living Daylights"All the other TAG Heuer watches

The second of the two major facts that weigh against calling the Tangier Rooftop Watch a Rolex is a continuity in the film itself that conspicuously favors TAG Heuer as the choice.

As noted in Part I, JamesBondWatches.com solicited input from David Chalmers and Paul Gavin as part of an ad hoc team tasked with narrowing the possibilities, if not outright identifying James Bond watches in The Living Daylights.

Chalmers is responsible for the excellent Calibre11.com website out of Hong Kong; Gavin is based in the United Kingdom and has launched HeuerWorld.com to catalogue Heuer and TAG Heuer diver watches — up to the period leading into production of The Living Daylights.

It’s already been established that Timothy Dalton wore a reference 980.031 Heuer or TAG Heuer in the sequence before opening credits rolled in the motion picture. So, too, did the imposter (Carl Rigg) and Felix Leiter (John Terry). That makes three choices for TAG Heuer.

This is consistent with experience reported to JamesBondWatches.com by Seiko Watch Corporation personnel who worked directly with Eon Productions in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bracelet adjustments, damage repair, and emergency replacements are all more easily taken care of by film property departments when dealing with a single watch brand. By way of perspective, the film immediately preceding The Living Daylights was A View to a Kill (1985). Seiko not only provided all three watch models worn then by Roger Moore as 007, but also the two worn by Max Zorin, one for M, another for Miss Moneypenny, one for Q, one each for Stacy Sutton, Sir Godfrey Tibbett, the Minister of Defense, General Gogol, Jenny Flex, and a handful of other players.

Seiko was, as noted, a product placement partner in A View to a Kill; TAG Heuer enjoyed no such formal recognition with The Living Daylights. Notwithstanding, it would have made little sense for Eon Productions to both break pattern and invest greater effort in providing a variety of watch brands to The Living Daylights. The return on such a large investment against such a small detail would have been negligible at best.

Approaching the Tangier Rooftop Watch identification question from this angle, then, Paul Gavin, David Chalmers, and I took a close look at the three other dominant watches in The Living Daylights. The obvious place to start was with the Pushkin watch.

Portrayed by actor John Rhys-Davies, General Leonid Pushkin wore not just a wristwatch, but the only gadget-watch in The Living Daylights. The last 007 on-screen gadget-watch was four years prior, in Octopussy (1983). This, then, suggests that the Pushkin timekeeper was something special, more considered.

Gavin readily identified it as a Heuer or TAG Heuer Airline GMT, “most likely” a 985.313 reference. It was available through the 1986 TAG Heuer catalogue.

We then turned our attention to the next two most evident watches worn by major characters in The Living Daylights: Necros and Koskov. Several good views of the watch worn by henchman Necros (Andreas Wisniewski), including a scene where he manhandles Bond a bit on the plane en route to Afghanistan and again at various points in their battle-to-the-death on the opium-bag-filled-cargo-net in flight. Worn on his right wrist, Necros’ wristwatch has a thick black case, black jubilee-style bracelet, black dial, two white hands, and a third, colored hand. At one point two crown-like protrusions are obvious — at the 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. Circumference markings for a diver’s bezel can also be seen.

Gavin called this as a Heuer Regatta automatic, reference 134.601, from a 1984 Heuer catalogue. David Chalmers then summarized his impression of our team effort up to that point in a February 2010 eMail. “I think we can be 100% certain there is a Heuer / TAG Heuer Airline used in the movie, 90% certain that there is a Heuer / TAG Heuer 980.031, and probably 75% certain that there is a Heuer Regatta.”

That makes five Heuers so far, with the 980.031 appearing on three characters.

Our sixth and final focus, the wristwatch worn by General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé), did not immediately stand out as a Heuer. So the inquiry on this one was more to see if it “could” be a Heuer — thus keeping the door open to a possible single-watch domination among major cast members in The Living Daylights.

A grey-colored “Titanium and Carbon Fibre” sports watch reference 823.213 is consistent with the Koskov-watch screen-captures that I provided to our study team. Gavin found this in the same 1984 Heuer catalog as the Necros Regatta.

Go to “James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part II (d)

James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part I (a)
“James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part I (b)
“James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part I (c)
“James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part I (d)

James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part II (a)
“James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part II (b)
“James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part II (c)
“James Bond wore a TAG Heuer wristwatch,” Part II (d)