The UK Mail Online today has a feature story on the 50 most memorable images from James Bond on-screen.
Second-to-top on the list: James Bond watches.
In total, specific wristwatches worn by the James Bond character were referenced 5 times. And that doesn’t include the “Villain’s watch garotte,” worn by Red Grant in From Russia with Love (coming in at number 35) nor the non-watch “Wrist dart gun” from Moonraker (47).
Curiously, the first James Bond watch named, at number 15, is the “Rolex with laser,” from Never Say Never Again. Not an Eon Productions movie. And, whatever the watch is, it is definitely not a Rolex.
In total, Rolex is named by brand three times. Rolex is the only watchmaker specified for Agent 007 by Ian Fleming in the original books. Jeffery Deaver put a Rolex on his James Bond in the novel Carte Blanche last year. The last movie-Bond to wear a Rolex was actor Timothy Dalton, with a reference 16610 Submariner Date in Licence to Kill, Eon Productions, 1989.
Only one other James Bond watchmaker is cited in this top 50: Seiko.
Showing up with room to spare at number 47, the “Seiko detonator watch” appeared in Moonraker, Eon Productions, 1979. Hat’s off to the marketing power of Seiko for this achievement. Seiko hasn’t been officially associated with James Bond since 1985, when actor Roger Moore wore 3 in A View to a Kill.
On the other hand, it’s stunning to see how little mindshare impact that Omega appears to be getting from the money it’s put into the James Bond movie and video franchises.
The Omega name appears nowhere on this top 50 list. Number 32, from GoldenEye, is only memorable as a “Watch with laser and detonator.” That watch was a quartz reference 2541.80 Seamaster, worn by Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.
Mail Online reports these findings from a “survey of 1,000 fans carried out by insurance firm ensure.” Here’s a sampling of results, putting James Bond watch presence in perspective against automobiles and guns from the James Bond movies, 1962 to present.
- Car … 1: Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger / Thunderball
- Gun … 6: Scaramanga’s gun, The Man with the Golden Gun
- Gun … 7: Gun barrel title sequences
- Car … 8: Aston Martin DBS, Casino Royale
- Car … 11: Underwater Lotus Esprit, The Spy Who Loved Me
- Gun … 12: Walter PPK pistol
- Watch … 15: Rolex with laser, Never Say Never Again
- Car … 20: Invisible Aston Martin Vanquish, Die Another Day
- Car … 24: Goldfinger’s vintage Rolls-Royce
- Watch … 32: Watch with laser and detonator, GoldenEye
- Watch … 33: Rolex Submariner watch, Dr No
- Watch … 35: Villain’s watch garrote, From Russia with Love
- Watch … 39: Rolex with magnet, Live and Let Die
- Car (sorta) … 44: BMW Z3 with tracking system, GoldenEye
- Car … 46: AMC flying car, The Man with the Golden Gun
- Watch … 47: Seiko detonator watch, Moonraker
- Watch (not) … 48: Wrist dart gun, Moonraker
“Submariner” is the only model from a watch manufacturer that was identified.
Image courtesy Mail Online