The Time When James Bond Did Not Wear a Wristwatch," Wrist Watch magazine (May 2014), by Dell Deaton

The Time When James Bond Did Not Wear a Wristwatch,” Wrist Watch magazine (May 2014), by Dell Deaton

‘Twenty-nine distinctly different wristwatch models, without discernable repeats,’ you say, taking a tally from my online list for the movies.

That’s the total number of watches confirmed as having been worn on-screen as counted amoung the seven actors formally playing the James Bond character across twenty-five motion pictures, spanning fifty years, 1962 to present.


Two of those watches feature some sort of gold plating. Four (some would argue five) divers are rated to 600 meters.

And not once since 1971 has Agent 007 actually had to wind his watch to keep it running.

In all cases, these are real-world wistwatches; pieces that you and I have bought as consumers. Even the fantastic gadget-effects added by property departments and other forms of movie-magic are all built on identifiable base-references from Breitling, Omega, Rolex, and Seiko. All the easier to draw us into the world of James Bond and into the James Bond lifestyle through a fundamental connection, that we, too, rely upon — for all sorts of reasons.

From the beginning, Bond checks his watch to see the time. Recall Sean Connery’s debut portrayal, sidetracked in the bedroom of his own London flat, delayed by unexpected ‘opportunity’ presented by Sylvia Trench. Embracing this first Bond girl, he consults the Gruen dress watch worn tastefully under his shirt sleeve. Accordingly, he revises his need to go after Doctor No from ‘immediately’ to ‘almost immediately.’

— Dell Deaton