James Bond is an iconic character who has appeared on screens thanks to Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Each of them is just brilliant. We have seen various models of watches on their wrists. These are various models from different brands. It is a legitimate impression that James Bond simply cannot be imagined without a watch. Indeed, it is true: various watches have become his indispensable attribute. In some cases, as the screenwriters intended, the watches have powers of their own.

Either way, is this a successful advertising integration or a random choice made by the actor himself? Let's delve into which actor favored which watch and how James Bond has not only piqued interest in specific models but also contributed to the broader idea that a stylish and adventurous man must invariably sport a watch.

Before we begin tracing the evolution of 007's wristwear over the years, let's take a look at all the watches featured in this series!

Dr. No (1962)Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538
From Russia with Love (1963)Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538
Goldfinger (1964)Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538
Thunderball (1965)Breitling Top Time
Casino Royale (1967)Rolex GMT Master
You Only Live Twice (1967)Gruen Precision 510
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6238
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)Gruen Precision 510
Live and Let Die (1973)Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513, Pulsar LED digital watch
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)Seiko 0674 LC
Moonraker (1979)Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar
For Your Eyes Only (1981)Seiko 7549-7009, Seiko H357 Duo Display
Octopussy  (1983)Seiko G757 Sports 100
Never Say Again (1983)Unknown 
A View to a Kill (1985)Seiko 6923-8080 SPD09
The Living Daylights (1987)TAG Heuer Professional Night-Dive Reference 980.031
License to Kill (1989)Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610
Goldeneye (1995)Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80
The World is Not Enough (1999)Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80
Die Another Day (2002)Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2531.80
Casino Royale (2006)Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2220.80.00
Quantum of Solace (2008)Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2201.50.00
Skyfall (2012)Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref.
Spectre  (2015)Omega Seamaster 300 Ref.
No Time to Die (2021)OMEGA Seamaster 300 Series 007 Edition

The Classic Era: Sean Connery’s Iconic Wristwear

He is tall and handsome, well dressed, clean-shaven, with dark hair. In other words, a classic gentleman. Along with incredible charisma and charm, Sean Connery is characterized by one more distinctive feature: a very special watch. Sean Connery's character wears the legendary Rolex Submariner. If we examine the exterior of the Rolex Submariner Reference 6538, we may notice that it has a rather simple and classic appearance. This, however, makes it an excellent choice for the adventurous missions that James Bond has to undertake.

The Classic Era: Sean Connery’s Iconic Wristwear

'From Russia with Love' is the second adventure of the British spy, keeping true to his original choice and reappearing on screen with a Rolex Submariner 6538. 

Without a doubt, this model is one of the most sought-after among collectors, investors and fans of the James Bond series. Not so long ago, in 2018, at the world-leading art and luxury auction Christie's, one of these Rolex Submariner timepieces was sold for 1 million dollars.

One might assume this was all a deliberate and highly successful collaboration between Rolex and Sean Connery. But it wasn't a collaboration. Let's explore the evidence.

Golden Gruen

In 1967, 'You Only Live Twice' was released. Surprisingly, a golden Gruen watch was spotted on Bond's wrist. As we know, Gruen and Rolex are two distinct and separate watch manufacturers. Each has its own unique history, rich heritage, and different product lines. That said, Gruen does not appear explicitly in the footage, so it is assumed that this was not a commercial collaboration, with Sean Connery simply using one of the watches from his personal collection.  From this, we can conclude that if this was indeed a promotional collaboration, James Bond would have continued to wear Rolex in the following films. Nevertheless, many 007 enthusiasts firmly believe that for each James Bond film, every actor, and even others involved, were financially rewarded. Anyway, probably not a single viewer had the impression that it was an intrusive or inappropriate advertisement. Is it even possible to imagine a secret agent without a watch? It's simply unthinkable.

After that, Sean Connery still appeared on the screens more than once, playing the role of a British spy. He is wearing two Rolexes - a Submariner and a Rolex Chronograph. However, in 'Diamonds Are Forever,' James Bond appears mostly without a watch. Only in a few scenes can a gold Gruen watch be spotted on his wrist, likely the same one seen in 'You Only Live Twice'.

a Hamilton Pulsar P2 2900 LED digital watch.

Roger Moore and the Age of Gadget-Integrated Watches

In 1973, the role was played by Sir Roger Moore, an English actor who is remembered precisely for his unrivaled acting skills demonstrated in the James Bond film series. 

Yet it was Rolex that established itself as James Bond's favorite watch. In 'Live and Let Die', Moore chose a Submariner 5513. This is an extremely popular model that was in production until 1989. The model shown in the movie had a number of incredible features. It could be used as a circular saw to remove handcuffs. With the help of an embedded magnet the legendary British spy could skillfully deflect bullets and even disrobe a lady. The real Rolex Submariner 5513, we’re sorry to say, does not have these features.

Rolex GMT Master

'The Spy Who Loved Me', the legendary spy appears with two models. He has a busy, active life, so needless to say, he needs a reliable companion equipped with superpowers. The Seiko 0674 LC has the ability to print important messages, acting as an advanced pager. For accurate timekeeping, the spy uses a Rolex GMT Master. Seiko is a perfect match for the consummate adventurer, so in 'Moontaker', Bond appears with the Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar. In 'For Your Eyes Only' there are two models. Both are Seiko - 7549-7009, and H357.

Seiko TV Watch is another model that appears on TV screens in this legendary series. This time in a movie called 'Octopussy'. What's more, this watch appears in a close-up shot. Now that really does sound like a direct advertisement!

Rolex GMT Master

Pierce Brosnan’s Sophisticated Timepiece Choices

Pierce Brosnan is another actor who took part in the filming of this series in a starring role. In 'GoldenEye', Bond wears an Omega Seamaster Professional. One might initially think of this as a rather ordinary watch, without the supernatural functions it used to possess. But it perfectly complements the spirit of the main character. It serves him as a light source and a rescue cable.

Rolex GMT Master

Daniel Craig and the Return to Classic Elegance

New actors, new watches, but still the same great combination of the legendary and unrivaled James Bond and a watch with incredible capabilities. The first movie in which the audience saw Daniel Craig as a legendary spy was Casino Royal, released in 2006. This time, the choice of James Bond’s watch fell on two models at once, both Omega. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean can be seen when the hero is in the field and is quite the popular model nowadays. The timepiece has a nice steel case. A date window is at the three o'clock position. 

As the series progresses, Bond adopts an array of different models. In 'Quantum of Solace' he wears a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M on his wrist. However, in 'Skyfall', which was released in 2012, James Bond favors an unusual model with a titanium case. It is a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M designed for the movie. The case of the standard model is made of steel. 

Omega remains Daniel Craig's favorite brand. In 2015, he appeared on screen wearing the Omega Seamaster 300 Specter. In 2021, in 'No Time to Die', his choice is the Omega Seamaster Diver 007 Edition.

Rolex GMT Master

The Legacy and Future of Bond’s Watches

It is hard to say for sure whether Sean Connery's choice of Rolex was part of a marketing strategy or a happy accident. What's important is that ever since then, the agent has consistently worn a watch, making it an essential attribute of James Bond.

Over the decades, James Bond's watch preferences have evolved quite a bit. This reflects the changing times and the evolution of watch technology, not only the character’s personal preferences. Consider Sean Connery's Rolex Submariner. It was a symbol of elegance in the 1960s. Now, look at Pierce Brosnan's Omega Seamaster. It is much more technically advanced and represents a fusion of style and modern functionality.

The watches featured in these films are highly sought-after collectibles. Almost all of the models have appreciated significantly in value. It's not merely about the creativity of the screenwriters who imbue these watches with incredible abilities, but more so about the idea that every stylish and self-confident man must wear a watch. As we see, it is not so important what kind - Rolex, Omega or Seiko.

What is so special about them? They are not just accessories. They are integral to his character. They have become symbols of the Bond persona. Be it a Rolex, Omega, or any other brand, every watch embodies elegance, precision, and reliability.

Over time, the watches evolve, and so does the character of James Bond. 

Will there be a continuation of this legendary series? Who will be the next James Bond? These are open answers. Maybe, another watch owned by the next James Bond will be a stylish Rolex, a sporty SEIKO or a highly water-resistant Omega. Chances are, it will possess a new superpower!