**In lieu of celebrating the release of the 23rd James Bond film today we welcome a guest post about the history of the iconic watches from the famously familiar M16 agent. From one Bond and Watch obsessed gentlemen I give you today’s Menswear Monday Post.
There are many things that I’ve come to associate with James Bond over the years. Most people associate him with fast cars (read: Aston Martins), and women (read: supermodels) – with some spying on the side.
To me however, there are so many fine details beyond these inclinations that have endeared Ian Flemming’s character to many, and ensured his posterity in society’s collective memory.
For me, some of the things that make James Bond special lies in the tools he uses. Bond’s weapons, his gadgets, and his watches – of which the latter often contains both of the former. In Casino Royale, M succinctly refers to Bond as a “blunt instrument” but anyone who has seen the films knows Bond’s watches are never blunt, nor simple instruments.
In Ian Flemmings novels, Bond was a Rolex man favoring the Submariner on a NATO strap (the strap issued to all British Defense Ministry agents). This watch retailed around $900 at the time, and retails today for around $25,900 for a well-kept vintage piece. The Submariner can best be seen in Connery’s rendition of Bond in 1964’s Goldfinger:
More recently however, Bond has switched to the arguably more refined brand of Omega watches. This switch occurred when Pierce Brosnan began his tenure as Bond in 1995’s Goldeneye. The switch occurred as producer Barabara Brocoli wanted a “more elegant” watch. The watch chosen by Brocoli was the Omega Seamaster (which retails at $3,608):
Like the Rolexes before them, when the Omega was introduced in Goldeneye as the watch of choice by Bond, it included many features to ensure that it also maintained its place as weapon of choice. Over Brosnan’s films the watch was modified to include a piano wire for strangulating Bonds victim, an explosive detonator for obvious purposes, and a laser capable of cutting through metal.
After Brosnan’s retirement from the franchise, Brocoli and the new Bond, Daniel Craig, set out to reinvent the Bond franchise from the ground-up. Unsurprisingly, to add to the authenticity of the character, one of the first things that got dropped in 2006’s Casino Royale was many of the features which made the Brosnan-era films appear kitsch. With the reboot of the series, Brocoli and Craig decided to drop the gadgets, and once again add some more elegance and utility with the Omega Planet Ocean (which retails at $5,081):
Since Daniel Craig adopted this watch as his staple accessory in 2006, Omega’s sales of the model have skyrocketed. It is no surprise of-course that Craig can be seen wearing this watch once again in the recently released Skyfall, and that Omega continues to issue limited edition versions of the Planet Ocean with each film release.To celebrate the release of the 23rd James Bond film, Omega has also once again partnered with the films producers to release a custom branded version of the Planet Ocean that can be found here.
If you’re interested in donning some Bond swagger with the more timeless and unbranded version of the Planet Ocean, you can cruise over in your Aston Martin to your local luxury watch shop or my favourite haunt (prestigetime.com) and pickup the Omega 42mm or 45mm (Craig has worn both sizes over his three films).
I’d be remised if I didn’t note that there are of course many other watches in-between the above three noted (Casio, Pulsar and Seiko to name but a few). However, most Bond enthusiasts will agree that the above watches are some of the more defining features of Bond’s legacy: perhaps even more so than the fast cars, or supermodels. A well crafted tool, but hardly a blunt instrument.
Bond Enthusiast. James Bond Enthusiast.
Happy Monday Blog Readers,
Hope you enjoyed this guest post and a little bit of a change from reading my posts! I’ll be back tomorrow with your Tasty Tuesday Recipe Post.