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James Bond Watch

  • Rolex

    Votes: 43 31.2%
  • Seiko

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • Omega

    Votes: 86 62.3%

  • Total voters
    138
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While I realize that Omega give EON shedloads of cash to feature their watches...

I read somewhere ages ago the Bond SMP was originally chosen as Bond's watch by a Goldeneye costume designer. It isn't like they held an auction and whatever company gave them the most money became the Bond watch, there was some consideration as to what watch would suit the Bond character. And indeed for a modern Bond film, I think the SMP or PO is more suitible than a modern Sub or Explorer I for Bond.

That said, if Bond films were period pieces (b-)), he'd have to wear a Rolex. As Matt said above it was likely an Explorer in the novels, though I must admit I think the Sub is a more attractive choice for the films...

Here's an interesting Bond Rolex site...

http://jaegerlc.homestead.com/007.html
 

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Omega is better hands down! But Bond probably would use some Seiko Divers as well in the real world. Probably the Seiko Milemarker would be the first choice for non-aquatic activities. The Omega SMP is fine with 1000ft in diving. Perhaps a Seiko "Tuna" for beater missions.
 

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I read somewhere ages ago the Bond SMP was originally chosen as Bond's watch by a Goldeneye costume designer. It isn't like they held an auction and whatever company gave them the most money became the Bond watch,
Yes, there was exactly that auction - Seiko and Rolex simply were not prepared to stump up the cash. The rest is propaganda.

My take is that Neither Fleming or Bond would have touched Omega with a bargepole for the last twenty odd years. Why? Because Omega have not been a manufacture and I don't think either would touch a watch that didn't have an in-house movement. They are both snobs like that!

More importantly, the SeMP is rubbish in the water due to the smooth bezel. I wrote about this at length earlier in the year. In marginal conditions, not being able to set the bezel easily is just dangerous.


The Explorer 1 is a watch that, like the speedy, has evolved gently for the last fifty odd years. It's a hell of a watch with a hell of a pedigree.

Sorry
 

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Sounds a lot like the Aston Martin --> Lotus--->Audi--->BMW (time line) debate for Bond movies.
I guess at the end, it is who pays most, but it has to be realistic.
Sure, GM could pay (once the financial crisis is over), and we could see Bond driving an Opel (in Europe), or even a Fiat because they can afford to pay, but it just wouldnt work...
Omega was/is the perfect choice at the perfect time.
Sort of like today's high end BMWs.
 

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Yes, there was exactly that auction - Seiko and Rolex simply were not prepared to stump up the cash. The rest is propaganda.

My take is that Neither Fleming or Bond would have touched Omega with a bargepole for the last twenty odd years. Why? Because Omega have not been a manufacture and I don't think either would touch a watch that didn't have an in-house movement. They are both snobs like that!

More importantly, the SeMP is rubbish in the water due to the smooth bezel. I wrote about this at length earlier in the year. In marginal conditions, not being able to set the bezel easily is just dangerous.


The Explorer 1 is a watch that, like the speedy, has evolved gently for the last fifty odd years. It's a hell of a watch with a hell of a pedigree.

Sorry
Well

Excuuuuuuse me!

I think this calls for an expert opinion.



Well, maybe you're right after all... :-d:-d:-d

Still though, I don't think the Bond watch in 1995 was chosen so arbitrarily that it was simply by whoever gave them the most money... Yes, I'm sure they had a few different brands in mind but it certainly wasn't a free for all. Like I said, there was some input into Bond's character and how they wanted to bring back the movie series after 6 years.

Interesting though, that Timothy Dalton wore a Submariner 16800 in License to Kill, though it isn't explicitly noted or has any "close-ups" - the cyclops is very visible in the scene where he's tearing open the bags of cocaine underwater with his knife.

Whether it was his own or Rolex wanted it in the film I don't know. Though I don't think Rolex ever had any sort of movie contract with the Bond series, though I could be wrong...
 

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I read somewhere ages ago the Bond SMP was originally chosen as Bond's watch by a Goldeneye costume designer. It isn't like they held an auction and whatever company gave them the most money became the Bond watch, there was some consideration as to what watch would suit the Bond character.QUOTE]

It says this in the book about the Goldeneye film that includes interviews with the cast and crew along with on set photos.

Nigel
 
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If you read the books there can only be ONE brand - Rolex. And one car make only as well - Bentley. But people who drive BMWs can wear other watches, too.

Seeing as he's now returned to AM cars he ought to start wearing a Rolex again as well. A Deepsea maybe? Or the Subnodate again ...

On the other hand as a Commander of the British Navy an Omega would be an obvious choice since Omega has a long tradition of supplying watches to HM Forces.


Wasn't there a beautiful 5514 Submariner issued to the RN in the mid 70's?
 

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Re: It's all about "product placement"...

... Sitting in the National Portrait Gallery in London there is a rather nice portrait of the man himself....
The National Portrait Gallery informed me personally (earlier this year) that it is in violation of copyright to Post these images on the Internet. You probably found this on the same source that I discovered when I approached them, so I wanted you to know that they informed me that they were already taking action against those postings.

My strong recommendation is that the wonderful reputation we've come to enjoy here on WUS be maintained by the voluntary removal of these images now ~ as opposed to waiting until its forced.

Much as I am a proponent of knowledge acquisition, it's not right to use someone else's intellectual property in violation of their rights. Heck, some part of the expense of the watches we purchase come from copiers who do just that to our favorite brands.

Thanks for your understanding.
 

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Mega Reply

Unless I've missed some reference here (sorry), you guys might also want to check out a Thread titled "Daniel Craig wearing Bond NATO" in the WUS Diver's Forum. LINK

re The Poll itself here, I'm a big fan of research, as some of you already know. In 2006, right around the time that Casino Royale was released, I asked a similar question to the one here, only broader. In an attempt to correct for the "old" thing, I suggested all watch choices be considered as NOS; I also asked in a Forum not specific to any particular brand. Here are the highlights, and complete results are on my website. LINK
  • 11% said Rolex 5513
  • 14% said Omega Seamaster 2531.80
  • 44% said Rolex from the Connery era
Personally, I have a broad affection for all watches associated with James Bond. I own at least on brand as featured in each of the EON movies, and, of course, designated by Ian Fleming (w/ the exception of the pocket watch referenced in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and the "cheap" one Tiger gave him in You Only Live Twice).

But you all have brought up some great tangents here I'd like to weigh in on, if I may.

M4tt. Yes, "Fleming said Rollie, Cubby said Rollie," but we're talking at least four different models in that mix (and that's before you get to variations).

Beyond this, Bond's watch was neither exclusively a Rolex nor even necessarily a high-end watch in the books.

re Your Post #21, I've never been a fan of any sort of "military" angle for Fleming's designation of Rolex for Bond. Fleming had had no personal military experience w/ them that we know of (and certainly didn't own one during his Navy career), and didn't typically have any sort of "interest" in history, per se.

On the other hand, I very much like and agree w/ your thinking on vis-a-vis the Smiths watch image.

Casino Royale was not the first reference to Rolex. (While interesting and valuable to talk about Ian Fleming, the real analysis and logical conclusions will only come from reading through the books. For example, not only was Rolex never mentioned in Casino Royale, but whatever watch it was that he wore, it almost certainly did not survive. LINK)

vintagewatchfiend. I like your question about Bond's salary and Rolex pricing, because, as we know, 007 had to buy his own and submitted the loss of his knuckleduster on an expense report for replacement. But before I'll go w/ you to price points of then versus now, you also have to remember that Fleming characterized Bond as someone who had little interest in saving money (didn't think he'd live to spend it), and spent to indulge himself in things that interested him.

acdelco. Personally, I like the Planet Ocean and own the Casino Royale issue. Agree that it's "a great current choice" for Daniel Craig as James Bond. But, as I've said elsewhere, I think Timothy Dalton is the closest trajectory to an Ian Fleming 007 that we've seen on the bit screen. That doesn't necessarily make him the best or marketable; I'm simply talking straight out characterization as Fleming wrote it.

Hippocampus. Hmm, which Omega would Ian Fleming have chosen (a) if he were around today, and (b) if he'd have chosen Omega? I think it would have been a De Ville ~ with as few complications as possible.

I Like Watches. Interesting analysis in Post #16.

If, as you say, "It's all about 'product placement'...," then maybe someone ought to look at the ROI that Marketing Week has found. LINK

23fengshui. Your Post #17: |>|>

conkerking. Mr. Broccoil may have provided his own personal Rolex to the Dr. No film production, but I've seen no proof it was a Submariner. LINK Some even argue, credibly, that director Terence Young was the source. LINK

GJ. When you quote, "'He could not just wear a watch. It had to be a Rolex. -Ian Flemming [sic] (Casino Royale)," what do you mean?

potz. As I've already taken a position on the "military" as it relates to 007 watches, I just wanted to comment on vehicles. Aston Martin is certainly legitimate as his "company car," and he drove a (rental?) Thunderbird in The Spy Who Loved Me, as I recall.

Okay-- all caught up!

Back to the Dive Forum for me.
 

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Re: Mega Reply

new photos from QoS Rome premiere






 

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Re: Mega Reply

M4tt. Yes, "Fleming said Rollie, Cubby said Rollie," but we're talking at least four different models in that mix (and that's before you get to variations).

Beyond this, Bond's watch was neither exclusively a Rolex nor even necessarily a high-end watch in the books.

re Your Post #21, I've never been a fan of any sort of "military" angle for Fleming's designation of Rolex for Bond. Fleming had had no personal military experience w/ them that we know of (and certainly didn't own one during his Navy career), and didn't typically have any sort of "interest" in history, per se.

On the other hand, I very much like and agree w/ your thinking on vis-a-vis the Smiths watch image.

Casino Royale was not the first reference to Rolex. (While interesting and valuable to talk about Ian Fleming, the real analysis and logical conclusions will only come from reading through the books. For example, not only was Rolex never mentioned in Casino Royale, but whatever watch it was that he wore, it almost certainly did not survive.
Now I think that it is interesting that you utterly ignore my second post in which I disagree with myself and go off in a very different direction. Now I know you read it from your response to my use of a picture from the National Gallery. Cheers, I appreciated your method. Subtle.

However no response. Interesting.

Two quotes from chapters 15 and 16 backed up by a picture of a watch which leaves little doubt as to the watch that Fleming wore or, due to his well reported conceit, the watch he imagined onto the wrist of James Bond.

That's quite a claim and yet you didn't respond as you did to everything else.

One final point. When you talk about Bond's watch not surviving, you are making what philosophers' call a category error. Bond's watch never existed. Fleming's did.
 

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Fleming Throws a Spanner in the Works.....

'B W Goodden Esq.,
10 Old Broad St,
London
E.C.2

5th June, 1958

Dear Sir,

I have just got back from abroad to find your sapient rebuke of 007's time-keeping equipment.

I have discussed this with him and he points out that the Rolex Oyster Perpetual weighs about six ounces and would appreciably slow up the use of his left hand in combat.
His practice, in fact, is to use fairly cheap, expendable wrist watches on expandable bracelets which can be slipped forward over the thumb and used in the form of a knuckle duster, either on the outside or inside of the hand.

In passing on his comments to you, I would add that James Bond has trained himself to tell the time by the sun in either hemisphere within a few minutes.

Thank you, nevertheless, for raising the point and 007 wishes to assure you that when an appropriate time-piece is invented he will wear it.

Ian Fleming.'

I have typed here a copy of a genuine letter from Fleming to a reader who had criticised Bonds use of a Rolex in the field.


So there you go fellas, in the actual words of the man himself, Bond didn't really wear a Rolex at all........

Sean
 

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More directly, then

Now I think that it is interesting that you utterly ignore my second post in which I disagree with myself and go off in a very different direction. Now I know you read it from your response to my use of a picture from the National Gallery. Cheers, I appreciated you method. Subtle.

However no response. Interesting.

Two quotes from chapters 15 and 16 backed up by a picture of a watch which leaves little doubt as to the watch that Fleming wore or, due to his well reported conceit, the watch he imagined onto the wrist of James Bond.

That's quite a claim and yet you didn't respond as you did to everything else.

One final point. When you talk about Bond's watch not surviving, you are making what philosophers' call a category error. Bond's watch never existed. Fleming's did.
For a lot of people, Matt, the subject of "James Bond watches" is a distraction at best; and, sometimes, much more of a thorn.

Personally, I fall into the category of much beyond the the former (which is probably obvious, from the name and content of my website). As a matter of fact, if someone is interested in studying wristwatches, I think this is a grand hook. If you think about it, "James Bond" spans five decades: And, whether you agree or disagree, producers' choices have threaded in and out of watches in time throughout. Mechanical. The narrow window when LED was thought to be the future. Quartz. Big cases.

There's no shortage of material on the web regarding James Bond watches. For some people that's frustrating, because so much of it is simply copied from other sources; and, like after those papers following multiple generations, details blur. The often-repeated story of Cubby Broccoli handing over his watch to the Dr. No production. Has anybody ever provided a first-hand account (eg, letter, personal recollection) that has satisfied you on that one? At that, since there were clearly two watches worn by 007 in Dr. No, what makes anyone sure it was a Sub?

So there's stuff out there. But for myself, I'm not so interested in simply adding to those electron spins as I am finding out. Wouldn't you like to know? What if the claim that someone erred in recalling? What if it was Terence Young, as many insist? Or the unit guy from Thunderball, who says he lent one of his watches to that film, and his is really the story that's being quoted?

Or, for that matter, just to get more detail on the Broccoli story, if that's the way it goes?

There were a lot of Posts in this Thread to which I did not specifically reply. There was nothing personal about not responding to yours - other than the fact that I didn't want to add emphasis to the Post of an image which I felt, and PM'ed this to you directly, violates copyrights.

Putting that aside for a moment, here's how I think about it. The National Portrait Gallery website itself doesn't even show a thumbnail of this image. That's what the owners (who I believe are Villiers heirs) wish. Now, you appear to have read Casino Royale, so you know about the so-called Villiers supercharger on Bond's car (insert whatever disclaimer is needed here to avoid further misperceptions that I don't know that "James Bond" is a fictional character). You may also know that Villiers was a close personal friend of Ian Fleming. I count a sum total of one reference to the 007 watch in Casino Royale, almost in passing: Villiers got details.

So, much as I'd like to distribute the picture and have it on my website, I chose not to put it there out of respect for the family who still own it. And that, to me, respects Ian Fleming - as best I can, now that he's gone. In a way, you said it yourself: This painting was very personal to him, made for a special 250-piece run of On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Long before your Post or anything here, Matt, I'd been in contact w/ Matthew Bailey regarding permissions for the image. That is how I knew this was something they were looking to protect, first and foremost, on behalf of the portrait owners. It's how I came to know of Bernard Horrocks, their Copyright Officer, who is moving forward from that angle.

What else do you think I've missed? Oh, yeah: Your statement regarding the positive ID on the watch. You're wrong on that. I have copies of the Rolex paperwork w/ the actual information.

Those are not on my website either. Similar reasons as above (although that is in the process of changing).
 

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Fleming's James Bond watch specification

'B W Goodden Esq.,
10 Old Broad St,
London
E.C.2

5th June, 1958

Dear Sir,

I have just got back from abroad to find your sapient rebuke of 007's time-keeping equipment....

Sean
Haven't proofed your entire transcription here, Sean, but at a glance, this looks like the letter.

Again, subject to restrictions I mentioned in my Post above, I have not put a scan of the actual carbon copy of that letter (which I have, directly from the Fleming family) on my website. Neither have I placed there the letter to which it responds (I also have that scanned).

Good addition to this discussion.

Of course, while it may undermine a claim of Rolex exclusivity (something to keep in mind should one decide to re-read the original Fleming books), it doesn't exactly help Omega. Who'd wanna be known as cheap or disposible in this line of business?
 

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Re: More directly, then

No offense intended, Dell, but your response to Matt seems to dodge the main points. It seems that you're relying on a self-perceived notion of credibility based on your well promoted blog. However, Matt seems to have formulated a pretty realistic argument, which, perhaps, you have not considered, and are now ignoring.

As I've mentioned around Watchuseek before, I'm not much of a Bond nut, but I do hold an interest in well reasoned exchanges of ideas. This seems like an opportunity to embrace or refute, what seems to be a rather impressive contention in this ongoing discussion.

In the interest of discussion on a topic that relates to James Bond and Omega fans, here on our WUS Omega Forum, I'm interested in seeing this discussion continue.

eric
 

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Response to Post #25 here, as of 11/5 revision @11:11am

Your charges notwithstanding, let's see if I can't tie up any loose ends the casual reader might be left to believe exist here.

The bottom-line in Matt's Post #25 here, at least insofar as I saw it, was when he wrote: "The Rolex 6350 'Explorer I' Oyster Perpetual Chronometer" is the watch Ian Fleming wore. This ties to his discussion of the watch Ian Fleming is depicted wearing in the painting now on display at the National Portrait Gallery. I have documentation on that watch right here in front of me as I type this. Matt's guess is not correct. I'm not in a position to share my source material with you - but I will do so in a few months. LINK

Seems quite clear in what I originally wrote:

... What else do you think I've missed? Oh, yeah: Your statement regarding the positive ID on the watch. You're wrong on that. I have copies of the Rolex paperwork w/ the actual information.

Those are not on my website either. Similar reasons as above (although that is in the process of changing).


Okay starting at the top of Matt's Post #25 now:
  • Matt's discussion of fixed bars. Not relevant, not mentioned by Ian Fleming in any James Bond story w/ which I'm familiar.
  • Matt's reference to 1954. Not relevant to a discussion of the National Portrait Gallery painting, but I could guess that he cites this because it's the year in which Live and Let Die was published: That was the first reference to Rolex in a 007 story. However, if that's of interest, the year in question is 1953 - when Fleming actually wrote Live and Let Die. I was at the Lilly Library, where the original manuscript is housed, during the Ian Fleming Centenary celebration last May; so I looked up the Rolex reference and noted that it was included in that very first draft. Thus, the Live and Let Die Rolex had to have existed in 1953 to have been the subject of that reference.
  • Matt's reference to the National Portrait Gallery painting. A number of really embarrassing statements are made here that I'm guessing you want me to point out, Eric. First off, this was not produced for the National Portrait Gallery, nor was it any sort of honor or deal related to that. It was painted for use as "a frontispiece portrait" on a limited edition of 250 numbered copies of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This is basic knowledge, and certainly something I'd have expecte to have been known before going out on a limb to proclaim "Mystery solved!" from this foundation. Heck, it says so right there on the copyright page of every printing of the first edition I've seen (and you don't have to own the book to finish this bit of sleuth work: Most auctions show it as part of their sales reveals). Second, as I've already discussed above, Charles Amherst Villiers was a close, longtime friend of Ian Fleming. So, the antithesis of what is suggested by Matt in terms of a National Portrait Gallery deal. Third, the painting was made in 1962, which is not only known from even a quick study of Fleming, but also a fact noted by the National Portrait Gallery. So the "what watch looked like that in 1954?" question is way off.
  • Matt's statement about this being "the best watch" Fleming had. No indication of that. Fleming knew and referenced a number of high-end watches, making it at least as likely or moreso that he owned and wore better.
What else do you feel is missing here, Eric?

For years folks have said that the Connery Rolex Submariner was either a 6538 or a 6200 or a 5510. And thus anyone claiming to have made a positive ID based on screen capture or production still was still labeled as having failed to close the deal. What I've said here is no different.

I did, of course, both alert you privately, and now twice here openly, to my concern about copyright infringements on the Villiers painting. That's still something I'd encourage you to take the high road in correcting.
 

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Moving forward

Looking back, I probably was a bit brusque, in trying to prompt you to respond the the contents of Matt's hypothesis. I appreciate you taking the time to do so, and continue this discussion.

eric
People make mistakes, Eric; I can forgive that.

And beyond the Fleming and Villiers relationship, I've actually been quite invested in this particular angle on the "James Bond watches" thing since 2007. My intent in first responding to what I saw as the bigger picture of this Thread was to share as much of that as I could, but w/in contraints of publishing commitments I've made and releases I'm still in the process of getting.

Barring unforeseen issues, I anticipate having releases to bring all of this w/in a step or two of Ian Fleming himself.

Meantime, believe it or not, I've actually had to let myself be scooped on a lot of things (thought certainly not substantively) on things as a result of those as well.

But I couldn't let so many of the fine folks here on WUS think I was bluffing, avoiding, or in any way dismissing their valuable interests. What a terrible disservice that would be to the growing field of James Bond watch study! ;-)

'B W Goodden Esq.,
10 Old Broad St,
London
E.C.2

5th June, 1958

... 007's time-keeping equipment....

His practice, in fact, is to use fairly cheap, expendable wrist watches .... Ian Fleming....
Okay, so now, back to the topic at hand, and accountability, and responsiveness (assuming folks still want me on the field here).

Fleming's response to the Goodden letter (which was written some months earlier, and spoke to concerns stemming from a description in the Doctor No novel), further supports my argument that the "Mystery solved!" is not the end of this discussion.

Comments?
 
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