James Bond's Greatest Watches

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From seminal mechanical watches to innovative digitals, The Rake examines 007’s finest timepieces.

George Lazenby wears a stainless steel Rolex Chronograph (ref. 6238) as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Service, 1969.

James Bond’s array of amazing cars garner the lion’s share of attention — and slavering male wish-list additions. Sadly, for most of us, a 1963 Aston Martin DB5 will forever remain out of reach. The watches worn by Britain’s most famous fictional super-spy, however, present a far more accessible, affordable means of emulating 007.

Most enviable — and valuable — among the timepieces sported by the cinematic Bond are the Rolex Submariners worn in the earliest films in the franchise. Author Ian Fleming wore a Rolex in real life (a 1016 Explorer I, to be exact), and equipped his literary creation with watches from that same legendary Swiss manufacture. Bond, Fleming wrote in Casino Royale, “could not just wear a watch. It had to be a Rolex,” explaining that “a gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Savile Row suit.” Quite.

Contributor

Christian Barker

Christian Barker is The Rake's Asia editor-at-large, a frequent contributor to this site, and an enthusiastic consumer of fine whiskies, sashimi and classic disco music - ideally in unison.

Published

June 2022

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