Fashion

The Definitive Ranking Of James Bond's Watches

From Casino Royale to, er... Casino Royale
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“He could not just wear a watch. It had to be a Rolex.“ 

So says Ian Fleming in his debut 007 novel, Casino Royale. But James Bond has never been one to follow rules (especially when there's a lucrative endorsement deal to be had), and over the past 56 years his weapon-grade wrist has played host to some of the most iconic and eclectic tickers in cinema history. 

One line from that book has remained true, however: “A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Savile Row suit.“ 

Here are six that said the most...

1| Rolex Submariner 

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Seen in: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball 

The world-renowned OG of 007 timepieces, a 'Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner' graced Sean Connery’s bushy, Richard Keys-ian wrist for the franchise’s first four films. 

Recently sold at auction for $60,000, the iconic watch’s starring moment came in Goldfinger, when Connery illuminated the dial with a lighter. Some fans believe that it was actually one of Connery's personal possessions.

2| Gruen Precision 510

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Seen in: Dr No, You Only Live Twice 

While the Rolex Submariner has become synonymous with Bond’s early adventures, the first timepiece he actually wore on-screen was the Gruen 'Precision.' Bet you feel like a fool now, eh? In fairness, it was barely visible as Bond dealt cards in this scene. 

The gold dress watch was a perfect low-key alternative to the sportier Submariner, with a black fabric strap and stripped-back design. Gruen, once one of the biggest watch manufacturers in America, went out of business in 1977.

3| Hamilton Pulsar P2/2900 “Astronaut”     

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Seen in: Live and Let Die 

Ignore the fact that it looks like a Jetson family microwave. The Pulsar P2 was technically advanced for its time, and Roger Moore brought into the digital hype for 1973’s Live and Let Die

LED technology soon fell out of favor once LCD screens arrived on the scene, and Bond sheepishly ditched the timepiece forever. You can pick one up for around a grand.

4| Breitling Top Time  

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Seen in: Thunderball 

Lost for decades after its appearance in Thunderball, the Top Time surfaced in 2013 at a car boot sale and sold for an incredible $160,383 at auction. Why? Because it was the first watch specially modified and issued to Bond by ‘Q’ branch. He installed a handy Geiger counter that Bond uses to search for atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE.

5| Tag Heuer Professional 200M      

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Seen in: The Living Daylights 

While Bond usually opts for Rolex or Omega, few people know that he once donned a Tag Heuer in Timothy Dalton’s 1987 debut The Living Daylights

The specific model was shrouded in mystery for decades, until legions of internet snoops scrutinized 10 seconds of fast-paced footage and discovered it to be the Professional 200M.

6| Omega Seamaster 300M     

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Seen in: Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Goldeneye 

007 has pledged allegiance to Omega ever since 1995’s GoldenEye, when Pierce Brosnan donned his blue-bezel Seamaster Diver 300M for the first time. Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming was "convinced that Commander Bond, a naval man, a diver, and a discreet gentleman of the world would wear the Seamaster with the blue dial.” 

During the Brosnan years, the Seamaster was kitted out with outlandish ridiculous gadgets that proved crucial to the plot, including a laser, a grappling, hook and a mine detonator, but Daniel Craig’s casting in Casino Royale triggered a return to tradition (albeit with a black bezel to reflect emo Bond’s tortured psyche).

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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