As the excitement around Skyfall fires into action and Bond fever takes hold (note our very dapper cover star, Daniel Craig), the question begs: just what is it about 007 that gets us so worked up?
Is it the impeccable cut of his Tom Ford suit? Is it the purr of the supermodel he’s enchanted into the sack? Or is it the beautiful chronograph flicking seductively from beneath his cuff?
It would be fair to say that Bond’s choice of watch has become as much a part of this on-screen hero’s persona as his ability to wield a semi-automatic; little wonder Hollywood has been wise to this trick for a while.
It’s not just Bond: get the make of watch right and the director and wardrobe department can breathe that bit easier — it speaks as loudly of someone’s character as their choice of car or leading lady. Herewith, four iconic timepieces from four iconic films, starting with Mr Bond’s.
1 Omega Seamaster (above)
Smart, reliable, just eye-catching enough and properly tough, the Planet Ocean 600M is the timepiece Daniel Craig can be seen sporting in Skyfall. A nod to Bond’s naval past, the Planet Ocean even boasts an English heart, thanks to the Daniels Co-Axial escapement system housed within.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M, £3,950 omegawatches.com
2 Cartier Tank (above left)
The Cartier Tank has popped up on a stellar selection of wrists, from Cary Grant in North by Northwest via Steve McQueen in 1968’s Thomas Crown Affair to Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, for which he wears a full gold bracelet version. Inspired by tanks that Cartier saw on World War One’s Western Front, featuring a rectangular shape and sword-shaped hands, the subtext is clear: the owner isn’t messing around.
Cartier Tank Solo large model in steel, £1,850 cartier.com
3 Hamilton Ventura (above right)
The watch brand with the closest links to Hollywood is Hamilton. Its film credit highlights include everything from The Talented Mr Ripley (Matt Damon wore an Ardmore), to the Men in Black series (in which Will Smith sports a Hamilton Ventura),
to Blue Hawaii, where Elvis Presley can be seen wearing the brand’s first electric watch.
Hamilton Ventura with black leather strap, £580 hamiltonwatch.com
4 Tag Heuer Link Chronograph
When you’re struggling to work out who you are, at least get a watch you can rely on. Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne wore a Tag Heuer Link Chronograph throughout his trilogy of films. Functional and robust, this prestigious piece maintains a man-on-the-street appeal — all the better for masking your CIA credentials.
Tag Heuer Link Calibre S Chronograph, £2,295 tagheuer.com
Words by James Gurney
Photographs by Will Thom