When you think of James Bond what are a few of the first things to pop into your head – is it the style, a savoir faire attitude, maybe a skilled agent who is capable of completing the mission at all costs regardless of bodily harm or collateral damage? Or perhaps when you conjure up an image of Bond you think of an agent quick with a quip or gadget for any situation? I think those are certainly all correct considering the six main actors that have played Ian Fleming’s 007 so far. In truth I suppose you could say 8 actors have been given a shot at portraying James Bond on TV and film, with Barry Nelson (The Shining) playing the character in a 1954 television adaptation – then David Niven (The Pink Panther) in the 1967 comedy adaptation of Casino Royale. However one probably doesn’t normally think of the watches that Bond wears in the films though – even if some of the memorable gadgets were stored in them – or if you do I doubt the Seiko Moonraker watch is the first timepiece to spring to mind.
For what it might be worth, Seiko and James Bond have been linked together in more than just 1979’s Moonraker – as 007 switched to a Seiko digital watch starting in 1977 with The Spy Who Loved Me. Certainly Rolex was the timepiece brand of choice for Bond in the original novels by Ian Fleming – in addition to those favored by Sean Connery in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and even Thunderball. Did you know though that Sean Connery would often wear two watches in some films? It apparently is the truth as he also sported a Gruen Precision timepiece both in Dr. No and Goldfinger.
Roger Moore’s seven film run started with the switch to digital watches, which kind of makes sense – a new Bond for a then ‘modern’ era as it were. In 1973’s Live and Let Die the actor started off with the Hamilton Pulsar before switching over to Seiko. The reason for this article isn’t to name off the brands of watches used by Bond in his films – although having said that there is an excellent YouTube video from Timepiece Chronicle that is totally worth your time to check out.
The true reason I decided to write about the Seiko Moonraker watch in particular is because after seeing the 1979 film at the 62 Drive-In of my youth – it set me on the path of becoming a fan of timepieces. Even if your typical watch doesn’t have quite the function of a Q Branch design, I found myself quite attracted to collecting them. There is also the fact that the 1979 movie’s ad campaign was something I recall seeing in upscale department stores in my youth – actually thanks to The James Bond 007 Dossier site, you can also check out some of those advertisements. Moonraker wasn’t the only film that Seiko decided to spend some cash on in an advertising campaign as they also produced this commercial for 1983’s Octopussy – which was hyped as the World’s first TV watch!
So did you happen to remember seeing the Seiko James Bond digital watches too, we would love to hear about it in the comment section.