Bond-style watches on a budget

Alternatives to James Bond’s watches that don’t require a second mortgage.

Many Bond fans are particularly interested in the lifestyle aspects of 007. These include the places he visits while on assignment, cars, his preferred drinks, clothing brands and accessories. However, some of the brands associated with 007 are, to say the least, pretty exclusive and have price tags well beyond the reach of many.

These include James Bond’s watches, which in the books and early films were Rolex. Roger Moore’s Bond flirted with Seiko and Timothy Dalton sports a TAG Heuer in the pre-title sequence of The Living Daylights before returning to his trusty Rolex Submariner.

After that product placement finally won. From Goldeneye onwards Bond has stuck with Omega’s watches, sometimes wearing two different models per film.

That’s a lot to shell out for collectors who want to keep up with all the latest Bond watches, even at the current rate of film production. And even if you want to treat yourself to a single watch you’re talking about upwards of £4,500 for a Seamaster. The official 007 edition watches are considerably more.

One option then is to go for a watch with some of the design features found on Bond watches. For most people that probably means a diving watch with unidirectional bezel. And there are some that match the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster better than others.

James Bond Lifestyle recently published a great article on affordable alternative watches worth reading. It is exceedingly comprehensive and has lots of budget options.

You might also want to check out one of the watch articles on Iconic Alternatives. A few years ago my usual TAG Heuer was being repaired so I was in the market for a budget watch. After reading about it there I bought a Timex Expedition Ranger, which I wear it on a Goldfinger style strap.

The bezel is static and it is more of a generic diver-style watch than being a good match for any specific 007 watch but it does the job well enough for me. And it has a great gadget – pressing the crown causes the face to illuminate so you can see the time in the dark.

Unfortunately the Timex is currently unavailable but I did compile a list of alternative watches available to buy from Amazon UK.


David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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