007 Diamonds To Die For: The most dazzling watches and jewellery seen in the Bond films
Shaken, not stirred
The wait is finally over! The latest James Bond movie is here, with the release of No Time To Die in Malaysian cinemas today after its original premiere date was postponed from the end of September. As of the past weekend, the 25th Bond feature, which sees Daniel Craig reprise his role as the iconic 007 agent for the final time, has become the highest-grossing film of 2021 and the highest-grossing film of the pandemic era––surpassing the previous highest-grossing record holder F9 at an estimated US$729.1 million worldwide.
Bond has left active service in No Time To Die, enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica until his old CIA friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) shows up and the peace ends there. While it remains to be seen what action and danger awaits for the world's most famous spy, one thing we can always count on is the appearance of charismatic timepieces and dazzling diamonds throughout the film.
Ahead, we look back at some of our favourite fine jewellery and watches that have made it to the big screen with James Bond:
Since the first James Bond film, Dr. No, was released in 1962, timepieces have played a serious role throughout the films, with Bond sporting plenty of unique wristwatches over the years. Kicking off the tradition was the now-iconic dive watch Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538––worn by Sean Connery and rumoured to have come straight out of the actor's own collection––that would also mark the beginning of Bond's Rolex era. The link between James Bond and Rolex goes back to creator Ian Fleming's original novels, and was the rugged yet charismatic dive watch was the ideal piece for a silver screen debut. Symbolic of the bold and adventurous, the Rolex Submariner was synonymous with Bond during Connery's 007 tenure, with its various straps––from leather to striped nylon––even achieving cult status. And who can forget the life-saving Rolex 5513 Submariner with an integrated buzz saw and high powered magnet in Live and Let Die?
In keeping with the times, we were introduced to the quartz and smart watches era, when Roger Moore took over the reins of 007. The world had gone digital, and our high-tech hero switched up his timepieces in his efforts to save the world, sporting plenty of memorable Seiko pieces. Alongside a Rolex GMT Master, Moore debuted a rectangular Seiko 0674 LC in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, a digital watch that also printed out tiny little typed messages from HQ. Then, there was also the two advanced tickers in Octopussy, featuring a Seiko G757 5020 Sports 100 that was complete with a GPS tracking device, and a flashy Seiko Liquid Crystal TV watch with a then-state-of-the-art LCD television screen for Bond to receive satellite calls. In 1987, ending the Seiko run was a strapping Tag Heuer Professional Night-Dive Reference 980.031 quartz dive watch, featuring a contrasting dial and black case that was worn by Timothy Dalton.
Last but not least we arrived at the Omega era, as the Bond franchise was brought back to life with Pierce Brosnan taking the lead role. 1995's Goldeneye would not only introduce the dashing Irish actor but also Omega as the franchise's official watch partner, debuting the Omega Seamaster––the first being an Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80 quartz dive watch featuring a built-in detonator and laser in the bezel––that would take over Bond horology in years to come. Brosnan was almost never seen without a blue-dialed Seamaster with a blue-rotating bezel, in a steel bracelet that had alternating polished and brushed links––it became so popular that it was dubbed the "Bond Seamaster".
Then, the introduction of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale took the association between Omega and Bond to the next level, while Quantum of Solace and Skyfall brought a new Omega to the roster: the Seamaster Planet Ocean. A bigger, burlier watch, the Seamaster Planet Ocean was worn with a rubber strap and the perfect for Craig's more physical Bond. With No Time To Die, an original Seamaster Diver 300M arrived on set, featuring a military, vintage look with a black-brown dial on a mesh Milanese bracelet. The most exciting part? Craig himself worked personally with Omega for the last two years to design this model, a first for the franchise.
When it came to diamonds, David Morris has been long associated with the films. First appearing in the opening credits of Diamonds are Forever in 1971, the brand was also responsible for the scalloped diamond necklace and a 10-carat blue sapphire ring in Tomorrow Never Dies, and all of the sparkling jewellery worn by Denise Richards throughout The World is Not Enough in 1999.
Who can forget the two Fabergé eggs in Octopussy? Production designer Peter Lamont commissioned jewellers Asprey to create the eggs––featuring blue sapphires and pearls with a large diamond at the top, and inspired by the original Imperial Coronation Egg gifted to Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna to commemorate their coronation.
Another memorable moment came in 2012's Skyfall, when Bérénice Marlohe's character Sévérine donned a glimmering dress embedded with 60,000 Swarovski crystals and matching jewellery designed by Stephen Webster.
For No Time To Die, Chopard came onboard as the official partner of the 25th film, with Ana de Armas, who plays Paloma, adorning three Haute Joaillerie pieces from their Green Carpet collection. A total of 139 carats of brilliant and pear-shaped diamonds feature in her necklace, bracelet and earrings, alongside the debut of the Golden Heart collection in real life as a symbol of the daring soul and bravery of the Bond girls.
Read more jewellery in movie moments here.