We’ve already looked at options for the James Bond Rolex, the Pierce Brosnan Omegas, and the Daniel Craig Omegas. While those are all beautiful timepieces, almost all of them are also dive style watches. Sure, 007 frequently wore his divers with a dinner jacket. But there are occasions that call for even Bond to strap something a little more formal on his wrist. And that’s why we’re now going to look at the James Bond dress watches.
The Connery Era Gold Watch
Some people believe the first watch James Bond wore onscreen in Dr. No was a Gruen Precision 510. And some people don’t. Personally, I don’t have a clue. But we need some kind of reference if we’re going to look for alternatives. Since there’s never really a clear shot of the watch, we may as well use the Gruen as our model ….
We’ve shared Orient dive watches in past posts. But they also make some really nice dress watches. And their Bambino line is considered by many to be a solid “office timepiece” at a great price. This version has a 40.5mm case with a domed dial, doomed mineral crystal and exhibition case back. The movement is Orient’s Japanese F6222 Automatic with a 40 hour power reserve. The watch is available on Amazon, but there’s only one left at this price. You can get the same watch from another Amazon vendor for $169.90 or order directly from Orient USA.
Tissot Heritage Visodate: on sale for $257.41
The Tissot is missing the seconds sub-dial seen on the Gruen. And it has the extra minute markers around the outer dial, plus the date window. But it’s still a very classically styled gold watch that would look right at home next to the Gruen. What does the extra $100 buy you? Well, the 40mm gold plated stainless steel case now houses a Swiss quartz movement. And we’ve moved up to a domed sapphire crystal instead of mineral. The best price I could find is on Amazon. But you can also buy the watch directly from Tissot USA or Jomashop.
The On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Rolex Ref. 6238
The Rolex Submariners and Omegas get a lot of fan love. But for me, the nicest watch Bond has worn is the Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6238 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The tone-on-tone silver face and sub-dials give the watch a clean, understated look. The black hour, minute and sub-dial hands and red seconds hand add contrast for ease of reading. And the simple stick style hands and silver indices help keep the dial uncluttered and organized. In short, to my eyes, it’s a perfect blend of elegance and functionality.
What I’m about to say next may upset the purists. But here it goes …. From a purely looks standpoint, Roger Moore’s Seiko Ref. SPR007 from A View to A Kill is very close to the OHMSS Rolex.
All I’m saying is if we can find a good alternative for the Rolex Ref. 6238, it could also work as an alternative for this particular Seiko. And who doesn’t like two for the price of one?
It’s really inexpensive, it’s a good color match and it has three sub-dials. It’s also on the larger size, with a 43mm case. And it’s quartz. I really don’t know what else to say about this one, except that it’s available at Amazon.
Seiko Chronograph SPC079P1: $212.11/£102.00
The date window at 12 o’clock clutters up the face a little. But other than that, it’s a pretty good match for the Rolex. And Sir Roger was a fan of Seikos, so I thought we should include at least one in his honor. The SPC079P1 has a 42mm case, water resistant rated to 100M. It uses Seiko’s in-house quartz movement and a Hardlex crystal. Once again, the best price I could find was on Amazon. Just a word of caution: on the Amazon product page, they list the size as 41mm. I’ve also seen this model listed as 42 mm AND 43mm. And there’s also a Seiko SPC079 that’s 46mm that looks exactly the same in the product photos. So if you decide to buy from an online service other than Amazon, make sure you’re clear on the size you’ll be ordering!
Tissot PR 100 Chronograph: on sale for $245.00/£325.00
Even with the date window and the sub-dials at a less screen-accurate 2 and 10 o’clock, the Tissot PR 100 would still be my personal choice for an alternative. This 41mm Swiss made model uses Tissot’s in-house quartz movement and a sapphire crystal. The case shape is a great match for the Rolex. And the silver tone sub-dials on the white face add some visual interest while still keeping the overall look clean and sophisticated. That sale price from Jomashop also makes it a heck of deal.
The A View to a Kill Seiko Ref. 6923-80080 SPD094
I guess technically this is Sir St. John Smythe’s watch, since Moore’s Bond wears it while undercover as the wealthy English stable owner. With its two-tone gold and silver case and bracelet, the flashier style obviously won’t be to everyone’s tastes. But it is a dress watch and we want to be thorough!
August Steiner AS8047TT: $34.99
Much like the Megir above, there’s not much to say about the technical aspects of the watch. The main selling features are the price and its resemblance to the AVTAK Seiko.
Mathey-Tissot Rolly II Watch H710BDI: $109.99
A step up in price. But still affordable and actually not a bad watch from a technical perspective. The case and bracelet are a combination of silver-tone and gold-plated stainless steel. The 40mm case holds a Ronda Caliber 515 quartz movement and is capped with a mineral crystal. And apparently it’s Swiss made. If you like this watch style but still want to keep the budget under control, the Mathey-Tissot could be good way to go.
The SPECTRE Vintage Omega Chronograph Caliber 321
The bulk of the credit for this find has to go to AJB007 forum member Stefan. Using only those quick, blurry shots of Bond turning the key of his DB5, he managed to identify the final watch in SPECTRE as the vintage Omega Caliber 321 on a black band. He posted his conclusions in this thread back in January 2016. James Bond Lifestyle later confirmed the make, model and year of the watch (Omega caliber 321 Ref. ST 101.010 from 1965) from a SPECTRE wardrobe sheet in this article.
Charmex White Dial Chronographh 2915: $273.90
While the dial has many of the vintage Omega’s characteristics, the real winners here are those squared off pushers. As for the technical aspects, there’s nothing super surprising. Charmex (a brand I am not familiar with in the least) has gone with a slightly larger 42mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal and Ronda Caliber 5030.D quartz movement. And, as the face clearly states, it’s made in Switzerland. So we get vintage looks, similar design features to the Omega, decent construction and a reasonable price.
Tissot Tradition Chronograph: on sale for $274.99
Another Swiss made chronograph with a dressier, vintage feel, this time from a better known manufacturer. The Tradition has a 42mm case with a sapphire crystal. But the movement is a higher end quartz ETA Caliber G10.211. And although the sub-dials at 2 and 10 and the cap style pushers aren’t the same, we are getting that Arabic “12” like we see on the Omega. Just remember you’ll need to change the watch band to a black leather one!
Have some ideas about affordable alternatives for the James Bond dress watches? Head down to the comments and share away! And remember you can always find more Bond style and inspiration on our Facebook Page, Instagram Account and Pinterest Boards! You can also now visit our official Amazon Store Page! We’ve used it organize by category all the different alternatives we’ve found on that massive online marketplace.
Some images used in this post were sourced from Timepiece Chronicle.