From Tailors with Love: Alternative James Bond Watches


This week on From Tailors with Love, Bobby Morelli from Matched Perfectly joins Peter Brooker to discuss people’s fascination with watches and the emotional attachment people have with them. He discusses some of the key watches of the Bond series and alternatives in different price ranges.

You can read more about these watches on Human Research. And follow out Matched Perfectly on Instagram.

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Also, Matt talks about the challenge of posing like James Bond in photos without a gun, and Pete talks about his second visit to Bilbao, Spain, where the first part of The World Is Not Enough’s pre-title sequence was filmed. He was puzzled with citizens of Bilbao’s love of white bread.

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  1. I don’t think the Tudor Black Bay 58 was meant to necessarily be a homage or tribute to the Rolex 6538 from the early Bond movies per se, as I think it was meant to pay tribute to some of the early Tudor references (particularly the 7924). Definitely similarities in the design language though.

    Some people even make versions of the regimental strap worn in Goldfinger… you can get an undersized strap at 16mm to expose some of the spring bar (just like Connery) for the full effect lol.

    A lot of people say Bond should only wear Rolex (and not Omega) given the history, but I think there is an element of garishness associated with Rolex today that did not exist in the 50s and 60s. I get the need for a tool watch, but I think it’d be cool if Bond dabbled in some of the haute horology brands (e.g., Jaeger Lecoultre) to go with his extremely refined taste in clothes.

    • I disagree – Bond should not be wearing haute wrist watches, unless part of a disguise.

      I do agree, however, about the garishness of some modern Rolex watches. Unfortunately, Omega isn’t much better, so I’d still prefer Bond wear a Rolex. An Explorer, for instance, still retains much of its predecessors’ DNA.

      • There’s definitely some serious collectors who also have Tudors. I think Tudor is trying to inherit the space that was vacated by Omega when they moved upmarket (along with higher prices) to try to compete more directly with Rolex.

        I’m pretty impressed with Omega lately and they probably offer some of the best bang for buck in the luxury segment. Master chronometer certification, co-axial escapement, and putting fully anti-magnetic movements across many of their ranges (which can withstand 15,000 gauss… guys that’s a freaking 1.5 tesla MRI). They just need to make thinner watches…

      • Tudor is an excellent watch, and the company is putting out some interesting product that occupies a space vacated by Rolex. Their new GMT is on my acquisition list and is, to me, far more appealing than the new Rolex Pepsi GMT as the aluminum bezel pops with color in a way the (admittedly nearly indestructible) ceramic bezel of the Rolex does not. Anyone who downgrades Tudor simply does not know watches and is letting price point snobbery dictate their trolling tweets. And I do have a Rolex on my wrist as I type this.

      • It looks too much like a rolex. It reminds me of Kia’s attempt to make a Porsche look alike. I say skip the lattes for an extra months, and pretty soon you will have enough to purchase a precision, which in my opinion is right in line with discreet elegance.

      • Rolex owns Tudor though so the similarities in design language are OK. It’s not trying to be something it’s not (unlike say, an Invicta).

        I agree with you about discreet elegance, in which case, in this day and age there are a few other brands that can probably fit the bill better than Rolex.

      • I can honestly say I know more than a few people who bought Tudor rather than a Rolex in hopes of passing it off as such. Now if the analogy Rolls Royce and Bentley fits here, then maybe I can see where people are coming from. But in this day in age, there are plenty of places to acquire the genuine article at a surprising price, rather than a stand in or a homage watch for that matter. As for snobbery, well perception certainly is a menace is it not?

        I tnink it’s great that we use a cinematic influence that has stood the test of time when it comes to style, and it’s testimony to the fact that people still care about the way they present themselves. However, It’s one thing to follow cinema and it’s another to wear what is appropriate. Watches fall into this dilemma, and because of this I know longer wear a metal band watch when it comes to Black tie. (Courtesy of this website of course)

      • >> However, It’s one thing to follow cinema and it’s another to wear what is appropriate. Watches fall into this dilemma, and because of this I know longer wear a metal band watch when it comes to Black tie. (Courtesy of this website of course)

        Agreed! I would add the same for NATO straps. I don’t know where the dreadful habit of wearing them with dress shirts came about… I think the trend largely started with Bond and SPECTRE. It’s a bad look and also slowly shreds and wears on the shirt cuff.

      • A few observations about this ridiculous debate: (1) Tudor is not exactly inexpensive. The Black Bay and GMT’s run north of $4k, and the GMT has a 3-6 month waiting list and may cost $5k. (2) Tudor GMT has an in-house COSC-certified movement with a 70 hour power reserve. (3) Tudor is doing vintage-inspired designs that Rolex has somewhat left behind but many want (no crown guards, aluminum bezels, 39mm size). (4) Rolex isn’t really Rolls Royce; perhaps more like Mercedes (mass produced, well made “luxury” item that works really well and sells to a relatively mass audience, and again, I say this with a Sub 14060M on my wrist); Rolls Royce would be more like Patek, Franck Muller, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron, Richard Mille, or A. Lange & Sohne. These are watches with vastly more complications than Rolex and much smaller production numbers. (5) the design language of watches that do similar things (diving, GMT) are often the same; for example, the general design language of a Sub, isn’t unique to Rolex, nor did they produce it first. Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms predates the Sub, and is generally considered the first modern diving watch. Several other watch makers use similar design language for their dive watches (black face, black minute-marked bezel) at all price points. (6) The trend of wearing sports watches with dress shirts dates to Dr. No and From Russia with Love (at least) and with NATO-strapped dress shirts probably started with Goldfinger, and the NATO strap in general has been popular for years prior to SPECTRE. I personally don’t care for NATOs, but to each their own. A properly tailored dress shirt will comfortably slide over the wearer’s watch.

    • Just a small point – Connery is not wearing a NATO strap in Goldfinger since it wasn’t invented yet in 1963. It was a regimental strap (so no double pass through under the case).

      • Good point, tredstone. I think I once read that it was an RAF regimental strap. But I am not sure.

      • Correct, according to the forums the NATO strap was not invented yet. This is according to the forums. I actually bought the correct strap however I didn’t get it undersized

  2. I’ll admit, I’m not much of a luxury watch guy, but this episode had some really nice info on them! I own three watches, a Kenneth Cole New York metal band number given as a gift by a friend (who is no longer a friend, sadly) and two Timex dealies bought for about $30 each — one with a brown alligator strap and gold face which I bought for my Kingsman Harry Hart/Galahad cosplay, one classic Easy Reader model with NATO strap for daily/casual use. I need more straps for the latter. At the moment, I can’t justify paying as much as $350 for something that tells the time — which my phone also does — and is mostly decorative, but then again most of my friends can’t justify the prices I’ve paid for suits, ties, shirts, and shoes. So, YMMV.

    I found a detailed timeline of all the 007 watches if anyone is interested:

    Side note: I think it’s really cool that you and Pete are secure enough in your masculinity to talk at length about makeup products for men. It shouldn’t need to be lauded, but I wanted to show my appreciation nonetheless.

  3. The Seiko SKX007 is a very popular watch for getting modified, including getting mercedes hands installed to give it just a bit of the Rolex look, while obviously still not being a copy. I don’t believe that it’s a purposeful reference to Bond considering the other watches in that series include the SKX009 and SKX013.

  4. Nice discussion of the watches. As a watch person, I must compliment Morelli for a nice job. West LA is very much a watch town for both men and women. Connecting the watches to this blog, Bond has always managed to change with the times in watches, moving from Subs to Hamilton Pulsars to Seikos so as not to look old fashioned by the late 1970s. He moved back to a Sub with a return (or debut really) of Fleming’s Bond in Licence to Kill, moved to Omega in 1995 as Hemming wanted a modern, continental look, and to more traditional-looking Omegas in the last two Bond films. The ability to move with the times (despite some fans’ insistence there is a “right way” to do things) and to keep things fresh are critical for this 57 year old cinematic property based on a 66 year old Cold War literary character, and we see this adaptability in the clothes as well, as well-chronicled here by Matt.


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