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Let’s be honest, James Bond is an Apple fan.

“Classy,” “cool,” “svelte,” “sophisticated” — and maybe even “dangerous” Keep the Undead Dead: The Best Tech for Taking out Zombies Keep the Undead Dead: The Best Tech for Taking out Zombies This is a breaking report. An unknown disease is sweeping the nation. Please remain indoors. There are some items in your home that may be of assistance. What follows is a special report from MakeUseOf. Read More — all words that can describe either. Sony even offered Daniel Craig $5 million to use one of its phones in Spectre — he refused the deal; he said that a Sony smartphone just wasn’t cool enough for Bond. The same would totally be true of a Sony smartwatch Sony SmartWatch 3 Review and Competition Sony SmartWatch 3 Review and Competition The SmartWatch 3 comes with Google's Android Wear, but unlike other versions of Android Wear, offers a near-perfect hardware profile. Read More .

Bond has always had a thing for watches. Indeed, some of the best gadgets Bond has ever used The Best Bond Gadgets Of All Time The Best Bond Gadgets Of All Time James Bonds gadgets are legendary. In this article, we run down some of the most futuristic gadgets from the films, and see how they stand up in the era of the iWatch. Read More have been timepieces. He also tends to be at the cutting edge of watch technology. All of which means he would love the Apple Watch.

Man With the Digital Watch

Back in 1973, Roger Moore’s Bond wore the Pulsar P2, the first mass-produced digital watch, in Live and Let Die. This was 10 years before a digital watch was even considered nerdy 4 Everyday Things That Were Unbelievably Nerdy in the 80s 4 Everyday Things That Were Unbelievably Nerdy in the 80s Instant messaging, let's play videos and wearable tech were all around in the 80's – they just weren't considered cool. Read More .


While the P2 is a classic watch, it’s not without its flaws. For a digital watch it’s almost featureless: it just tells the time. No date, no stopwatch, and no other complications. The display wasn’t even on all the time; pushing a button on the side displayed it in bold red numerals. It also cost $395 dollars, $10 more than a Rolex Submariner. This all sounds slightly familiar doesn’t it?


From then on until 1985’s A View to a Kill, Bond almost exclusively wore digital Seiko watches. These came with various abilities courtesy of Q Branch. Bond was able to receive secure text messages from MI6 — laughably using ticker-tape in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me — and even TV footage on his various Seikos.

When digital watches stopped being quite so futuristic, Bond went back to analog watches. Timothy Dalton wore a TAG Heuer and a Rolex, while Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have both worn Omegas. Even these weren’t without some cool extra features. Brosnan’s laser-equipped Omega from Goldeneye is unquestionably one of the most iconic watches ever — in part because of its role in the awesome Nintendo 64 game Licensed Video Games That Were Actually Good [MUO Gaming] Licensed Video Games That Were Actually Good [MUO Gaming] If there is one thing licensed games are not typically known for, it's quality. More often than not, licensed games are rushed to market to coincide with a movie or other major media release. It's... Read More based on the film.

Casio Royale

In the decade that followed Bond’s foray into digital watches, their popularity boomed. Even as late as the mid–1990s when I was growing up, a digital Casio was the hottest thing you could strap to your wrist.

As John Gruber discusses in an article about James Bond and the Apple Watch, the best thing about a Casio was their potential. You almost never needed any of the extra features, and even when you did, using them was next to impossible.


I couldn’t agree more with what Gruber writes:

The interfaces were complex, inscrutable at first. I always knew the interfaces were bad, but I accepted them because I wanted the features. I liked having a stopwatch and countdown timer. And of course the interface was complicated: all these features were packed into a tiny little watch.

But you know what? You didn’t care. Your Casio was the successor to the digital watches that Bond had been wearing since the 1970s. While it couldn’t receive text messages, the stopwatch was accurate to hundredths of a second. Sure, there was no way you could ever use it that accurately, but all that mattered was that the potential was there.

After having worn an Apple Watch for the last month, Gruber finds it reminiscent of these early digital watches.

I’m surprised how much I’ve been reminded of those Casios. In the way it felt cool in 1987 to have all those features on my wrist, it feels cool today to have these features on my wrist. This is the watch my teenage 1987 self would have expected my 2015 self to own.

Bond Would Wear an Apple Watch

When I was growing up, one of the Irish TV channels would, for a few months every year, run a Bond movie on Saturday nights, working their way through the complete collection. This weekly ritual was one of the most formative experiences of my childhood.

For me, childhood nostalgia isn’t Disney films, it’s watching Bond dispatch another henchman, kiss another girl, or throw out another sexual innuendo (which, thankfully, passed right over my head at the time). It’s safe to say that Bond is pretty ingrained in my psyche.

Now, 40 years after Bond first received text messages on his wrist, the real world is finally catching up. I know for sure that Roger Moore’s Bond would wear an Apple Watch. While Daniel Craig’s won’t be wearing one in Spectre, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had one in the film after.


Even as a fan of Apple and its products, I accept that no one needs an Apple Watch, but it’s not about need. As Gruber says, “[The Apple Watch] needs to justify its existence no more than any other watch — mechanical or electronic — ever made. Of course you don’t need it. No one, not one person on the face of the earth, needs any $400 watch, Apple Watch or otherwise.”

It’s not about whether or not getting notifications on my wrist will in any way improve my life, it’s about having a device on my wrist that’s capable of so much. Something that’s been promised for decades is truly available for the first time: a watch that can make phone calls, search the Internet, receive messages, and look good while it does it.

Gruber again:

If you don’t see the joy in that having come to fruition — both sides of it, the function and the style, the engineering and the design — then of course you’re not going to see the point of all the hoopla surrounding Apple Watch. And if you do see the joy in it, if you do think it’s cool that it even exists, then don’t overthink it. It’s a cool watch that does cool things.

And So Will I

James Bond would definitely wear an Apple Watch, and so will I.

There is only one real reason to buy an Apple Watch: because you want to. As with many first-generation Apple gadgets, the promise outpaces the implementation. The iPhone 3GS was the first great iPhone. The second generation Macbook Air was the laptop that changed the PC industry. The first generation Apple Watch has its issues, but I want it nonetheless.

If an Apple Watch is cool enough for Bond, it’s cool enough for me. That’s as good a reason for buying one as any other I’ve heard.

The Apple Watch has so far proved divisive among the MakeUseOf staff. So, will you be buying one? If so, is your decision based even remotely on seeing James Bond use futuristic wristwatches over the years? Please let us know your thoughts on the Apple Watch and/or James Bond in the comments section below.

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  1. Lisa Jordan
    May 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I love apples and can't wait to take my next big byte into the apple iWatch.

  2. Lisa Jordan
    May 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I think James Bond is much smarter than our ancestors. He realises good from bad and that it would be a sin to take a byte of the apple.

    • jmm
      December 3, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Yeah. Thats why he refused using Sony and insisted on an Apple device for the movies. Money won though.

  3. Lamont
    May 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I'll stick with the Rolex Submariner with NATO strap:

    • Harry Guinness
      May 26, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      I am insanely jealous. ;)

  4. Brad
    May 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Q - "Mr Bond, here is your iWatch."
    Bond - "Great, what does it do?"
    Q - "It does what all iWatches do. Though admittedly not well."
    Bond - "You mean it doesn't have any cool modifications?"
    Q - "It's Apple. They don't do cool modifications. They do what Apple programs it for."

    And that is why Bond would not own an iWatch!

  5. Jonathan
    May 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Seems like James Bond will be using a Samsung mobile, so so much for being an Apple fan.

  6. Sam
    May 7, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Although I'm not an Apple fan (quite the opposite), I feel bad for people who are Apple fans getting so much ridicule ('iSheep' etc) that they feel the need to justify their purchasing decisions. In general I mean. This was a good article, fun way to do it :-)

  7. Chinmay S
    May 7, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Yeah I will buy it as soon as it is launched in India.

  8. Hildy J
    May 6, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    On the upside, your article is the best argument I've heard for buying the Apple watch.

    On the downside, your article is the best argument I've heard for buying the Apple watch, an overpriced, underfunctioned, buggy, soon to be obsolete wristjob which is only a status symbol if you shell out for the gold edition (or pay to gold plate your steel edition).

    • Harry
      May 7, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Hahahahha thank you, but I disagree with it being overpriced. I think it's set fairly enough for the people who are going to want to buy it.

  9. Kogajebe
    May 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    How much money you got for writing that?
    Thats the only question.

    Apple hype-train

    • Harry
      May 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Tim Cook came round and made me dinner. Was slightly disappointing to be honest.

  10. Phil N
    May 6, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Bond would have a watch that stylish and works well, not the apple one.

    • Harry
      May 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Yes, the Pulsar P2 was the height of functionality. As were any of his digital Seikos.

  11. Ed
    May 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I'm wearing mine and I LOVE IT.
    To hell with rationalization. It's a really cool watch that just looks great on my wrist. It's now officially in my collection. A few my favourites are two Rolexes, an Omega Seamaster Vancouver Olympic edition, and oh yes, a Pulsar P2 (refurbished, working, and worn occasionally).
    Yup. I've been crazy about unique watches for a long time and the apple watch fits my criteria.

    • 97rockiesfan
      May 7, 2015 at 3:20 am

      Unique??? there are estimates that 1 to 2 million were sold on the first weekend. That sounds like following a fad.

    • Harry
      May 7, 2015 at 8:35 am

      @Ed: I'm well jealous of that entire collection to be honest! I've a Longines and I'm eyeing up a nice big Breitling as soon as I can think of a reasonable excuse to buy one.

      @97rockiesfan: By unique I think Ed means that there is no other watch like it. And there isn't. None of the Android Wear watches are really comparable.