Why does MI6 give Bond expensive watches?

sirsosirso Posts: 146MI6 Agent
edited March 19 in General James Bond Chat

Why does MI6 give Bond expensive watches?

Watches that cost over £5000, like Rolex and Omega.

I know the film-makers have to for product placement purposes and sponsoring.

But for the films' internal logic purposes, wouldn't a cheap quartz analogue or digital watch modified with gadgets suffice?

Yes, Bond wore a Seiko digital watch in the late 70s, but Seiko digital watches were luxury items then.


  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,140MI6 Agent

    In a lot of cases, Bond is sent to infiltrate high end facilities or situations. Most movies, he's in a tuxedo/dinner suit at least once...best to have the right kind of decorations to go with the disguise.

    Also: for government expenditures, 5K is nothing. That wouldn't even need an itemized entry on a ledger. The real question is why does MI-6 spend buttloads of money on expensive cars? A 70K Mercedes will do everything that Bond requires...no need to spend 200K on an Aston Martin.

    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    Presumably they are all actually just little cheap quartz watches inside: Q has chucked away the lovely Swiss movements to fill them full of bombs! 😄

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent

    Comes from the source. Ian Fleming gave Bond a Rolex. And it’s just gone on from that.

    Our SF are still given Rolex, Omega and Breitling. And many officers in the RN private purchase Rolexes and Omegas all the time. I’d be more concerned that Q Branch give out Astons and they get trashed all the time.

  • TennysonTennyson A View to a KillPosts: 583MI6 Agent

    There’s a great instagram feed ‘watches of espionage’ - this guys ex-CIA and logs the high end watches used by secret services of all countries. Not only are they used for there quality and exceptional time pieces, many are traded and bartered with warlords for safe passage or vehicles, and as mentioned above, for some operators it allows them to fit in within certain circles

  • sirsosirso Posts: 146MI6 Agent

    Isn't it a bit exorbitant to give SF such expensive watches? Surely a G-Shock would be more appropriate?

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent

    G-shocks can’t be used as currency in most places around the World. So they have more usefulness than just telling the time. Operatives are given gold sovereigns too in case they are compromised and need to use it during E&E.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,713MI6 Agent

    @emtiem gets close to the nub of it. What we see here is the funnelling of money from the public purse into their own coffers. By charging for watches a few grand a time, but actually making them cheap counterfeit, they could pull off this ruse - much like the Govt charging a few million for a press room consisting of some wood panels and a lectern and used only twice, can't see it costing more than a few grand, but someone got a nice pay cheque for that, ditto the £37billion track and trace, a looting of the public purse on a grand scale that would make many a banana republic look askance.

    Little bit of politics for you, as stand-up comic Ben Elton used to say.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • sirsosirso Posts: 146MI6 Agent
    edited April 3

    That could well be the case.

    You can get good counterfeits of Rolexes etc that only watch enthusiast can tell are fake. So MI6 should have the capability of making even better fake watches that even enthusiasts would not be able to tell apart from the real thing.

    I have a feeling though that Rolexes etc as bartering tools is no longer a thing, given the changes in espionage from human intelligence gathering to drones and satellites etc.

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent

    MI6 wouldn’t buy fake watches. They fund crime and even terrorism. And if the operative was found to be bartering a fake, that would raise the attention they are avoiding. It’s very much a real modern day operational thing, same as carrying sovereigns and blood chits. They’re better than cash. They don’t barter them to gather intelligence, they use them in emergencies when compromised in theatre.

  • sirsosirso Posts: 146MI6 Agent

    Who would they sell them to who could afford them?

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,544MI6 Agent

    You can trade one for a vehicle, or a flight, or for assistance crossing a border etc.

  • 00730073 COPPosts: 912MI6 Agent
    edited April 5

    Or get killed and robbed....

    If I were a warlord, or just a gun toting ruffian, I would not trade for anything I could get with force... "Use the force Jamil" I say.

    "I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
    -Mr Arlington Beech
  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,544MI6 Agent

    True...but it's not just warlords and gun toting ruffians that are encountered. Ordinary people have cars, fishing boats etc even in poor and remote areas.

  • 00730073 COPPosts: 912MI6 Agent
    edited May 16

    I can believe that ordinary people would be enticed to help a guy/gal offering a nice watch for a ride.

    But, it can make them a target also and they would probably know this, but then again it wouldn't concern our agent anymore.

    "Hey, Abdul! Where'd you get that nice Pannie, I hope you did not help that infidel that Mustafa pronounced wanted dead or alive. He had one just like that!!"

    "No Jamil, I swear, no please, no! I got it from..... ahhh.... I found it. Yes that's it! I found it!! I was herding the goats on the northern ridge, and I saw something glitter in the sun, and it was this. Quite nice wouldn't you say!!"

    "Say Abdul, didn't you use to have a red Honda motorbike...?"

    "I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
    -Mr Arlington Beech
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