Time, Editor's Pick

Introduction to Spy-Style and the Latest Watches They’d Wear Today


Before the internet started commemorating the style choices of K-pop stars, NBA players and celebrities like Shia Lebouf, the icons of the ’60s to the ’90s were spies — ruggedly handsome men who boozed with a harem of babes before pumping lead in their enemies. Case in point? Sean Connery pictured above who’s the #OG of 007 Spies. 

Fast forward a few decades later, the oily-slicked-back hair paired with stuffy wool suits and binge-drinking doesn’t work unless you’re a #bankerbro but what then is an enduring element of the style that has survived the strenuous test of time? A striking timepiece for all their adventures — these ones below might not contain poisonous pills nor are they able to shoot lasers (piu piu!) but what they certainly can do is to tell time in a heroic way.

The Omega Seamaster Diver 300m has a valve design that allows it to be operated underwater for up to 300 metres deep. Don’t wear this to underwater espionages though —  keep them to the poolside or for everyday living.

The antithesis of the Bond-heroics was Harry Palmer in the ’65 film The Ipcress Files — uncouth and unsophisticated but fans can definitely count on him for some pretty epic gun scenes.

The TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph is the timepiece version of a classic spy suit — sleek, suave and a definite lady-puller. Its quick release system means you’re also able to change the straps with ease too in case of sticky situations. 

The classic pea coat turned up at the collars and dark wire-framed aviators — Joe Turner’s wardrobe stylist for his ’75 film Three Days of the Condor deserved an award.

Old school spies will flock to leather watches in subdued colours but new-gen ones will appreciate the neon-orange of the Patek Philipe Aquanaut Chronograph. 

The ’94 film True Lies was branded as an action-comedy but Arnold Schwarzengger’s style was anything but comedic — Arnie really does rock a bow-tie. 

Inspired by the Minerva watches designed for the military and mountaineers, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere is made for modern times —exploration, hiking and the odd reconnaissance job you’re on. 

“Hello yes, this is Liam Neeson in the 2008 movie Taken and yes, I’m not wearing a suit because in case you missed it, I’m Liam Neeson“.

The Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic looks like it’s able to project holograms or teleport wearers to distant lands but you’re going to love it more for its pleasing geometry and scratch-resistant case.

The modern spy who convinced that smart-suiting is back, assures that you’d look equally charming is none other than Eggsy from the 2014 film Kingsman. 

Bell & Ross’s BR 03-92 Diver Green Bronze is one hell of a hardy timepiece — its case and bezel is made of bronze, the same material used in deep-sea helmets and ship propellers.

If you can’t forgive Henry Cavill for his bizarre performance in the 2017 movie Justice League, dial the clock back two years for his more stylish and emotive role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Ceramic’s bezel and lugs have some serious swagger but its thinness and matte-black colour are perfect for covert operations.