Why James Bond’s latest Omega Seamaster is his most significant yet

New timepiece from the 25th Bond movie, No Time to Die, is impressive even without lasers and remote detonation capabilities.

By Felix Scholz, December 17 2019
Why James Bond’s latest Omega Seamaster is his most significant yet

The new trailer has dropped for what’s already shaping up as one of 2020’s biggest movies from one of the most profitable cinema franchises of all time – the 25th Bond film, No Time To Die.

Bond is as much about brands as he is about blondes and defusing bombs. The car, the suit, the watch. None of these things are accidental, and the release and promotion of a Bond film are major moments in a featured brand’s calendar.

So it should come as no surprise that neatly tied with the new trailer was the announcement of a new 007-approved watch, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition.

"Seamaster. Omega Seamaster"

Across decades of duty, 007 has worn many watches, but his relationship with Omega has been particularly long-lasting. The first time Bond wore Omega – in 1995’s Goldeneye ­– he was played by Pierce Brosnan who, like Craig does today, wore a Seamaster.

For a specific type of man, it’s hard to find a figure more aspirational than Bond. Yet in the early ‘90s, the super-spy was far from a sure bet.

The movie franchise had been sleeping since 1989, and Timothy Dalton’s performance was almost enough to retire the spy permanently, so Goldeneye was a gamble from watch industry legend Jean-Claude Biver (then at Omega, though he’s more widely known for turning around the fortunes of both Blancpain and Hublot).

Biver’s masterstroke was not just to put an Omega on Bond’s wrist — it was to use Bond as a de facto brand ambassador for Omega. A genius move, and it’s particularly telling that, 25 years on, Bond is still wearing Omega (even though the cars and suits have changed).

A classic, reimagined

So, what of the watch? It’s a Seamaster Diver, a design as old as its relationship with Bond. With its modern case shape and distinctively scalloped dive bezel, this is a watch that stands out.

Bond’s latest takes as its base the most recent iteration, powered by the Master Chronometer-certified movement, meaning the whole watch has been exhaustively tested to ensure it is one of the most reliable mechanical watches around.

But it is beyond the movement that things start getting special. First of all, the 42mm case. Not steel, but lightweight Grade 2 titanium, right down to the shark mesh bracelet — which, besides being new, also received some direct design input from Daniel Craig himself.

On top of that, the dial is a subtle ‘tropical’ colour, tonally matched with the hands and dial markings, in a soft brown evocative of a watch worn down over decades.

It’s also worth noting that the bezel insert is aluminium rather than the more modern (and hard-wearing) ceramic inserts, in another nod to the model’s rich heritage. Even the virtually scratch-proof sapphire crystal has been domed, for that vintage look.

The Bond touches

And finally, there are some distinctive markings to add that Bond touch. In the past, Omega’s Bond limited editions have lent heavily on the iconic rifled barrel motif from the movie’s opening credits.

This time around the nod is much more subtle. The arrow-like device above six is known as the Broad Arrow; a device still used to denote equipment as British military equipment.

Historically, this device has been used on military-issued watches, and could well have been the sort of thing that a real Royal Navy Commander Bond would wear. These historically accurate marks are echoed on the caseback engraving. The Broad Arrow and top two lines of text are accurate military designators, which is pretty neat.

It’s only when we get to the last line that things start becoming more Bond. The ‘A’ is MoD nomenclature for a watch with a screw-down crown, but the 007 is a little more obvious. And 62? Well, that’s the year of the first Bond film.

No limits

If you’re particularly observant, you might have noticed that there’s no limited edition number. And that’s because this watch isn’t limited. Omega is well-known for their limited editions, and to include a Bond-themed watch in their regular line-up is unprecedented.

Yet while it’s a regular production watch, those production numbers might be limited. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition has a retail price of $13,075.

Felix Scholz

Felix Scholz is Executive Traveller’s watch editor, and one of Australia’s most respected authorities on the subject. As you might expect, he travels to Switzerland quite a lot.

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