“The name is Bond, James Bond.”
These six words were not only my introduction to one of the greatest fictional heroes, but also to the world of watches. While I had already developed a persistent interest in watches in my teenage years, it was the Omega Seamaster Professional on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Golden eye it made me want to have the same watch.
Although it was not easy to get an Omega Seamaster Professional as I was still in school, a paper route and work on weekends and during the holidays allowed me to win – with this year marking the twenty-second it is proudly on my wrist, although these days rotating with a few other timepieces.
While the literary Bond has always remained loyal to Rolex, the cinematic Bond has varied according to the brands. He occasionally flirted with Seiko and Breitling alongside many “Bond girls” – and Moneypenny, of course – but Rolex and Omega stuck with him the longest.
I do not favor one over the other because the two brands fit very naturally into his universe. They are sturdy yet luxurious and sophisticated, but also just another instrument in Her Majesty’s toolbox to get the job done by any means necessary.
For the 25th installment of the James Bond franchise No time to die 007 fell victim to an enemy too big to fight: The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the film’s release several times, but we now have high hopes that it will finally have its premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London September 28, 2021.
This film marks Daniel Craig’s last appearance as the world’s most famous secret agent; he will retire after that. This makes No time to die an important film because it brings together and concludes all of the continuing intertwined storylines of the Craig era, a franchise first.
Seamaster, Omega Seamaster
A new adventure demands a new watch, and in the case of 007, it’s still an Omega Seamaster. Whereas in the past Bond was just more or less outfitted with something from the regular collection, he is now entitled to a watch designed especially for him.
Craig and people closely related to the franchise worked with Omega on the design of the watch, tapping into the military side of Bond; he holds the rank of Commander in the British Royal Navy.
The franchise has done a remarkable job of appropriating that segment of his (fictional) life as well as what Craig brings to the role, helping him portray an even rawer version of Bond than portraying Timothy Dalton.
The 007 edition of the Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer retains the best of this famous diver’s watch while serving it in a slightly differentiated way. A matte dial in very dark brown replaces the fancy ceramic wave pattern of the regular edition, and a ‘tropical’ patina vibe has been given to the dial and bezel, adding lots of beige and even Super-LumiNova throughout. this color.
It’s a perfect fit for Craig as no other Bond has ever been so dirty and dusty in the line of duty as he has. While some might not like the color combination as it could be seen as a faux patina (or fauxtina), this is just a color combination – and pleasing in my opinion.
It’s also worth noting that the bezel is again made of aluminum and not ceramic as it has become the Omega standard. Although this is a detail, I think the aluminum is just a little nicer. Although I am biased based on the scope insert of my own Seamaster.
While I like the weight of the stainless steel, I think the right choice was made to accommodate this one in grade 2 titanium. It fits a more military watch and Bond can do without the extra weight while still saving the world again.
Omega offers this watch on a choice of NATO strap or titanium mesh strap. There is a historical precedent for the former since Bond wore his Rolex Submariner on a NATO strap in The golden finger. While very handy for military operations, Bond is generally too well dressed to match his clothing very well.
I have the same problem with the titanium mesh bracelet. Although very well done, it looks like an afterthought and not at all as stylish and beautiful as the “Bond bracelet” that has become part of the Seamaster signature.
Fortunately, Omega has waived any obvious 007 markings on this watch, as has sometimes been the case in the past. Not that this Seamaster is very stealthy as it features a so-called “wide arrow” on the dial just above the 6 o’clock position. This arrowhead symbol is used by the UK government to mark property. You could argue that it would probably make it a little harder for Bond to stay undercover, but it never seemed to have been part of his modus operandi anyway.
While I don’t normally mind having a robust ETA movement like the one I have in my own Omega Seamaster, the caliber of this latest Bond watch is more of a treat. Caliber 8806 is Master Chronometer certified and features technical delicacies such as a coaxial escapement and silicon balance spring.
It is also able to withstand antimagnetic forces up to 15,000 Gauss. For Bond, a very useful feature as he tends to be surrounded by strong magnets like the one he uses to throw Jaws into a shark tank. The spy who loved me.
As it should be, this finely finished movement is hidden behind a closed titanium caseback. I’ve never been a big fan of sapphire crystal windows on the back because I like the understatement of going without them. On a tool like this, it makes even less sense.
What about the Bond women?
I guess the term “Bond girls” is no longer from that era, although I personally have a different opinion. The Bond girls were all very feminine, but above all they were strong characters. Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) by The golden finger was an aviator, squadron leader and foe turned friend. She helped Bond save America’s gold reserve by wearing a Rolex GMT-Master Reference 6542 on her wrist.
While May 1 (Grace Jones) in A sight to kill did not wear a watch in evidence, she preferred to be “on top”, even taking the lead of James Bond in one of the scenes in the bedroom.
Bond fought alongside Wai Lin (played by Richard Mille fan Michelle Yeoh) in Tomorrow never dies and KGB agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), who holds the rank of major in the Russian army, in The spy who loved Me. I could go on and on with this list.
Despite some sexist remarks that 007 would no longer be taken to death, I feel like the James Bond franchise was full of strong, trailblazing women.
This is also why it amazes me that Omega did not put more emphasis on ladies’ watches with which the brand also provided part of the cast. A missed opportunity, in my opinion, was not to sign Judi Dench as Ambassador in her role of Mr. Even the Omega worn by Halle Berry as Jinx in Die another day got as much time in the press as it did on screen: you’d think it would be gold marketing.
In No time to die, I’m afraid it won’t improve because the limited screen time for ladies’ watches on Ana de Armas and Léa Seydoux is reserved for a 38mm Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m and a very modest Omega of 27 quartz mm. From City.
In particular, looking at the influential female roles that the Bond franchise has today, I’m surprised that Omega hasn’t taken it up a notch to put the best ladies’ watches up to par. It would not only be an opportunity to showcase some of their incredible female models such as the Ladymatic and the Trésor, which attract less attention than they deserve, but also to take inspiration from Pussy Galore and make rock one of Bond’s women on a Seamaster from the Heritage Collection.
For No time to die, it’s too late. But as James Bond will return, it is hoped that Omega does.
For more information, please visit omegawatches.com/watches/seamaster/diver-300-m/007-edition.
Fast facts Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-axial Master Chronometer 007-Edition
Case: 42 x 13.15 mm, grade 2 titanium, helium valve
Movement: Automatic Caliber 8806 with coaxial escapement and free spiral balance with silicon balance spring; official METAS certification as a chronometer, frequency 3.5 Hz / 25,200 vph, 55-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; Dated
Price: € 8,100 (NATO bracelet); € 9,100 (titanium mesh bracelet)
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