Quantum of Solace is an interesting film in that it is the first Bond film since
GoldenEye that doesn’t feature Bond’s traditional Seamaster 300M. Instead Daniel Craig wears a very handsome Omega
Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M 42mm. It is also interesting to note the smaller case size of the watch selected, as if
Omega foresaw the return of more classic proportions. In Skyfall things get interesting in that Bond once again
wears two watches. The first is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Ceramic 42mm while the second is a somewhat
surprising Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M, sized at a genteel 38.5mm. At this point in horological culture we have
a general return to much more classic sizing and it is nice to see this reflected in the Bond films, and from what I
understand, Craig’s personal taste in watches.
The Latest Bond Watches
Spectre has the honour of unveiling what I used to consider the coolest James Bond watch
of all time: the Omega Seamaster 300 Master Chronometer Spectre Edition. It’s got a super cool vintage inspired
12-hour bezel, a lollipop seconds hand, broad arrow hands, vintage lume, large luminous indexes and the iconic Bond
NATO strap. The reason why this watch is so cool also has to do with the appointment of Raynald Aeschlimann as the
new CEO of Omega, though this would only be officially confirmed and announced the following year. What you
experience with this watch is what has become his signature flair for design. Also of note is that for the first
time in the history of the Daniel Craig reboot, the watch is a gadget. In this case it is a bomb that helps Bond
escape Christoph Waltz’s automated lobotomy machine.
Post-Spectre, we had the appearance of two interesting Bond watches outside of the launch
of a Bond film. Clearly this is a demonstration of Aeschliman’s marketing savvy in his activation of this amazing
partnership, even in years where there is no film. The first is the 2017 Omega Seamaster 300M Commander Bond Watch,
a limited edition that numbers 7,007 watches in steel and seven watches in gold with a very unique two-tone bezel in
blue ceramic with red details for the first 15 minutes and a liquid metal scale. The watch also features a white
ceramic dial and a red, grey and blue NATO strap.
Then in 2019 we have a watch celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film On Her
Majesty’s Secret Service. This is a steel Seamaster 300m on a rubber strap that features a ceramic dial, with a
special decoration that emulates the signature gun barrel rifling pattern seen in the beginning of each Bond film.
Says Jean-Pasal Perret, Omega’s head of communications, “After the decoration is applied to the ceramic dial we have
to retreat it with PVD to get the right surface. This is one of the most time-consuming and complicated watch dials
we’ve ever produced. Notice also that we’ve used the Bond family coat of arms in the ‘12’ index. In 2019 there will
also be a set of these Seamaster 300M commemorating On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which comprises of both
a steel and a yellow gold watch which are placed inside an amazing watch box and display case, which is in turn
housed within a Globe-Trotter suitcase, the firm which makes Bond’s new luggage.”
Which brings us back to 2020’s No Time to Die and what is the coolest James Bond
watch ever made and the coolest movie collaboration timepiece to ever exist. As I mentioned, first of all, Daniel
Craig had a real hand in designing the watch. The first thing that he and the team at Omega decided on was to select
titanium as the case material — in this instance, the same Grade 2 titanium that was used in the super collectable
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 45 th anniversary watch. Says Perret, “Grade 2 titanium has a very stealthy and dark hue
to it which we found very appropriate for the watch of the world’s most iconic spy.”
But what is truly extraordinary is that for the first time, Omega has also created a mesh
titanium bracelet, specifically a Milanese-style flat mesh bracelet that is both incredibly supple while looking
bombastically badass in combination with the Seamaster 300’s famous iconography. The dial is matte, with massive
chunks of luminous material which are accompanied by the famous skeletonized sword hands and red-tipped lollipop
seconds hand we first saw in Bond’s Seamaster as far back as GoldenEye.
Both the luminous material on the dial and hands as well as the diving scale in the
watch’s ceramic bezel are a vintage ecru color that is reminiscent of tritium or radium that has aged over the
years. Says Aeschlimann, “I love the combination of one of the world’s most modern materials (titanium) with this
vintage-inspired detail. This was something that came from Daniel Craig and we thought the dynamic tension between
modernity and vintage in the context of Omega was something very exciting.
“In many ways the watch is the perfect symbol for Bond, who is a huge part of all of our
childhoods and our past, but thanks to the way the Barbara and Michael have re-envisioned him for the modern world
and the way he is so wonderfully portrayed by Daniel, he is also thrillingly contemporary.”
But the best part of the dial is found very subtly just above the ‘6’ o’clock index. And
that is the existence of none other than the Broad Arrow marking that designates the watch as commissioned by the
British Ministry of Defense. That makes this timepiece the only modern, non-military issued Omega to feature this
incredible link with the brand’s faithful service to the British armed forces and harks back to Lindy Hemming’s
memories of her father.
The James Bond special edition Seamaster 300M in titanium with broad arrow on titanium
mesh bracelet (you can also buy the watch on a stunning NATO but I would recommend the mesh bracelet model then
buying the NATO as an add-on) is more than just the coolest watch to drop in 2019. It’s a living expression of the
incredible relationship between Omega and Bond that has endured, evolved and only gotten better, a partnership that
turns 25 years in 2020.