In Daniel Craig’s latest (and last) portrayal as James Bond, the British superspy embarks on yet another perilous mission, armed with the trusty Omega Seamaster on his wrist – a connection that goes back more than two decades
It has been 26 years since James Bond first wore an Omega watch. When GoldenEye hit the screens in 1995 with Pierce Brosnan in the starring role, it marked the beginning of a lasting relationship with the Swiss marque. And with Daniel Craig’s latest outing as the British superspy in No Time to Die, Omega marks its ninth on-screen appearance on 007’s wrist.
Ever since the first Bond movie was released in 1962, the titular hero’s choice of luxury goods has strongly influenced the world of fashion. From his attire to his props, everything associated with the impeccably dressed, timelessly stylish secret agent went on to dictate global style trends, especially his timepieces, which now generate quite the same buzz as the movies themselves.
Just like every single piece in his kit, the choice of Omega for his timepiece was no ordinary occurrence (and neither a commercial consideration). In fact, in Ian Fleming’s books and the early films, James Bond donned a range of watches. But when Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming came on board in the 90s, she used the opportunity to rethink his sartorial sensibilities. She envisioned a more modern, European James Bond, and so for Brosnan’s debut, traded the English Savile Row for Italian tailoring from Brioni and sought a watch to match.
According to Hemming, an Omega wristwatch proved ideal because of the watchmaker’s historical connections to the Royal Navy, in which the character of James Bond served as a Commander. The designer drew inspiration from her father, who served in the Royal Air Force, and his friends from the Royal Navy, who, as she remembers, sported the Swiss brand on their wrists.
“I remember as a child one (of my father’s friends) often visiting us, and he always wore this Omega, which fascinated me – this unusually sporty design that looked as though it was built for purpose. It’s the small details that really matter. So one of the early tasks in designing the new Bond, Pierce Brosnan, I went to a props and hand props meeting and argued for the use of Omega,” said Hemming.
“I was convinced that Commander Bond, a naval man, a diver and a discreet gentleman of the world would wear the Seamaster with the blue dial,” she added, referring to Brosnan’s first on-screen appearance wearing the Omega Seamaster 300m Quartz Professional.
A fitting choice
James Bond’s very first Omega timepiece was a contemporary take on the brand’s watches that were issued to Royal Navy divers in the late 1960s. But the venerable Swiss maison’s connection with the military dates back to 1940, when Omega was commissioned as the single largest supplier of watches for the British armed forces and its allies. To meet the volume and precision requirements of the order, Omega fast-tracked its production of water-resistant, shockproof and antimagnetic watches, resulting in a reliable and sturdy companion amidst the uncompromising conditions of the front lines. Tens of thousands of soldiers, pilots and sailors were issued a ‘W.W.W.’ Omega timepiece, which stands for ‘watch, wrist, waterproof’ and is British Army Code for a Ministry of Defence timepiece. These watches were also distinguished by a pheon on the case back, dial or both, indicating that the item was a property of the UK government.
As it was built for action, its storied heritage made Omega the perfect choice for a British civil servant and former naval officer.
The Seamaster in action
From GoldenEye to Die Another Day, Brosnan continued to wear Omega Seamasters in every subsequent film. And when he passed the baton to Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, the English actor kept up the tradition.
Over the years, Omega has released limited edition pieces, with special features that honour 007 and his 50-year legacy of genre-defining movies. And now, for his final portrayal of the British spy in No Time to Die, a new iteration of the illustrious Seamaster is brought to the screen.
Craig’s latest venture marks the 25th official James Bond film, and the new Seamaster Diver 300m 007 edition, which made its debut in the movie, is now available to all James Bond fans and Omega patrons. Retaining all the characteristics of the 1960s defence standard, it was developed with input from Craig himself.
The timepiece is crafted out of lightweight Grade 2 titanium and measures 42mm. It features the iconic sword hards, a fully hashed bezel and a tropical brown aluminium bezel ring and dial. A pheon is found on the dial, nodding to the brand’s heritage of outfitting the British armed forces.
Slightly slimmer than the standard Diver 300m models, thanks to the doming of the sapphire-crystal glass, it is presented on a Grade 2 titanium mesh bracelet with an adjustable buckle.
Powering the timepiece is Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer 8806, which has achieved the industry’s highest standards of precision, chronometric performance and magnetic resistance.
With its covetable features, one can’t help but wonder why a covert ops agent would wear such a recognisable, standout piece. Wouldn’t something a bit more pedestrian be suited to his clandestine undertakings? Maybe so, but Bond’s sartorial sensibilities have always kept up with the times – much like his ultra-modern gadgets. True to form, he would never sacrifice his safety – or his style!
Special edition Seamasters
Since 1995, James Bond has worn an Omega Seamaster in every film. Honouring 007 and his cinematic legacy, the Swiss brand has created a series of limited edition timepieces over the years, with special features well suited to a superspy
In addition to the latest titanium 007 timepiece, Omega has also produced a “James Bond” numbered limited edition piece in an exclusive platinum-gold case. The watch’s sleek black enamel dial features 007’s spiralling gun barrel motif in white gold, while other references include the Bond family coat of arms at 12 o’clock, which is also laser-engraved with platinum on the open sapphire crystal caseback.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, this timepiece pays tribute to Omega’s favourite spy and is limited to just 7,007 pieces.
Omega’s “Commander’s Watch” salutes the ensign colours of the British Royal Navy in its design. Touches of white, blue and red are found throughout the watch, creating a suave and stately look.
Discover the collection at Omega Watches