Dmytro Berdyansky, President of the Crystal Group, talks about how the Omega Seamaster watch helped James Bond rid the world of villains.
By the will of a writer obsessed with details, wristwatches have become an integral part of the image of the hero of a series of spy novels. A meticulous costume designer took this watch to the silver screen with the Omega Seamaster. And every time during the release of a new spectacular action movie about James Bond, the hero’s watch is in the center of attention of admirers of the Omega watch brand, collectors and fans of the movie franchise. Meeting all three of the above criteria, I would like to offer an overview of the latest watch history of agent 007.
007’s ten Omegas
The relationship between the Swiss watch brand Omega and Bond began with the film “Golden Eye” in 1995. A dozen different Omega models have been used in this and the subsequent eight 007 films. At the same time, one clock was used three times, in the paintings of 1997, 1999 and 2002. In the three films with Daniel Craig as Bond 007, he wears two different watch models.
|Golden Eye||1995||SM 300M Quartz||2541.80||Laser and detonator|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||1997||SM 300M Auto||2531.80.00||Detonator|
|The World Is Not Enough||1999||SM 300M Auto||2531.80.00||Flashlight and hook|
|Die Another Day||2002||SM 300M Auto||2531.80.00||Laser and detonator|
|Casino Royale||2006||SM 300M Co-Axical||2220.80.00|
|PO 600M 45.5mm||2900.50.91|
|Quantum of Solace||2008||PO 600M 42mm||2201.50.00|
|Skyfall||2012||Aqua Terra 38.5mm||18.104.22.168.03.001|
|PO 600M 42mm||22.214.171.124.01.001|
|Spectre||2015||Aqua Terra 41.5mm||126.96.36.199.03.003|
|SM 300 Spectre||188.8.131.52.01.001||Timer and bomb|
|No Time to Die||2021||SM 300M Edition 007||184.108.40.206.01.001||Electromagnetic pulse|
Gadgets were heavily used throughout the Brosnan era. All Omega watches worn by 007 performed intricate functions designed by the Q department. Casino Royale, however, marked a new round in the development of the franchise. Having relied on realism and drama in the 2006 film, the film crew refused to use spy gadgets in watches. They were only brought back in 2015, and they feature in both of Craig’s most recent films.
Seamaster for the Perfect Gentleman
Initially, the appearance of Omega watches in the James Bond film was not dictated by commercial considerations. When, in the mid-1990s, Bond was styled after the new 007 agent, Pierce Brosnan, not only the characters were changed, but also the clothing design. The Omegas appeared in the film at the behest of costume designer Lindy Hemming. According to her, “Commander Bond, Navy officer, diver and perfect gentleman is required to wear a Seamaster with a blue dial.”
Thus, in 1995, in the movie “Golden Eye”, Her Majesty’s chief secret agent wore an Omega Seamaster 300M Professional watch on his wrist. At that time there was no agreement with the Swiss watch brand. The costume designer’s decision was influenced by the character’s military background and her desire to rethink Bond, making him “more modern and European”. Hemming referred to her father’s friends who served in the British Navy and wore Omega, which were part of the ammunition.
Since then, Seamaster has been accompanying 007 both to the casino in Monaco and to the North Korean military base. Costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, who worked on No Time to Die, believes that the Seamaster watch has already become something like a Bond character. In light of the launch of the new part of the super spy saga, I propose, so to speak, to announce the entire list. Take a look at what Omega watches have been worn by James Bond for a quarter of a century, going on a secret mission.
Omega that Became the Bond Watch
The most famous of these is the 300M Professional diver with a wavy blue dial, first worn by 007 in the 1995 movie Goldeneye. At the same time, they play such a key role that this particular model (and its subsequent iterations) is known among the admirers of the brand as “Bond watches”. Released in 1993, it was the first in a line of robust yet thin and compact diving watches. At that time they were equipped with a quartz movement. The blue dial was adorned with the iconic wave pattern, while the bezel ring was crafted from aluminium. Also part of the watch’s corporate identity is a steel bracelet with five matte and polished links. Case diameter is 41 mm. The watch is equipped with a screw-down crown with protective horns and a helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position.
Naturally, Bond’s personal Seamaster Diver 300M Professional is more than just a great timepiece. Bond watches are best kept away from untrained hands, as they are deadly weapons. From the “zero” marker on the bezel, you can fire a laser, with which Agent 007 cuts the floor in the Soviet train during the escape. The watch also had a built-in remote detonator to detonate the bomb. And so began the joint adventure of the super spy and Omega.
Lasers, Hooks and Detonators
In the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond is seen wearing the same Seamaster Diver 300M Professional, but with an automatic chronograph. In terms of external design, the watch is almost indistinguishable from the previous quartz version. The only noticeable difference is that instead of three lines of text at 6 o’clock on the dial, this version has four, indicating that it is a chronograph. With the exception of the movement, the rest of the characteristics are identical to the previous watches: the same dimensions, water resistance and functions. Powered by the Seamaster Diver 300M Professional, it is powered by an automatic caliber 1120. This time, Q Division has equipped the 007 watch with a remote detonator that Pierce Brosnan uses to blow up villainous Elliot Carver’s stealth boat. Activation of this feature was indicated by illuminated hour markers.
In 1999, the third James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan, The World Is Not Enough, was released. This time, Bond travels the world, trying to avoid a nuclear accident. He has the Seamaster Diver 300M on his wrist again. Passing through the hands of Q and his engineering team, the watch now features an ultra-bright light source and a miniature hook that is hidden under the bezel. Without him, James probably would not have been able to escape from that missile base in Kazakhstan.
Played again by Pierce Brosnan, but for the last time, James Bond wears a Seamaster Diver 300M Professional Chronometer in Die Another Day. This time, Q puts on the Omega a laser built into the crown, used to cut through thick ice. Another gadget is hidden in the helium exhaust valve, which can be used as a remote detonator, triggered by the rotation of the valve head. This is the last movie in which we see this particular watch model on screen, and also (temporarily) the last time Q “pumps” the watch for a task.
Spy Omega from the Boutique Counter
The 21st film in the 007 epic, Casino Royale, is considered a reboot for the franchise. The creators wanted the main character of the film to be closer to the character described by Ian Fleming in the books. James became sharper, but at the same time more human. It is emotional, and the general mood of the film becomes more realistic and dramatic. Other characters and surroundings are also more in line with the spirit of the times. This was reflected in everything that concerned Bond. His car, his clothes and, of course, his watch.
Two different Omega watches are used in the “Casino Royale” movie. First, on Bond’s wrist, we see the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m chronometer in a 45.5 mm case on a black rubber strap. A little later, the new Seamaster Diver 300M Professional appears. This time it is not upgraded by Q Branch, but by the Swiss manufacturer itself. There are no lasers or detonators hidden in it. Outwardly, it is the same watch that we have seen before, but now it is equipped with a co-axial automatic movement caliber 2500.
For the first time since 1995, the classic Seamaster Diver 300M Professional did not go on a mission in the 2008 film Quantum of Solace. Instead of the 45.5mm PO600m shown in the previous installment, Bond is wearing the trusty sporty Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m. This time the model is presented in a more compact 42 mm case and on a stainless steel bracelet. The watch has a black dial and a black aluminum bezel.
Daniel Craig’s Choice
Petros Protopapas, heritage manager for the brand and manager of the Omega Museum, tells visitors that Daniel Craig is a great watch connoisseur and collector. During the filming of “Quantum of Solace”, the actor himself chose the watch that James Bond was supposed to wear, and at that time he wanted something smaller. The director continued to bend the line “Casino Royale”. The Omega watch in this movie simply tells the time and looks cool on the hero’s hand.
It’s 2012, “Skyfall Coordinates” and old James again manages to show off in two different Omegas. The first is clearly visible in the first scene in Istanbul. This is the Seamaster Planet 600M chronometer we saw four years before, but improved by the brand. The Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M model worn by 007 in the film is still in a 42mm case and on a stainless steel bracelet. This time with a black ceramic bezel and a new certified in-house caliber 8500.
Later in the film, Bond travels to Macau, where we see him in a casino (in a tuxedo, of course), and this time he is wearing a more elegant Omega watch from the Seamaster collection. This is the film debut of the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M co-axial chronometer. Craig’s choice was a compact 38.5mm model with a blue striped dial and stainless steel bracelet, powered by the same caliber 8500 movement as the PO600m. But again, no dangerous toys from Q.
In Spectra, 007 again tries on two different Seamaster watches. The first to appear on the screen is a classic elegant model. At the beginning of the film, in Mexico, James is once again wearing a Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m with a blue dial, but this time with a 41.5mm case and caliber 8500 of the Master generation. That is, these watches are able to withstand even strong magnetic fields. Bond wears them on a stainless steel bracelet.
But the second Omega watch shown in the 2015 feed is something special. It was specially designed for the film, and only then went on sale in a limited edition of 7007 copies. This Omega Seamaster 300 Master “Spectre Edition” Co-Axial Chronometer is based on the classic SM300 but modified with several unique features. It has a black ceramic bezel with a 12-hour scale (instead of the 60-minute scale for the diving version). The recessed, pointed hour markers (a nod to the 1957 Seamaster 300) and the signature Ω logo at 12 o’clock on the grained black dial are given a vintage look with luminescent coating, while the lollipop second hand is shaped like a lollipop.
On screen, the watch is shown on a black and gray NATO strap, but a stainless steel bracelet was also included when purchased. Inside the 41mm case is the in-house caliber 8400, which has a 60-hour power reserve and can withstand magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. The model of our movie character is also special in that Q worked on it. In the scene from the film where Bond receives his new Omega watch, he ironically asks: “Do they do anything?” To which Q replies: “They show the time” , adding after a second that “the alarm clock is quite loud… if you know what I mean.” Indeed, James Bond’s Seamaster 300 “Spectre Edition” doesn’t just tell the exact time. It counts down and detonates the embedded bomb. When activated, the hour markers show the remaining time until the explosion, turning red, and all hands return to the 12 o’clock position.
Omega “Edition 007”
In the latest 007 film to date, No Time To Die, James Bond once again opts for the Seamaster Diver 300M. This model was also designed specifically for the film. The Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer “Edition 007” has a number of features that make them special. The watch pays homage to James Bond’s military background, with nods to military watches made for the UK Department of Defense.
Omega has supplied a large number of watches to allied military forces, mainly British troops. That is why the dial and case back of the Seamaster Diver 300M “Edition 007” feature a wide arrow. This symbol was used to mark state property issued to civil servants. Like a nod to Bond’s status as a government agent. The engraved numbers are a reference to the historical military serial numbers of this watch, and more. For example, 0552 is a navy code. “62” refers to 1962, when the first Bond film, Dr. No, was released.
This Seamaster Diver 300M series features a 42mm brushed titanium case, tropical brown aluminum dial and bezel, vintage colored luminescent indicators and hands, domed sapphire crystal. It comes with a titanium mesh bracelet and inside the case is the latest and improved Master Chronometer caliber 8806. Q has equipped the watch with a powerful electromagnetic pulse device that is activated by turning and pressing the helium escape valve. EMP is used in the film to disable electronic devices such as a high-tech electronic door lock.
In the movie, James Bond asks Q, “How powerful is he?” and hears “quite powerful” in response, to which the inventor adds, “we haven’t had time to test it properly. Just be careful.” This is a very funny moment, because Omega, as it were, demonstrates its technical superiority. The Master Chronometer is able to withstand strong magnetic fields.
Waiting for the Next Bond
No Time To Die will be Daniel Craig’s last film as 007. I remember the skepticism with which many people reacted to the casting of a medium-sized blond guy for a role previously played by dark-haired, tall, model-looking actors. However, in 15 years, Craig has undoubtedly been able to silence the critics. His “bonding” was successful, and cooperation with Omega was fruitful. Now the franchise is on the verge of a new reboot, but no matter how the new version of James Bond appears before us, he will certainly have a cool new Seamaster on his hand.