Welcome to our definitive guide to all Omega Bond watches since GoldenEye, including 2017’s Seamaster 300 “Commander’s Watch”
By Chris Hall
Summer 2017: The Seamaster 300 “Commander’s Watch”
A 41mm Seamaster with blue ceramic bezel and white ceramic dial, with a striped NATO strap. It may be inspired by the formal regalia of a Commander in the British Navy, but this is one heck of a jaunty, casual look for James Bond. The NATO strap does a lot to that end, of course, as does that bright white dial with the pops of blue and red everywhere. Apart from that seconds hand, it doesn’t have an awful lot that screams James Bond (gone are the 007 printed dials of yesteryear). There are to be 7,007 pieces plus seven gold watches – read the full details here.
Bond Factor: Not high, to be honest – but that’s not a value judgement. It’s got that second hand to identify it, and a special caseback, as per usual. In many ways this feels like James Bond in holiday mode rather than the formality implied by the link to dress uniform. James Bondi Beach, if you will.
The Spectre Watches:
With a new Bond film must come a new Bond watch. For the first time, however, in 2015 we had a new Bond film and two new James Bond watches from Omega. In addition to the Seamaster Aqua Terra that was announced earlier in the year, Omega released a James Bond limited edition version of the Seamaster 300m Co-Axial, which was released at the same time as the film.
Here’s everything you need to know about both watches:
Spectre, 2015: Seamaster 300 Limited Edition
The first thing to note is that there are no “007” additions to the watch’s dial at all. This is not a Bond watch in the vein of all other Bond watches; this is a watch that James Bond will be wearing, rather than a commemorative piece – as emphasised by the recently released pictures of Daniel Craig touring the Omega factory wearing this watch. The only dial changes to the watch are that the 12 o’clock hour index has been replaced with a larger “Omega Seamaster” logo, and the second hand has been given a “lollipop” circle at its tip rather than the standard arrow. And the bezel is now a bi-directional rotating bezel with numerals from 0-11, giving the watch a second timezone function of sorts. They are the kind of discreet changes that you’d have to be an actual spy to notice.
The last major difference – and something that will get the keenest James Bond horophiles going – is the use of a black and grey NATO strap. Interestingly it differs from the original textile strap worn by Sean Connery in Goldfinger (with his Rolex Submariner) – that pattern was navy blue, red and olive green, rather than black and grey, although at a distance the two look very similar. You can read more about that particular rabbit hole of James Bond mythology here. At this point it is unconfirmed whether Omega will be selling the watch with this strap as standard, and we have no confirmed UK price.
Bond Factor: How obviously “Bond” is it? Not very at all. But on the other hand, it is almost certainly going to be the actual watch worn by Bond for the majority of the movie, so you don’t get more Bond than that. The NATO buckle bears the 007 pistol logo and the caseback will be numbered from 1 to 7,007 – the total number being produced.
Spectre, 2015: the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m
This, as we will see, is a bit of a new look for Omega’s Bond watches. It’s based on the standard Seamaster Aqua Terra, and shares the base model’s yellow accents. Here, though, they’re paired with a blue dial that on closer inspection is embossed with a hexagonal, bio-influenced pattern. Water resistance is down on previous Bond watches, at 150m, but obviously its strength is its antimagnetism: will Spectre see Bond battling a ticking-clock at the Large Hadron Collider? Who knows…
Bond factor: Not high either, although more so than the 300m. The 007 flourishes are pretty discreet compared with some of the OTT design tropes below. Look closely and you’ll notice the second hand bears the Bond family coat of arms; apparently a design influence for the whole watch. And Omega couldn’t resist trumpeting its market-leading antimagnetism – the 15,000+ Gauss resistance of the standard Master Co-Axial caliber has been upped to – you guessed it – 15,007.
Skyfall, 2012: Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
Sam Mendes’ Skyfall saw Bond issued with a 42mm Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m. It’s not a great departure from the base model; the red and black colour scheme of previous Bond watches returned once more. It’s got the co-axial 8507 calibre, and the winding rotor is engraved “Skyfall”.
Bond factor: After the new watch, this is probably the least obviously James Bond of the lot – the only dial-side signifier that you’re wearing one of the 5,007 limited edition pieces is the 007 logo in place of the 7 o’clock hour marker.
Bond at 50, 2012: Seamaster 300M
Released alongside the Skyfall Bond watch, this piece marked James Bond’s half-century on the silver screen – it being fifty years since Dr. No was released in 1962. Unlike the Skyfall watch, this is a Seamaster 300m rather than a Planet Ocean, available in 41mm and 36.25mm versions. It’s still a co-axial caliber (cal. 2507, with a 48-hour power reserve) but instead of a sapphire caseback you get a Bond title sequence-inspired spiral with engraved ‘bullet’ base at the centre.
Bond factor: This is pretty hardcore Bond-geek territory. As well as the caseback, you’ve got the 007 logo across the dial and for good measure, the “50” on the unidirectional rotating bezel is picked out in red for the anniversary.
Quantum of Solace, 2008: Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
Quantum of Solace was not the best-received of Daniel Craig’s outings so far, and we’d go so far as to say the watch is probably an acquired taste as well. Like the Skyfall watch, it’s also a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m, but the bigger size, at 45.5mm. The dial pattern echoes – apparently – the handgrip pattern on a Walther PPK, Bond’s weapon of choice. As with all Planet Oceans, you get the combination of both hour markers and 12, 9, and 6 arabic numerals, and the trademark big arrow hands.
Bond factor: Like the film, less than inspired, with the movie title laser-cut onto the sapphire crystal. Presumably wearers can still look at the time and wonder just what the heck those words actually mean.
The James Bond Collector’s Piece, 2008: Seamaster Diver 300M
2008 was another year that Omega released two James Bond watches, the second being this “Collector’s piece”. Like the Bond at 50 model that came four years later, it’s a Seamaster 300m with a limited edition bracelet design; unlike the 50th anniversary piece (and, in fact, unlike any of the other Bond watches) it comes with a completely un-patterned dial. It’s probably the dress watch of the Bond line, at 41mm, with its gold-plated hands and a simpler style. It also came presented in a black silk-lined box, for that tuxedo feel.
Bond factor: The Bond watch at its most secretive, with only the red 007 logo counterbalancing the second hand to give the game away.
Casino Royale, 2006: Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial and Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial
Daniel Craig’s first Bond film was honoured with two watches: a Seamaster 300m and a Planet Ocean 600m. The standard Seamaster is the last of the blue Bond watches (at least, it was, until Spectre brought blue back, in admittedly a very different shade and look).
Bond factor: It’s got the 007 logo on the second hand – albeit not picked out in a jazzy colour – and the spiral motif on the dial, which might take a second to register. Unmistakably Bond.
The Casino Royale Planet Ocean is the first Planet Ocean Bond watch, as the line was only launched the year before, in 2005. It’s the only one with a rugged rubber strap – as befits Craig’s dynamic reboot of the franchise – and it’s a little out of step with the other Bond watches in its use of orange, which is closer to the mainstream Planet Ocean range.
Bond factor: This puts the secret in secret agent – once again, it’s all down to that second hand adornment, plus a case-back engraved with “Casino Royale”.
Die Another Day, 2002: Seamaster 300M Chronometer
And last but not least, we had to find space for the tail end of the Pierce Brosnan era. Not because it was a great film, but because it was the first that actually led to a special edition Omega. Pierce Brosnan had worn a blue Seamaster 300m since Omega started providing watches to the Bond films in 1995, when Goldeneye was released (he actually began with the quartz version, and wasn’t upgraded to the automatic until Tomorrow Never Dies) but the Die Another Day Seamaster 300m is the first that Omega modified and released as a “Bond watch”.
Bond factor: Unmistakeable. You get 007 nice and large beneath the dial text at 6 o’clock, and you also get the 007 logo tiled across the dial.