On the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, take a closer look at the British superspy’s most trusted ally, the Omega Seamaster
For six decades now, audiences have swooned over James Bond, the big screen’s most suave, sophisticated and stylish man of mystery who has influenced, in real life and on a global scale, pop culture experiences, as well as men’s fashion. From Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, the 007 franchise doesn’t only pack a serious punch in adrenaline-fuelled action scenes, but also in its costume design, luxury cars and iconic watches.
Ahead of the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, Tatler takes a closer look at 007’s relationship with the Omega Seamaster, the most loyal companion for a man with a mission.
Marking the start of Omega’s long partnership with James Bond, our protagonist, played by Pierce Brosnan, is trapped on a doomed train but is saved by the Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional Diver 300M and its built-in laser that helps him escape. Not only was this timepiece, which featured a wave pattern in its design, the first model in a collection of thin dive watches, but it positioned the Seamaster model—as well as its subsequent evolutions—as the Bond watch.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
In Brosnan’s second outing as Bond, he wore the Seamaster Professional Diver 300M, the automatic chronometer version of the emblematic Seamaster Diver. It looked similar to its quartz predecessor, down to its 41mm diameter and steel strap, but came with new features for a new film, such as the remote-controlled detonator that Bond uses to blow up the boat of evil media mogul Elliot Carver.
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
In this instalment, Brosnan’s James Bond is trapped in an avalanche, and while an inflatable ski jacket saves his life, it was the bright light fitted in the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M that guided him through the darkness and to safety. The timepiece came to his aid again in the same film when he’s trapped in a nuclear bunker inspection pit, which he escaped from using the Seamaster’s miniature grappling hook that is supposedly capable of carrying 800 pounds.
Die Another Day (2002)
In his fight with an ill-intentioned business tycoon armed with a lethal space weapon, Brosnan in his last turn as James Bond triumphs with the help of the automatic Seamaster Professional Diver 300M. In one dramatic scene, Bond was able to press on the dial to shoot laser beams from the watch’s crown.
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Casino Royale (2006)
The stakes are high in Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond, who enjoys not one but two Omega timepieces as his trusted ally in this film. The blue-dialled Omega Seamaster Diver 300M with it co-axial escapement; and the all-black Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M co-axial chronometer with its 45.5mm case and black rubber strap that is as rugged as Craig’s Bond.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-axial Chronometer appears in the opening scene itself as Craig’s Bond speeds along the shores of Lake Garda with a captured antagonist in the boot of his sleek Aston Martin DBS V12. With its classic black dial and bezel and stainless-steel bracelet, this 42mm Planet Ocean model is slightly slimmer than the traditional Bond watch, and was designed with the preferences of Craig, an avid timepiece collector himself, in mind.
In this film, Bond’s Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M joins the daredevil spy in a thrilling motorbike chase through the streets of Istanbul, while the blue-dialled Seamaster Aqua Terra makes a cameo as 007’s elegant accessory in a casino in Macau. Both watches are powered by the shock-resistant co-axial calibre 8500 movement, and serve as stylish companions to Craig on screen.
Paying homage to Omega’s maritime heritage, the Seamaster Aqua Terra matches Bond’s naval pedigree in Spectre, which is Craig’s fourth outing as James Bond. The lacquered blue sun-brushed dial is fitted in a 41.5mm case and runs on the Master co-axial calibre 8500. Meanwhile, the Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial Chronometer Spectre Edition, a revamped version of Omega’s classic dive watch launched in 1957, was developed especially for this film and was later launched as a limited edition of 7,007 pieces. In the film, the timepiece conceals an explosive secret, allowing the superspy to overcome a threatening crisis.
No Time to Die (2021)
For the most recent film in the James Bond franchise, Omega worked closely with Craig on the Omega Seamaster 300M 007 Edition. The collaboration resulted in a 42 mm co-axial master chronometer with a titanium mesh strap crafted from strong yet lightweight grade two titanium. Watch lovers will find plenty of Easter eggs in the design of this timepiece, including historic military references supplied by the British Ministry of Defence that gives a nod to Bond’s naval background.