Daniel Craig on Omega, Bond and their shared cinematic heritage

As Swiss watchmaker Omega celebrates 60 years of James Bond, the actor shares his favourite models and reveals his own timeless style

A black tie gathering under cover of darkness at a secret London location, attended by the best and brightest from the worlds of cinema, watchmaking and business alike; the night could be the start of a scene straight out of a new James Bond film.

It’s a fitting comparison, for 007 actor Daniel Craig was the guest of honour at the secret spy-themed event on 23 November, hosted by Swiss watchmaker Omega to celebrate 60 years of James Bond on screen. The glamorous evening paid tribute to the franchise’s 25 films, produced by EON Productions – first founded by Albert R Broccoli, the driving force behind bringing Ian Fleming’s thrilling novels to the big screen, and now led by his daughter Barbara Broccoli and stepson Michael G Wilson to resounding success.

The evening saw guests enjoy authentic props and gadgets straight out of Q-Branch, as well as discover the full line-up of Omega watches worn on screen by Fleming’s superspy character through the years – including two new Seamaster Diver 300m “60 Years of James Bond” watches produced to mark the franchise’s anniversary.

The first is stainless steel with a 42mm case, with bezel and dial both made from blue oxalic anodized aluminium. The watch features laser-engraved waves on the dial and a Super-LumiNova diving scale on the bezel, and is completed by a mesh-style bracelet. The second variation comes in 18k Canopus Gold – the brand’s exclusive white gold alloy – with a grey silicon dial designed as a nod to Fleming’s Jamaican home, Goldeneye. The bezel is paved with green and yellow treated natural diamonds in a variety of tropical shades. The iconic spinning gun barrel scene plays beneath the sapphire, thanks to a patent pending micro-structured metallisation, known as a “moiré” effect animation, linked to the movement of the lollipop seconds hand.

Omega has partnered with Bond since 1995’s GoldenEye, when Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming equipped 007 (played by Pierce Brosnan) with an Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Quartz. Hemming believed the diver’s watch was the most suitable choice to compliment the character’s naval background, saying she “was convinced that Commander Bond, a naval man, a diver, and a discreet gentleman of the world would wear this watch”.

Omega has adorned Bond’s wrist ever since, with Pierce wearing models including the Seamaster 300m Chronometer (Tomorrow Never Dies , The World is not Enough and Die Another Day) – complete with laser –  and Daniel opting for the Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Chronometer (Casino Royale), the Seamaster Planet Ocean with black dial (Quantum of Solace), the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m with blue dial (Skyfall), an explosive Seamaster 300 “Spectre” Limited Edition (Spectre) and an electromagnetic Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition for his final film, 2021’s No Time to Die.

“Our partnership with EON Productions and James Bond is something totally unique within watchmaking,” says Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega. “It’s a chance to be creative and have fun, while highlighting our qualities of style and reliability. We love to bring that partnership to life on nights like this.”

Guest of honour Daniel – notably wearing the stainless steel 42mm Seamaster Diver 300m on his wrist – joined Raynald on stage to welcome stylish guests including actors Hayley Atwell, Daisy Edgar Jones, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Will Poulter.

Daniel, who has portrayed James Bond over five films since his debut in 2006’s Casino Royale and is now an Omega ambassador, says: “It’s been a joy for me to work with Omega in all the films since Casino Royale. James Bond is a character who likes the very best of everything, so it’s always made sense that he would wear something as beautiful and trustworthy as an Omega.”

Here, Daniel shares his thoughts on the longevity of James Bond and his favourite Omega watches…

What makes James Bond and Omega so perfect for each other?

Bond needs a watch that keeps the time. He needs a watch that’s going to stand up to the rigours of his job. Every Omega I’ve ever worn in Bond has always kept going – even though we’ve bashed them around. They’re very beautiful. He puts himself up to a very exacting set of standards and that’s exactly what an Omega watch is.

Who decides the role for the watches in the movies? Is it a collaborative process?

Omega gets involved. We always have a conversation about it. A Bond movie isn’t really a Bond movie without gadgets, and right there at the apex is Omega. Even if it’s just telling the time, it becomes an important part of the storytelling.

We saw the classic Aston Martin DB5 in the recent movies. Is there a vintage Omega watch that you think would suit James Bond?

I’ve got a 1969 Seamaster which I wear constantly, which is still going beautifully.

What’s your own choice of Omega watch when you’re not on screen?

It’s that one, or the watch I wore in Spectre. Again, it’s a Seamaster, but it’s got the Nato strap on it. I just like the Nato strap. It dresses it down a bit.

Regarding 60 years of James Bond; do you ever watch the old movies?

I’ve watched them many, many, many times. Especially when we’re filming, I always go back and watch them again before we do a film.

What is the secret to James Bond’s lasting popularity?

That’s a big question. But the way that the Broccolis keep making the movies, they’re always events, they’re special occasions. Everything from the watches to the cars, to the theme song. When they come out, they’re a huge talking point. And, so long as they maintain that, they’re going to last another 60 years at least.


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