Facing the odds: the history of Bond and Omega

By Michelle Johnson | 16 Oct 2021 | Culture, Style, Design

As No Time to Die hits our screens, Omega collaborates with the film’s star, Daniel Craig, to celebrate 007’s timeless style

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Bond. James Bond. A name synonymous with suave style and fearless action since Dr. No first hit our screens in 1962. This October, the 25th instalment of the world’s longest running cinematic series saw Daniel Craig return for his fifth (and final) run as 007 in No Time to Die.

In addition to new enemies and allies – including double-O-agent Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch – the latest stylish Bond outing brings us custom cars from Aston Martin and Land Rover, suits by Tom Ford and Massimo Alba and, of course, an impeccable taste in wristwatches.

For the last 25 years, Britain’s best-loved spy has enjoyed a horological love affair with the Omega Seamaster. The partnership began thanks to GoldenEye (1995) costume designer Lindy Hemming, who recognised the same minimalist, military sensibilities in the design of the diving watch that she saw in Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal of Ian Fleming’s smooth hero. The Omega Seamaster 300m Chronometer, with its classic blue dial, ticked all the boxes for Brosnan’s Royal Navy Commander-turned-superspy.

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LEAGUES AHEAD

Many iterations of the Seamaster Diver have emerged since, building its legacy with input from real-life divers and style aficionados. But the special 007 edition, launched in February 2020 to celebrate Omega’s 25-year, nine-movie collaboration with the franchise, is perhaps the ultimate blend of contemporary technology, military precision and nostalgic elegance.

The 42mm Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition is super lightweight, with the case and titanium mesh bracelet, with adjustable buckle, crafted from Grade 2 Titanium. A ‘tropical’ brown aluminium dial and bezel ring further reduces weight, even as it creates a classic look with vintage Super-LumiNova filling the diving scale, blackened hands and indexes.

Comfortable, elegant and precise, this edition is perhaps the ultimate expression of Bond’s character – partly thanks to actor Daniel Craig’s personal input in the design.

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“When working with Omega, we decided that a lightweight watch would be key for a military man like 007,” said Craig. “I also suggested some vintage touches and colour to give the watch a unique edge. The final piece looks incredible... it is an incredibly comfortable watch to wear.”

Further ‘personal’ touches can be found on the caseback, where cinematic references follow the format for genuine military-issue watches. ‘0552’ is the code-number specified for Navy personnel and ‘923 7697’ marks it as a divers’ watch. The letter ‘A’ signifies a screw- in crown, while ‘007’ needs no explanation. Finally, the number ‘62’ refers to the release year of the first Bond film.

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APPROVED BY Q

Technical highlights of this Seamaster novelty include Omega’s Naiad Lock case back, which keeps engravings in the correct alignment. The timepiece is driven by the Omega Co- Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806, an impressive movement that has achieved the industry’s highest standards of precision, chronometric performance and magnetic resistance, and provides 55 hours power reserve.

Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, says: “James Bond shares many of the same qualities as OMEGA, from exquisite style to adventurous spirit and exacting precision.”

Eagle-eyed viewers will also spot two other Omega references in the films: Nomi (Lynch) is equipped with a 38mm Seamaster Aqua Terra with black dial and black NATO strap, while Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) wears an elegant and practical 27.4mm De Ville Prestige. Film fans wishing to get their hands on the 007 Edition worn by Craig are in luck, as the non- limited watch is available via Omega boutiques, either with titanium mesh bracelet or striped NATO strap.

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omegawatches.com