Slick Sidekick

With the release of the new 007 timepiece ahead of Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, we look back on the spy’s constant horological companion: Omega’s Seamaster

by Stef Juan

With the release of the new 007 timepiece ahead of Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, we look back on the spy’s constant horological companion: Omega’s Seamaster

With every new Bond film there is a new Bond watch. Omega (G/F, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 728-1048) has laid claim to this since 1995’s GoldenEye, the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 officer. To herald this year’s hotly anticipated caper, Spectre, out this November, Omega has released the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m.

 

Though inspired by the Bond family coat of arms, the 007 flourishes on this limited edition model are decidedly low-key. The family crest is interlocked in a pattern on the watch’s blue dial and also rests near the tip of the yellow second hand. The most striking James Bond element, though, is found at the back of the 41.5mm stainless timepiece, visible through the sapphire crystal case-back: the gun barrel-shaped oscillating weight of the Omega Master Co- Axial caliber 8507. It’s worth noting that Omega’s market-leading antimagnetism of 15,00+ gauss is cranked up to 15,007, the same number of watches that are available to the public.

Here is a look back at Bond’s faithful sidekick, which has graced his wrist from GoldenEye to Skyfall.

GOLDENEYE (1995): Omega Seamaster 300m Quartz Professional

This stainless steel full-sized diver’s watch, with a blue dial and bezel on a stainless steel bracelet, houses the Omega 1538 Quartz precision caliber and is water resistant up to 300m. This marked the debut of the Omega watch on Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond, and it proved to be up to the task. In the movie, it sported a built-in laser on the bezel used to cut through a steel plate that enabled 007 to escape certain death from a train, seconds before it exploded. Later, it was used as a detonator. The villain, Alec Trevelyan, also had his own Seamaster, since this Omega watch is the standard MI6 issue to 00 agents.

TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997), THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999), AND DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002): Omega Seamaster 300m Chronometer

An upgrade from the quartz version from the first film, this self-winding chronometer watch also has a blue face and bezel, stainless steel case and bracelet. It has a 12-sided unidirectional rotating bezel with a ring and engraved with a graduated scale to calculate diving time. It runs on the Omega caliber 1120 with a power reserve of 44 hours. In Tomorrow Never Dies, an X-rayed Seamaster starred in the opening credits and was also used to deploy a remote controlled detonator to set up a booby trap using a grenade in a glass jar. In The World is Not Enough, meanwhile, the Seamaster 300m came with a miniature grappling hook with a 50-foot filament that can support 800 pounds.

In Die Another Day, the watch had a detonator pin in the place of the helium release valve, as well as a newly positioned laser that shoots from the crown of the watch, activated by pressing on the actual face. The film is also the first time Omega issued a limited edition Seamaster for both the film and the 40th anniversary of the 007 film franchise. The watch had a large 007 on the dial at 6 o’clock, as well as the 007 logo running across the dial.

CASINO ROYALE (2006): Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial and Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial

Along with Daniel Craig’s rougher and tougher take on 007, Omega came out with two watches for Casino Royale: a Seamaster 300 and a Planet Ocean 600m. The Seamaster sported a spiral motif on the dial, alluding to the traditional James Bond opening sequence, and the 007 logo on the second hand.

The Casino Royale Seamaster Planet Ocean is the only 007 stainless steel watch with a rubber strap, befitting Craig’s reboot of the franchise. It’s rather different from the other Bond watches, using orange on the 007 on the second hand against the stark black dial. The only other James Bond detail on the watch is an engraving of the words “Casino Royale” on the caseback. This is the first of the Planet Ocean timepieces in the James Bond franchise. The 45.5mm watch has an Omega 2500 self-winding chronometer, co-axial escapement movement with a rhodium plated finish and a 48-hour power reserve.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008): Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m

The special edition of the Seamaster Planet Ocean has a black textured surface on its dial inspired by the grip of 007’s weapon of choice, the Walther PPK. A 007 logo is engraved on the buckle of the stainless steel bracelet, and another on the case-back. The movie title is laser-cut into the sapphire crystal. Much like in Casino Royale, the watches no longer featured gadgets, as fists replaced lasers in Craig’s version of James Bond. Instead, the accessory was more realistic, with its Omega caliber 2500 self-winding chronometer, co-axial escapement movement.

SKYFALL (2012): Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m and Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m

 

Sticking to the black and white with a touch of red color scheme, Skyfall’s Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m is the least obvious of Omega’s James Bond limited editions. The only indication that it’s a James Bond watch is the 007 logo in the place of the 7 o’clock marker. Inside the stainless steel 42mm case though is the latest Omega exclusive co-axial 8507 caliber with “Skyfall” engraved on its winding rotor. It has a 60-hour power reserve and will operate up to depths of 600m.

Dressier than its rough-and-tumble brother but sharing the same movement, the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m is still incredibly shockproof. Despite the “teak-concept” dial finish that echoes the striped decks of luxury yachts, it is still one tough and worthy timepiece. This watch complemented Bond’s dark gray suit in the London scenes and in Scotland when he visited the family estate, located in stunning Glencoe, sporting a Barbour jacket.