When On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was first released in 1969, people were not sure whether this was a step in the right direction for the Bond franchise. Fifty years later, the film is still good for a heated discussion, but the film has cemented its place in the history of the Bond saga. So it seems only right that Omega celebrates the 50th anniversary of the movie with the release of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 50th Anniversary Of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’
When discussing the classic James Bond film, to me, it’s all about the movie that features Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and George Lazenby. Although many people have their doubts about Lazenby’s portrayal of Bond, his one-time performance as Bond is part of one of the most talked-about Bond films ever made. That’s why the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is widely celebrated, and Omega takes part in that celebration by releasing a special version of their Omega Seamaster Diver 300M.
As many probably will know George Lazenby was following in Sean Connery’s footsteps as agent 007, but he wasn’t an obvious choice to portray the world’s most famous spy. Lazenby wasn’t English, he wasn’t an actor, and he lacked the sophistication that Connery brought to the character of James Bond. Lazenby has always been open about the fact that he was an Australian country boy that didn’t know how to act when he pursued his dream of getting the role of James Bond. Well, he did end up convincing the producers that he was the right man for the job, and in 1969 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was released in theatres worldwide.
I have to say I wasn’t a great fan of Lazenby when I first saw the film when I was a teenager. Connery has always been my favorite Bond ever since I was young, and Lazenby turned Bond into a character that was quite unpolished. And it wasn’t because he thought that’s what Bond should be like as a character, it has everything to do with Lazenby as a person being a little rough around the edges. Although I have come to terms with Lazenby’s portrayal of Bond, the magic of the movie for me is in the script, the cinematography, the locations, and the style. The incorporation of a Bond love interest in the story, the beautiful location of Blofeld’s – played by a charismatic Telly Savalas – clinic in Switzerland, the iconic beach fight scene shot in low light and constantly changing camera angles and the overall style of clothing are just some of the elements that make this a true Bond classic for me. And for decades, a lot of people have come to love the movie that was released fifty years ago in 2019.
To commemorate On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Omega has released the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 50th Anniversary Of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’ In proper Bond tradition, Omega has created a special version of their Omega Seamaster Diver 300M that captures the spirit of Bond by changing up some of the regular parts and adding details that are specifically linked to the film. And this time, Omega has incorporated a lot of elements in the watch that are related to the film. The most important one that catches the eye is the dial that refers to the opening credit sequence of all Bond films. The black ceramic dial is laser-engraved, depicts the view down the barrel of a gun, and the diameter of its center is exactly 9mm.
Another thing that stands out immediately is the Bond family coat of arms that serves as the 12 o’clock marker. In the film, Bond is slightly obsessed with his family history, so it’s a beautiful detail that relates to the story of the film and probably is the most appealing to die-hard Bond fans. The coat of arms is produced in 18K yellow gold that is also used for the hands, indexes, and the Limited Edition plate on left the side of the stainless steel case placed just underneath the helium valve at the 10 o’clock position. Each plate is engraved with a unique Limited Edition number out of a total of 7,007 pieces that Omega will produce. Next to some very eyecatching elements, the watch also features some details that are less easy to spot directly. The number ‘7’ on the date disc has been produced in the legendary 007 font so you will see that only once a month, and there is a secret signature number 50 hidden on the 10 o’clock index that lights up at night with the Super-LumiNova, referring to 50 years of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Technically the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond 50th Anniversary Of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (reference 18.104.22.168.01.004) is similar to the regular Seamaster Diver 300M models. Inside the 42mm steel case, you will find the Omega self-winding Calibre 8800 with Co-Axial escapement that is certified Master Chronometer and resistant to magnetic fields with a maximum of 15,000 gauss. The watch is water-resistant to 300 meters and has a power reserve of 55 hours. The watch comes with a black rubber strap, and a stainless steel bracelet is also included in the special Bond-themed black box that features the gun barrel pattern and bullet head buttons.
Let’s start with the obvious, and that’s the large number of Bond elements that Omega has incorporated in the watch. To many, it might seem like Omega has gone a bit overboard by including so many Bond-related gimmicks in the watch. And I have to say the press pictures do not do the watch justice completely. As a manufacturer, Omega focusses on all the details that make this a special watch, and that’s what the promotional pictures show perfectly. Wearing the watch on your wrist is an entirely different story. The overall feeling is a lot more subdued, and the only element that immediately stands out is the dial and not in a bad way. Only if you start focussing on the details, the features that make this a Bond watch will reveal itself to you.
What also stands out is the level of detail and finishing that Omega uses in creating every special element for this special edition. The Bond coat of arms with its story behind it, the number ‘7’ on the date disc in the iconic 007 style, they are proof of Omega’s commitment and knowledge of coming up with something special for Bond fans. Because that’s what it is and what it should be. You have to love James Bond to truly appreciate the story behind the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond 50th Anniversary Of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and recognize all the details that make it such a special watch. The connection Omega has with the Bond franchise has been successful for almost 25 years, and this watch only adds to the legacy of Omega themed Bond watches, even if the movie was released 50 years ago.
A big thank you to Tourbillon Boutique Amsterdam to shoot some images of the watch. It appears this watch is still available at some retailers and boutiques, but the demand seems to be high from what we’ve heard so far.
For more info, visit Omega online.
Jorg has been working in marketing & communications for 15 years. He is specialised in developing brand strategy, brand portfolio, brand design and brand communications. Besides, he loves watches and the stories that make them worthwhile. He can be spotted... read more