Although some people were sceptic about him at first, Daniel Craig has proven to be among the greatest James Bond actors. James Bond started wearing an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in 1995 (GoldenEye) and continued to do so when Daniel Craig took over this role from his predecessor. This year, Omega celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M watch and introduced a new and improved version of this watch in Basel. A new watch like this also needs a new face. And what is a better fit than Daniel Craig? Omega announces that Craig will be their new Seamaster Diver 300M ambassador from now on.
However, not everyone knows that the actor is a watch fanatic. On screen, he first wore an Omega in Casino Royale in 2006, and he is currently set to play 007 for the fifth time. Off-screen, Craig has been collecting watches for many years. Omega is proud to call Craig the face of the new Seamaster Diver 300M. Not only because of his bond with Bond, but also because of his genuine love for wristwatches. And as the ambassador of the legendary 300, Craig has some illustrious predecessors.
Daniel Craig (1968) really got to know Omega through 007, but he already had been a watch enthusiast in personal life for many years. “As a kid, I was attracted to diving watches”, Craig explained in an interview in 2017. The fascination for diving watches may be a common phenomenon amongst boys, but for some of them, the attraction gets deeper, when learning the historical context of these watches and their military connection with the navy and the marines. Craig: “I don’t know if it’s just the diving watch or a boy’s thing about diving, but they just look great”.
Today, Craig is still a great fan of dive watches. He especially loves the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial he wore in Casino Royale – his first appearance as James Bond. “The watch never leaves my safe. I guess I am too scared of losing it”.
Craig also likes the Seamaster 300: “I love a blue face on a watch. Sometimes it is that simple. And the Seamaster 300 is so light. I like light-weight watches and collected some vintage piece that are light, because it’s nice to wear with a suit. “I bought them when I saw them occasionally at antique stores”.
Craig bought a vintage Omega in Budapest when he earned his first money. It was the beginning of his collection. “The fascination of watches is the precision and technology that goes into making them, plus the fact that you can collect them. I have a few now”. Craig is known for wearing modern and vintage watches, mostly Omega and Rolex. He learned about Omega’s innovative attitude through Bond. “I have some wild ideas, and they produce them. We certainly went for it in the last one, for Spectre”.
Daniel Craig finds himself in a memorable company. The Seamaster Diver 300M has always had remarkable ambassadors. Not only Bond, but ambassadors relating to the many other professional sides of the watch – people who mastered their skills at ground-breaking levels on or in the water, ranging from people such as the late unequalled skipper and environmentalist Sir Peter Blake, the French free-divers Roland Specker and Jacques Mayol, swimming champions Alexander Popov, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps, to surfing legend Gerry Lopez and some America’s Cup crews. In 1995, Pierce Brosnan was the first actor to play Bond wearing an Omega. Over the years several 007 limited editions have been made.
The new Seamaster Diver 300M derives from a legendary family with a competitive history full of innovation. The new watch also features several novelties, ranging from technological improvements to forward aesthetics and some detailing from the past. To start with: the watch measures 42 mm and houses the new anti-magnetic master chronometer movement (Master Chronometer Calibre 8800) built with non-ferrous materials that can resist the effects of magnetism from certain diving devices. The movement and its watch have passed the 8 stringent Master Chronometer tests set by METAS that include examinations under strong magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss. (Read more about METAS certification over here.)
On the outside, the watch has a rotating ceramic bezel with a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock and a diving scale in Ceragold™ or white enamel. The crown at 10 o’clock – the helium escape valve – has been given a conical shape, while the mechanism itself has been patented with an ingenious new technology. If the Helium Escape Valve is accidentally opened underwater, the watch is guaranteed to remain water-resistant (up to 5 bar). Furthermore, the wavy dial is back. The wavy-pattern was a popular feature of the original design, and is now laser-engraved, with raised indexes. The 12 indexes and the hands are super visible thanks to the Super-LumiNova filling. Also, the skeleton hands (rhodium-plated, 18K gold, or blued), have been subtly reshaped. The new dials are made from polished ceramic in black, blue or sun-brushed PVD chrome colour. And to keep track of the days, the date window has been moved to 6 o’clock. Each model is presented on a traditional iconic metal bracelet with a new ergonomic and more integrated design, or an integrated black or blue rubber strap. The metal bracelets feature Omega’s patented extendable fold-over rack-and-pusher with a helpful diver extension to make extra room for the thickness of a diving suit.
The Seamaster Diver 300M became a legend. Launched in 1993, the Seamaster Diver 300M was an instant success. Admired for its design and technical prowess, it was quickly adopted by divers, athletes, researchers and even a famous movie spy! But how did the watch secure its legendary status? Here are just some of the many highlights from its early years.
Frenchman Roland Specker achieved a world record freshwater free dive to a depth of 80m in Lake Neuchatel. On his wrist, he wore the new Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M, successfully testing it in a true deep-water environment.
The Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph was awarded the “Watch of the Year” prize by readers of the German magazine Armbanduhren. This was the first “Watch of the Year” award and signalled a promising future for Omega’s newest collection.
The Diver 300M became part of sailing history when it is worn by several sailors of Team New Zealand, who achieved an unforgettable victory at the America’s Cup. At the head of the team was the legendary Sir Peter Blake.
One of OMEGA’s most exciting and enduring partnerships began when James Bond strapped on a Seamaster Diver 300M for the first time in GoldenEye. The spy and his watch became synonymous and sales of the timepiece soared.
In Lake Theodule at the foot of the Matterhorn, the Seamaster Diver 300M was successfully tested in freezing waters by the instructors from the Ice Rock Club of Zermatt at an altitude of 3000m, proving its ability in the toughest conditions.
The Seamaster Diver 300M proved that is was not just a watch for diving, when it was advertised as the preferred choice of international sports stars including the swimmer Alexander Popov and tennis champion Martina Hingis.
Sir Peter Blake created the incredible Blakexpeditions foundation, dedicated to researching ecological and marine issues around the world. On board their boat the Seamaster, the Blakexpeditions crew wore Diver 300M models for their important scientific work.
A new James Bond, but the same iconic watch! Daniel Craig wore the Seamaster Diver 300M when he burst onto screens in Casino Royale. The trusty timepiece was now in its 5th 007 film.
Omega presented a new version of the famous watch – now sized at a larger 42 mm – with 14 unique models, including 6 in stainless steel and 8 in a mix of stainless steel and 18K gold. More about this watch can be found here. With Daniel Craig as ambassador, nothing can go wrong.
More information can be found on the official Omega website.
Paul Dezentjé (The Netherlands) is guest contributor for Fratello Watches and has a special interest in vintage Omega. He used to write for various magazines (print), including a watch magazine. read more