With today’s announcement of the new Bond25 release, we thought it was time to run you by all previous Omega Seamaster watches that Bond had on his wrist.
Since over two decades, the Omega Seamaster is a trusty companion to the most famous spy in the world; James Bond. It was 1995 when Her Majesty’s secret agent strapped an Omega on his wrist for the first time. Throughout the years, just like the timepieces, the taste of Mr. Bond evolved and broadened. He went from quartz to mechanical, from a single watch to wearing multiple models by the brand on the silver screen. It was also the time when the production company realized their franchise needs to be brought up to speed. It was the mind 1990’s after all. They shifted gears and adapted to the times. The character of James bond went through a major redesign as well.
The first movie, as well as the beginning of the partnership between the James Bond franchise and Omega was GoldenEye (1995). The story was built using some of the most common formulas of old Bond movies; space technology, Russians as bad guys and a Roger Moore-type suave character introducing the young Pierce Brosnan. Throughout the movie he was seen wearing a Seamaster 300M Diver (2541.80.00). The film became the first building block of a great friendship and successful business venture between two huge companies that has proven to be prosperous beyond measure.
The success of GoldenEye was immense. Just two years after the first of the Pierce Brosnan-era movies, United Artists (the studio behind the franchise) was ready to release the next picture. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) was all about the power of media and how it could influence governments for better or for worse. As Brosnan’s Bond character progressed, his quartz Seamaster also received an upgrade. This time it was the Omega Seamaster 300M (2531.80.00) with an automatic winding movement, a truly outstanding future-classic watch.
The watch was so popular that the production team kept it in the upcoming two films as well. So in the third (The World Is Not Enough, 1999) and fourth (Die Another Day, 2002) movies there were no upgrades or new models. James Bond was still wearing his trusty Omega Seamaster 300M Diver. Die Another Day was the last picture Pierce Brosnan appeared in as James Bond. It also served as milestone. For the next 4 years no new movie was released and when the series returned in 2006 it was again time for yet another upgrade.
History repeats itself, they say. In 1995, a fresh face, with a cool watch, helped reinvent the James Bond brand and brought it to a whole other level. 11 years later, Casino Royal (2006) gave the story of Her Majesty’s Secret Agent yet another twist. We went back in time without really doing so to see how a rugged but smart field agent gained the “double-0” status. Daniel Craig was chosen to play the new James Bond and brought a completely different attitude to the screen. Craig is more of a Connery-type muscle guy versus the sharply dressed, an intellectual businessman like Brosnan was.
This new beginning also meant a new watch for James Bond and a new opportunity for Omega. For the first time not one but two Seamaster models were added to the accessories of Bond. Screen time was split between the Omega Seamaster 300M (2220.80.00) similar to the previous models but now with the Co-Axial escapement, and the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (2900.50.91) on a rubber strap. The Planet Ocean was a new addition to the Omega family and matched Craig’s style perfectly. When James Bond dressed up for a poker game he was seen sporting the smaller, iconic 300M but when he was about to take care of business, he required a tool watch. The Planet Ocean proved to be that rugged timepiece and became a worldwide success for the brand.
Quantum of Solace was the title of the next Bond movie but it could have been called Casino Royal Part 2. The villain is different but the story continues. Casino Royale ended leaving a bunch of open questions at its conclusion. Luckily, we all received the answers in Craig’s second movie. This time we see no 300M anymore and even the Planet Ocean he wore most on the screen in the previous movie got smaller. In Quantum of Solace Bond was wearing the 42mm Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial 600M (2201.50.00) on a bracelet; slimmer but still a sharp watch.
While it was only the third installment of the Craig-era James Bond movies the story line arrived to yet another turning point. Spoiler alert: M (played by Dame Judy Dench) passes away in the end of the film. Dench “served” as M from 1995 to 2012 in a total of 7 James Bond films. Skyfall was a significant picture within the franchise in many other ways. One could be the fact that while Bond kept his 42mm Planet Ocean like before (even though it’s the updated caliber 8500) he also introduced us to another member of the Seamaster family: the dressier Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial (126.96.36.199.03.001.). Skyfall is part action and part drama. The watches Bond wears are the perfectly suited pair to match the duality of the script.
To date the latest James Bond movie is Spectre. It is a special picture for a number of reasons. This is the first time James Bond wears three different Omega models. He is sporting a very similar Seamaster Aqua Terra he wore in Skyfall. This however is newer and slightly changed, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Co-Axial (188.8.131.52.03.003). We covered that watch here. His tool watch is again something unusual; for the first time James Bond is wearing a watch in the movie that is actually a 007 limited edition. Omega usually makes a limited run of James Bond inspired models around the time a film comes out. However they never appear in the movie. Until now. The Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition (184.108.40.206.01.001) is the first watch that actual makes it to the wrist of Daniel Craig. He wears it on a black and grey striped NATO strap. Another thing we have not seen from James Bond since the time of Sean Connery. The third, and last, Omega is a vintage chronograph – from the mid-60’s – which appears, if only for a moment, towards the end of the movie. We reviewed this watch in this article.
As far as we know a new James Bond movie, the 25th in line not counting the unofficial ones is in production. The release date for that film is April 8th 2020. I can only hope that the Seamaster 300M Diver will make its return to the silver screen. No modern day James Bond timepiece deserves it better. Arguably the watch became the most significant gadget of the modern era 007 since its introduction to the audience in 1995. The Omega Seamaster 300M Diver is over 25 years old yet it still looks contemporary and classic and the same time. This, paired up with a healthy dose of nostalgia could be the reason for the producers and Daniel Craig to wear the new 2018 Seamaster 300M Diver. Just last week, we published an in-depth review of this new 300M model.
Check the official announcement for Bond 25 here.
*This article appeared first in our (print) Seamaster 300 Magazine in 2018.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more