James Bond Through The Years — The Crucial Role OMEGA Has Played In The Films
From the iconic line of "Bond, James Bond" to his signature shaken-not-stirred vodka martini order, the quintessential British spy is undoubtedly a significant part of pop culture
Throughout his many missions and adventures, whether he's outsmarting villains, romancing a Bond girl, or zooming through the streets on a high-speed car chase, the spy's constant companion is a special wristwatch, often featuring some secret functions to help with his missions.
Since Pierce Brosnan donned Bond's first OMEGA timepiece in GoldenEye, the beloved character's go-to watch has always been an OMEGA Seamaster
Though the actors playing Bond have changed over the years, OMEGA Seamasters have remained a constant, with various versions appearing on each actor's wrist movie after movie, right up until the latest film, No Time To Die.
No doubt an integral part of the Bond character, one wonders how this connection between watch and spy first began.
The answer to that lies with Lindy Hemming, the costume designer for several Bond films, including GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, and Casino Royale
Heavily influenced by her childhood and her father's military background, the Academy Award winning costume designer was convinced that there was no watch better suited for 007, the world's greatest spy.
Talking about her choice of the OMEGA Seamaster, she said, "I was convinced that Commander Bond, a naval man, a diver, and a discreet gentleman of the world, would wear this watch as opposed to the one everyone expected me to use."
Further explaining how she came to this decision, she added, "My father had been in the Royal Air Force but was friendly with navy men, and I remember as a child, one often visiting us, and he always wore this OMEGA, which fascinated me — this unusually sporty design that looked as though it was built for purpose.
"It's the small details that really matter. So, one of the early tasks in designing the new Bond, Pierce Brosnan, I went to a props and hand props meeting and argued for the use of OMEGA."
It turns out, she was right to draw the connection between OMEGA and the British Royal Navy, as at the time, real-life British naval officers did indeed wear OMEGA watches
Originally released in 1957, it was the OMEGA Seamaster 300 that was issued to military divers around the world. Later on, in 1967, a famous batch of 2nd generation Seamaster 300s was also delivered to the UK's Ministry of Defense (MoD) for issue to certain military units.
Additionally, author Ian Fleming, who created the character of James Bond, drew inspiration from his own service in the Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, as well as from some of the commandos he met during that time.
And in fact, during the early days of the Second World War, the MoD released a list of specifications, detailing a wristwatch that would support their land, air, and sea troops. Rising to the occasion, OMEGA created and delivered over 11,000 watches to the MoD, to be distributed to their pilots, navigators, and soldiers.
Impressively, this means that OMEGA was one of the largest suppliers of watches to the British armed forces during the war, with almost 50% of all watches worn by them coming from one brand.
Thus, though the illustrious 007 is a fictional character, as a British naval officer himself, it only makes sense that he wears an OMEGA watch on screen
Sure enough, every OMEGA Seamaster watch has proven to be a perfect and handy companion, faithfully serving the spy in different missions, from the Soviet espionage of GoldenEye to the biochemical warfare of No Time To Die.
With the highly-anticipated No Time To Die releasing in cinemas soon, which will be Daniel Craig's last time taking on the 007 mantle, let's take a trip down memory lane to find out how each of Craig's OMEGA Seamasters played a crucial role throughout his time as Bond:
1. Casino Royale
Joining Craig in his first-ever action-packed Bond film were not one, but two OMEGA watches.
First, the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial can be seen on Bond's wrist during the opening sequence itself, as well as during outdoor scenes, such as the infamous Madagascar chase scene. This super robust oversized watch on a rubber strap was a first in Bond films, giving the sense of a very purposeful, modern Bond.
Another OMEGA watch in the film that caught the attention of many was the OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M, this time, featuring the addition of a Co-Axial escapement.
Perfectly befitting of the spy's rugged, gritty, and muscular look, the stainless steel 41mm with blue face and bezel, wrapped by a stainless steel bracelet, was integral to landing a solid first impression to the audience seeing Craig in his first Bond portrayal.
2. Quantum of Solace
In Quantum of Solace, the sequel picks up minutes from where Casino Royale left off, showing Bond in a suit during the notable car chase scene at the start of the movie. During this scene, a close look reveals that he's no longer wearing the same watch from the previous film, but is now donning the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial.
He goes on to sport different rugged looks throughout the film, all the while wearing the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial. Granted that the cool, classic black dial and bezel with a discreet 42mm stainless steel wrapped around a matching bracelet did not carry any gadgets, the timepiece nonetheless perfectly complemented every one of 007's outfits and numerous scenes.
Marking his third 007 appearance, Daniel Craig once again wore two OMEGA watches throughout the movie.
Though the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150 with a blue dial is somewhat dressier and more elegant than the sturdier and more formal Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M with a black dial and bezel, both complemented the famed British secret agent perfectly.
You can spy the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150 being paired with Bond's dark grey suit in his London scenes, with his tuxedo in the casino scenes, and with his Barbour jacket outfit in the Scotland scenes. Meanwhile, the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M can be spotted in the Turkey scenes.
Each timepiece has its own distinct look, but both are powered by the incredibly shockproof OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 8500.
In previous films, Bond wears existing versions of watches from OMEGA's catalogue, and the brand later releases a '007 Special Edition' version of each watch to commemorate the film. But this time, Bond actually wears the special edition watch in the movie itself!
With its NATO strap, which is not only a callback to the type of straps worn by Sean Connery as Bond in Goldfinger and Thunderball, but is also a homage to the straps of military watches, the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition is seen on the spy's wrist for most of the movie.
And after going with gadget-less watches for a while, the gadgets literally make a comeback with a bang, as Q has equipped this one with a bomb, which 007 later detonates to escape a sticky situation.
Other stunning elements included in this limited edition watch are a twelve-hour bezel, vintage inspired tones, broad-arrow hands, and large luminous hour markers.
In addition, Bond also sports two other OMEGA watches in Spectre — an OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Co-Axial, as well as a vintage OMEGA Chronograph with Caliber 321 from the mid-1960s.
5. No Time To Die
As Daniel Craig's last hurrah as the British secret agent, No Time To Die sees Bond armed with the OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, built from tough titanium for the most action-packed situations.
He is seen wearing the watch in at least three scenes — in London, whilst on a commando mission, and when meeting Felix Leiter in Jamaica.
What makes this 42mm titanium timepiece extra special is that OMEGA worked very closely with Daniel Craig and the filmmakers on its creation. Built with military needs in mind, the final design was influenced by the actor's influence and advice, with his knowledge of Bond being key in creating a suitable timepiece for the spy.
With this unique watch, it's the small yet significant details that truly make it stand out. For instance, there are callbacks to previous movies, such as the skeletonised sword hands on the matte black dial, and the red tip of the seconds hand, as first seen in GoldenEye. Then, paying tribute to the vintage-inspired tones of the Spectre limited edition watch is the 'pre-aged' luminous material used for the hour markers.
Finally, the famous Broad Arrow can be spotted just above the 6 o'clock hour marker, and also on the caseback. As an insignia that marks watches used as military tools for the British Ministry of Defense, it is a wonderful testament to OMEGA's long history with the British armed forces.
Over the years, every OMEGA timepiece has been a significant part of each 007 film, aiding the spy in countless missions and adding to his stylish flair
Ahead of No Time To Die's upcoming November release in Malaysia, have a sneak preview at the role the OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition will be playing in the movie:
No matter which actor takes up the role next, OMEGA's long-standing relationship with Bond will surely continue for years to come.
Find out more about the special OMEGA watch the spy will be wearing in No Time To Die here.
Besides being an integral part of James Bond movies, did you know that OMEGA also has a historical connection to NASA?
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