Of all the gadgetry that have outfitted a certain secret agent over the years, it’s telling that of all the kit and caboodle, it’s James Bond’s watches that are cemented in the public consciousness. Whether outfitted by Q to container a detonator (that would be Roger Moore in A Spy Who Loved Me) or buzz saw (Live and Let Die), his watch is as integral to Bond’s identity as the tuxedo and martini. Which is why Omega have chosen a red letter year for the British institution to unveil a new limited edition model.
To mark a host of Bond milestones this year – 2017 sees the 50th anniversary of You Only Live Twice, the 40th of The Spy Who Loved Me and the 20th of Tomorrow Never Dies – Omega have created a timepiece in his honour, one particular focused on the militaristic aspect of Bond’s adventures (in each film he dons military attire). The replica Omega Seamaster Diver Commander’s Watch – unveiled at a high octane boating event on the River Thames, befittingly passing MI6 – employs the colours of the British Royal Navy to summery effect; the tones of red and blue bezel with a dazzling white ceramic dial look suitably fresh and appropriate for this time of year, while the 007 gun logo acts as counterweight on the second hand. The NATO strap also comes with stripes that border on a Regatta-style design. Numbers are limited; 7,007 will be produced, with the 18k gold version limited to just seven.
Bond’s roster of wrist candy began with Rolex in Dr. No, before he embraced the digital, more democratic age, with Seiko. He first slipped on an fake Omega Seamaster in 1995’s GoldenEye, thanks to costume designer Lindy Hemming, who recalled the sporty functionality of her RAF father’s model while she was growing up. “I was convinced that Commander Bond, a naval man, a diver and a discreet gentleman of the world would wear this watch”. The official title of the watch is indicative not just of Bond’s rank, but of cheap Omega’s rich history in the the military field – during WWII, it outfitted 110,000 pilots, naval officers and soldiers on the orders of Britain’s Ministry of Defense. Proving that alongside the cinematic substance, there’s a heavy dose of substance to swiss Omega’s dynamic timepieces.