The Benelux delegation and I were being led from The Londoner hotel to the taxi. The ladies in long evening dresses and the gentlemen in black tie. It was time for a ride through a dark London in the direction of Bankside, on the south bank of the Thames. We were dropped off under the arches of an abandoned London tunnel for a gala in 007 style, organised by the Swiss watchmaker Omega. All this in honour becasue of the launch of two special Omega Seamaster watches commemorating 60 years of James Bond.
The gala marked their longstanding collaboration (the trusted watches of the secret agent have been made by Omega since 1995), and now the James Bond franchise turns 60, there was a lot to celebrate. Including the unveiling of two new commemorative editions of Omega Seamaster watches by Daniel Craig himself. What’s greater than to be part of such an unique event?
That morning at Regent Street
Onto the Omega Omega Boutique at Regent Street, where the anniversary Seamaster was presented to us. It’s a no-date watch with a blue clock face and bezel, just like the original one Pierce Brosnan wore in 1995. The clock face features laser-engraved waves, James Bond is a Commander in the Royal Navy in the end. On the place where there would normally be a triangle on the bezel, there’s now the number 60, as a original reference to the anniversary. The bracelet is made out of thinly woven mesh, which gives the watch a stylish, vintage look.
But the most impressive thing is the caseback of the Seamaster. The watchmakers have put a lot of energy and knowledge in the subtle incorporation of the well-known opening sequence of each Bond film. This is the scene in which we see James Bond through the barrel of a gun.
The effect of a moving Bond in the gun barrel is accomplished by a connection between the back of the watch and a small hand on the front plate. This hand pushes forward a small laser-cut dish on the backside, so to speak. This way, the eye-catching moiré effect gets created, something Omega successfully played with before on their Snoopy Watch.
007 vintage watches
Some impressive 007 vintage watches came forward from the archives. The Seamaster Planet Ocean that James Bond (Daniel Craig) wears in Casino Royale (2006) was laying in front of me. Bond rolls through the sand with this watch in Madagascar at the beginning of the film. And that’s quite visible: the dust is still covering the watch.
Another very special watch is the vintage Omega Chronograph with Caliber 321 from 1965. That one was worn by Bond at the end of Spectre (2015).
007 all-in gala
Back to the event. The black tie gala, complete with sets and props, reminded me of previous Bond films. Guests were led across a red carpet with laser beams, beneath a brick arch that was designed to look like a fictitious underground train station called London Arch.
The invitation for the event was, appropriately, a replica of a London Underground ticket with GPS coordinates to localise the secret location.
Once inside the live music and the distant sound of train rails (it’s still London, right?) transformed the dilapidated room in a glamorous speakeasy with shaken not stirred cocktails, made to order. There was fancy finger food, poker tables (like the ones in Casino Royale) and spy missions. Professional actors pulled the guests into the story in a refined way to figure out codes with the goal to unmask SPECTRE.
After this, guest of honour Daniel Craig and Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO of Omega, came on stage and introduced the new watch: a 42 mm steel watch with a blue anodised aluminium face with laser-engraved waves and a mesh bracelet.
Almost three decennials now has the Omega Seamaster been equipped for the missions of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. So it’s next to normal that this fan favourite edition has been influenced by earlier iterations. “A Bond movie isn’t really a Bond movie without gadgets, and right there at the apex is Omega. Even if it’s just telling the time, it becomes an important part of the storytelling.” said Craig.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 60 Years of James Bond | Stainless Steel
This model has been inspired by the first Seamaster that 007 wore in the movie GoldenEye (1995). The back of the 42 mm watch case displays James Bond in silhouet and a turning gun barrel. The iconic opening scene displays itself beneath sapphire glass.
The bezel and face are both made out of blue anodised aluminium. The distinctive clock face has laser-engraved waves, just like the model from 1995. Both the bezel and the hands and indexes are richly supplied with white Super-LumiNova. Something essential for a Royal Navy Commander. The traditional upside-down triangle from the diving scale has been replaced by the 60 minutes marker, as a reference to Bonds 60th anniversary. The marker has been coated in green glow-in-the-dark material, unlike the rest of the watch. Another new feature is the lollipop seconds hand.
The Seamaster is being driven by a very accurate Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8806. The automatic watch has an energy reserve of 55 hours and a ticking number of 25,200 per hour. The watch is being presented on a bracelet in mesh style, that corresponds with the one that James Bond wore in No Time to Die (2021).
The special James Bond model gets delivered in a blue watch box in wood with characteristic wave pattern, including a secret button to push on the right hand side. The new Omega 300 is available early 2023 for the on-sale price of € 8,500.
A Bond movie isn’t really a Bond movie without gadgets, and right there at the apex is Omega. Even if it’s just telling the time, it becomes an important part of the storytelling.Daniel Craig
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 60 Years of James Bond | Canopus Gold
This special 42 mm watch has been made from Omega’s own 18K Canopus Gold™, an exclusive white gold alloy famous for its glow and long lasting effect. The grey face has been inspired by the beautiful sand beach of the Jamaican home of Ian Fleming, called Goldeneye. It’s the place where the writer created James Bond. Thanks to the use of cristallites is the pattern totally unique for each watch.
In honour of the Jamaican flag, the bezel has been inserted with diamonds in 10 different tropical hues, varying from extra dark forest green to cognac, moving up to olive green, yellow, gold and a golden cognac. Two extra bright diamonds at the 12-o’clock-position add an additional sparkle to the look and refer to the 60th anniversary.
The backside has been provided with the James Bond silhouet with a turning gun barrel, just like the steel model. The tropical appearance is being driven by the luxe Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8807. The automatic watch has an energy reserve of 55 hours and a ticking number of 25,200 per hour. The bracelet of the Seamaster is made out of 18K Canopus Gold™, just like the case.
The colourful 007 watch is being presented in a mango tree wooden box with mother-of-pearl engravings and a 60 Years of Bond logo. The use of the mango tree wood references a famous song from the first Bond film Dr. No (1962), while the mother-of-pearl is a subtle wink to the shells on Crab Key. The new Omega Seamaster 300 Canopus Gold is available from the beginning of 2023.
Sit-down dinner at candlelight
Guest of honour Daniel Craig enjoyed dinner (and cocktails) with Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO of Omega. Between the luxurious black table landscape, guests were served a three-course dinner with a forest themed starter with mushrooms and smoked chestnuts. The dinner concluded with a sculptural cherry red dessert.
Omega x 007
But how did Omega get in touch with James Bond? After Pierce Brosnan, it was Daniel Craig who took over the role for five memorable films. The actor has been an ambassador for Omega during his entire spy career. Together with him, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny also joined the Omega family.
It was Lindy Hemming, the Oscar winning costume designer, who suggested that 007 should wear an Omega. About her choice for the 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”. This thought didn’t come falling from the sky, however. During the Second World War Omega provided more than 110,000 watches to pilots, navigators and soldiers in the Royal British Navy.
The Seamaster 300, originally launched in 1957, was provided to military divers across the globe. In 1967 the second generation of Seamaster 300 watches were delivered to the Ministry of Defence to give to the special forces. It’s therefore completely understandable that Commander Bond would wear an Omega Seamaster during his dangerous and sometimes romantic missions.
Vote now: The James Bond Top 2022
It’s back: the James Bond Nederland end of the year top! This year we not only want to know what your favourite films are and who your favourite James Bond is, but also who your favourite actor from the Benelux is. The polls close on Tuesday 20th of December. Click here to vote!