While in the books and the early films James Bond was always a Rolex man, modern Bond wears Omega.
When Pierce Brosnan stepped into the shoes of the world’s most famous secret agent he also slipped his wrist into the bracelet of an Omega timepiece.
In Goldeneye Brosnan wore a blue-dialled quartz Seamaster Professional diving watch (above, model ref. 2541.80.00) and the brand has provided Bond’s watches ever since.
It wasn’t quite the same as the standard Omega spec though. Q-Branch had fitted a laser, which Bond used to escape from a train by cutting through the floor, and it was also functioned as a remote control detonator.
In his remaining three films he wore the Seamaster Professional with automatic movement (model ref. 2531.80.00).
You can buy the current Omega Seamaster with bi-axial escapement from UK watch specialist Ernest Jones. Click here for info.
Bond gets his watch in Tomorrow Never Dies from the Chinese secret service rather than Q-Branch. The watch has been fitted with a removable charge that can be detonated by the watch. Bond later uses this to good effect and reveals the whereabouts of the stealth boat.
Bond’s Omega in The World Is Not Enough has been modified to include a illumination and a grappling hook with fifty feet of cable. And a winch. How that all fits inside an Omega is anyone’s guess. And in Die Another Day the Omega again features a remote control detonator and laser beam.
When Daniel Craig took over from Pierce Brosnan for the reboot, films have been much darker and more serious. As a result the producers decided to largely do away with the gadgets.
But while his watches now lack gadgets, Bond gets to wear a greater number of watches. Rather than the two Seamaster models worn by Pierce Brosnan in four films, Daniel Craig gets to wear at least one new watch per film.
In Casino Royale Bond wears a blue Seamaster Professional (model ref. 2220.80.00) on a metal bracelet, an updated version of the watch worn by Pierce Brosnan. But he also wore a large size Planet Ocean (above, model ref. 2900.50.91) with a black face on a rubber strap, which is water resistant to 600 metres. In Quantum of Solace he stuck with a Planet Ocean (model ref. 2201.50.00), but on a metal bracelet.
Check out the current Planet Ocean watches here.
While 600 metres is impressive, it is way over-engineered. Recreational divers typically descend to 20 or 30 metres, with more advanced divers going down as far as 40 or 50 metres. Once you go below that depth you need specialised training and equipment, including special gas mixtures to avoid nitrogen narcosis and oxygen toxicity.
He wore a similar watch in part of Skyfall (model ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001), but also wore the Aqua Terra (above, model ref. 184.108.40.206.03.001). Omega has also released a limited edition version featuring James Bond’s family coat of arms.
In SPECTRE James Bond will wear an Omega Seamaster 300 on a bi-colour NATO strap (below, model ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001). The strap is inspired by the one worn by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball, although that was tri-colour.
You can buy the limited edition Omega Seamaster 300 from Ernest Jones stores. It is also available to buy online here.
Until the films were released on Blu-Ray it was believed the strap was in two colours. Daniel Craig sometimes wears a Rolex Submariner on a bi-colour strap, mistakenly claiming it to be like that in Goldfinger.
Is this why Omega went for the two-tone strap for SPECTRE?
The watch featured in SPECTRE is an updated interpretation of a classic Omega dive watch launched in 1957. The new version includes co-axial escapement, black face and black ceramic bezel.
Rather than the usual uni-directional bezel found on diving watches, the bi-directional bezel can be used to keep track of the time in another country.
Photos: courtesy Omega.