“Does it do anything?” “It tells the time. We know you have trouble with punctuality.” So goes the exchange between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Q (Ben Whishaw) as Agent 007 is handed his newest Omega watch in the 24th Bond film, SPECTRE, which opens this week.
Omega has been the watch of choice for James Bond since 1995, when Pierce Brosnan strapped on a Seamaster for Goldeneye. The Swiss brand has released a commemorative 007 timepiece to coincide with each subsequent film, but this year will mark a first in Omega’s partnership with the Bond franchise: Omega will release a limited-edition version of Bond’s movie-worn watch (which does, in fact, do something other than tell the time, and actually plays a key role in a pivotal scene) — an Omega Seamaster 300 on a black-and-gray NATO strap.
The Omega Seamaster 300 “SPECTRE” Limited Edition has a 41-mm-diameter stainless-steel case with brushed and polished finishing, and a bidirectional rotating bezel made of polished black ceramic with a 12-hour scale in LiquidMetal, an innovative, proprietary alloy created by the Swatch Group, Omega’s parent company. (Liquidmetal made its debut in an Omega Seamaster watch and has since been put to use by other Swatch Group brands, including Blancpain and Breguet.) The two-way rotation of the bezel allows the scale to be used to indicate a second time zone.
The black dial has recessed hour markers that are partially filled with “vintage” Super-LumiNova, which emits a blue glow in low light. In addition to the faceted, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands, the dial features a “lollipop”-style hand for the central seconds.
Inside the 300-meter water-resistant case, and visible through a domed sapphire window in the screw-down back, is Omega’s Master Co-Axial Caliber 8400, an automatic, chronometer-certified movement that boasts a number of innovations that have become standard in Omega watches, including antimagnetic resistance to 15,000 Gauss, a silicon “Si14” balance spring, and a co-axial escapement. Decorative finishes include rhodium plating on the rotor and bridges, Geneva waves in arabesque, and a heat-blackened finish on the screws, barrels, and balance wheel. The frequency is 25,200 vph and the power reserve is 60 hours.
The five-stripe black-and-gray polyamide NATO strap features a brushed buckle and strap keepers engraved withe Omega logo and the “007” gun logo. Also distinguishing this version of the Omega Seamaster 300 as special are the engravings on the caseback, indicating “SPECTRE” “ANTI-MAGNETIC >15,000 GAUSS” and the Limited Edition series number. Only 7,007 models will be made, priced at $7,500 and available at select Omega boutiques now.
One person who’s rather excited about the Omega Seamaster 300 “SPECTRE” Limited Edition is James Bond himself, actor Daniel Craig, whom I found out, in my interview with Omega president Stephen Urquhart, is an avid watch collector. Craig recently toured Omega’s factory in Villeret, Switzerland alongside Urquhart and Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek and got a first-hand look at the process of watchmaking.
“I think what was so impressive was the fact that these watches are made from the ground up,” Craig remarked. “You start with nothing, and then there’s suddenly a working watch. That’s the beauty of it. To see the engineering that goes into it and the legacy that goes into it, that’s what fascinated me.”