Omega's Seamaster Diver 300m 007 Edition Conjures Ian Fleming’s Original James Bond
In 1959, Ian Fleming produced a treatment for the first proposed James Bond film. He annexed a set of notes explaining the main characters. “James Bond is a blunt instrument wielded by a government department,” he wrote. “He is quiet, hard, ruthless, sardonic, fatalistic.” As the franchise progressed, this became increasingly less true. Bond morphed into a charming playboy and then into a send-up of himself. But to readers of the novels, he had never been anything like the “real” James Bond in the first place.
Ian Fleming’s Bond was a cipher. The author told the Manchester Guardian in 1958 that, “Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure – an anonymous, blunt instrument.” There, that phrase again. Indeed he was blunt: blunt in his dealings with others, blunt in his cruelty, blunt in his addictions. And in that bluntness, there was edge.
When EON Productions embarked on Casino Royale (2006), the company made the decision to jettison the smile-and-a-wink idea of Bond and reimagine the character more in the spirit of Fleming’s novels. It was a resoundingly successful strategy. Daniel Craig played 007 as a compunctionless soldier more than a peacocking ladies man; the film won plaudits and the franchise a fresh set of coordinates.
And so to the new watch. James Bond has been wearing Omegas since GoldenEye (1995) and while these have never been flashy pieces, they have had embellishments: coloured dials, mirrored surfaces. Strap on the No Time To Die watch and it is striking how free it is of anything that could be considered jewellery-like. It is ruggedly, self-assuredly no-nonsense. It is Daniel Craig’s (or should we say Ian Fleming's) Bond all over.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, from $8,270 at omegawatches.com
Officially named the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, everything about it is pared back and low-profile. From the titanium case and mesh bracelet to the black bezel and black dial, the surfaces are all matte; the interiors of the hands have been cut out so just the edges remain. It also has an unmistakably military quality. Sure, it adopts the design language of the armed forces – the arrow on the dial and the numbers on the caseback emulate those of real mil watches – but there’s substance to back that up: this is a watch that’s fit for purpose. The titanium is tough and lightweight, the case is water-resistant to 300m and the Omega 8806 automatic calibre inside is a Metas Master Chronometer that’s antimagnetic up to 15,000 gauss.
As if to explain why it feels so to-the-point, the watch nods to the past. The faux-aged lume and the vintage-style mesh strap lend it the attitude of a timepiece from perhaps the 1950s. It asks you to reflect on the era when James Bond was Fleming’s Bond. Tellingly, Daniel Craig himself had a say in the watch’s design. When he saw the finished item, he recently told GQ, he felt it tapped into the essence of the character. “It was brought to me right at the beginning of the filming process and presented to me and I looked at it and said, ‘There’s nothing I need to say. You’ve done it. This is it. It’s the James Bond watch.’”