007 - The Man of Omega
Its been to the bottom of the deepest oceans and to the deepest of outer space. Its also been there to help take on international crime bosses and villains, with style, often shaken but never stirred. In 1995 actor Pierce Brosnan became the new James Bond and began wearing the Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional in the movie GoldenEye. In the subsequent Bond films starring Brosnan, he wore an Omega Seamaster Professional Chronometer.
True to the spy master capabilities, the Omega watch had a remote detonator for bombs and a laser beam that helped him escape from an armored train. In Tomorrow Never Dies which was released in 1997, 007 sports a Seamaster Professional with an automatic caliber. The watch notably saves his life with an integrated detonator. In 1999’s, The World Is Not Enough. James Bond still wears the Omega Seamaster with automatic movement, the same from the previous two films. However, Q has embodied the watch with new gadgets. Hidden in the bezel is a wire with a grappling hook. In one scene, true to the trademarked harrowing escapes, Agent 007 presses a button and the hook flies from the crown and the bezel whirls at a very high speed. Once the grappling hook is firmly anchored, the bezel begins to turn in the opposite direction, lifting Bond out of the avalanche.
Released in 2002, Die Another Day showcases Bond with the Omega Seamaster automatic movement. In this film Q designs the watch to feature a remote detonator in place of the helium valve, which is operated by turning the bezel. Q also designed the watch with the capability to activate a laser from the crown of the watch. It was at the release of Die Another Day that marked the 40th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. To honor this milestone, Omega released a special edition Seamaster with the dial sporting the 007 gun logo.
Everyone loves a good hero, especially when the hero is suave, debonair, and polished gentleman of exquisite tastes, especially in women. The right actor/actress wearing a particular outfit, driving a particular car, or even consuming a particular culinary product or beverage can build a brand overnight. Movies such as Star Wars and E.T. re-invented cinema marketing in the modern era. Even down to his underwear, Agent 007 was a well crafted gentleman.
The first Agent 007, Sean Connery donned tailored suits by Anthony Sinclair from Dr. No to Diamonds Are Forever. Brioni was Pierce Brosnan’s brand during his tenure as James Bond. The year 2008 saw the arrival of Tom Ford and his iconic top coats. Cashmere has always been a staple in the Bond wardrobe. Knit wear sweaters seemed to hug the contour of a finely sculptured Craig.
Earlier bond films turned to British shoemakers Church’s and John Lobb. Currently, the Northampton-based Crockett & Jones are the more recent shoemakers of choice for the latest Bond. Popular styles such as the Alex, Norwich, Camberley, and Radnor were worn by 007 in Spectre.
Founded in Turin, Italy in 1917, Persol eyewear has made the most appearances in Bond films. Cartier, Bogner and Cutler & Gross have also been luxury eyewear staples in several Bond films. Persol’s main feature is that it was the first folding sunglasses. Persol sunglasses are designed, assembled, and produced in Italy and can be customized and monogrammed. Signature styles are the Light Havana, Black 95, and Caffe 108.
Rolex was the initial brand of Bond. However, because of the changing norms and strategies for brand placement caused the producers to seek rebranding James Bond’s corporate look and form a solid corporate partnership with companies responsible for the character’s image. In a strategic move, Omega began supplying products and finance, whereas Rolex chose not to pursue such branding strategies.
Up until 1995 with the introduction of Pierce Brosnan as the new Bond, Rolex never paid any money to the Bond franchise for its brand positioning in the film. Seeing the amounts of monies films grossed from brand placement, the creators of the Bond franchise created a bidding competition between watches seeking to capitalize on the persona of the new Bond persona. Omega won the bid as Rolex was not as vigorous about paid endorsements in films.
The James Bond character was a Naval Officer in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, achieving the rank of Commander. Omega wanted to remain loyal to this aspect of the character’s back story. Therefore, it remained loyal to the Seamaster 300mm and its close association with the Royal Navy. With the new 007, Daniel Craig was to portray a Bond character who was not as polished, much grittier, and a darker character. Rolex
Submariner watches were generally more expensive and lavish than high-end Omega watches. Therefore, it made more sense to maintain a close relationship with the Bond franchise due to its quality, but lesser price. To reaffirm that Omega was firmly here to stay, in a scene in Casino Royale, a female character looks at his timepiece and asks him if it is a Rolex. When he responds that it is an Omega, and she replies that it is beautiful.
With the 2006 release of Casino Royale, Omega released a 007 special edition of the Professional 300M 007-gun logo on the second hand and the rifle pattern on the watch face, this being a customed representation of the iconic gun barrel opening sequence of Bond movies. Omega released a second James Bond Seamaster Planet Ocean limited edition watch in 2006, limited to 5007 pieces produced. The model has a small orange colored 007 logo on the second hand, and an engraved case back signifying the Bond franchise, and an engraved 007 on the clasp.
In the 2008 movie Quantum of Solace, Craig wears the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean with a black face and steel bracelet. Another limited edition was released featuring the checkered "PPK grip" face with the Quantum of Solace logo over it. In 2015 two commemorative models were produced for the 24th Bond film, Spectre: the Omega Seamaster 300m master co-axial. Globally, only a little over 7000 pieces were created. It featured the Bond family coat of arms, as well as with a rotor resembling a bullet and gun barrel with "James Bond" inscribed on it.
Omega launched its Commander’s Watch in July 2017, a 41mm model of the Seamaster family decked out in red, navy and white colors. Celebrating the ensign colors of the Royal Navy, this new model features a red rubber and blue ceramic bezel to time Bond’s underwater dives. In Casino Royale, Craig has a lengthy underwater scene. The trademarked 007 gun logo counterweight on the central seconds hand and a red number 7 in the date window will appeal to true Bond fans, as well as the stripes of the Commander’s naval insignia on the rotor of the automatic movement.