Spectre is the 24th James Bond film and the audience still cannot get enough. The film has opened in the UK to almost unanimous critical acclaim. Here at TWG we tend to agree that Spectre is indeed another triumph in the Bond film legacy.
A cleverly observed thesis by Robbie Collin in the Telegraph
presented the highs and lows of the Bond films, touching briefly on the darkest moments (think invisible car in Die Another Day
) and the recent journey to justified blockbuster glory. Daniel Craig’s Bond has brought a real authenticity to the films; a Bond redolent of Fleming’s original incarnation over 50 years ago.
Alongside blockbuster films there is of course the inevitable merchandising frenzy. With a brand as strong as Bond it was no surprise that my screening of the show tried to sell me James Bond aftershave. The aftershave is of no interest; however the ‘Bond watch’ always is - for better or worse. In Spectre us watch lovers get two watches to digest - the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m
and the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE.
Of the two watches, the Seamaster 300 has the leading role in the film and so too this article.
It is with thanks to Robbie Collin’s article in The Telegraph
that we identified the analogous trend between the improvement in the quality of the recent Bond films and the Bond watches. Daniel Craig inherited one of the modern era’s lowest points in lazy merchandising marketing in our opinion - the Casino Royale Seamaster Diver 300M. That particular Omega Seamaster was essentially the regular Omega Seamaster 300M with a 007 added to the end of the second hand and a spiral motif on the dial to mimic the opening credits from the films. It was about as well executed as Brosnan’s invisible car and definitely a hangover from the previous film.
Not so with the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE. This is a very well executed timepiece. Omega have stopped, thought about it, checked the archives, undertaken the research, watched the films and ended up with a triumph.
Let’s not get too carried away though. Omega have of course used the existing movement and materials from their current collection. However, the design team has put them together in an inspired way. And let’s be clear, Omega are making very fine watches indeed these days. There has previously always been something that holds us back about Omega - mostly their ‘affordable’ quartz Seamaster line up - but the brand is getting harder to resist.
The numbers ‘007’ do not appear on the dial, or, thank goodness, the second-hand. In fact, the second hand, with its lollipop luminescent finish is a design success all by itself. The excellent finish on the anti-magnetic co-axial movement in the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE is visible through the sapphire crystal back. Furthermore, the watch comes on a NATO strap (with a bracelet also included). Whilst the strap does obscure the transparent case back it is really clever touch and a nod to historic Bond watches (think Sean Connery's Rolex Submariner in Goldfinger).
The ‘vintage’ (light brown) coloured luminescence on the hands and dial of the new Omega is consistent with the standard Co-axial 300, as is the ceramic bezel. However, the bi-directional bezel in the Bond edition has numbers 0 to 11 around the outside, which makes it possible to use for a second timezone. With a 41mm case size, it’s on message with modern watches sizes, without being too large.
Fortunately the Bond merchandising pomp is reserved for the packaging, which is the best place for it. It’s nice to experience some drama in the unwrapping, but when the trappings are cast aside, what remains is an impressive watch that will speak to Bond collectors and watch fans alike.
We like the Omega’s latest interpretation of the Bond watch. Just like we like Daniel Craig’s Bond.
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