This James Bond watch collection is something that will be passed down to the next generations, as these timepieces will last a lifetime.
Article by – Tie Another Day.
We have all the time in the world…
A few months ago I wrote a review on the Omega 300M No Time To Die watch, and I mentioned about other watches that I have in my collection. This review is a look at my entire James Bond watch collection, and includes some special edition Swatch watches and some Omega watches.
I will be writing this review in a chronological order of acquisition and in a way it shows my progression of Bond collecting throughout the past 20 years (yes, as long as that!).
Before I started wearing suits for work, and still a school student, I really connected with the watches, indeed since I first saw GoldenEye, I really loved that Omega watch, obviously at that time I was still a kid, but for me it was a personal goal to achieve.
Never on the firm’s time
Dr No Swatch (2002) – James Bond 40th Anniversary Swatch watch
During 2002, there was a fantastic collaboration with Swatch to produce inspired timepieces in connection with the James Bond films, and the Dr No watch was something that caught my eye. It was part of the Square Chrono range and the watch has a fantastic dial and a chronometer which I used quite a bit, if only for pressing buttons. The watch was about £80 at the time, and for me it was my first proper Swiss watch which I wore during university and into the world of work.
It is very durable as it is a plastic watch, but also has a classic design which can be worn today. I also like some of the subtleness of the 007 logo which is black on black on the watch bracelet as well as the Dr No logo. Another nice feature is the morse dots on the bracelet which are reminiscent of the dots in the title sequence.
Your new watch, this will be your 20th
Die Another Day (2002) – James Bond 40th Anniversary Swatch watch
Another watch from the collaboration was the Die Another Day edition, this is similar to the Dr No version as it is a square faced watch and has a black watch face and leather bracelet. Indeed, this is the only watch that I own that has a leather bracelet. Not that I have anything against leather, but I have developed a preference for steel bracelets.
The watch has a nice feature where you can flip up the face and it goes from a watch dial to a mirrored gunbarrel logo.
It reminds me of the historic watches where they were worn as a decorative item, and such reversing of the watch face was done to incorporate the watch. Like the Dr No watch, I like the subtleness of the 007 logo and the Die Another Day logos were featured on the black leather bracelet. I also adore the watch face that has on one side 001 – 006, with 007 highlighted. It is a nice feature and can be seen as something a bit like a Mondrial dial.
Rolex? Omega, Beautiful
Omega Seamaster Professional 300M (2007)
Throughout my university days I was pining for the Omega Seamaster 300M watch and I would often go to jewellers and ask to try on the watch to see if it would fit my skinny wrists. For that few moments when I wore the watch it invoked a tingle of happiness that I was wearing the same watch as James Bond albeit for a few minutes. In 2002 there was a competition on the Omega website testing your knowledge of James Bond with the top prize being a new Omega Seamaster 300M. As a bit of fun I completed and scored a perfect 100/100.
I thought nothing of it, until a few months later I got an email from Omega saying that I got the second place prize which included a copy of Greg Williams Bond on Set in a special edition Omega dust jacket and box, and Omega notebook, and a Caran D’arche Omega branded pen and a copy of the latest catalogue. I was disappointed I didn’t get the top prize. However, the Greg Williams book was absolutely amazing and I became a fan of the work of Greg Williams.
It’s the perfect size, for me that is
Anyway, in 2007, I was visiting Mappin and Webb at Regent Street during the Easter weekend break, and I saw there was a sale advertised outside as the shop was moving premises. I entered the store and asked if they had the Omega Seamaster 300M in a mid-size, and the sales assistant said, try the sale section.
I was like WHAT! Sales section!
So I proceeded to the sales section and asked to see the watch which was now advertised at 33% off, which is a considerable saving. I tried it on, and knew this was an amazing price. But I didn’t pull the trigger, I just said thanks and left. The following day, I was “encouraged” by my colleagues and reminded me of what an opportunity it was to get the watch. That lunchtime I proceeded down and purchased the watch. I still love the receipt which says “discount -£391”.
Since I acquired the watch it started a metamorphosis within me, I began to dress up a bit more. I bought cufflink shirts from Jermyn Street, I began to regularly polish my shoes, and just smartened myself up. The result was that within a year I had got promoted, and I do feel that this was in part of this attempt to smarten up.
It was in my mind that if I wear a nice watch, then I should match my outward appearance to the watch.
I was working in the civil service at the time, and I remember being in a meeting of senior executives, and you could see how much watches matter. Some were wearing Rolexes or Tag Heuer, and when one of the executives spotted my Omega. It was like a nod of well done. For me this is my ultimate dream watch, and whilst it may not have been worn recently, this is an heirloom that I intend to pass on. And with it, the story that sometimes luck or fate had entered my life. Of all the pieces from my James Bond watch collection this is the one that I will treasure for my lifetime.
The snoopy watch
Omega Speedmaster Reduced (2008)
A year after I acquired the Omega Seamaster 300M mid-size, I was invited back to Mappin and Webb as part of their events for special customers. Whilst I was there, I was taken aback by the Omega Speedmaster, a watch synonymous with the Moon landing in 1969. There was a campaign to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the lunar expedition the following year. Again, with my skinny wrists the 42mm version of the Speedmaster was not going to be an option.
However, one of the sales assistants brought out the Speedmaster Reduced which is a 39mm diameter, and whilst it may only be a 3mm difference, it not only felt comfortable, but it looked amazing.
I am a Bond fan, but at the same time I absolutely love travel and space and all things technological, and for me the Moon landing was such an amazing achievement. During this campaign I learnt more about how Omega had been instrumental in providing the official timepiece for NASA. This watch not only met but exceeded a top-secret operation by NASA to test which watch would be suitable for space travel.
All of this heritage only helped me in making the decision to get this wonderful timepiece. This started a trend for me to differentiate my watches between a blue and black dial watch and it is something which I continue to this day. Over the years I have seen the Speedmaster Moonwatch as a staple of several people’s dream three watch collection, and I am glad I have this timepiece as part of my collection.
The inevitability of time
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (2012)
In the run up to the release of Skyfall I was looking at the Planet Ocean watch having seen Daniel Craig wear a version of the Planet Ocean in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. The Planet Ocean in Casino Royale which was a 45mm dial diameter and looked ridiculous on my wrist when I tested it out.
I steered away from the Planet Ocean until I saw that there was a mid-size version with a 37.5mm diameter. I was very intrigued by this timepiece and at the same time was introduced to an independent jeweller who helped in getting a discount on this watch.
When I purchased the watch, I asked whether there was any indication that this particular watch was going to feature in the upcoming film. The jeweller was a person of discretion and said that they could not divulge that information, but said I was very fortuitous in acquiring this timepiece at this particular time. A week later the 42mm version of this watch was officially advertised as the watch that Daniel Craig would be wearing in Skyfall (albeit in the pre-title sequence).
Going back in time
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150 (2013)
Following the release of Skyfall, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Aqua Terra being so heavily featured within the film. I did some research and found that the watch was a 39.5mm diameter dial, and the pictures of the dial in a horizontal linear pattern looked very appealing. At the time a close relative of mine was getting married and wanted to get a watch. I went and visited the same jeweller. I was only providing an introduction, but the jeweller showed us the Aqua Terra watch, and wow the colour of the dial is sensational.
When the light hits the dial it literally pops and changes from a dark navy, to an amazing cobalt blue.
This is my first proper dress watch and is the smartest from my James Bond watch collection. The watch has been a lucky charm as I have worn it to a few interviews where I have successfully been promoted or joined a new company. It also provided me another option to wear with a blue shirt or suit, and is still a watch I wear today.
Does it do anything? It tells the time
Omega Seamaster 300 – Spectre Limited Edition (2018)
I missed out when the Spectre limited edition watch was first released. For me the watch diameter was 41mm, and I just thought that this was going to be a huge watch for my wrists and with the watch being a limited edition it was going to be out of my reach.
I loved how the watch was used in the film. It bought back the addition of a gadget in a watch and I did like the NATO strap as it added a vintage look to a modern watch. I also liked the feature that the bezel could be turned in either direction, and that the bezel had the numbers which could be twisted to set to the timezone that you were in.
If you can’t trust an investment banker..
I was working for an investment bank in London and I went past a jeweller in the area where they had the watch for sale. So I thought why not see how it fits on the wrist as this was the first time I had seen the watch in person. The sales assistant bought out the watch on the steel bracelet, and it just didn’t fit well. The bracelet was very chunky and overpowered the wrist and amplified the size of the watch.
I politely said thanks, and returned the watch back, and was about to leave, when the jeweller said hang on, let’s see it on the NATO strap. At which point I thought ok, lets see.
For some reason the watch on the NATO looked and fitted well. The watch was not overpowering on the wrist and made it more wearable. The ceramic dial is amazing, and it means that the watch will look brand new, and the high polish will remain. Another great feature is the lollipop second hand design, which is a feature that is missing on the other Seamaster 300 watch series.
It also harkens back to the original Seamaster 300 that had the lollipop seconds hand. It is also an unusual watch in that the bezel is omni directional in that it can be twisted in either direction. A feature that I have not seen on any other swiss watch. It is handy as it enables you to shift the timezone when travelling without the manual adjustment of the watch. A feature that I use regularly as I work with colleagues in the US, and I am able to see what time it is for them just by looking at the bezel.
The presentation box that came with the watch is very nice. I like that it is a big box and the combination lock to the box is 007. The box has the Spectre logo as well as a hidden compartment to hold the steel watch strap. The tool to remove the spring bars to replace the NATO and steel strap. The box also comes with a Limited Edition certificate and a monocle to view the details of the watch in greater detail.
Do you know what time it is?
Swatch – Q’s watch in No Time To Die (2020)
During the run up to the original theatrical release of No Time To Die it was announced that Swatch would be producing a limited edition Q watch as worn by Ben Wishaw in the film and designed in collaboration with Suttirat Anne Larlab. The watch itself was going to be a limited edition watch and Swatch will only produce 7,007 pieces globally.
The price of the watch was around £186, and I thought that was not a bad investment for a limited edition watch that is connected with the James Bond films. Swatch had a countdown timer which would then reveal the watch and the opportunity to buy, as such I refreshed the page and immediately purchased the watch.
The watch itself is part of Swatch’s irony skin range and is a very slim profile watch. It has a 42mm diameter dial, with a see through / skeleton design so you can see the inner workings of the watch which is always a great feature. This is the only other leather bracelet watch and the leather has a tartan print with a red leather under strap. It also has the Q logo on the 6 o’clock position.
Whilst I have not worn the watch it is definitely something that fits in with the Q character that being technological with a hint of tradition. Swatch did release a Q2 version to meet the incredible demand for this watch, the only subtle difference is that the hands and battery cover is in blue, whereas the one on film is in red.
Just showed someone your watch, really blew their mind
Omega Seamaster 300M No Time To Die (2021)
I have already done a thorough review of the watch, but I do want to talk about the watch now that I have had it for a few weeks. The watch is very light, and almost to the point where I have not noticed the weight of the watch when working away.
There are some things to point out, so the bracelet is not as figure hugging as compared to a NATO strap watch. However it is very tough and looks really nice. Another quirk, and it is a very minor one, as there are not many reflective parts on the watch, it takes some time trying to tell the time first thing in the morning. But once light strikes that dials it becomes very clear.
Time to reflect
This James Bond watch collection has taken over 20 years to complete, and in writing this article, I feel there is a plateau of content. I know there is a generation of Bond fans especially during the Brosnan era where the Seamaster 300M was the quintessential watch, that was THE Bond watch for the 90’s. It had so many gadgets, it looked amazing on suits and casual outfits.
However, the Daniel Craig era has seen in my view a more commercialisation in terms of new watches being used, and in some cases two watches being seen in the same film. It does mean that Bond fans face a tough choice, because these are expensive items in terms of which watch to get.
Indeed, when assessing these watches there are some that have a lot of screen time, and others that are just a blink and miss it moment.
Taking the Skyfall Planet Ocean, it was heavily referenced in the marketing campaigns, but was only seen in the pre-title sequence. I will say that these watches are amazing, but with the ever-changing range it can be limiting. Compare that with the Speedmaster. This watch has been worn by several astronauts and is linked to space travel and excellence, and it is indeed a sought after watch even today.
I also want to add one extra point in that during the Brosnan era, there weren’t that many products that were licensed or promoted as being connected to the Bond films, as compared today. The Omega watch was one of those few products, and for many of us of a certain age were an aspirational item.
For me, I wear a watch every day, and it is my only piece of “jewellery” that I wear, and wearing either of these watches is a “Bond” connection. David Zaritsky mentioned this when he got his first Omega, that you might be in a meeting and for that one brief moment when you look at the watch you are wearing, you are momentarily transported to that point in a Bond film where Bond twists the bezel and something happens. This James Bond watch collection is something that will be passed down to the next generations, as these timepieces will last a lifetime.
This James Bond watch collection article was written by Z (@Tie_Another_Day). Be sure to follow him on instagram.