Last week, Omega introduced a new Bond-themed Seamaster Diver 300M, inspired by the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. When we posted this watch on Instagram, the reactions were telling. One comment read: “I’m a die-hard Omega fan (own 3) and I do not like this watch. There’s 4 colour combo’s going on with it”. One other comment read: “Too much. (…) Looks like brainstorming in a Kindergarten”. So did the comments below the article we published, with press images, right after the watch was presented. As always, it is hard to judge with these images, so we decided to give this watch a second chance, but this time live and on the wrist.
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was introduced a week ago and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the classic Bond movie it’s been named after. Why exactly this movie, I don’t know? This Lazenby flick is not exactly the best Bond ever made. Quite the contrary, really. But let’s not get into that for today’s discussion.
The fact that Bond is quite obsessed with his family history in the film has become a theme on this watch as well. (Wearing a kilt is also a big thing for Lazenby’s Bond, but luckily Omega didn’t incorporate this idiosyncracy).
Details that reveal a not so secret service
Nothing worth testing a watch on the wrist, and the new Omega x Bond was a pleasant surprise
As our followers and readers already pointed out, this piece is anything but basic. The detailing is mesmerising. Are you ready? It has a helium valve at 10 o’clock. Two 18k yellow gold, sword-like hands with lume inlay. There’s red detailing on the tip of the seconds hand and dial. A Bond coat of arms-inspired 12 o’clock index. A spiral-brushed gun barrel design and 9mm bullet head at the centre. An 18k yellow gold plate engraved with each unique Limited Edition number (7,007 pieces altogether). The number 7 on the date window appears in the same font as the 007 logo. There is even a hidden “50” on the 10 o’clock index, which appears by night as a secret signature when it lights up with the Super-LumiNova.
Hands-on with the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Bond
So, what does it look like in real life? My eyes, once again, prove that Instagram is not always a trustworthy reflection of reality. This Omega definitely does not look like a piece that was “brainstormed up (sic) in a Kindergarten” (yes, we had this comment). It is well-made, very detailed and slightly less overdone that I expected it to be (though that could say something about my expectations as well). Having said that, it is obviously still a shiny watch. The ceramic bezel with enamel numbers, the large, gold-rimmed indices, the steel case, the shiny dial; it is all made to impress.
What I like about Omega at the moment is the level of detailing it puts in its watches. Every index, every case side, every shape is thought-out and made with the most innovative production methods, giving every watch a very sharp, nearly technological look. This definitely is the case for this new Bond-branded Seamaster Diver 300M.
The second thing that struck me was that gun barrel swirl on the dial, which gives the watch a very James Bond-branded appearance. If that’s a good thing or a bad thing, lies in the eye of the beholder. The only thing I can say about it; it’s got impact, it’s new and it’s quite well-made.
The third and most prominent of all Bond details is placed on the side of the watch; the 18k gold plate with an engraving of the famous 007 logo. This really stands out, and together with that gun-barrel-dial it is very much a make-or-break detail. You like it, or hate it, there’s no way in between.
Inside the 42mm steel case you’ll find the self-winding Calibre 8800 with Co-Axial escapement. It is a certified Master Chronometer, approved by METAS, resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. It also has a sprung balance with silicon balance spring and rhodium-plated finish with Geneva waves. The power reserve is 55 hours. The watch remains a very capable diver and is water-resistant to 300 metres.
For the love of Bond
So, what is the final verdict? The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond is not a tool watch, that’s for sure. It’s a very modern, luxury sports watch with lots of Bond branding. If you’re into that stuff, this is definitely a watch for you. It’s clear that Omega did its best to showcase all its modern detailing techniques in this one piece. And although it looks a bit busy given all that branding, it is still a cool watch. It feels much more pleasant in the metal that we were expecting, based on press images. You’ll just need to forget about the fact that this used to be a tool watch. And love Bond… A lot.
Price and availability
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (reference 126.96.36.199.01.004) will be presented in a special black box with gun barrel patterns and bullet head buttons and limited to 7,007 pieces. The watch is delivered on a black rubber strap and a stainless steel bracelet is also included in the box. It will be priced at EUR 6,100. More details at omegawatches.com.