June 23, 2017
Omega has enjoyed a great partnership with the James Bond franchise since it became the world’s favourite secret agent’s watch of choice 12 years ago in GoldenEye. Prior to this we saw other watch brands in the films including Rolex and Seiko; although as Ian Fleming described his character to be that of a Naval Commander, it seems a fitting choice that the Seamaster has been used and is still represented today. In fact most British Armed Forces were likely to have been issued with an Omega watch WWII onwards, so such historical ties have always existed.
With the release of Spectre in 2015, the 24th James Bond film, Omega produced the actual watch worn in the film by Daniel Craig in the form of 7,007 limited edition timepieces, though this time ‘updated with a new edge of innovation and attitude’. With prior 007 editions made by Omega over the years, what makes this timepiece one any more special? Mr. Woolfe saw this as a great opportunity to purchase one and here’s what we think.
“Does it do anything?….It tells the time”
If you recall in ‘Spectre’, the scene where the character ‘Q’ presents James Bond with a Seamaster 300, Bond bluntly asks “Does it do anything?” Q’s simple reply is that of “It tells the time”. At the end of the day, putting all hype to one side, that is exactly what a watch needs to do. Looking at the Omega website, you’ll see in fact there are fifteen versions of the Seamaster 300 ranging from Stainless Steel, Yellow Gold, Sedna Gold, combination metals and Titanium. What’s so unique about this watch you may ask?
Well apart from having an immediate darker edge than the other models, once you start paying close attention, you begin to realise there are notable aesthetic changes specific to this iconic timepiece. Firstly, what stood out was that the 12 o’clock Arabic numeral is replaced with a larger Omega logo in silver with the Seamaster wording matching that of the vintage lume elsewhere. The dial has a matt finish, which upon closer inspection has a slight grainy texture and may look like a sandwich (two layer) type, however, the hour markers are actually etched out and filled with ‘vintage’ Super-Luminova.
Other distinguishing features that jump out are that it sports the coveted ‘lollipop’ style seconds hand similar to the original 1959 CK2913, opposed to the modern spear tip version which all the other Seamaster 300’s have. It also is the only model with a bi-directional ceramic bezel featuring Omega’s ‘LiquidMetal’ with indices running from 0-11, so that it can keep time with any time zones. The watch is that of 41mm in diameter and is housed in a stainless steel case with sapphire crystal on front and caseback. It features the calibre 8400 movement that has two barrels giving it a power reserve of 60 hours and also has anti-magnetic resistance to 15,000 gauss. Omega ingeniously created special alloys in the mechanical movements mean that it does not require a Faraday Cage thus allowing full protection from magnetic fields and therefore the ability to showcase inner workings to the owner via the transparent caseback.
The watch comes with a five stripe black and grey NATO strap and a stainless steel bracelet that features an extension system known as ‘rack & push’ allowing easy adjustments to be made. Omega paid attention to all the little details in including the 007 logo on both straps and encapsulating everything in an impressive huge presentation wooden box (which includes a strap change tool and loupe). In order to unlock the box, a code needs to be set and you guessed it, what other number combination could it be other than 007! It’s the small things like these that get watch collectors and Bond enthusiasts excited and Omega pulls out all the stops here.
Mission successful for the Seamaster 300
The verdict? All in all, as James Bond watches go, this limited edition (only 7,007 pieces made) probably is one of the best to date, incorporating the hallmarks of high-tech materials, a superior in-house movement and a stylish minimalist look that stays true to its heritage. Thanks to our friends at an Omega Boutique in London, we were quite lucky to have bagged one, in fact probably one of the last few mint pieces left for sale in the UK. Here at Mr. Woolfe, we feel that the Seamaster 300 LE Spectre is definitely an investment timepiece that delivers on all levels and will certainly make any proud owner feel like they are a secret agent themselves.
A must have for James Bond fans. Full technical info can be found at the official Omega website
Mr. Woolfe dedicates this blog to the late Sir Roger Moore (1927 – 2017). One of the longest serving James Bond where he graced the screen in seven films; and as a child of the 80’s, he was the actor that introduced myself amongst millions of others to the world of 007. A charismatic gentleman and great ambassador of British film, who will be missed.