On The Prowl
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.
January 14, 2017
For the past 5 years, the term #speedytuesday has been used by watch enthusiasts and collectors alike in showcasing their appreciation for Omega Speedmaster watches across the globe. In tribute to such activity, Omega released a limited edition timepiece, encapsulating the most popular elements of their iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch design from across the years (2017 marks their 60th annivesary).
Another limited edition, what’s so great about this one you might say? Well the difference this time was that all numbered pieces were quickly reserved within the first few hours of it being released to pre-order via the Omega website on Tuesday 11th January at 12noon Swiss time. In previous limited edition releases by Omega, it has always been tricky for the fans to secure a timepiece as precedent on waiting lists tend to go to Authorised Dealers or repeat customers who bulk buy to sell on privately at a profit. To combat this, Omega wanted to allow individuals the opportunity to purchase directly through their website, although not everyone was lucky enough to secure what will no doubt be another fabulous edition their Moonwatch collection.
Special features of the Omega Speedy Tuesday
The watch will be limited to 2012 pieces, marking the year when the phrase was first began. The design takes its main influence from the Speedmaster Alaska III model, which was produced by Omega for NASA in 1978. Unique features include the “reverse panda” white opaline-silvery sub dials set against the classic black main dial. The Omega logo appears in a retro vintage style and the glass comes in that of the iconic Hesalite crystal.
The watch movement will be that of the manual wind 1861 calibre, all housed in a 42mm case that has a matt finish stainless steel. The caseback has the coveted seahorse medallion stamped, plus includes a limited edition wording “Speedy Tuesday Anniversary, A Tribute to Alaska Project III” and “R A D I A L” along with the piece number. It will come with a brown leather strap with vintage look stitching and an additional black and white NATO strap. Presented in a leather watch roll with a strap changing tool as well.
We all agree that it will be one of the must have watches for this Summer, and those lucky enough to have reserved theirs will surely be grinning with pride when they collect it – Mr. Woolfe will be looking to get his paws on one too! Full technical info can be found at the official Omega website.
March 25, 2016
Team Woolfe boarded a plane bound for Switzerland to visit the premier world watch expo Baselworld to experience what the international horology brands had lined up for their new collections. Pretty much all the big brands were present and showcasing their Aladdin’s cave of unique treasures. As a watch enthusiast, I highly recommend that you attend as just being caught up in the hustle and bustle is an experience in itself and the exhibition space spanning multiple floors with indoor waterfalls at some of the exhibitors was impressive stuff.
So to the watches, well, each brand had their 2016 pre-release pieces in store and Mr. Woolfe was fortunate to see these all of them close up. Our top watches that stood out were:
1. Brietling Avenger Bandit in its grey stealth titanium finish inspired by the impressive military aircraft carriers of our time.
2. Tag re-introduced us to their Heur Monza, which certainly stands out with its return to the iconic black and red colouring. Racing pedigree celebrating 40 years of history.
3. Tudor Black Bay ranges, looking to distance itself from the shadow of its bigger brother Rolex in carving its own separate identity.
4. Rolex had its new collection on full display, with the Daytona Ceramic Bezel being the big crowd pleaser. The new Air King with its all new green and yellow logo surprisingly looked better in real life and actually carries in itself well as one of their more affordable timepieces. The Yachtmaster range was also spruced up with new editions – the platinum dial getting a baby blue colour hands adding a splash of brilliance, a perfect summer and all rounder.
5. Originality in the use of precious materials made an appearance with Bell & Ross showcasing their BR-X1 Tourbillon, the case and materials carved from a single block of Sapphire! Hublot also had a similar sparkling transparent limited edition with their Big Bang Unico Sapphire. Both amazing watches to look at, and no doubt will get conversations going in any room for any lucky owners.
6. Omega flaunted new editions in their Speedmaster range with the Moonphase Master Chronometer and one of our favourites the CK2998 with its panda style dial, rich navy tones and discreet variations like the lollipop seconds hand. A worthy tribute to the 1960 original version of the First Omega in Space homages.
7. Breguet Classique Hora Mundi 5727, although the 2011 versions that were on display with varying dials showing different continents Americas, Europe or Asia along with a moon-phase indication – still shone as classics.
8. And finally Patek Phillipe, showcasing what watch making is all about with its dual faces Grand Master Chime in white gold, labelled the as the most complicated watch of all time. Commanding a starting price tag in the millions, this was luxury craftsmanship at its best!