James Bond has been saving the world on the big screen since 1962, and to help mark the 60th anniversary of the 007 films, Omega, Bond’s preferred timekeeper since 1995, is releasing a pair of Seamaster Diver 300M watches with a subtle tribute to Bond’s Hollywood appearances on the back.
Although James Bond, and his other double-O cohorts from MI6, have used a wide variety of gadgets during their adventures over the years, the super spy does occasionally show some brand loyalty. Bond’s affinity for Aston Martins, such as the iconic DB5, is a good example of that. Watches are another longtime Bond gadget staple, and since the character’s return in 1995's GoldenEye starring Pierce Brosnan, 007 has exclusively worn Omega timepieces, particularly those from the company’s Seamaster Diver 300M collection, until 2006's Casino Royale.
It’s far from the first time a traditional watchmaker has created a special edition timepiece as a tribute to some pop culture property. Do you remember Tag Heuer’s Mario Kart watches? But instead of slapping the 007 logo on the dial or other out-of-place thematic additions to the design, Omega has taken a much subtler approach with its two special edition Seamaster Diver 300M 60 Years Of James Bond watches, hiding the most obvious Bond tribute on the back so only the wearer ever gets to see it when taking the watch off.
The standard version of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 60 Years Of James Bond watch features a design that aBlogtoWatch describes as, “a blend between the original Omega Seamaster Diver 300M that appeared in GoldenEye and the latest edition from No Time To Die.” In other words, it’s a not an exact recreation of the piece that Brosnan wore in GoldenEye, but incorporates elements from several watches featured in various Bond films. On the front, the only hint that this watch is in any way Bond themed is the number 60 appearing at top of the dial, where there is normally a triangle.
It’s only when you flip the watch over that its Bond theming is far more apparent. The caseback features a sapphire glass window revealing an animation recreating the iconic opening of Bond films where the silhouetted character walks on screen as seen through the barrel of a gun. But there’s no LCD or OLED screens here. The Seamaster Diver 300M is a purely mechanical timepiece, so to create the animation, Omega leveraged the moiré effect where interference patterns from spiral patterns on spinning discs reveal the sequence of a simple four-frame animation of Bond walking in. And because the animation mechanism is tied to the watch’s moving second-hand, it perpetually plays in a loop as long as the watch has power and is keeping time.
It’s a fun design element not only because of how subtly it’s executed, but also how it leverages what makes traditional timepieces appealing to many collectors: the complicated mechanics inside that make them work. Unfortunately, with a $7,600 price tag, the Seamaster Diver 300M 60 Years Of James Bond is not really affordable for most Bond fans.
It is, however, much cheaper than the other version of this watch that Omega created. The Canopus Gold edition features a case and bracelet made from the company’s 18K Canopus Gold alloy, as well as green and yellow diamonds surrounding the dial designed to pay tribute to the colors of the Jamaican flag where James Bond author Ian Fleming built a private estate. It comes with a $140,000 price tag that only a Bond villain would be willing to splurge on.