Smart Dressing

Your watch, Commander Bond

Omega’s latest Bond watch isn’t linked with a new film – but as peppy, summer-ready wrist wear, it’s timed to perfection

Words by
Robin Swithinbank

For reasons that won’t need explaining, most of us men will at some point in our lives have imagined ourselves in James Bond’s shoes. Of all the moments in which we’ve cast ourselves as the suave/heroic/violent/sexually confident protagonist, one that will stand out is Bond’s brief dalliances with Q branch. ‘This is your car/watch/wrist-activated dart gun Bond. Don’t break it.’ And so on.

Since 1995 and Goldeneye, the watch given to Bond by Q has been an Omega. Where their predecessors were sent into the field with watches made by Rolex, Seiko, Breitling and the best forgotten Pulsar, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have worn nothing else. Along the way, Omega has made these available to those of us without a licence to kill, usually in limited numbers and always with some pretty unmissable Bond-themed motifs.

In the last hour, Omega has released its latest Bond-inspired watch, the Seamaster Diver 300M ‘Commander’s Watch’ Limited Edition. At an event held at London’s Tate Britain, it pulled the covers off what is ostensibly a Seamaster 300M, but with one or two upgrades (none of which make it explode).

Alright, maybe not upgrades, but motifs at least that distinguish it from the standard Seamaster 300 M (as worn by Prince William, among others). Chief among those is its use of colour. The dial, hands, bezel and NATO strap are all red, white and blue, colours ripped from the Royal Navy’s ensign – James Bond, lest we forget, is a commander in Her Majesty’s Naval Service. The bezel is pretty Bond, made as it is of blue ceramic, red rubber and LiquidMetal, the latter a special alloy used in military weaponry that bonds with ceramic (Omega has been using it for some time, incidentally).

More obviously Bond are the 007 gun logo counterweight on the central seconds hand; the number ‘7’ in the date window which is red, while all other numbers are blue; the three stripes of the Commander’s naval insignia and the 007 bullet design on the rotor; and the fact that the 41mm stainless steel version of the watch is limited(ish) to 7,007 pieces. The limited term applies more literally to the 18-carat yellow gold version, of which there will be only seven.

New Commander Bond seamaster

Now, even after 22 years, some will still debate the legitimacy of James Bond wearing an Omega, given in Ian Fleming’s books he was a Rolex man, but according to Omega’s history boffins, Omega and the MoD have been in bed together since long before Bond’s 1950s heyday. During the Second World War, Omega is said to have supplied more than 110,000 watches to Britain’s pilots, navigators and soldiers, more than 50 per cent of the total number of watches Switzerland delivered to the UK during the war.

Given how colourful it is, it’s unlikely the ‘Commander Watch’ will be adopted by any covert ops teams, but as a zippy summer watch for those men who look good in a pair of little shorts when emerging from the sea, it’s got something going for it. It’s priced at £3,720 and will be available from tomorrow. Look after it, now, won’t you.