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Hands-On The Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
It’s tough to shake the grip that rolex has in the minds of watch enthusiasts and film buffs alike as the james bond watch – first of all, it’s the watch that ian fleming wrote into the books; fleming himself wore a rolex, and the prototypical and original cinematic james bond – sean connery – wore a submariner in dr. no. connery will always be the original bond, and the sub will always be the original movie bond watch, but that doesn’t mean – as subsequent years have shown – that there aren’t worthy successors to both, and daniel craig’s take on bond as a barely restrained borderline sociopath on a collision course with himself has gone a long way towards rehabilitating what had become something of an exercise in camp..
It’s tough to shake the grip that Rolex has in the minds of watch enthusiasts and film buffs alike as the James Bond watch – first of all, it’s the watch that Ian Fleming wrote into the books; Fleming himself wore a Rolex, and the prototypical and original cinematic James Bond – Sean Connery – wore a Submariner in Dr. No. Connery will always be the original Bond, and the Sub will always be the original movie Bond watch, but that doesn’t mean – as subsequent years have shown – that there aren’t worthy successors to both, and Daniel Craig’s take on Bond as a barely restrained borderline sociopath on a collision course with himself has gone a long way towards rehabilitating what had become something of an exercise in camp.
For many years now, the horological partner to the cinematic Bond has been Omega, and the watch has been the Seamaster, which is a plausible watch for the character: utilitarian and with a connection to the Royal Navy that makes sense for Bond, who’s a commander in the Royal Navy (and for Fleming, who was a naval intelligence officer before turning his hand to espionage potboilers – and, of course, the SM300 was actually issued to RN divers for several years).
The challenge of making a limited edition Bond watch that also seems authentic to the character has always struck me as an interesting problem; first of all, what that character is, changes from one incarnation of Bond to the next and even one film to the next. Craig – and this is with the caveat that I haven’t seen SPECTRE yet – has been remarkably consistent however, and to make a watch that conveys his Bond’s thin veneer of civilization and enduring value as what Judy Dench’s M called “her Majesty’s blunt instrument” you really need a watch as unapologetically reactionary and yet, as technically au courant, as 007 himself. (Incidentally SPECTRE is an acronym: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. This global mega-crime organization has as its head the infamous Ernst Stavro Blofeld and in many of the Bond movies, these are the guys with undersea lairs and hollow volcanoes and what have you. Fleming introduced SPECTRE in the novel Thunderball, and SPECTRE has been part of the films since the beginning – they're the muscle behind Dr. No in the 1962 film of the same name.)
The good news is that Omega’s really done a nice job nailing exactly those attributes in the SPECTRE limited edition, which is characterized – thank God – by a near-total absence of any Bond-specific branding. Instead, the company’s taken a watch that Bond might plausibly choose for himself – the Seamaster 300 – and given it a few subtle tweaks to make it distinctive, attractive, and just-different-enough without making it an obvious piece of branding. The watch, as issued, will come on a grey-and-black NATO, and the two major differences on the dial side from the standard SM300 are the bezel and the seconds hand. The standard model has a standard 60 minute diver’s timing bezel, but the SPECTRE model has a 12 hour scale – bidirectional – that you can use as a second time zone scale; arguably at least as practical for Bond as a diver’s bezel. The other vintage/old-school element is the lollipop seconds hand, which can be found on some vintage models as well (the book Omega: A Journey Through Time, for instance, shows a 1959 Seamaster with a circle tip seconds hand, ref. CK 2913).
The caliber 8400/8401 uses the technology that was first introduced in the Aqua Terra Antimagnetic 15,000 Gauss back in 2013, and has the same degree of resistance to magnetism thanks to the use of silicon in the balance spring, and other amagnetic materials. 15,000 gauss, by the way, is equal to roughly 1.2 million A/m (amperes per meter) and for reference, consider that for a watch to meet ISO requirements to be “antimagnetic” (per ISO 764) it need only be resistant to 4800 A/m. Magnetic fields as strong as 15,000 gauss typically are found only in things like medical imaging devices or particle accelerators, so if Bond ever gets involved in a shootout at the Large Hadron Collider at least his watch is going to keep running.
All of the actual 007 branding is on the back of the watch and it is suitably utilitarian-looking: the word SPECTRE in the same sans-serif caps used to display the antimagnetic resistance and depth rating, and the 007 gun logo – unobtrusive and as laconic as Bond himself. I’ve always found the gun logo just a little twee – amusingly enough the gun it depicts is a stylized version of a pistol Sean Connery used in a poster for From Russia With Love, which, as it happens, was actually an air gun. You could read that as a dour, if accidental, comment on the cinematic Bond’s often more-show-than-go demeanor, but here it’s probably better to accept it as a nod to a long tradition and leave it at that. Connery’s Bond may have had inflicted on him an air gun that couldn’t stop a lethargic hamster, but Craig’s Bond, in the same fix and faced with an adversary, would probably just beat him to death with the butt.
The Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition is available in Omega boutiques; limited to 7007 pieces world-wide. 41 mm, stainless steel case with bidirectional Liquidmetal bezel; black ceramic 12 hour second time zone/timing insert; "lollipop" seconds hand. Movement, Omega co-axial caliber 8400, antimagnetic to at least 15,000 gauss/1.2 million A/m; COSC-certified chronometer. On black and grey striped NATO strap; water resistance 300 m. Check out our recent Hands On with the regular series Seamaster 300, with a bit of a history lesson as well. And please NO SPOILERS in the comments, let a guy see the movie!
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James Bond’s New Watch: The Omega Seamaster 300 “SPECTRE” Limited Edition
“Does it do anything?” “It tells the time. We know you have trouble with punctuality.” So goes the exchange between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Q (Ben Whishaw) as Agent 007 is handed his newest Omega watch in the 24th Bond film, SPECTRE , which opens this week.
Omega has been the watch of choice for James Bond since 1995, when Pierce Brosnan strapped on a Seamaster for Goldeneye . The Swiss brand has released a commemorative 007 timepiece to coincide with each subsequent film, but this year will mark a first in Omega’s partnership with the Bond franchise: Omega will release a limited-edition version of Bond’s movie-worn watch (which does, in fact, do something other than tell the time, and actually plays a key role in a pivotal scene) — an Omega Seamaster 300 on a black-and-gray NATO strap.
The Omega Seamaster 300 “SPECTRE” Limited Edition has a 41-mm-diameter stainless-steel case with brushed and polished finishing, and a bidirectional rotating bezel made of polished black ceramic with a 12-hour scale in LiquidMetal, an innovative, proprietary alloy created by the Swatch Group, Omega’s parent company. (Liquidmetal made its debut in an Omega Seamaster watch and has since been put to use by other Swatch Group brands, including Blancpain and Breguet .) The two-way rotation of the bezel allows the scale to be used to indicate a second time zone.
The black dial has recessed hour markers that are partially filled with “vintage” Super-LumiNova, which emits a blue glow in low light. In addition to the faceted, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands, the dial features a “lollipop”-style hand for the central seconds.
Inside the 300-meter water-resistant case, and visible through a domed sapphire window in the screw-down back, is Omega’s Master Co-Axial Caliber 8400, an automatic, chronometer-certified movement that boasts a number of innovations that have become standard in Omega watches, including antimagnetic resistance to 15,000 Gauss, a silicon “Si14” balance spring, and a co-axial escapement. Decorative finishes include rhodium plating on the rotor and bridges, Geneva waves in arabesque, and a heat-blackened finish on the screws, barrels, and balance wheel. The frequency is 25,200 vph and the power reserve is 60 hours.
The five-stripe black-and-gray polyamide NATO strap features a brushed buckle and strap keepers engraved withe Omega logo and the “007” gun logo. Also distinguishing this version of the Omega Seamaster 300 as special are the engravings on the caseback, indicating “SPECTRE” “ANTI-MAGNETIC >15,000 GAUSS” and the Limited Edition series number. Only 7,007 models will be made, priced at $7,500 and available at select Omega boutiques now.
One person who’s rather excited about the Omega Seamaster 300 “SPECTRE” Limited Edition is James Bond himself, actor Daniel Craig, whom I found out, in my interview with Omega president Stephen Urquhart, is an avid watch collector. Craig recently toured Omega’s factory in Villeret, Switzerland alongside Urquhart and Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek and got a first-hand look at the process of watchmaking.
“I think what was so impressive was the fact that these watches are made from the ground up,” Craig remarked. “You start with nothing, and then there’s suddenly a working watch. That’s the beauty of it. To see the engineering that goes into it and the legacy that goes into it, that’s what fascinated me.”
I believe Q actually said: ……might help with your punctuality issues”
Am I missing something? Where is the diver’s pip on the bezel in the case I want to go diving with this watch? It is rated at 300 meter water resistance after all !! Can someone please shed some light on this?
I love this watch but 7,007 pieces is far from Limited seriously !!
Should have been more like 1,007 pieces for exclusiveness and greater value retention IMHO
I guess when you’re as rich as a Hayek, you don’t worry about dressing like a total slob.
Only 7,007 models will be made! we can pump with the spy on the street in no time. Great!
Hayek looks like the Trivago guy!
Shouldn’t the price be $7,007?
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