Between their starring role in Dunkirk and the long relationship with the world’s favourite superspy, Omega is one ‘made in Britain’ stamp away from being the most patriotically English watch brand since Bremont cannibalised the HMS Victory. Their latest release even has the red, white and blue colour scheme going for it – though there are more interesting reasons for that than the Union Jack.
The Seamaster Professional 300M doesn’t have the presence of the Planet Ocean, but is easily the most well-rounded of the collection. It’s smaller size and classic diving feel tend to balance sporty and elegant in a way that most guys can get away with. The Commander’s Watch however is a little different.
It’s quite odd to see Omega releasing a Bond watch without a movie to promote, but this year celebrates the 50th, 40th and 20th anniversaries of You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Tomorrow Never Dies. In these films, Bond isn’t just an MI6 agent, but a full Commander in the Royal Navy – a position reflected in the Commander’s Watch.
The pure white dial certainly pops on the wrist, particularly with the blue and red of both the hands and the bezel. The colourway is bright, sporty and a lot of fun. It has everything you need for a spot of off-the-coast espionage without being a tired carbon copy of the usual black, blue and steel pieces. Like all Seamaster 300M watches, the 42mm case is, in my opinion, the perfect size. It doesn’t dwarf my admittedly diminutive wrists, and doesn’t look or feel small in any way, even for a diver. On the bracelet, it fits nicely under a shirt sleeve, though far less so on the canvas strap, which wraps underneath the watch.
It also comes equipped with Omega’s coaxial movement. That didn’t make much of a difference to me in my few days wearing it – there wasn’t enough time to really gauge the contrast – but it’s still good to know.
So far, so good. Unfortunately, Omega just can’t help themselves when it comes to the little commemorative touches. It’s subtly done on the metal bracelet – even though I’d always opt for the NATO, naval insignia strap – and the decorated movement is rather lovely with the stripes. The big issue for me, however, is the miniature 007 on the counterbalance of the second hand.
It’s not a deal-breaker but it just feels… unnecessary, shoving the Bond link down your throat. As I said, some people might like that; I don’t know any myself, but you can never tell. Most people I know, whether they’re watch aficionados or not, would scoff at it. That’s certainly the reaction I’ve had wearing it.
It’s not the end of the world, of course, far from it. It is, though, the only thing that lets down an otherwise exciting take on the Seamaster, for me anyway. Still, here’s hoping Omega can hold themselves back and release a non-Bond branded version… at least until the next film. Please?
Price: CHF 4,650; omegawatches.com