The theatrical release of the latest James Bond movie No Time To Die, the 25th in the series, has been delayed again, this time until next April, meaning Bond fans will have to wait a little more before seeing Daniel Craig in the title role one last time.
The Bond film series has been in the news a lot lately, with the death last weekend of Sir Sean Connery, who passed away in his sleep at his Bahamas home at age 90, surrounded by family. Even after all these years and film instalments with different actors in the title role, Connery as James Bond, a mixture of charm, sophistication, and inherent violence, still remains the standard bearer for many enthusiasts. Connery’s Bond would kill you with no hesitation, then reach for a bottle of Taittinger Champagne, a favourite of the character in the Ian Fleming novels from the 1950s that spawned the film series. (More on actors and their watches here.)
My father told me the other day that he remembers the first time seeing Connery as Bond in the first of the film series, Dr. No. He knew right away, after having read all the Fleming novels previously – Connery was Bond. (Forbes runs a ranking of Connery’s Bond films here. We disagree though – Goldfinger in 1964 was the finest.)
A few days ago we ran a story on Pierce Brosnan, listing his Malibu home for $100 million. Brosnan’s four Bond movies with him in the title role were immensely successful, doing over $500 million in domestic box office business. His Bond was charming, had great one-liners, and he killed a lot of bad guys. But movies by his time had changed – action heroes were killing dozens in movies by that point.
Then in came Craig. The English actor’s Bond has pushed Connery’s inherent violence and quiet, simmering malice to higher, even battering-ram levels. My father thinks Craig’s Bond doesn’t quite hit the Connery Bond level of refined taste and sophistication. I might disagree with him there. Luxury watches are an area where Craig has brought refinement to his Bond (that plus Aston Martin cars and fine Brioni suits). And OMEGA has been a beneficiary of that.
The Bond watch
Craig tapped into his knowledge of Bond in helping to design the new watch, and wanted a classic look, something comfortable to wear, but also lightweight, key for a military man like Bond. Check out where to buy it in Canada here. Inside the watch is the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806, the industry’s highest standard for movement, in terms of precision and performance.
Daniel Craig understands that with fine luxury watches, looks are one thing. How the watch makes the wearer feel, that’s a whole other thing entirely. That’s the magic behind a fine luxury watch.
Tell us about your role in the design of the new watch. What did you speak to the designers about? And what were the details you focused on?
In SPECTRE, we really went into detail on the watch and its design. This new watch has also really been an amalgamation of many discussions. It’s really down to OMEGA.
I had some suggestions, but they went away and ran with it. Raynald really let the design team go and do what they wanted.
The new OMEGA Seamaster with the mesh strap, co-designed by actor Daniel Craig
When they showed it to me, I genuinely said, “You’ve done it.” There was nothing in the end that I needed to add. You have the style of it, of course, but it’s also close to a military watch, and you have that heritage with OMEGA and the British army watches of the second World War.
All of those things that I wanted to connect through, they’ve done it. I’m over the moon with it.
Was the weight important? The use of titanium has obviously made it lighter than previous watches.
Did you notice the difference in wearing it during filming?
I didn’t even notice that I was wearing a watch. We’re talking about a difference of grams, but it’s an incredibly comfortable watch to wear. I can genuinely say that. I can wear it and not even think about it that much.
James Bond OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M with the NATO strap, co-designed by actor Daniel Craig
Was it important to make this watch a Seamaster Diver 300M? That’s the classic “Bond watch”, so was it essential for you that the new James Bond watch was a Diver?
Where Bond starts in No Time To Die, it makes complete sense. He’s sort of retired. He’s in Jamaica, on his boat. So probably, a little more by accident than design, it worked perfectly. Which is great.
The fact it’s a diving watch is great, because we hint that he’s diving in the first part of the movie. Plus the strap, which feels vintage in a kind of 70s way, I really like that kind of touch. Like a 60s, 70s divers watch. It feels like that period.
You mention vintage. Were the vintage touches important for you? Does that appeal to your own personal taste in watches?
I think the designers were going to do it anyway, but when I started talking to them, I was very much hinting by saying, “Look back, look back at what you had.”
Opting for a NATO strap
Then there was the whole thing about sticking a NATO strap on it. I’ve been doing that for years. I’ve been taking my watches and sticking them on NATO straps, just because it’s fun to swap them around. And they grabbed that and said, “Yes, let’s do that.”
Now, every watch has a NATO strap on it. The only thing is, I’m always nervous about having that strap-changing tool and attacking my watch with it. I’d rather just take it to a watchmaker to get it done.
We’ve seen James Bond’s watches constantly evolving in line with his character. As a team, do you and the producers have those discussions early on in the filming, and talk about what you’re going to do and what you want?
It shouldn’t just be that you turn up on the first day of shooting and they say, “This is your watch.” I’m just not built that way. I want to know what the watch is early on. I want to know what I’ll be wearing and what it’s going to look like. OMEGA has embraced that. They’ve been excited about that and bringing something new.
There’s been five years since the last film, which has given them enough time to develop something and get it together. Also because it’s the 25th Bond and 50 years since the moon landing, it’s all married in quite nicely.
TOP IMAGE: ACTOR DANIEL CRAIG WORKING ON THE NEW OMEGA WATCH FOR THE NEXT JAMES BOND FILM, NO TIME TO DIE
Actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time To Die