Coming during a hiatus between Bond movies and actors, the 60th Anniversary edition builds upon the No Time To Die Seamaster Pro which preceded it, while offering a heavy dose of nostalgia to both Bond and Omega fans alike. It serves as a stunning tribute to the original Omega James Bond watch.
While The Daniel Craig Era Has Ended, James Bond Will Return
The Craig era produced some of the best and most loved Bond watches of all time, with the Spectre and No Time To Die being being firmly positioned at the top of that list.
The new, grittier, darker Bond was played to perfection by Daniel Craig, who performed his role not only as an actor, but as a men's fashion icon and aspiration figure for young men. This saw a significant rise in the popularity of Omega's James Bond limited editions, culminating in the rapid sell-out and premiums carried by the Spectre limited edition.
Like the No Time To Die Seamaster Pro, the James Bond 60th Anniversary takes a very different tack. This is an unlimited edition, which Omega will continue to produce in numbers, even for the precious metal Canopus Gold version, for as many people as want to own it, during the production run. This means far more opportunity to own these watches, to have the boutique experience and to not be excluded which is in my view an excellent thing.
How long that production run will continue is an open question. There is still no official choice of replacement for Daniel Craig, with names like James Norton, Damson Idris & Harris Dickinson being discussed as leading options. With filming not expected to start until 2024 on Bond #26, the film is unlikely to hit cinemas until late-2025 or 2026, half a decade after No Time To Die's 2021 release.
Creativity Meets Nostalgia
Omega's most recent James Bond watches have done a terrific job of toning down the direct branding on the face of the dial, and replacing that with incredibly smart and subtle details, easter eggs and nods to the past. It is a recognition that watch buyers today are more sophisticated and knowledgeable than ever before, and appreciate a watch that delights and surprises each time you take a closer look.
The most obvious tribute to the past is the rich blue wave dial, an inescapable nod to the original Seamaster Pro 2541.80 worn by Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye 30 years ago. While a modernised version of the wave pattern exists in the Seamaster Pro line-up, this fine textured look is entirely unique to the 60th Anniversary and stands out in a display-case.
Coupled with this is the luminous material used in the bezel indices, glowing deep green on for the number 60 in place of the usual triangle marker and circle of lume. Matching this is the minutes hand in the same green tone, contrasting with the light teal-blue of all other bezel indices, hour markers and hands. It celebrates the 60 years of Bond in a way that will remind owners periodically when they look at their watch but hide during the daylight. Once again subtlety is what its all about, if you know, you know.
The final unique detail on the dial is the lolly-pop seconds hand, a well-known Omega vintage feature which appeared on the Spectre LE, but which takes on a new meaning in the 60th Anniversary.
The iconic gun-barrel scene, pioneered with Dr No in 1958 opens with a white circle "ticking" across the black screen. This motif is replicated in the box of the James Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster, and the white lollypop second hand replicates this perfectly as it ticks around the dial at 2.5 hz. It is a key element of this watch which foreshadows the impressive automation on the case-back.
The moiré-effect case-back animation is a beautiful idea, following up on the automation used in the highly desired Silver Snoopy of 2020.
Finally, this watch does away with the date window entirely. While this may not immediately feel like a feature, Omega knows that collectors of watches like this will often own many watches and removing the date simply makes the watch more practical to wind and wear by reducing setting time.
How The Moiré Case-back Automation Works
The effect created by the display-back of Bond in motion as the viewer stares down a gun barrel is extremely visually impressive. Even more so is the fact that it runs continuously off the seconds hand rather than being driven by the motion of the rotor like James Bond 50th Anniversary Seamaster's spinning bullet effect.
How this watch achieves this is actually remarkably simple yet effective. Firstly, the mass of the second hand was reduced, in order to ensure the power reserve and performance of the watch would not be affected by the addition of this automation. The regular seconds wheel on the Calibre 8806, which is a finely toothed gear attached to a shaft, which normally extends only onto the dial side of the watch to drive the seconds hand is replaced by a different part. This special seconds wheel extends both to the dial side as usual, but also extends backwards, through the movement and through the center of the rotor bearing, such that the rotor spins around this shaft.
On the end of this shaft is a simple disc, printed with the bottom layer of the moiré pattern, which when combined with the top layer, which is printed on the inside of the sapphire display-back, creates the animation as the disc rotates, drive by the second wheel.
The changes to the Calibre 8806 are so minimal that Omega does not even specify a new calibre number for this variant, such is the simplicity and elegance of the design.
Case & Bracelet
The James Bond 60th Anniversary case follows the same basic case design as the previous No Time To Die Seamaster, with a standard 42 mm Seamaster Pro case and prominent domed sapphire crystal. This is an excellent platform for a comfortable daily wear watch, arguably the best in Omega's line-up and while they share a general design, the two watches could not be more different in style and personality.
The 60th Anniversary edition features a stainless steel case, rather than the titanium used in the No Time To Die. While both cases share the same 42 mm diameter, the thickness of the 60th Anniversary is 14.3 mm, compared to 13.6 mm on the standard Seamaster Pro and 13 mm on the No Time To Die. This added thickness is not excessive, but is required to allow for the special case-back automation in the 60th Anniversary.
The weight of the Bond 60th Anniversary is also higher than the No Time To Die, at 156 grams, up from 93 grams due to its steel construction rather than titanium. This is still considerably less than a regular Seamaster Pro 300M diver, mainly due to the lower weight of the milanese mesh bracelet.
As I mentioned in the No Time To Die article, the current Seamaster Pro 300M diver is an absolutely excellent watch to begin with. This watch has benefited from 30 years of iterative improvement and I would argue it stands as the best quality dive watch anywhere near its price range on the watch market.
While the standard Seamaster features a ceramic bezel which blends into, and effectively matches the compound curve of the domed sapphire crystal, the fit between bezel and crystal is very different on the 60th Anniversary, which follows the No Time To Die's design. Both of these special Bond watches feature a distinctly domed crystal diverging from the bezel, catching the light and creating a look very similar to the vintage Seamaster 300 military watches of old. This is a subtle difference for the benefit of watch enthusiasts but a significant one to engineer into such a timepiece without compromising water resistance. The rounded sapphire edge causes a tell-tale warping of the dial edge just under the glass, as seen on vintage plexiglass models, but as with other modern sapphire crystals from Omega, there is no milky ring around the edge as was seen on domed sapphires of the past.
The 60th Anniversary features a display-back with a design entirely unique to this watch. The first difference is that rather than having the typical saw-tooth keyed Naiad-lock case-back of the regular Seamaster Pro 300M, this case-back features a thinner outer metal band, secured by 7 flat-head screws, with a larger sapphire opening in the center. The outer portion of that sapphire is painted on the inside with the James Bond circle-motif and a 60th anniversary logo at the bottom, with "Diver 300M" at the top. The movement can then be seen inside this outer painted section, with a gun-barrel design partially obstructing the rotor, and then the moiré animation covering the center of the rotor and bearing.
This unusual case-back adds to the thickness of the watch, with the stainless steel version coming in at 14.3 mm and the "Canopus" white gold coming in at 15.3 mm compared to the 13.6 mm of a regular Seamaster Pro with display-back. This additional thickness is likely to ensure the watch is still able to meet the 300-meter depth rating.
The bezel insert on this watch utilizes an anodised aluminium finish rather than ceramic in order to better replicate the feel of the original watch of the 1990's this model is based on. While it does look particularly impressive with the blue and green lume, the aluminium may be somewhat more prone to wear and damage than ceramic so this must be kept in mind.
As with all 42 mm Seamaster Pro models, the Bond 60th Anniversary has 20 mm lugs and can take a variety of different strap and bracelet options offered by Omega including steel bracelets, NATO straps and rubber.
It should be noted that the 20 mm Milanese mesh bracelet on this watch comes in two variants, a short and long which are quite different in length and your authorized dealer or boutique can exchange at no cost if unused.
Movement & Moiré Automation Explanation
The movement powering the James Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster Pro is the Omega Calibre 8806A Co-Axial movement.
The Calibre 8806A is a slightly modified version of the Calibre 8806 movement which is in turn the no-date version of the Calibre 8800. This movement represents the thinnest automatic version to date of the family which began in 2007 with the Calibre 8500.
This movement oscillates at 25,200 vph and features hacking, a traditional quick-set date mechanism, >15,000 gauss magnetic resistance, METAS Master Chronometer certification, and a 55-hour power reserve from a bi-directional winding system. All of this comes from a package only 4.90 mm thick, even with a 3-level Co-Axial escapement.
These movements are a result of Omega's iterative program of continuously improving their entire movement range with each technological step or advancement. As a result, the early teething issues of the Calibre 8500 are now long gone, and these Master Chronometer movements have earned a reputation for accuracy and dependability.
Given that the 60th Anniversary James Bond Seamaster models were only released in late 2022, none are yet due for service even on the secondary market. When the time does come, they can be handled easily by any Omega certified independent watchmaker at a reasonable price.
Dial & Variants
The James Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster comes in both stainless steel and in 18K solid "Canopus" white gold, with neither version being a limited edition.
The two watches share a great deal, with the bezel, dial and hands being the primary difference, however even the dials are quite similar in overall design.
While Omega has continued to produce a more prominent, course, ceramic wave dial in modern Seamaster Pro models, this generation uses a much more subtle wave pattern, reminiscent of the original 2541.50 worn in Goldeneye. While the dial texture has a vintage feel, the rest of the dial is quite modern with beautifully finished applied hour markers in either rhodium plated white gold or a black finish. These hour markers glow a brilliant aqua-blue shade, as do the bezel indices and hands with the exception of the 60 marker on the bezel and the minutes hand.
All dial text is painted rather than applied, which is not uncommon in current generation Seamaster Pro models, while the text on the dial is kept to a minimum, with Omega Seamaster Professional at the top, and Co-Axial Master Chronometer 300M/1000Ft at the bottom.
It is important to note that these watches contain no references to the Bond franchise at all on the front side of the head, with only the back revealing the connection to the movie franchise.
Stainless Steel Blue Dial On Bracelet Ref 188.8.131.52.03.002
Nearly all owners will be going for the standard stainless steel version on bracelet, reference 184.108.40.206.03.002. Unlike the previous No Time To Die Seamaster, there is no separate reference for a NATO strap version, there is just the one option on Milanese mesh bracelet.
Due to being made from stainless steel rather than titanium, the James Bond 60th Anniversary is a few thousand dollars cheaper than the No Time To Die edition, and being a very similar watch with more neutral styling, may appeal to a much wider audience.
Canopus Gold With Green & Yellow "Mango Tree" Diamond Bezel Ref 220.127.116.11.99.001
Yes, you read that title correctly, this precious metal variant in "Canopus Gold" (white gold) has a "mango tree" diamond bezel. The why behind that is rather interesting, it is a tribute to Ian Fleming's estate in Jamaica, where so many Bond stories were authored which was named "Goldeneye".
Goldeneye today functions as a high-end resort, with guests enjoying the privacy of its private beaches and gardens, containing hundreds of lime, orange and mango trees, which is where the bezel of this watch comes in. Famous guests staying at the resort plant a tree each in exchange for a donation to charity, leaving their mark on the landscape along with a plaque.
The Ref 18.104.22.168.99.001 is mechanically identical to the regular stainless steel variant, featuring the same automation visible through the case-back although the Calibre 8807 movement with red gold rotor and balance bridge replaces the Calibre 8806.
The wave dial is gone, and in its place is a natural silicon grey dial with a very unique texture, almost resembling a meteorite finish. Both dial furniture and hands are finished in black rather than rhodium plating, while luminous material remains the same.
The most significant feature though is undoubtedly the fantastic "mango" bezel, which features treated diamonds ranging from green to yellow to orange, with two white diamonds acting as the 12 o'clock marker. It is a very unusual idea, but frankly I love this subtle and playful tribute to Ian Fleming and his Caribbean home.
Finally, the entire Milanese mesh bracelet is also Canopus gold, which adds to the weight a little, but serves to balance out the head. I'm glad Omega went to that trouble, rather than taking the easy route of putting it on a strap.
The current list price is $153,900 USD, which is an awful lot of money, ensuring there will not be too many of these floating around despite not being a limited edition.
Matching Accessories From Omega
One interesting difference with the release of the James Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster was that Omega also went to the trouble to curate a line of accessories for the watch in keeping with the theme.
While this won't be for everyone, it's a really nice option to have matching accessories and many owners will likely be quite keen.
The cufflinks are both made from stainless steel, and feature a Seamaster style scalloped bezel around the outer edge with a contrasting center. The first option features the Bond circles pattern found on the 60th Anniversary Seamaster, while the second features the Walther PPK grip-pattern found on the Quantum Of Solace Limited Edition Planet Ocean.
The second range of accessories are the sailing style bracelets made of braided nylon with metal hardware. Each of these is signed both Omega and 007, and the three on offer each match the most recent Bond watches.
The blue & grey with steel hardware is a companion to the Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster, the beige, black & grey with titanium hardware is a companion to the No Time To Die Seamaster Pro, and the black & grey is a companion to the Spectre Limited Edition Seamaster 300.
Once again, as above there are three matching NATO straps for the most recent three Bond Omega releases.
The 60th anniversary only comes with bracelet this time around, so anyone wishing to purchase the matching NATO strap in blue and grey will have to do that separately. The No Time To Die came in two versions, one with NATO strap and one with bracelet, so it is nice that the NATO is also easily available separately. Lastly, the Spectre grey and black NATO came with the spectre so all owners will have one, but this strap is flexible enough to work on just about any watch and well worth owning.
Buying a James Bond 60th Anniversary Seamaster Pro is a very easy decision. There is only one model in steel and the precious metal version, impressive as it is, costs about as much as a supercar.
As of time of writing in August 2023, these watches are still in production and widely available through authorised dealers and boutiques. This is very likely to continue for several years due to the next Bond movie being at least 2-3 years away so there is ample time to secure one brand new. Do not under any circumstances purchase one at a premium over retail price as it simply isn't needed, Omega will keep making these and you just have to be patient.
If buying one of these watches on the used market, the biggest focus is going to be the bezel, which being made from anodised aluminium could be scratched or damaged more easily than a similar bezel in ceramic. Aside from this, the usual scratches, dings and signs of polishing should be looked for. These Seamasters are highly durable and extremely well engineered watches that are intended to stand up to a lifetime worth of daily wear and tear.
I never like to look at watches as an investment, or to predict future value as that simply isn't a good reason to buy this or any other watch. What I will say however is that this is a watch that hits all of the right notes: nostalgia, a connection to both Bond's past and Omega's, in an extremely durable, comfortable and compelling package. It is more affordable than both the No Time To Die and Spectre editions that came before it, and thanks to the lack of James Bond branding on the front of the watch, will appeal to a very wide audience. As the only modern Seamaster to feature the much-loved 1990's wave pattern, it will also be special for years to come among Omega Seamaster models, which is even more reason to want one.
Currently on the used market prices are only about 10% below retail, which is not enough of a saving to really justify buying used over getting that full "new watch" experience, ideally from an Omega Boutique. This is the watch I have recommended friends purchase more than any other since its release and I have yet to see anyone disappointed at all with their purchase. James Bond fan or not, this is simply one of the best versions of one of Omega's best models currently on offer.
Discussion thread on Omegaforums can be found here: