Remember Goldeneye, the Bond flick that announced the very dapper Pierce Brosnan to the world as 007? Well, that was almost a quarter of a century ago.
And the timepiece that was strapped to his wrist – a key plot device, considering how it shot lasers and functioned as a bomb detonator? Well, that wrist machine is a quarter of a century old.
And what a difference 25 years makes. The original watch, the Omega Seamaster 300M Quartz Professional, ran on a quartz movement, because it was introduced before the mechanical watch renaissance of the late 1990s. Subsequent models of the Seamaster 300M worn by 007 were fitted with automatic movements, with the latest being the Seamaster 300 Master Chronometer Spectre Edition, as seen in 2015’s Spectre.
From Oct 4 to 14, 10am to 10pm daily, the Seamaster Exhibition at ION Orchard's outdoor event space will chronicle the watch’s history and presence in the Bond universe. Visitors will be able to pass through a ‘heritage tunnel’ where they will experience immersive sound and light installations mimicking the underwater environment – the dive watch’s natural home.
But what is a birthday without a makeover?
At this year’s Basel watch fair, Omega rolled out no less than 14 different editions of the watch, now called the Seamaster Diver 300M. The new editions have been beefed up to a 42mm diameter to accommodate Calibre 8800, which Omega describes as a precise, high-performance movement with high magnetic resistance. The watches are officially certified as Master Chronometers – meaning to say, highly accurate timekeepers – by Switzerland’s national metrological agency, METAS.
Along with the updated movement, the date window has been moved from its three o’clock position to a new six o’clock roost. The diving bezel is now made from ceramic, making it more durable. The dials are also made from ceramic and come in three colours – black, blue or sun-brushed PVD chrome. And, importantly for collectors and fans of the original design, the wave pattern on the dial has been reintroduced using laser engraving.
The new watches will be on show at the exhibition. If so inclined, collectors can pop into the Omega boutique in ION Orchard to pick up their favourite piece(s). Prices range from S$6,600 (GST included) for a stainless steel model on rubber strap to S$18,000 for a 2,500-piece limited edition in Titanium Tantalum.