The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean connection automatic mechanical watch with James Bond is indelible at this point, and naturally, the Planet Ocean found its way onto Daniel Craig’s wrist in 2006. As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, Bond had been wearing a Seamaster since 1995’s Goldeneye but had opted for a Seamaster Professional 300M for nearly a decade.
In Daniel Craig’s debut foray as James Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale, he actually wears two Seamasters. During the more action-packed scenes earlier in the movie (I’ve seen the movie a handful of times, though admittedly I did not do any re-watches for this article) you see Bond wearing an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean ref. 2900.50.91, which is the black bezel 45.5mm model on a rubber strap. Later, during the more “civilized” scenes in a Montenegro Casino, he wears a Seamaster Diver 300M which he likely had an easier time keeping under the cuff of his shirt since the PO is 17mm thick and the Seamaster 300M is closer to 12mm thick.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete exercise in co-branding without a limited edition automatic mechanical watch. Though the Planet Ocean that Craig himself wore in Casino Royale would go on to fetch around $200,000 in auction, Omega released 5,007 pieces of the Planet Ocean ‘Casino Royale’ ref. 2907.50.91 back in 2006. It’s the same watch as the non-limited edition model and kept the Bond touches on the dial to a minimum with an orange “007” gun logo counterweight on the seconds hand. Turning the watch around you see the “Casino Royale” engraving on the caseback as well as what number out of 5,007 that particular watch is. These aren’t too hard to find, and you can routinely find a number of examples for sale between $4,500-$5,000.
Moving to 2008, Craig reprised his role as 007 in Quantum of Solace, though the Planet Ocean he wears in the film didn’t have to share screen time with any other timepiece. This time Bond wore the smaller 42mm ref. 2201.50.00 with the black bezel on a steel bracelet. Naturally, there was a corresponding limited edition watch as well, though it came in the form of the bigger 45.5mm Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Quantum of Solace ref. 22.214.171.124.01.001 which also came in 5,007 pieces.
Omega went overboard with the James Bond branding here, with “Quantum of Solace” and the 007 pistol being laser engraved on the crystal. It’s the in-your-face branding but also the fact that with the “Omega Seamaster Professional” text at 12 o’clock and the movie branding right above the “Co-Axial Chronometer 600m/2000 ft” you have nonstop vertical text between 12 and 6 o’clock. I do like what Omega calls the “Walther PPK grip texture” on the dial (presumably designed after the grip on Bond’s pistol of choice) as it adds a unique texture. On the caseback you’ve got the 007 logo. It’s cool if you’re a fan, though Quantum of Solace doesn’t really even rank anywhere near the top of Craig’s Bond films. These pieces hit the market relatively frequently, and fetch something between $4,500-$5,500.
After a four year break came 2012’s Skyfall which, along with Casino Royale, is one of my favorite modern Bond films. A story about human intelligence facing fading relevancy in a rapidly digitizing world, the film presents a perfect metaphor for the role of mechanical wristwatches in that same changing world. Subtly turning the cliche on its head, someone says “old dog, new tricks” in the affirmative sense, so an old dog can learn new tricks. Another good horological metaphor, since this Bond wears the second generation of Seamaster Planet Ocean automatic mechanical watches (released in 2011) with “new tricks” like an upgraded movement in the in-house caliber 8500 and a ceramic bezel.
The limited edition automatic mechanical watch released for Skyfall was the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Skyfall ref. 126.96.36.199.01.004 which came in the smaller 42mm case. Fortunately Omega pulled back from the over-branded Quantum of Solace Planet Ocean by having a fixed 007 logo at the 7 o’clock position and a checkered black matte dial. Turning the watch over, the engraved steel casebacks of previous models are gone, switched out for an exhibition caseback with a relatively subtle “Skyfall 007” printed on the rotor of the new Caliber 8507 movement. Naturally due to the updated model, these trade for more than prior Bond Planet Oceans with current examples asking between $6,500-$7,200.
An interesting tidbit is the fact that the blue-dialed Aqua Terra that Bond wears in Skyfall (non-branded) tends to fetch a real premium with collectors. It’s not a Planet Ocean, but the reference 188.8.131.52.03.001 should at least be noted in any discussion of modern Bond and Omega. Let’s now exit the world of James Bond and get back to reality. To begin, we need to look at the 2009 limited edition Planet Ocean watch that’s both the gateway to the line’s second generation as well as one of the most desired examples of any Planet Ocean produced.