“Officially,” Omega became James Bond’s choice for the movies through formal product placement arrangement with EON Productions, set to start with GoldenEye.
This deal had “a profound impact on the brand,” as summarized by Joe Thompson in a special issue of WatchTime magazine published October 2008:
The most immediate [result of having its watch worn by Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007 in GoldenEye] was what Omega calls ‘the James Bond effect.’ The Seamaster Diver’s star turn in ‘GoldenEye’ resulted in what Omega executives describe as ‘meteoric success’ for the watch in 1996; that year sales increased by a factor of 10 …. The Bond effect occurred each time, with a dramatic surge in Seamaster sales following the release of the movie ….
As a recognized partner in the movie productions, Omega has offered a lot in terms of separate limited edition timepieces, advertising and collateral promotions, and point-of-purchase materials for its authorized dealer displays.
Nicely, this has included active participation by actors Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in-character as James Bond for Omega brand ambassador.
Six years had passed since the last 007 feature film, Licence to Kill in 1989, when Omega stepped-up and showed its faith in the future of the James Bond movie franchise in a post-Cold War world. This is worthy of great admiration.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movies, Omega upped the ante with James Bond watch information on its website. Details on all retail Omega James Bond watches (limited editions and models consistent with screen-worn choices), beginning with GoldenEye, were posted.
Still, I have found several instances where even Omega-sourced information on its own Omega James Bond watch history is not bulletproof.
Omega dates its founding to 1848 with the Louis Brandt pocket watch assembly workshop in Switzerland. In 1932, its “Marine” model became what is said to be the first wristwatch designed for divers, and in 1969 its “Speedmaster” was the first watch worn on the moon. Today, Omega markets the proprietary “Co-Axial” escapement invented by George Daniels as one of the most important technologies differentiating Omega-produced Bond watches. Omega watches is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swatch Group.
Dell Deaton | April 6, 2013
Revised: July 3, 2014