A re­quited bond

THE LOVE AF­FAIR BE­TWEEN OMEGA AND JAMES BOND IS AS STRONG AS EVER.

GQ (Australia) - - GQ WATCH -

It is among the coun­try’s best-known land­marks, but a place per­haps more read­ily as­so­ci­ated with board­ies and thongs than tuxe­dos. Yet Bondi Beach proved a fit­ting spot for an ex­clu­sive black-tie watch launch. Af­ter all, the venue was the world­fa­mous Ice­bergs Din­ing Room and Bar, over­look­ing the ocean below, and the watch was Omega’s new ‘Sea­mas­ter Diver 300m’ – a time­piece cel­e­brat­ing 25 years made for the waves. It’s also a watch that’s been syn­ony­mous with Bond ever since 1995’s Gold­en­eye – trust Omega to put the Bond in Bondi Beach. Given the next in­stal­ment of the world’s favourite se­cret agent is set for 2019, we felt it apt to speak with Omega’s real life ‘Q’, Gre­gory Kissling, the head of prod­uct man­age­ment about the ‘Sea­mas­ter Diver 300m’ and what’s in store for Bond, as well as Omega fans. GQ: What sets the new ‘Sea­mas­ter Diver 300m’ apart? Gre­gory Kissling: In Aus­tralia, the ‘Sea­mas­ter’ is the most iconic model for us. In 2018, we’ve had a full makeover of the col­lec­tion. We’ve in­tro­duced a lot of new tech­nolo­gies and im­prove­ments not only for the case but also for the in­side with a new Cal­iber 8800 move­ment that’s mag­neti­cre­sis­tant to 15,000Gs. GQ: How im­por­tant has the re­la­tion­ship with Bond been for Omega? GK: We’re very lucky be­cause Daniel Craig is the face of this new col­lec­tion. The ‘Divers 300m’ was cho­sen by the artis­tic direc­tor of cos­tume de­sign for Gold­en­eye. She wanted to find a diver’s watch with a blue face be­cause of Bond’s navy suit. The chal­lenge has been to main­tain the iden­tity of the piece while still giv­ing it a facelift. GQ: There are 14 new pieces here. How hard is it to evolve while keep­ing with tra­di­tion? GK: It’s al­ways a bal­ance. We pro­duce many pro­to­types, so for this col­lec­tion we made a min­i­mum of three it­er­a­tions to get the per­fect bal­ance. Af­ter that, ev­ery new tech­nol­ogy must pass cer­tain tests, so we need a min­i­mum of two years be­fore launch­ing a new col­lec­tion. GQ: Tell us about some of Bond’s Q-es­que pro­cesses be­hind these new tech­nolo­gies? GK: We had to use a 1200 o C fur­nace in or­der to ob­tain the me­chan­i­cal prop­er­ties of the ceramic, which is six times harder than steel. The only way to shape the ceramic is to use di­a­mond tools. And for en­grav­ing the div­ing skin, we use a laser with five axes. GQ: Why is 42mm the new 41mm? GK: The new move­ment is a bit thicker so we wanted to re­spect the pro­por­tion of the watch. An­other rea­son is the Chi­nese mar­ket is ask­ing for big­ger watches. Thanks to the ceramic dial, it’s a sporty watch that, at the same time, is a very clas­sic piece. GQ: How do you en­sure peo­ple use their watch to its full po­ten­tial? GK: Well, it’s funny – only 0.01 per cent of cus­tomers use the he­lium valve gauge on the ‘Sea­mas­ter Diver 300m’. It’s a spe­cial cham­ber de­signed for divers, so it’s not re­ally a use­ful func­tion for everyday life but still it’s a cool de­sign fea­ture.

OMEGA ‘SEA­MAS­TER DIVER 300M MASTER CHRONOME­TER’ $13,050; omegawatches.com Omega’s head of prod­uct man­age­ment, Gre­gory Kissling.

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