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