As Daniel Craig reinvents Bond with Omega Seamaster 300 we look back at the genesis of this ‘Mans’ Man’ from the early adventures of this sartorial Goliath with a penchant for killing, to the modern updated and more balanced Bond we see today. But how much has changed really?
It’s A Maturity Thing.
To many fans of a certain age, Sean Connery will always represent the true Bond. A man of a certain era when men were men, sexual equality, and political correctness hadn’t yet been invented. In these early days, Bond was free to peruse his prey and reap the spoils of war in the form of disposable women, easy money, and hard drinking. All this with a disregard for public safety, the public purse, or even the wishes of his superiors, who were summarily dismissed with a rapier sharp barb at their expense.
We have seen some changes through the years as Bond has morphed from one outdated super spy to another, as actors, writers, producers, and directors have struggled to bring Bond, kicking, into the 21st century. In all, we’ve had 6 Bonds each bring their own cache to the role.
Two Bonds Stand Out
The first outing for Bond was Dr. No (1962) staring, Sean Connery who introduced a sophisticated lothario with a sociopathic rage bringing a violent realism to the screen, and a somewhat outdated attitude towards women by today’s standards. This was followed by 4 more movies From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967).
Then something happened and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was released in 1969 starring George Lazenby, who did well, but was soon forgotten the second Diamonds Are Forever was released in 1971, again with Sean Connery and his gritty realism.
The Roger Moore Years
From 1973 thru 1983 Roger Moore took on the world of super-criminals and the era of the light-hearted and slightly comedic, Bond was born, producing Live and Let Die (1973),The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), and Octopussy (1983). Moore brought his old school sophistication and charm as well as the inevitable outdated attitudes toward sex and women, with yet more outrageous character names to rub in the point. Really, who could ever misinterpret Octopussy?
Between 1983 to1989 things start to get a bit patchy with changes to the headline act seeming to fluctuate with the return of Sean Connery in his last appearance as Bond in Never Say Never Again in 1983, A View to a Kill in 1985 with Roger Moores’ last appearance. Then 1987 saw Timothy Dalton take the reins in The Living Daylights in1987 and again in License to Kill 1989.
Bond Begins To Grow UP
It’s a brave new world and GoldenEye (1995) introduces Pierce Brosnan for the first of four appearances, followed by Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Die Another Day (2002). All four of these film have a new and more mature approach towards sexual politics and introduces M played by Judi Dench, the first woman to hold a senior position in the franchise.
The Ultimate Bond
And so, we come to the reason we are all here, with the reinvention of Bond by Danial Craig who to date has taken the lead in four films. Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), and lastly, Spectre (2015). Craigs’ Bond is thoroughly modern in terms of attention to empathy and making the right sounds in front of the right people, making him blend in with the epoch, his clothes are bespoke classic with unparalleled style, as you would expect from a gentleman action spy.
That’s just the visible manifestation of the man, but much more runs beneath the surface as we learn more about the modern Bond. Craig’s Bond marries sophistication and modern narrative that belies his base nature, as M points out in a tense moment that firstly, he is a blunt tool, secondly, he’s a dinosaur. To place Bond firmly in his place, M also states matter of fact, “utter one more word, and I’ll have you killed”.
So, what does all this mean? Well, Craig together with the writers and director has found a way to bring Sean Connery’s ultra-violent government killer back to life and put a contemporary polish on him. Yes, he drinks, yes he kills and burns through money and expensive cars with gadgets like there’s no tomorrow, but he has also modified his attitude toward women and re-introduced style, that’s been lost since the early days of Connery’s Bond.
A Casual Bond 1960s and 2000s
Both Bonds Have Good Taste In Cars And Suits
Craig’s Homage To Connery
Right now you’re asking, what does this have to do with Omega? I am getting there…
The first appearance of Bond on the big screen was in 1962 in Dr.No, but the character was born some 10 years earlier at the hands of Ian Fleming in a book ‘Casino Royale’ 1952. Bond was written as having extraordinarily good taste in cars, clothes, and watches, although no watch was identified until the second book ‘Live and Let Die’ 1954, where Bond sported a Rolex Explorer. Coincidently, Flemming wore Rolex.
Since the early days, Bond has had a somewhat eclectic taste in watches from Rolex, Breitling, Seiko, and TAG, probably in an attempt to keep up with or fit into, whatever the zeitgeist was demanding at the time. But from the time Pierce Brosnan’s Bond appeared on the scene in 1995, the modern Bond has been rocking either the Omega Seamaster Pro 300m, 600m, or Aqua Terra.
Classical Style Over Trend
This is why I believe Daniel Craig has reinvented Bond with the Omega Seamaster. He has revisited the gritty realistic violence of Connery while at the same time making a conscious decision to choose classic style over fashion or the prevailing trends. And in essence, isn’t that everything James Bond stands for? He is the personification of educated, monied, sophistication and taste that only a privileged education can provide, but with an underlying ability to disconnect from his higher self to killer.
Am I wrong?
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