What attracted you to collecting watches? When I earned my first bit of money, and I think this goes for a lot of people, one of the things you think is: “I’m going to buy myself something.” So I did, but I didn’t buy an Omega. Then, years later, I was doing a job in Budapest and I bought myself a vintage Omega, which was in a terrible state, and Omega completely fixed it up for me. That was the beginning really: when my collection of watches and my interest in watches started — just by being involved with Omega through Bond. I suppose that, for men, watches are a piece of jewellery that you can collect and, for me anyway, because of the precision and technology that goes into making them, they have a sort of fascination. I have a few now.
Do you remember your first Omega, and was there anything significant about it? Yeah, it was an old Seamaster 300. It cost me, but it seemed like the thing to do. At the time I thought it was incredibly expensive, but now I don’t think it was. I just don’t think I had very much money at the time, so it seemed like a lot.
You never wear the Omega given to you by the producers of Casino Royale. Why is it so precious to you? I wore it during the opening sequence of Casino Royale. I don’t know: it’s something I don’t want to wear. I don’t want to lose it. It’s as simple as that. So it lives in the safe, which is maybe a bit sad, but I’m so desperately scared of losing it. There’s a dedication on the back from the producers of the movie.
What do you look for in a watch when you want to add one to your collection? Well, I love the Seamaster 300. I love a blue face on a watch, and the other thing that is so magnificent about it, is that it is so light. Not that it’s a problem to wear a heavy watch, but having a light watch is really very nice. I have a couple of light, vintage watches — older ones that I like wearing. They are all watches that I bought at antique stores. It’s nice to wear a light watch with a suit. Something I got into, is when I have my shirts made for Bond, I have the left cuff made slightly larger so I can wear the watch, and the sleeve sits over the watch. James Bond always chooses a Seamaster.
Do you find yourself attracted to diving watches? There’s something about diving, and although I’m not really a diver, I have done it. It’s something you see when you’re a kid: the history of these watches, the history with the navy and the marines, it seems so much bigger than Omega making watches for Bond. I don’t know if it’s just the diving watch, or a boys’ thing about a diving watch: they just look great.
Leather strap, bracelet, or Nato strap? It just depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I play around with them. I mean that’s how the Nato strap came about for Spectre. I took my 300 and put a Nato strap on it and that’s how we got into the discussion about producing that watch. I’ve got the ceramic Dark Side of the Moon watch that came with a black kevlar strap, I’ve changed that one a couple times, just cause it looks quite good on a thick leather strap. So I play around with them.