5 things to know about No Time To Die and James Bond’s future according to the Omega CEOMike Christensen
Wary a large proportion of you haven’t had the chance to sit through the two hours 43 minutes of Cary Joji Fukunaga mayhem yet, why not treat this as a call to action to pre-book those tickets.
Ahead of the global premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall (where Craig opted for a Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Master Chronometer to mix things up), I caught up with the only watch CEO who comes close to being considered for the now vacant role of James Bond – the disarmingly charming Raynald Aeschlimann, who gave only nuggets of horologically-themed gold.
1. The name’s Edition, not Limited Edition.
Whether or not this is a byproduct of Bond’s watch being on sale for 18 months before anyone could see it in action we might never know, but the fact remains that Omega is not interested in limiting its editions going forward. All across the luxury sector LEs generate hype, yet for a brand such as Omega, partnerships with Olympics and the Bond franchise simply doesn’t require hype or frenzied activity around them – because the demand for them is already palpable.
While there is certainly more to say on the matter in the future, Aeschlimann specifically commented about the watch not being limited. “Launching the Seamaster Diver 300m 007 three months before the first release of the film was done as a sign that we wanted to celebrate the watch as a watch first, and secondly that it’s unlimited,” he said. “We cannot suddenly be the ones that are not fulfilling this excitement and these wishes of the customer, because that’s all of us. We are delivering them and we are trying to do the best for being the closest as we can, in terms of delivery.”
2. Daniel Craig’s design input
“I wanted Daniel Craig to help, and he was very much positive on this, because we said, it’s the James Bond watch, not the No Time to Die watch,” says Aeschlimann about collaborating with Craig. “Having the privilege to work with the most prominent actor so far in this role, we wanted to create an iconic James Bond watch. We worked so much on the 300m, on the new dials but the aim was to fulfil his vision of what would always remain as a timeless piece – so not any logos on the watch, not any special hands, not any No Time to Die branding mentioned, just a very clear, down to the ground timepiece. And the timeless vision was also an incredible decision because it’s been selling!”
3. Partnership goals
Last year marked 25 years since James Bond first wore an Omega watch and truth be told there are few collaborations that come close to being as successful and authentic.
“What is amazing about James Bond is it’s a universal way of celebrating one of our strongest and most valid partnerships,” Aeschlimann tells us. “The dynamism when the film is being released gives us an incredible power, and from that point of view, yes, the watch was a big success, and I think we all know that, and you see it a lot. But during these moments, it makes it even like a celebration. I think that what we’ve reached with Daniel Craig and the Broccoli family, after five movies, he’s probably provided the pinnacle of the evolution of our relationship since 25 years,” he concludes. But that begs the question as to who…
4. The next Bond will be?
While Craig’s words of wisdom to whoever that might were, “Don’t fuck it up,” Aeschlimann offered us a slightly more gentlemanly insight into the question on everyone’s (OK, most people’s) lips. “It’s like the recipe of the best cake from your mother or your grandmother,” he begins. “If some of the ingredients are unfortunately not available, it doesn’t mean the magic can’t happen – you can still make the cake.”
Mmmm, Bond cake. Of course, what Aeschlimann is alluding to in his yummy analogy is that the magic of Bond is more than just who plays the role because, as he continues, “You know that this new actor will be chosen in line with what Michael and Barbara (Broccoli) want, and he will be cherished. So it’s not about being scared, it’s about welcoming the next one, because they’ll share exactly what we have already created as magic. So we’ll wait and see, and we’ll probably be some of the first to know.”
5. Finally, the gadgets don’t disappointment
It would be remiss of me not to leave those who haven’t yet seen the film with some genuine teasers to whet the appetite. When I say that 007’s watch deserves an acting credit, I’m not totally exaggerating as it gets almost as much screen time as Ralph Fiennes, who plays M. As always, Ben Whishaw as Q is a highlight, especially when he gives Bond the lowdown on what his new gadgets can do to help him get out of the kind of tricky situations he’s drawn to. Aside from being a co-pilot in a flying submarine, the gadget highlight is Bond’s electromagnetic pulse watch, aka the military-inspired titanium Seamaster Diver we’ve been talking about. And of course, we only find out its true capabilities – or indeed whether it actually works – when Bond gets into trouble. Whether or not that happens, I won’t say; but if I can guarantee anything, it’s that said timepiece will literally blow people’s minds. I had the pleasure of wearing the watch to the premiere but much to my mother’s disappointment, the electromagnetic pulse wasn’t working on mine. Have a word, Q!