We’ve already taken a look at affordable alternatives for the Brosnan-era time pieces here, which mainly consisted of variations of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300. And now we’ll explore some options for the Daniel Craig James Bond Omega watches. Despite having the same number of films under his belt, Craig’s era has seen a wider variety of models from the iconic Swiss brand. In some ways, it’s great to have a broader selection of styles. It means there’ll be something to suit almost any taste. But it also means investing more if you want to get the complete collection.
Just a quick note before we get started. I completely understand that for many of us, getting as close to screen accurate as possible is a priority. But I have a very hard time recommending cheap knock-offs that will likely stop working after a month. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of options on Ebay. Instead, I’ve gone with watches from reputable manufacturers that have been in the horology game for a while. Sure, we’ll be sacrificing some style details. But we’ll also be getting decent quality timepieces at fair prices that capture some of the spirit of the Omegas. Personally, I think it’s a much better way to go. If you’re seeing your watch collection build up and you’d like a fashionable way to store them too, you can find some luxurious and beautiful styled watch winders right here.
Omega Planet Ocean Big Size 2900.50.91: unavailable
As the name suggests, this was a biggun. With a case diameter of 45.5 mm, it was really far too large to be used with Bond’s dressier looks. But for taking a beating while running and jumping around construction sites (and winning a DB5 at poker), it worked just fine.
It would be easy to recommend (again) the 44mm Casio MDV106-1AV here. It’s a great watch with lots of fans, and a super deal at around $40. But this time I’m going with the Christopher Ward Trident Pro. Yes, there are a lot of details that don’t line up with the Omega. The hands are a sword/heavy spade combo. And it’s missing the Arabic numeral indices on the dial. Then there’s that wave pattern on the face, which has more in common with the 2220.80.00 Bond wears later in the film. But the Trident Pro is pretty serious watch in its own right. Swiss made, it’s rated to 600 meters and comes with the classic ETA 2824-2 automatic movement housed in a marine grade stainless steel case. It ain’t cheap. But if you’re looking to make a bit of an investment, there’s a lot of value to be found here.
Omega 41 mm Seamaster 300 Co-Axial 2220.80.00: unavailable
For the second half of Casino Royale, Bond switched to the more reasonably sized 41mm 2220.80.00. With it’s blue bezel and distinctive wave pattern dial, dot indices, and skeleton style sword/paddle hands, it was definitely a throw back to the Brosnan-era Omegas. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Sturhling Aquadiver 42mm Quartz: $78.90
I won’t pretend that Sturhling are delivering the highest quality watches. Or that they’re actually worth their dramatically inflated suggested retail prices. But for a day-to-day beater watch, the reviews seem to suggest that they’ll get the job done. The Aquadiver also comes close to the 2220.80.00 in terms of looks. They’ve used the Mercedes-style hands that Rolex made famous. But the other details aren’t a bad match. If you’re looking for other options, try the 42mm automatic Sturhling Aquadiver 792.02 for about $164.00 or the 44mm Pulsar PX3067 Quartz for $82.00 . And if you feel like spending a few hundred more, check out the Certina DS Action for $450.00.
Quantum of Solace
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2201.50.00: unavailable
My favorite of the Craig-era Omegas. Not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s the slightly thinner, black and silver serrated bezel. Or the combination of the Arabic numeral and stick indices with the broad arrow hands. Whatever the reason, I just think it’s a beautiful looking timepiece.
Orient Mako II Automatic FAA02001B9: $154.00
I’ve mentioned it before: Orient is building themselves quite the fan following. And the Mako II is one of their most popular models. It uses a Japanese, self and hand winding, hacking 22-jewel in-house automatic movement and is water resistant to 200 meters. Does it completely capture the 2201.50.00’s refined style? No. The sword-style hour and minute hands are one clear difference. But it is a decent quality automatic for under $200.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial 42 mm 18.104.22.168.01.001: contact an Omega Boutique for availability
The Skyfall Planet Ocean is incredibly similar to the one Bond used in QoS. Omega upgraded the self-winding Co-Axial escapement movement, giving the watch a 60 hour power reserve. Design-wise, they also reduced the amount of silver showing on the bezel and modified the shape of the broad arrow hands slightly. Despite the similarites, I’m still partial to the QoS version.
Seiko 5 SNZH55 Automatic: $136.00
A classic from Seiko’s popular 5 series, which is more an homage to Blancpain’s Fifty Fathom. The stainless steel case is 43mm, just slightly larger than the Omega’s. And they’ve used their reliable in-house 7S36 automatic movement. We’re getting sword-style hands again and losing the Arabic numeral indices. But this is a work-horse watch at a decent price that shares the Skyfall Planet Ocean’s more utilitarian feel.
Omega Aqua Terra 38.5 mm 22.214.171.124.03.001: contact an Omega Boutique for availability
If I’m being completely honest, the Aqua Terra never really caught my eye. Maybe it’s the shape of the indices. Or the simple styling. Or the smaller 38.5mm case size. I know some might call the design “sophisticated”. I just think it lacks the character of the other Omegas. Purely personal preference.
Certina DS 1 C006.407.44.041.00: $596.00
So given my feelings about the Aqua Terra, it’s odd that I actually really like this Certina. It shares the Omega’s simple design. I just think it’s been executed more effectively with this watch. The DS1 uses a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement housed in a brushed titanium 39mm case. Rather than the Omega’s “Teak Concept pattern” on the dial, Certina as gone with a slightly flashier sun-burst effect. I’ve owned a Certain dive watch for almost 9 years now and the thing has been bombproof and well worth the price I paid. But if you want some more affordable options, then the Bulova 96B181 Quartz Watch for $127 and the Seiko SNE361 for $130.21 are both worth a look.
Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial 41 mm 126.96.36.199.01.001: contact an Omega Boutique for availability
And finally we come to Bond’s latest Omega. A definite departure in terms of design from his earlier models, this Seamaster uses the Omega 8400 automatic movement, which is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. The distinctive orange tinted indices and 12-hour scale bezel markings also set it apart. Of course, the NATO strap is another key characteristic. Seriously, I think the SPECTRE poster alone increased sales of grey and black NATOs by about a thousand percent.
Seiko 5 SNZH57J1 Automatic: $169.98
And another Seiko. There’s a less expensive version of this watch, the made-in-Malaysia Seiko SNZH57, going for $139.00. But some, including AJB007 forum member James Boldman, prefer the Japanese made J1. It’s $30 more expensive, but the general perception is the quality of the build is a little higher. At 43mm, the watch is on larger size, which some may prefer. It also comes with an in-house Seiko 7S36b automatic movement, a Hardlex crystal, and display case back. Now, if your priority is getting as close as possible to look of the Omega, you could try the Debert 1907 Automatic for $142.00. Just know that the reviews for that one have been very mixed.
And of course, you’re going to need a NATO. We all know there are lots of cheap options available on Amazon and Ebay. But one that’s getting lots of praise right now is the PhenomeNATO Bond Strap with Brushed Hardwear for $40.00. If that price tag is a little too high for you, then you can also check out this one from Esprit NATO for €12.90.
Have some suggestions for affordable alternatives for the Daniel Craig James Bond Omega watches? Tell us about them in the comments below! And remember you can also find Iconic Alternatives on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagra, just in case you’re looking for even more Bond inspiration.
Images used in this post were sourced from the Omega website.