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Throwback Sundays: Six Watch Recommendations for a Spy, From Our Archives

by Robin Lim on November 8, 2015

Spy: /spʌɪ/ -noun

1. a person employed by a government or other organization to secretly obtain information on an enemy or competitor 2. a person who keeps watch on others secretly

You must have been wondering why we chose this theme for our Throwback Sundays article. Well our favorite British Spy, Mr Bond, is back on the screens with a new film called SPECTRE! We caught the Premiere in Singapore as guests of Omega, but don’t worry, we won’t be issuing any spoiler alerts. But thought it might be a cue to take a look at watch recommendations for a spy. Just in case you have some intentions on joining the MI6 after watching the thriller, you’d know what watch is best.

 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition

 

The Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition.

The Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition.

 

We kick off with the latest: James Bond’s personal watch in SPECTRE: the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition.

This watch is the first Omega to be actually worn on screen and offered as a limited edition. Is slightly different from the usual Seamaster 300 on which it is based. The SPECTRE has a 12-hour bezel instead of a dive style bezel marked in minutes. The 12 hour bezel can be used as a second time-zone and can be a functional and user-friendly feature that would come in handy for a globe trotting spy. The dial also sports some cosmetic differences: a larger logo on the dial and a lollipop seconds hand. The SPECTRE Limited Edition comes with either a steel bracelet or as Bond wears it in the movie, is also delivered with a grey and black NATO strap.

Of course, do not expect yourself to have a watch that contains some gizmos or a hidden weapon. For that, you will need to send your Omega to Q Branch for modification. But for a James Bond fan, this is as close as you can probably get to become the famed secret agent from MI6.

 

Sinn U1000

 

The Sinn U1000. This watch totally epitomizes German engineering, with its robustness and functionality.

The Sinn U1000. This watch totally epitomizes German engineering, with its robustness and functionality.

 

When it comes to German watches, there is this one watchmaker that always stands out for its ruggedness and price proposition. It is none other than Sinn, and the watchmaker is perhaps most well-known for its U1 watches that feature the robust German Submarine Steel case.

While we are huge fans of the U1, but we perhaps a spy would perhaps need something more up market: the U1000. The U1000 is basically an upgraded version of the U1, with the addition of a chronograph function and a case that is filled with Argon gas (instead of the usual air). The watch, as usual, is fitted with a case that is made from German Submarine Steel which has undergone a special tegiment technology which is claimed to make the case tougher and more scratch resistant than DLC.

The Sinn U1000, we reckon, is one of the watches that will always be ready to take on any challenges in some of the world’s harshest environments. Not only does it have a solid watch case, but the multi-functional watch is also fitted with a movement that is based on the ever-reliable Valjoux 7750.

 

Tudor Black Bay Black

 

The Tudor Black Bay Black, on the wrist. We thought that the Black Bay Black is a nice timepiece, and it definitely beats the Black Bay Blue by a mile in terms of its aesthetics.

The Tudor Black Bay Black, on the wrist. We thought that the Black Bay Black is a nice timepiece, and it definitely makes the Black Bay collection a tad more interesting.

 

We can still recall that a few years back, Tudor was still lurking in the shadows of Rolex, and making timepieces that we thought were boring and forgettable. Then, the Heritage line came along, and you can say that its popularity had increased astronomically within a short span of time.

One of the first watches that was launched in the Heritage collection is none other than the Black Bay, a watch that is based on the Tudor Submariner that was made in 1954. It was a recipe for success. The watch was nothing fanciful;a simple three hand timepiece, with a classic design and fitted with a robust and dependable ETA movement. The price proposition is very attractive, considering that the Black Bay is priced much lower as compared to its counterpart from its sister brand, Rolex.

The Black Bay collection now features three different timepieces, in which it can be identified easily by the color of its bezel. The latest addition to the family was the Black Bay Black. Somehow, the watch reminded us of the Big Crown Submariner that Sean Connery wore in the early days of the Bond franchise.

A special version for Only Watch made history as it was sold at CHF 375,000, about 120 times more than the regular Black Bay Black. The only differences between the regular production and the piece unique are the hands, bezel markings and some dial markings.

 

 

IWC Aquatimer Deep Three

 

The IWC Aquatimer Deep 3, which features a mechanical depth gauge.

The IWC Aquatimer Deep 3, which features a mechanical depth gauge.

 

Imagine yourself in a situation when you are required to go into the water to complete a mission, and you still want to wear a watch that looks decent (which means, no clunky and ugly dive computers). What would you do? Well, the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three might be the answer to your question.

Launched in last year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the Deep Three is part of IWC’s newly revamped Aquatimer collection. As the name suggests, the Deep Three is the third generation of the Aquatimer watches that feature the mechanical depth gauge. The mechanical depth gauge is not an entirely new complication. Some of the watches, which includes the Blancpain X Fathoms and the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Geographic Pro Diver. But we think the Aquatimer Deep Three stands out for one simple reason: its legibility. This is because the watch is not fitted with many complications, leaving the dial clean and the major indicators legible.

 

 

Jaeger LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm

 

The JLC Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm.

The JLC Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm.

 

We now turn our eyes to the homage of a Jaeger LeCoultre icon from the past: the Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm.

Jaeger LeCoultre began manufacturing diving alarm watches during 1959. Production, however, did not last long. It only lasted for two years, in which a total of 1,061 watches were made. Featuring the Caliber 815, the original Deep Sea Alarm became an icon thanks to its rarity and its wonderful aesthetics.

Fifty two years later, Jaeger LeCoultre had decided that its time to launch a homage to the Deep Sea Alarm. The Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm, as it is named, is an almost faithful reproduction of the original timepiece. It looks pretty much like the original, which includes the stylized diver motif that can be found on the caseback of the watch. Instead of the Caliber 815 that was found in the original variant, a more up to date Caliber 956 is fitted.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm is not only a handsome watch, but it is also very functional. The alarm function, we reckon, can be used for many purposes like setting a time reminder, or using it as an alarm to wake oneself up. It is definitely a watch that a potential spy would find it useful. Just make sure the watch’s alarm does not set off accidentally.

 

Zenith El Primero 410

 

Zenith El Primero 410 on a lovely ladies wrist. Despite the 42mm case diameter, the watch is very comfortable and legible.

Here is the Zenith El Primero 410 on a lovely ladies wrist. Despite the 42mm case diameter, the watch is very comfortable and legible.

 

We conclude the article with the Zenith El Primero 410. While the El Primero 410 may not look as rugged as compared to most of our selections today, but we selected this for two very good reasons: it is very functional, and it looks pretty good with formal wear. After all, spies also need to dress up from time to time when the situation requires them to do so, right?

The El Primero 410, as its name suggests, features the legendary El Primero chronograph movement. On top of the usual chronograph movement, the 410 is fitted with a triple calendar.

We can see the spy using the chronograph in all kinds of situations, and the practical calendar would certainly come in handy.

 

Afterthoughts

We have finally come to an end to this week’s Throwback Sundays article. It was great fun to write this article actually, considering the pure speculative nature of this assignment. We tried to put ourselves into the shoes of a spy and think of watches that he or she might require in different situations. While we have included some obvious selections (no points for guessing which are ones that fall into this category), we also thought that we shall give our readers an element of surprise when we select which are less obvious.

Another take would have been to feature watches used by other spies in the movies…so that might be a future Spot the Watch article.

So, which timepiece would you choose, if you were a spy? Let us know your thoughts, and do have a great week ahead!

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