You read that correctly. This is 2017, over a decade after the release of Casino Royale. And this is news, breaking just last week.
Within the last few days, mainstream news reported on “Omega’s posh dinner at The Beekman Hotel (in New York City) … designed as an intimate conversation with Daniel Craig.” Think it had to do with the next James Bond movie? highlight on a current Omega wristwatch model?
Curiously, The Holywood Reporter story lead watch content with stock photography of a 2006 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Size reference 2907.50.91 “Casino Royale” Limited Series James Bond timekeeper.
Then the bombshell dropped.
And it had nothing to do with anything so far referenced above.
Laurie Brookins reported that Daniel Craig is said to have been “gifted” the screen-worn Omega Planet Ocean that he wore “in the opening sequence of Casino Royale.” Repeatedly, this is referenced as “the” watch, singular, including at one point a direct quote attributed to Mr Craig himself.
One Planet Ocean was used in the filming of Casino Royale; got it.
Source of this gift? Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. Not Omega? Um, okay.
When was it gifted? Upon “the film’s completion.” That would make it, what? summer? fall of 2006?
But if that is the case, how can this new story be reconciled with Lot 300, “The ‘Casino Royale Planet Ocean,’ Actual Watch Worn by Daniel Craig During Filming,” sold at auction on April 15, 2007? Apparently the same provenance.
The 2007 watch was part of the highly-publicized “Omegamania” auction of “Important Omega Collectors’ Timepieces” run by Antiquorum Auctioneers in Geneva. Stephen Urquhart, then-president of Omega, stated that “Omegamania” was to “remain as a milestone in Omega’s history.”
What else do we know about the sale of Lot 300? The “watch was acquired by a UK buyer who would not disclose his name ….” Again, this “Lot 300 person” bought the watch shown early in Casino Royale (“the,” singular), and obviously he didn’t already own it. And he bought it an an auction held almost a full six months after Casino Royale was released here in the United States on November 17, 2006. Clearly a time not reasonably confused with “upon the film’s completion.”
And that watch — the watch — had no engraving on its caseback, which the wristwatch mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter article reportedly does. The Lot 300 was is also caked with dirt, carefully preserved from the production in fact. But no “With thanks and love,” nor with anything else.
Pictures of the Lot 300 caseback can still be seen on the Internet.
Perhaps, to borrow from the sentiments of Defense Minister Mishkin in GoldenEye, there were two Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Size 600m diver’s watches worn on-screen in Casino Royale? Maybe even more than that.
Whatever the case, sincere thanks to Laurie Brookins and The Hollywood Reporter for breaking some kind of big news here.
— Dell Deaton
James Bond watch researcher, author