Iconic Omega watches, and the famous men who wore them

From Presidents to Astronauts, these are men with Omegas on their wrists

Last Thursday, Daniel Craig was in New York. On his wrist was the rarely seen cornerstone of the actor’s Omega collection, an Omega Seamster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial chronometer.

Craig may have not chosen the watch himself – it was the timepiece he wore in the opening sequence of Casino Royale – but he was gifted it by the producers of the film once shooting wrapped, and has remained one of his most prized possessions to this day.

“It never leaves the safe in my closet,” Craig said, “which is maybe a bit sad, but I’m so desperately scared of losing it.”

Craig also fell in love with the Seamaster Aqua Terra, a model he added to his personal collection after he wore it in the 2012 hit Skyfall. “I like the blue dial,” he said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”

But what other icons chose Omegas?

In 1960, Floridian businessman gifted the would-be president John F Kennedy an engraved Omega ‘Ultra-Thin’ wristwatch. Later that year, JFK took up office and he wore his lucky Omega to his inauguration ceremony.

Over 50 years later, and the image – featured on the front of TIME magazine – of the President at the event is as iconic as the watch itself. With a 2mm calibre, black strap and a case of 18 carat gold, the back engraving reads: ‘President of the United States John F. Kennedy, from his friend Grant’.

Legend has it that Omega developed the PloProf with COMEX and Jacques Cousteau – in order to compete with the Rolex Sea-Dweller. And, one of the main PloProf proponents was famed Italian industrialist and playboy Gianni Agnelli.

Known for wearing his wristwatches on the outside of his shirt sleeve – allegedly to save time – Agnelli prized his Ploprof, a watch that took 4 years to test and bring to the market, and remains an icon to this day.

This iconic Omega became known as the ‘Moonwatch’ after Buzz Aldrin decided to strap it to his wrist and fly it to the moon. It was one of the most significant wristwatches of the 20th century even before Aldrin wore it to space, after 1969, the influence of the Speedster Pro went – quite literally – stratospheric.

Over time, the original ‘Moonwatch’ has been lost to time, and its exact whereabouts is no longer known. But production endures and, today, the Speedmaster Pro lives on as a 42mm chronograph, with a black dial, stainless steel bracelet and tachymeter scale.

The King once wore an Omega during his stint in the army. Featuring a Cal. 504 manual winding chronometer movement and presented in a pink gold-capped stainless steel case, the watch was as bombastic as the singer himself.

A stainless steel casebook and decagonal crown is typical of this iconic watch, and the gold hour indices with luminous inserts ensured that Elvis maintained his flashy persona even when he was confined to army fatigues.

The Royal stamp of approval is a bonus for any watchmaker, and when it’s the second in line to the British throne wearing your watch, you know you’ve struck gold. Prince William wears a a very James Bond-esque Seamaster Professional – a timepiece rugged and versatile enough for any occasion.

First launched in 1948 as a line of water-resistant dress watches, the Seamaster Professional worn by the Prince has a blue dial, battery-less quartz movement and is water resistant up to 300m – a nifty feature as the royal has been involved with daring sea rescues during his duties as an Air Ambulance pilot.

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