Updated October 8th, 2021 – Well, we’ve learned a lot about the James Bond No Time To Die watch since I wrote the original post way back in June, 2019. For example, we’ve known the exact model for quite some time now: it’s the Omega Seamaster 300M, Ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001. And we know the suggested retail price: $9200.
That’s quite a bit of money, even for a Bond Omega. So what makes it so special? The main thing is the Grade 2 titanium 42mm case which, as the name of the watch suggests, is certified water resistant up to 300m. The Milanese bracelet is also Grade 2 titanium. For power, Omega has used their Co-Axial Master Chronometer 8806 automatic movement which is resistant to magnetic fields up 15,000 gauss and has a 55 hour power reserve. Oh, and they designed the watch in collaboration with Bond himself, Daniel Craig.
I’m not sure if any Omega boutiques still have the watch in stock. But if you do want one you can check with some authorized (always authorized!) 3rd party retailers or join the waiting list on the Omega website and hope for a re-issue.
Features wanted for the James Bond No Time To Die watch
- 42mm asymmetrical case
- Dark brown face with dot indices and baton indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock
- No date window
- Skeleton sword style hour and minute hands
- Dark brown diver style bezel
- Vintage style tan or “aged” lumes, indices and bezel markings
- Helium release valve (very rare on any lower priced watch)
- Milanese bracelet (I’m not being too strict with this since I’m more concerned about the quality of the actual watch and after-market mesh bracelets aren’t that expensive)
There are lots of fakes and knock-offs of this watch on Ebay and AliExpress that look exactly like the Omega (in some cases right down to the logo!). But my feelings about Bond inspired timepieces are pretty simple. I’m against spending my hard earned money on a cheap copy that will probably fall apart inside of a year. Instead, I’d rather buy a quality watch from a reputable brand that comes close to the look I want. That’s just me. So, while I’ve included a few “homages” below, most of the alternatives are watches I feel do a good job of capturing the spirit of the No Time To Die watch while offering solid value for the money.
Best Option for the James Bond No Time To Die Watch
It would be pretty generous to call this an “homage”. Yes, there are some subtle differences that keep it from being an exact copy. The design of the hands, the date window at 3 o’clock and the lack of the helium valve are a few that jump out. But there’s no denying what it’s trying to be (at one point they even used a photo of Bond wearing the real Omega on their product page). On the other hand, a watch is much more than just its looks. And Pagani actually gets decent reviews around the internet for their other models, which is pretty much the only reason I’ve included it here. The specs also seem solid on paper for the price. They’ve used a stock Japanese NH35 automatic movement, a unidirectional ceramic bezel, the Milanese bracelet has quick release pins, and it has an exhibition caseback. The 42mm stainless steel case is rated for 100m water resistance. So not bad for $140, if you remember to keep your expectations in check.
Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military 39: $519.00
One of our readers, Oliver, recommended this alternative in the comments for the original article I wrote on the Bond 25 watch back in June 2019. And what’s nice is this model has actually been around since at least 2012. So, despite the similar design, it’s not trying to be an “homage” to the No Time To Die watch. Ironically, Steinhart first marketed it as an homage to the rare 1970s military issue Rolex ref. 5517 Mil-Sub. That particular model lacked the distinctive Rolex “Mercedes” hour hand, which is great for us since the Steinhart’s sword hands are much closer to the look we want. It’s missing the vintage coloring around the coin-edge bezel. But the over all style definitely has the same old-school vibe as the Omega.
The specs are also decent. The watch is powered by a 25 jewel SW 200 automatic movement, with hacking and hand winding capabilities. At 39mm, the 316L stainless case will work well on most smaller and medium sized wrists and has a water resistance rating of 300m. And they make it in Switzerland. The Ocean Vintage Military currently has 4.8 stars out of 5 after 71 reviews on the Gnomon website. But you can also read some more in-depth reviews of the watch on WatchUSeek, Worn and Wound and ColaWatch.com.
Timex Navi XL Automatic 41mm in Green:
$259.99 on sale for $129.00
Big “Thank You” to IG’er @007dossier for reminding me about this one. Cheers to you, sir! The Navi has a 41mm stainless steel case with a water resistance rating of 100M. The engine is their proprietary 21 jewel automatic movement with 40 hour power reserve. And it’s topped off with a mineral glass crystal. But what’s probably most distinctive about the watch is that face. Timex has used a combination of “aged” dot and baton indices, with that standout triangle at 12 o’clock. And it’s a dark olive green that really ties into the whole “vintage military” vibe. I also like the circle at that end of the hour hand that marks of the 24 hour markers. Smart touch! I’ve linked to Macy’s above, where it’s on sale for a very reasonable $129.00. You can also order the watch directly from Timex or from Todd Snyder for $259.00.
Proxima PX16820 Automatic: $222.00
If you feel that the design of the Pagani is a little too on the nose, here’s another affordable options with similar specs but inspired more by a vintage Rolex. Again the 40mm case is a 316L stainless steel, rated water resistant to 200m. They’ve also used the stock Japanese NH35 automatic movement. But here’s where things get a little interesting. If you pay extra, you can upgrade to a PT5000 or SW 200 movement. And the watch has a more unique domed sapphire crystal that helps it stand out from the other Chinese made watches out there. I couldn’t find many reviews for the brand (not surprising since it only started in 2016), but here’s one from WatchUSeek for another model that gives some insights into the quality.
Heimdallr Titanium Sea Ghost: on sale for $219.00
I learned about this one in another thread on WatchUSeek. And it seemed like some folks over there were pretty enthusiastic about it. Like the Pagani, the Heimdallr comes really close to crossing the line between “homage” and straight-up knock off. But it does offer some nice features for the price. Most of the specs are what you’d expect: Seiko II NH35A automatic movement, water resistance rating of 200m. However, what sets the Heimdallr apart is that they’ve used actual titanium for the 42mm case and, similar to the Proxima above, a domed sapphire crystal. They don’t mention on the product page if that helium release valve at 10 o’clock functions.
Update: Over on Instagram, our good friend @knightcrusader actually has this watch in the blue colorway and says he’s been very happy with it. And @livingthebondlife also seems to be enjoying his! Always good to get some solid feedback from people we trust!
Octopus Kraken Diver Watch: $265.20 to $278.00
Another “homage” using a stock PT5000 automatic movement. It has a coin edge bezel rather than the scalloped bezel of the original. However, aesthetics aside, it does offer some interesting features. The lack of a date window makes it more screen accurate. And it’s nice that you can choose a Bond-ish NATO strap or a mesh stainless steel strap. Plus, our good friend on the AJB007 fan forum SpectreBlofled has written a detailed review comparing the Octopus to the Pagani Design watch. And the Octopus came out the winner! That alone makes it worth a look in my books. I’ve linked to AliExpress above (where SpectreBlofeld purchased his. But you can also get it directly from Octopus for $329.00.
Seiko 5 Sport SRPD73 in Dark Grey: $296.23
A great suggestion by Damien in the comments below (with support from The Solex Agitator). Most of the sub-$500 watches we’ve suggested so far have come from more obscure brands that don’t have a much of a history behind them. That’s obviously not true for Seiko, a watch maker that’s well known for consistently offering solid value for the money. This model comes with the time tested 23 jewel Japanese movement, a Hardlex mineral crystal, a unidirectional bezel and is certified water resistant to 100m (a rating I actually believe!). So while it may not be the best match for Bond’s watch in the looks department, it does have the right vintage vibe and it’s coming from a name we can trust. I’ve linked to Amazon above, where I found the best price. Seiko also sells it directly for $350. If you feel like investing a little more, check out the Seiko Prospex SPB47J1 for $899.00. It’s a clean, retro-inspired design with a 200M water resistance rating and a solid 40.5mm case.
Deep Blue Master 1000 Gen2 Automatic: $332.00
Kaleb recommended this one in the comments below. And it certainly looks like a solid choice! Most of the specs look pretty standard for a watch in this price range: a BIG 44mm stainless steel case with an exhibition back, 24 jewel Seiko NH35 automatic movement, sapphire crystal and a ceramic bezel. But the thing comes with a helium valve and has a water resistance rating of 330M. Which is pretty darn impressive! I’ve linked to the version that comes with the stock stainless steel mesh bracelet. But you can also get it with just a rubber bracelet for $249.00 and add your own less expensive Milanese strap if you’d like to go that route. Thanks for sharing, Kaleb!
Spinnaker Nightfall in Black: $400.00
When it comes to looks, this more my type of homage. There are obvious similarities between the Nightfall and the Omega. But Spinnaker has made some nice design decisions that give it its own character, like the octagonal case and cowling over the lugs. The movement is the familiar NH35 TMI automatic packed into a large 44mm 316L stainless steel case that will work great for you guys with bigger wrists. Spinnaker has a strong reputation in the micro-brand watch community, so this is definitely one to consider if you want the Bond watch look but avoiding clones.
Vaer D5 Artic USA Diver: $549.00
If “made in America” is your thing, then here’s your alternative. The brand opened for business in 2016 but it already has a bit of a cult following, mainly thanks to the fact that they assemble their watches in the U.S.A., albeit with foreign parts. The D5 is a relatively new addition to their portfolio. However, it checks a lot of the right boxes. They’ve used the respected Miyota 9039 automatic movement, a ceramic unidirectional bezel and a double domed sapphire crystal. The 39mm 316L stainless steel case has a water resistance rating of 200m and an exhibition case back. I’ve linked to the version with the stock NATO strap here. But you can choose to upgrade to a Horween leather strap or metal bracelet for about $50 to $80 more. Note that this one is currently being offered for Pre-order, with delivery expected in early November.
Davosa Argonautic Lumis T25: $869.00
The price is starting to creep up there. But we’re getting some cool features for the extra dollars. First off, the Argonautic is a fine looking timepiece with the right vintage feel. But it doesn’t look like a direct copy of Bond’s watch (the Lumis range was actually launched in 2013). The key detail is the lume makeup. Davosa has used “borosilicate glass tubes filled with a mix of gaseous tritium that is positioned on the hands and hour markings”. This gives the watch a distinctive orange glow in the dark that’s easy to read in a variety of conditions. Add in the 30 ATM water resistance rating, the helium valve, a 43mm stainless steel case and the in-house DAV 3021 automatic movement and you get a versatile tool watch that’s ready for almost anything.
Christopher Ward C65 Dartmouth: $115.00/£945.00
With its thinner coin edge bezel and more pronounced, baton style indices, this alternative looks to me like a cross between the No Time To Die watch and Bond’s older Omega Planet Ocean from Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace. And since that was one of my favorite watches from the series, it’s no surprise I also like this C65 Dartmouth. Christopher Ward based the design of the watch on the Omega “Royal Navy 0552” from the late 1960s. So it does have a bit of a Bond connection. They’ve used the 26 jewel SW200 automatic movement and a sapphire crystal. The stainless steel case measures 41mm, a good size for most guys. It’s not the closest match to the new Omega. But I like to think of it as the “versatile option” that can cover a lot of different Bond looks.
It has that vintage vibe. But this is no homage. The design of the 1521 is almost 40 years old, originally created by Charles von Büren in the 1970s. Made in Switzerland, it features a time-tested ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, a comfortable-for-most 42mm stainless steel case topped with a sapphire crystal and tool watch worthy 500Mm water resistance rating. And the blasted metal gives the watch a nice matte finish for those of you looking to avoid too much flash on your wrist.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic: on sale for $1449.00/£1500.00
As we move up in price we also move to more recognized and respected heritage Swiss watchmakers. And in the luxury watch world, Oris is often considered to provide some of the best bang for your buck. The 40mm stainless steel case is rated water resistant to 100M and houses their proprietary 733 automatic movement, which is based on the trusted SW200. If you’re just starting to get into higher end watches, this could be a good one to begin your collection with.
The Investment Pieces
Eterna Super Kontiki 12188.8.131.523: £1650.00
An entry level luxury watch for you bigger guys. The large 45mm case holds an ETA Sellita SW200-1 caliber automatic movement and has a water resistance rating of 200m. The Tonneau shape and combination of dot and triangle indices also gives it even more of a unique, retro look. The stock strap is rustic style full grain leather. But Eterna does have another model (the 1973 Super Kontiki) that comes with the Milanese style bracelet and an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. However, that one is missing the vintage lumes, opting instead to go with a more common silver and white colorway.
Just in case any of you think I’m losing my mind: many people have suggested the Black Bay to me as an “affordable” alternative for both the No Time To Die watch and the SPECTRE Seamaster 300. And considering it costs a few grand less than those other watches, I guess it’s kinda, sorta a bargain. Tudor may be known in some circles as Rolex’s little brother. But the company is definitely well respected and makes extremely high quality timepieces. The Black Bay comes with a 39mm case with a 200m water resistance rating. And they’ve used their in-house 27 jewel MT5402 automatic movement, a sapphire crystal and stainless steel unidirectional bezel. It’s certainly an investment piece, but one you can wear proudly when everyone around you has an Omega.
Part of what makes the No Time To Die watch unique is that Milanese mesh bracelet. And since most of the alternatives come standard with metal link bracelets or leather straps, you’re probably going to need to pick up a 3rd party alternative if you want to really nail Bond’s look. So here are a few options to consider.
The low-cost option. The EACHE comes with quick release pins, which will make getting it on and off the watch fairly easy. And despite the low price, it’s sitting with a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 after more than 500 reviews. Amazon has sizes 12mm to 22mm in stock.
This one was recommended by AJB007 Forum member jon_1uk over on the “Bond 25” watch thread. I’ve selected the Satin Finish option. But you can also get it in a polished silver if you want something a little flashier. Watch Gecko has sizes 18mm to 22mm in stock.
From the makers of the screen accurate Goldfinger Rolex watch band, their Milanese watch band is available in widths from 18mm to 24mm. They also have a version with quick release spring bars for €25.00. Just in case you like to frequently change your straps.
Have some suggestions for affordable alternatives for the James Bond No Time To Die watch? Tell us about them in the comments below! If you’re looking for other Bond inspired watches, check out our posts on the classic Connery Rolex, the Moore Rolex, the Brosnan-era Omegas, the Craig-era timepieces and 007’s best dress watches. And remember you can also find Iconic Alternatives on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, just in case you’re looking for even more Bond inspiration.