Review of watches in Omega Seamaster 300M collection

Omega seamaster chronograph 44mm black case

Introduction

At Baselworld 2018, Omega introduced redesigned "James Bond Watch", successor of the 1993 crown jewel in Omega's history - Omega Seamaster 300M.

Compared to Rolex Submariner, which we use as a reference for premium dive watches, the new Seamaster 300M is price positioned one (or 2) level below, making it a more affordable option but still holding on to the reputation of its brand name.

Omega seamaster chronograph 44mm

Changes compared to previous releases were made on the ceramic dial with laser gravings, new ceramic and enamel bezel.

Additionally, this was the first Seamaster 300M watch series to include the accredited in-house Omega movement "Master Chronometer".

Competition in the high-end dive watch category is very strong, and manufacturers have to position their products in a smart way. Most of them are trying to find a sweet spot between premium luxury and premium accessible categories.

Omega seamaster black on black

Interestingly, when it was introduced, Seamaster was positioned as a durable, water resistant watch for any occasion. Only later on, with new technology advances it was recognized and accepted by amateur and professional divers.

Price tag results in that Seamaster watches are not collecting lots of hours of diving, and divers are finding alternatives that have lower maintainance and repair cost. That said, premium luxury dive watches are being purchased mostly by customers searching for status and reputation, rather than technical performance in diving.

As expected from a James Bond watch, Omega Seamaster 300M is a great piece of technology packed in a wrist watch (Bond's gizmos do not come in the package by default)

Things we like

  • high level detailing on every part of the watch
  • certified Master Chronometer movement
  • versions with ceramic dial and stainless steel bezel model
  • watch is holding price on the secondary market - it can be a good investment if you find a good second-hand buy

Things to look out for

  • repair and maintainance costs - it will surprise you over and over 
  • reported technical failures under water (not officially documented, but collected from users' feedback)
  • if you actually use this watch underwater you may be annoyed by the visibility of the watch elements

Is Omega Seamaster 300M really a dive watch?

In short - yes it is a dive watch, and a very good one, but probably not collecting many dive hours with its owners.

Omega Seamaster 300M brings technical mastery and strength of a brand, closely followed by the premium price tag. With this watch you will be noticed above and under the surface, and the decision is on you to make it either a luxury accessoire or a great dive companion.

In this article we are not focusing on one specific product, but rather cover major common points of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m 2019-2020 range. It currently consists of 4 collections:

Omega seamaster chronograph blue case
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"Love the watch, it’s a piece of art from my perspective."

- Omega Seamaster 300M owner -

Playing on the heritage card, collections are a tribute to the most important events in Omega Seamaster history: freshwater free dive record done by Roland Specker, first James Bond of the new generation (Golden Eye) and Team New Zeland's 1995 America's Cup win. If you are interested in specific watch from the series, you can get whole overview in this article: Omega Seamaster 300M collection

OMega seamaster close look

Short history of Omega Seamaster

It is the oldest Omega's active product line and the products released followed major trends and events that marked history (or at least some parts of it).

With the newest version, Omega again opted in for modern looking dive watch rather than go in vintage/classical design direction. This became obvious in 1970s' with big and colorful models released.

As it often happens, technical brilliance was born from necessity - Seamaster line has origins in WWII production by Omega for British Air Force. It was designed for use in submarines during the war with special gaskets (lead or shellac)  that were much less susceptible to changes in temperature and pressures.

Like many other products developed for the needs of the army in the war, Seamaster was later adapted for an ordinary diver in the piece time.

Omega seamaster on a wrist

In 1957 first Seamaster 300 model was released as part of the Master series. Divers were put in focus as main target group and technical improvements were designed to save their lives by making their dives easier. 

World wide confirmation was achieved with the help of Jacques Cousteau who had this watch on his wrist in his underwater expeditions.

About the product

Using the modern look of the iconic Seamaster Diver 300M, Omega has employed its most advanced materials and technologies to create a unique collection of chronographs for fans of the dive watch. Beauty and innovation at its best.

Omega seamaster on divers hand

Most of the Seamaster 300m models come with a stainless steel case and band. Rubber band is the 2nd most common option available for purchase. Eventhough black case is part of most models, we see blue case as most effective case color (with or without waves across the case). Combination of stainless steel case and strap with blue case is probably most common one (including in Bond movies). 

New models included upgraded ceramic unidirectional bezel and a ceramic dial, with certain models coming with engraved waves on the case. Waves are a signature mark for Omega Seamaster, and in the new version they are even more emphasized (sometimes leading to less visibility underwater).

Unidirectional bezel, a sapphire crystal (anti-reflective) and a helium release valve are other fixed features of all models. 

Omega seamaster gold on the table

Technical features list

As already explained, in this article we are not going in a deep analysis of a specific watch, but rather provide main information for beginners in the Seamaster world. If you are interested in a specific watch from the Seamaster line -  we prepared a special overview of all watches in the Seamaster collection

Case diameter is ranging from 36.5mm to 44mm (42mm would be considered as a default one)

Indexes: skeleton shape, luminous

Lume: Super-LumiNova

Water Resistance: 300 meters

Strap/Bracelet: Steel, rubber or NATO strap (don't worry - all look good)

Calibre: Omega 8800 most common one 

Chronometer Certified: METAS Master Chronometer certified

Additional Details: Anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss

Special features - Chronograph and Regatta timing models - check them here

Omega Seamaster 300M case and mechanism

Case

if you decide to go with Seamaster 300M model with 44mm case diameter, good advice is to combine it with rubber of NATO strap to partially offset the weight of the case.

Mechanism

Current range uses 10 different calibre models, with 8800 and 9900 being most represented ones. 

Omega seamaster 300M back view

Caliber 8800 was the first completely in-house built movement by Omega, instead of ETA movement. Certified to meet METAS requirement in addition of COSC. According to expert divers and amateur horologists - the 8800 movement is more robust than the ETA movement, without compensating it with additional weight

In the case of Omega Co-Axial with Caliber 3300, a 52-hours power reserve includes a column-wheel mechanism and a co-axial escapement.

Omega seamaster calibre 3330

It is also equipped with a silicone hairspring Si14 with a free jump-balance. The chronograph timing function can be precise up to 2/7 of a second for this Omega watch and can measure a total run-off time of up to 12 hours.

Experience with adjustments can vary - from few seconds per month to several seconds per day. 

Most Seamaster 300M models show the date, which is set by pushing the corrector button at 10 o’clock, integrated into the knob of the helium escape valve. Only 7 out of 44 models don't have a date function.

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Buying Guide


All Omega Seamaster 300M watches come with a 5 year warranty (nice thing, but with this watch you should not need it).

As being one of the most well known watches around the world, you should not have much difficulties to find a shop where to buy it.

To make your life easier, we have selected few options:

Amazon 

Overstock.com 

AuthenticWatches

US manufacturer website 

Final verdict

Omega Seamaster 300M is probably one of the most polarizing watches with regards to the opinions of the experts, divers and buyers. It is a great piece of technology to wear on the wrist and it is also a status giving luxury item. 

Question for you is: what is more important to get from this watch, technology or the status? If you are a fan of the technology then the new inhouse movement can be a good justification for purchase? Maybe the best option would be to find a well kept used piece as they tend to hold the price. 

If you are looking for a premium status giver then we would says that the watch already has mass market appeal and it was overcommoditized by James Bond franchise. Recommendation is to go with Rolex or any of the small Swiss manufacturers.

About the Author Costanza

Author, contributor and marketer with interest in various topics. My first big interest are watches, especially vintage looking dive watches. Second pet project of mine is career consultancy for introverts (check it out at: costanza-rules.com). Reach out on Twitter or Facebook, let's have a chat!

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