The Seamaster has been a part of the Omega catalog since 1957. Although this model series looks back on a long, amazing run and a great heritage, it may surprise some enthusiasts to know that the Seamaster’s professional diving watch, the 300M, is a child of the 1990s, making it one of the young’uns on the watch scene. After all, Blancpain introduced its Fifty Fathoms way back in 1953, followed by the Rolex Submariner a year after that. Now, as far as this diving watch trio goes, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms kind of plays that cool, stay-in-the-background role, while the much more popular Submariner and Seamaster have been going head-to-head with each other for some time. As a Seamaster wearer, you undoubtedly at some point found yourself in perhaps the greatest of all watch pickles: the Seamaster or a Sub for your diving watch? In terms of technology, the Seamaster more than holds its own against the Rolex Submariner. But when it comes to prestige and reputation? Yeah, well, the nod here – as it always does – goes to the brand with the crown.
And it doesn’t stop there. We all know that Rolex truly rules the roost when it comes to jaw-dropping prices and the speculation and hyperinflation resulting from them. Although you probably would love to have a watch from the Genevan manufacturer on your wrist, upon seeing the ghastly price tag for one of them, your gaze turned instead to Biel. Hey, Switzerland is Switzerland, right? You’re now the proud wearer of a fantastic Omega…if it just wasn’t for that one teeny, tiny caveat gnawing at the back of your mind: no envious looks from people when gazing at the watch on your wrist, and pondering just how fat your wallet really is.
What Seamaster type are you? James Bond, or just more of a quiet, nerdy kinda dude? Let’s take a (pretty sarcastic) look at the type of watch wearer you are.
300M Quartz – That’s a Seamaster?
Are you donning the first official Bond Seamaster 300M (ref. 2541.80.00) from the 1995 flick GoldenEye? Then that ticking sound emanating from your wrist has probably come to your attention a time or two. Pure sacrilege for the mechanical purists and Bond fanatics out there, to be sure. After all, Timothy Dalton wore a “real” Bond watch a mere six years prior in License to Kill: the Rolex Submariner 16610, which of course boasts an automatic, chronometer-certified, in-house caliber. And now this? A blue watch with an ETA quartz movement? And to make matters worse, a stuffy 90s look that’s trying to come across as sporty? We have the former head of Omega, Jean-Claude Biver, to thank for this show-stopper. And since then, not much has changed in the Seamaster 300M lineup. As long as Omega continues to stick to that clicky rotatable bezel and five-link glitzy bracelet for the 300M, that 1990s vibe will live on in perpetuity.
Being the pragmatic, I’m-cool-with-that kind of watch wearer you are, you blow off this criticism with a shrug as you stoically continue to don your watch, come what may. After all, it’s been running uninterrupted for the past two decades without you having to cough up money for maintenance that would basically wreck any fantasy you had about possible resale profit. And remember how good Pierce Brosnan looked with that watch on his wrist almost 30 years ago? Sure, you’re not as savvy, eloquent, or adventurous as 007, but there’s still time for all of that. Before this dream becomes a reality, though, you should take a serious look at a worthy Seamaster successor that totes a METAS certification, and that’s, you know, a real watch for real watch people.
The Seamaster 300M No Time to Die – Discover the Craig in You
Omega has been hitting it out of the park in the marketing and product placement department for decades. While Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and the like all happened to wear Rolexes way back in the day, Omega has been the official partner of 007 in more recent years, from which all kinds of Bond Seamaster special editions have emerged. Let’s look specifically at the No Time to Die reference 126.96.36.199.01.001.
While wearers of that GoldenEye Seamaster strap on some off-the-shelf model, and might not even know that their timepiece adorned the wrist of the film world’s most famous double agent, you on the other hand knew precisely what you were looking for when it came time to getting your Seamaster. You’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool Bond fan ever since you can remember. Your earliest childhood memories were of you sitting in front of the TV in adoration of Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. As soon as the credits started to roll, you felt strong and invincible, just like 007! This sparked your passion (addiction?) for all things Bond as you made your way through life.
Now, you were fully aware that Omega had made its way into Bond flicks with its watches. And when Daniel Craig started pounding those “shaken, not stirred” cocktails, now that’s when you wanted to get a Seamaster on your wrist. Daniel Craig: chiseled and good-looking, tough and smart, charming yet cynical. All the characteristics you would describe yourself as having, and exactly the thing that those gorgeous Bond girls die for. So when making your buying decision, you asked yourself exactly which watch would be worthy of this hyper-dimensional self-confidence? It would need something along the lines of 300 meters (30 bar, 984 feet) of water resistance, a 42-mm width, a titanium case (cool!), a METAS-certified co-axial escapement, and best of all, the broad arrow on the dial and case back, identifying your watch as property of the British government. By now at the latest, you’re probably asking yourself why you plunked down more than eight grand for a watch that apparently doesn’t even belong to you…
Neither Pizza Nor Pasta – The Aqua Terra
Went out and got yourself a Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M? That places you squarely in the school of watch wearers who have difficulty deciding between two options, and get on the last nerve of everyone around them in the process. You even manage this with the most benign of decisions. You are after all one of those folks who needs 30 or so minutes at a restaurant deciding what to order. After an increasingly-unfriendly “Can you just pick something?” or two from your friends, you tell the server, who has become equally exhausted with waiting for you to make up your mind, you would like pizza. Just when the order is about to go into the kitchen, you jump out of your seat and sprint over to change your choice to pasta. Ringing any bells? It doesn’t get any easier with you when the decisions are even harder. Beach or city vacation? You decided to wait until winter and go skiing instead.
We can only imagine the inner conflict you experienced when deciding upon your Seamaster Aqua Terra. You originally longed for a watch whose features would be useful, but then couldn’t figure out what they would be useful for. You really like diving watches, but never go diving. There are tons of great chronographs out there, but, you know, you never have anything to time. A GMT? Cool stuff, but when was the last time you left the time zone you’re in right now? And on it goes. At the end of your rope, you determined that there really are no watch features out there for you, except for those bland time and date functions. Thus began your next round of decision-making, and off to the authorized dealer you went to stare for hours at their display cases. Pondering your budget, it became clear that an Oyster Perpetual it would unfortunately not be. Breitling? Not for you. What about a TAG Heuer, Longines, or Tudor (you had always heard something about a “poor man’s Rolex”)? Following months of research and countless consultations, the salesperson was finally able to sell you an Omega Aqua Terra 150M. The 150 meters (15 bar, 492 feet) is the perfect go-between, neither pizza nor pasta. Are you absolutely sure about your decision, by the way? In the Bond film Spectre, an Aqua Terra is after all seen playing a mere supporting role to the Seamaster 300M. We know, we know: You’re going to need some time to think about it.
Ultra Deep in Your Own Backyard – The Planet Ocean 600M
Sure, you spend most of your life in the office, in your car, or working the grill. But that doesn’t mean that drab old Seamaster 300M is the right choice for you. Who knows what could happen to your watch the next time you hop with your kids into that inflatable pool in the middle of your lawn (which, by the way, is kept impeccably manicured by that cool robot mower). You’ve thought a few steps ahead, equipping yourself with an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M. It’s safety first with you, and you aren’t going to be taking any chances, no siree. Now, your model does in fact have that wart-like helium escape valve jutting out at 10 o’clock. But just think about how cool it’s gonna be to watch those molecules bubble out of your timepiece during your next saturation dive down into the 30-inch-plus depths of that inflatable pool.
When selecting your timepiece, along with the high level of water resistance and helium escape valve, it was also important that you didn’t just pick any run-of-the-mill Planet Ocean. That’s why you went with the 43.5-mm wide, 16.5-mm thick reference 188.8.131.52.04.001 with the awesome-looking white dial and orange bezel. Now, nobody ever said you have the wrist for this watch, and it proportionally kind of looks like an ashtray on your arm, but boy is it gonna come in handy as a dive weight the next time you explore the depths of your inflatable pool.
A while back when you read that Omega was introducing a new Planet Ocean, the Ultra Deep with its staggering 6,000 meters (600 bar, 19,685 feet) of water resistance, you turned to the side and wept in adoration. Now equipped with a 45.5-mm wide, plus-18-mm thick Omega behemoth, you could finally swap out that 30-inch inflatable pool for one twice as deep, and be the first ever to fully plumb the aquatic depths of your yard. Just be careful not to scrape your knee when climbing into your new, ultra-deep inflatable pool.