By John Galt
They say you should never look back but always to the future, but Omega has and it’s great.
The image shows side by side of the old and the new, Omega has gone back to one of it’s iconic watches, the Seamaster 300. Originally released in 1957 as Omega’s answer to Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Rolex Submariner as a serious diver watch able to resist depths of 300m (as name suggests). Omega, much like film companies, has gone to the past and re-mastered one of their iconic pieces, leaving much of the essence of the original but bringing it bang up to date.
The new edition of the Seamaster 300 will be available in a range of metals and colours such as stainless steel and black dial, titanium with blue dial, stainless steel and Sedna gold with black dial, titanium and Sedna gold with blue dial, full Sedna gold and black dial and lastly platinum with blue dial limited to only 357 pieces.
This article is of the stainless steel and black dial which in my opinion is the best looking and as closest to the iconic original as could be.
The case size is 41mm in perfect keeping with it’s heritage which sits nicely on-wrist, the dial is a deep textured and matte black which gives excellent legibility. The indices are very particular, at first I thought that they were applied but on closer inspection notice that they are laser cut to create a perfect cavity then filled with luminous paste which adds to the dial depth against the matt black. The lume on the indices has been artificially aged prior to being applied to give them a nice vintage feel. The hands are typical Omega with their broad arrow shaped hour hand and sword minute hand both are beautifully polished with luminous tips, the seconds hand is the only part of the dial that seems not to fit in with it’s diamond shape and white coating which seems to draw your eyes to it at first before getting used to it. The bezel is made of ceramic so the colour will not fade or scratch over time with the numerals being made from Liquidmetal, an alloy unique to the Swatch group, and bonds perfectly to ceramic. Turning the bezel gives you a reassuring click with precise adjustment for divers, all in all the dial is exactly what a diver would want: clean, crisp, clear and uncluttered.
The movement is Omega’s most innovative yet this is the calibre 8400. Yes, it has the co-axial escapement created by the famous George Daniels but also now this movement is antimagnetic with the balance wheel, escapement and spiral all now made in silicon. The steel plates have been replaced with antimagnetic materials so the movement itself can now resist magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss. The Finish is very nice especially for a diver’s watch with machined Geneva stripes. The power reserve of this watch is 60 hours.
The bracelet is nice and chunky unlike some diver’s watches where the bracelet feels too light this has good weight and presence to it. The only part of it I’m not sure on is the mirror polished central link but I do see where Omega where going, as a vintage inspired piece the central link works but as a diver’s tool watch I would have preferred all brushed. It does come with a simple fine adjustment mechanism with a pusher inside theis clasp to adjust the length.
Being an Omega fan myself I along with others hotly anticipated the release of this watch. I can safely say that it did not disappoint me at all with it’s vintage inspired looks, diving credentials and that excellent movement what is not to like, my only concern for it is that given it’s price starts at 4,350EUR for stainless steel and 6,700EUR for titanium it puts itself very close to or if not in Rolex territory. I am aware that the Rolex Submariner is not anti-magnetic but the question you have to ask is would you go for an Omega instead of a Rolex? Personally I would as I very much like this piece but the real question is would you? For more info, please visit omegawatches.com
John Galt – Contributing Editor
John Galt caught the horology bug 4 years ago on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology, his favorite brands being HYT and Greubel Forsey that push the bounders of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.