BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
This is a strange one. I mean, it’s a strange one for me on a personal level. I really do not like blacked out cars. At least, where I am, a blacked-out car is often an old s***box with blacked out everything and an annoyingly loud exhaust. Or it’s a 2004 Bentley Continental (the ugliest of the Continental range, in my opinion) with the same treatment and all the hairline scratches and swirl marks to say they can afford an old Bentley but can’t afford a professional detailer. And yet, I like Omega’s “Murdered out” watches. I liked their black on black Dark Side of the Moon, and I like this new Seamaster Diver 300m Black Black. But, is it so good they named it twice?
Yes. Also, they could have made a less silly name for it, like the Double Black or Black Squared or something. Oh well. It looks cool, though, and it needs a lot of work to get it looking this cool. The easier way to do this (and the way most brands lower down in the Swatch hierarchy would do it) is to coat a stainless steel watch in either a black PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) layer or a DLC (Diamond-Like Coating). Omega has made nearly all of the watch out of ceramic. It’s Zirconium Oxide, to be precise, and it makes up the case, the caseback, the bezel, the crowns, the clasp and even the dial.
To get it as black as my soul, Omega adds an iron pigment to its Zirconium Oxide mix and then blasts it at 1400 Celsius (Zirconium Oxide on its own is white), which leads to a couple of conclusions. One: Omega isn’t holding back in its playing with ceramics, and two: I hope there’s an all-white one in the works. To keep the watch looking sharp even after a year of daily wear, Omega has taken the time to cut the ceramic bezel and give it a different and 3D finish. This helps avoid the appearance of fingerprints that appear on ceramic bezels and then never seem to disappear.
You may be wondering how Omega can get away with this black on black on black diving watch and get away with calling it a ‘Seamaster Professional’. While I might agree the term professional is a bit dubious in this case, it nevertheless performs as a diving watch needs to. The bezel is unidirectional and can indicate elapsed time, the case is 300m water-resistant, and the hands and markers glow in the dark. That’s right, Omega calls this black SuperLumiNova ‘black anthracite’, and yes, they do shine.
Inside this slightly ridiculous watch is the calibre 8806, a modified version of Omega’s base 8800 calibre with all the modern innovations the brand produces (think METAS-certified accuracy, co-axial escapement etc.) but with the date window removed. I don’t see an issue with that. You’d be hard-pressed to read a blacked-out date window. The calibre 8806 has a power reserve of 55-hours and a beat rate of 3.5Hz.
I like how bonkers this is. It proves you can do a lot with one design, and it also proves that big corporations know how to be silly when it comes to their designs as well. I love the watch’s appearance and how Omega’s use of depth has resolved any issues with legibility, you can clearly make out the big skeletonised sword hands even when everything is black. I wonder which watch in the range will get their ‘Rolling Stones’ treatment next?
This watch is not limited in production. It’s available from Omega’s boutiques and authorised dealers for $8650.
Model: Omega Seamaster 300M Black Black
Reference Number: 126.96.36.199.01.003
Case Material: Ceramic
Dial Color: Black
Indexes: Applied black anthracite Super-LumiNova
Lume: Black anthracite Super-LumiNova
Water Resistance: 300m
Strap/Bracelet: Black rubber strap
Caliber: Caliber 8806
Functions: Seconds, minutes, hours
Power Reserve: 55 hours
Frequency: 25,200 vph
Chronometer Certified: Yes
Additional Details: METAS certified as well