If you think about the Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph, apart from the classic steel and blue dial version, the one model that should immediately come to mind is the tri-metal edition, a bold statement created in 1993, being one of the rare watches to use tantalum, combined with titanium and gold. The result, often nicknamed “The Beast”, was clearly something demonstrative that became iconic in the Seamaster collection. And yes, this unique combination of materials is back, with the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph Titanium, Tantalum and Gold. Modernised, of course.
The watch we’re looking at now was first released in 1993 – remember that, back in the early 1990s, mechanical watchmaking was barely back on track. The prospect of creating an automatic diving chronograph using not one but three different metals was quite something. While the first Seamaster Diver 300M was already based on this chronograph, the reference 2296.80 pushed the concept even further. Not only were the case and bracelet mostly titanium but it added polished gold accents and, even more unique, matte tantalum elements – central links of the bracelet and bezel. And what an impression it made.
The new Ti/Ta/Au Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph
Clearly, the resemblance between the 1993 edition and this new model for 2020 is obvious. Not only are the materials used the same, but they are positioned in the same way on the watch. However, the technical base has drastically changed with the latest generation of Seamaster Diver 300M Chronographs, which we reviewed extensively here.
Let’s talk about materials. First of all, the base of the watch is made mostly of titanium – grade 2 titanium to be precise. Titanium has multiple advantages over stainless steel, being more corrosion-resistant, anti-magnetic, biochemically inert and able to withstand extreme temperatures. Also, not negligible in the case of a 44mm watch like this Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph, it is lighter. Finally, grade 2 titanium, which is used with a brushed finishing, has a darker colour and matte surface, giving it a more instrumental look.
Then, there are the contrasting gold elements, which add a luxurious and eccentric touch to this watch – something truly part of its identity. Here, there are some evolutions too. Yellow gold has been replaced by Omega’s own red gold alloy – Sedna gold – which is more resistant to discolouration than a standard red gold alloy. It is applied to the bracelet’s mid-links, to the pushers and crown, to the helium valve and to the bezel’s insert – the latter having a nice grained texture with raised numerals and track, obtained by laser ablation.
Finally, there’s tantalum – the most important of the three metals, even though only seen in small doses. Here it is used for the bezel and the mid-links of the bracelet. Tantalum holds a special place in watchmaking because it’s rarely used, but it always makes an impression. This blue-grey metal is more rare than gold, harder than steel, and highly corrosion-resistant. Dark, dense, pliable, and highly conductive of heat and electricity, it is particularly difficult to work with.
The dial of this Ti/Ta/Au Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph retains the classic SMP look. It is made of blue polished ceramic, with a laser-engraved pattern – a signature element of this collection. To match the case, the hands and applied indexes are also made from Sedna gold. Its display consists of a small seconds at 9 o’clock, a sub-counter for chronograph hours and minutes at 3 o’clock and a date window on the lower part of the dial.
The back reveals a sapphire crystal with the Seahorse logo, which has been laser engraved and white lacquered on the sapphire crystal. Underneath is Omega’s powerful movement, calibre 9900. This automatic, integrated chronograph movement is equipped with a column wheel and a vertical clutch. It runs at 4Hz and stores 60 hours of energy. It also comes with all the latest technology and is magnetic-resistant to 15,000-gauss and features the brand’s co-axial escapement. As such, it is Master Chronometer certified.
The watch, a true diver’s piece with 300m water-resistance, is worn on a metallic bracelet with a patented extendable foldover rack- and-pusher with extra diver extension. It is placed inside a special presentation box in the style of a water-resistant chamber.
Availability and price
The new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph Titanium, Tantalum and Gold (Ref. 188.8.131.52.03.001) is released in the permanent collection, as a numbered edition – the unique number is placed on a Sedna gold plate on the side of the case. It will be available from retailers as of November 2020 and priced at EUR 18,200.
More details at omegawatches.com.