The Seamaster Diver 300M is one of the most beloved watches of Omega fans, and one of the best-sellers of the company. Part of this success is due to the link with James Bond, to the point that despite the long “Omega Seamaster 300M Professional” name, the watch is very often simply referred to as “the James Bond watch”. After a tasteful facelift done last year on the time-and-date version, we have this year an additional model dressed in black ceramic and titanium – see here – that has more than just different materials to offer. Here’s our early hands-on with the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic and Titanium (ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001).
While simplifying this watch to only the “007 watch” may hurt the watchmaking pride of the company, it surely pleases the marketing and sales side greatly. Last year Omega relaunched the Seamaster 300M with a restyling of the watch, using ceramics for both the bezel and the dial, bringing back the famous waves on the dial and integrating the Master Chronometer calibres. The new version was thoroughly reviewed by Brice here, with live pics. And, if you want to dive deeper into its history, you have this video too. For this year, the first addition to the collection is this version, introduced here and that we were able to have a hands-on session a couple of days ago. And I can assure you it feels great on the wrist.
DIVER IN BLACK TIE
In my opinion, this is going to be one of the most sought-after models of the collection because of its spectacular presence. And although this might seem strange, it is spectacular precisely because it is the most discreet model reduced to a monochrome (pun intended) palette of just white, black and grey. Despite having grown from 42mm to 43.5mm in diameter – with no noticeable alteration in height – the dark colours make the watch seem smaller. Thanks to the titanium elements (bezel, crown, helium valve and caseback), with its alternating satin-brushed and polished surfaces, the case feels like a feather on the wrist.
I often hear that the Seamaster Diver 300M would be better without the helium valve, but since that is, together with the hands and the wave pattern, part of the personality of the watch, I understand Omega is not willing to get rid of it. Besides the brand wants to emphasize the tool aspect of the watch, making clear that it is a watch for professional divers – as it name clearly states. And those who buy it like to know that they can go into deep waters with it. Even if their most risky dive is the one they do when they are trying to find an old file in their company archive.
The bezel of this new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic and Titanium is, as it is in the whole collection, made of ceramic. This way durability and scratch-resistance are guaranteed. The inserts are made from white enamel (yes, surprisingly for a tool watch as enamel usually refers to high-end, elegant watches) with the same objective in mind, and they are slightly receded to be more protected.
A QUESTION OF BALANCE
But it is on the dial where the big change takes place: there is no date. This, as always, will generate debate. Some will say the watch is incomplete because it doesn’t have it. Others – me included – will say that it looks better this way because now the dial is perfectly balanced. The 2018 Seamaster 300M looked much better than the previous version because the date window had been moved to the 6 o’clock position. But the problem was that it cut off part of the index and interrupted the waves on the dial. And in the grey version it wasn’t too legible either.
Now that the date has been removed of this Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic and Titanium, all the elements recover their integrity, which immediately makes the dial look cleaner and nicer. But I must say I also understand the pro-date position: if the watch is a tool, I want it to be as useful as possible, and the date is something we check more often than we think.
Same as with the bicoloured version, the waves on this Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic are not carved by laser. Quite the opposite: they have been executed in “positive relief”, carving out the matter around them to make them stand out. The hands have the familiar shape and the edges of the indexes have been subtly brushed. And, as usual, the Super-LumiNova treatment is second to none.
An innovative CALIBRE
There are no surprises at the heart of the watch: the 8806 calibre is METAS certified, which means the movement and the case go through the most stringent certification process (that we know about) on the market. To learn more on what this certification actually means, I recommend you watch the second video of the Seamaster Chronicles.
The base of the calibre is a co-axial escapement that beats at 25,200 vibrations per hour during the 55 hours the power reserve lasts. The decoration of the rotor and bridges is an elegant Côtes de Genève pattern in Arabesque. The caseback also includes a Naiad Lock, which keeps all the writings on the back perfectly aligned (something that I really appreciate).
I mentioned at the beginning of this hands-on that this version of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic and Titanium looks spectacular and feels even better on the wrist. It actually feels silky on the wrist, and you do not notice its bigger dimensions thanks to the lightness of the titanium and the dark colour scheme. The texture of the rubber strap is also very agreeable and it sits perfectly on the wrist. It also feels good knowing it is covered by a five-year guarantee.
The price of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic and Titanium (ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001) is EUR 7,600 and it is already at retailers. More information at omegawatches.com.