The re-edition of a watch from 1957 perfectly combines its vintage design with modern technology and Master Co-Axial anti-magnetic movement. We are testing the latest Seamaster.
Making watches inspired by models from a few decades ago is experiencing its renaissance at the moment. Nearly every brand with a rich history reaches to its archives and gives legendary models a new life. References to museum exhibits are not only a great opportunity for watch collectors, but above all, a great example of demonstration of the heritage of the art of watchmaking mixed with modern and much more sophisticated technologies. It’s enough to mention great timepieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre or many Longines models from the Heritage line. No wonder that Omega as one of the most popular brands in the world also offered a return to the past to its customers. During this year’s Baselworld, the Speedmaster Mark II corresponding with the 1969 model and a refreshed Seamaster 300 inspired by the model from 57 years ago were presented. It was the second mentioned timepiece, which was causing the most excitement and became the most commented watch at Biel-based manufacturer’s booth, that’s why we have decided to give it a closer look as well.
Seamaster 300 – history
The ’50s of the last century started a fashion not only for amateur diving, but also for the watches able to handle such underwater adventures. It was the time, when Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Panerai Luminor and two recognised today as the cult diver’s watches Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster debuted. The last two mentioned, have set certain standards for their range from the beginning, becoming the most popular and best-selling mechanical “divers” in the world, at the same time. However, the first Seamaster is dated for 1948, only the model presented 9 years later has offered water-resistant case and solutions allowing submerging it in water.
Re-birthed Seamaster 300
The first few details of the new Seamaster 300 could be seen just before this year’s Basel fair on the official Omega’s facebook profile. The brand’s lovers swallowed the bait straight away, devoting themselves to speculations in many comments regarding the model and its final look. No surprise then, when it eventually came out that some parts were originating from the Seamaster 300 re-edition, most of the Baselworld visitors made their way straight to Biel’s brand booth, tempted by subsequently released details.
It wasn’t only due to the successful marketing campaign, but first and foremost, as a result of the accurate choice of a legend watch, which we saw in a new version. The merge of a vintage style and modern, advanced technology prefigured a success from the very beginning. There are many people in the world who like timepieces from years ago, but don’t have means or knowledge to assess their authenticity or to collect them. There is also a group of buyers preferring watches, which look old, but are filled with mechanical and material present-day solutions. The new Seamaster 300 would be something to recommend for such people without a doubt.
The new Omega is 41mm wide in diameter, in other words 2mm more than its predecessor. Considering the fact that Planet Ocean’s (PO) size starts from 42mm and the PO itself is a much bulkier watch, with definitely more sports character, we can easily say that Seamaster 300 fills a certain gap in Swiss manufacturer’s offer.
The timepiece is available in stainless steel, 18K Sedna gold, bi-colour (blend of stainless steel and gold), platinum and titanium with two dial versions to choose from: black or blue, which gives us 6 different combinations altogether. The tested unit featured a titanium case and bracelet with a blue dial.
Its matt dial boasts laser-carved triangular-shaped, filled with luminova indices. Luminous material can also be found on the bezel (little dot at 12 o’clock) and on the hands: seconds, minute and hour (ended with arrow). The shade of superluminova used by Omega reminds of the watches from half a century ago, when looked at in a daylight; in the dark, however, it glows strong in two colours in order to enhance readability under water (hour, seconds hand and indices in blue; minute hand and the little dot on the bezel in green).
As in the original version there is no date function, although it doesn’t bother me at all in this case, I hope it will be included in future versions.
From the top, the 300 is covered with a convex sapphire-glass with anti-reflective coating on the inside, surrounded by the bezel, which hasn’t been made of a fragile acrylic material as in the original version, but a combination of ceramics and Liquidmetal (in the gold version – Ceragold), guaranteeing high resistance against scratching and corrosion and staying as shiny as its predecessor at the same time.
All available versions feature bracelets with polished middle links. The clasp buckle, protected by safety buttons, has been equipped with a micro-adjustment system, which is a great advantage. Omega managed to introduce something, which is convenient and practical at the same time; pressing the “push” button on the inside of the buckle allows to adjust the bracelet easily, making it fit the wrist better. I have used this feature a few times myself and I must admit that it works flawlessly.
MASTER CO-AXIAL written on its dial indicates an anti-magnetic calibre with Co-Axial ticking inside. Omega placed > 15,000 gauss resistant movements in many of the debuted in 2014 watches, which on the one hand, shows that calibres with anti-magnetic properties soon will be featured in most part of the firm’s collection and that the world of watches is changing faster than ever before, on the other hand. We need to remember that this movement has been released only a year ago, featured in a special Seamaster Aqua Terra model for the first time.
The calibre inside Seamaster 300 has been marked as 8400 or 8401. An 18k rose gold rotor has been used in he second version along with a balance wheel bridge. Both are COSC certified with silicon elements (hairspring), working continuously for 60h when fully wound.
As far as accuracy is concerned, my measurements showed that the tested unit was gaining 3-4 sec. within 24h on average. It is a very decent result falling within COSC specs.
The Planet Ocean model is a frequent guest on my wrist and I see myself as Omega fan, that’s why I am trying to keep the track of the brand’s new releases with even more attention and high expectations. It’s difficult to have a closer look at every timepiece individually at Basel fair, that’s why I had been waiting impatiently for an opportunity to review the Seamaster 300. When it eventually landed on my wrist, we were inseparable for nearly three weeks.
Received version, thanks to the application of titanium, turned out to be very lightweight, thus very comfortable in everyday use; when I later returned to my PO, I really noticed its weight; however, I found too many polished or shiny elements bothering (the bezel, glass and bracelet links), but it’s a personal preference of course. I would have made the buckle smaller, which is somewhat too large for my liking in comparison to the rest. If it comes to its design it’s a real jackpot. A shimmering dial with an interesting texture; “old fashion” styled lume filling indices and hands; colour / material combinations; convenient buckle micro-adjustment system and the fact that it fits the wrist well will make it a real treat for a large group of buyers for sure.
– great representation of the cult model from years ago
– application of modern materials and anti-magnetic movement
– buckle with micro-adjustment system
– too many shiny surfaces
– buckle is too big
Omega Seamaster 300
Movement: 8400, automatic, 60h power reserve, 3,5Hz, central second hand
Dial: blue, hands and indices filled with SuperLuminova
Case: 41mm, titanium; sapphire crystal; sapphire caseback
Water resistance: 300m
Strap: titanium bracelet
Watch provided for testing by Omega.