Nothing beats Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in value for money – Part 2 of 2
In Part 1 of our review of the Omega Seamaster 300M we looked at the history of the Seamaster collection and the various technical advancements it boasts of such as Certified Master Chronometer status, approval by METAS, high magnetic fields resistance, and the co-axial escapement.
You can read that here.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the technical terms, let’s look at the movements in more detail.
The white ceramic watches use the calibre 8800 movement while the blue/SednaTM gold watches use calibre 8801 movement.
The calibre 8800 is a self-winding movement with Co-Axial escapement that is certified Master Chronometer and approved by METAS.
As talked about earlier, it is resistant to magnetic fields reaching up-to 15,000 gauss and is also highly shock absorbent leading it to be used not just for daily wear but also for sports such as golf and sailing. The water resistance is 300m (30ATM) and that makes it good for diving as well. The Omega Seamaster 300M comes with a screw-in crown to achieve its high water resistance and a unidirectional rotating bezel for the diver to see time elapsed.
The movement displays functions of hours, minutes, seconds, a date and beats at a frequency of 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph) and contains 35 jewels. The movement has a free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring and features the capability to be automatically wound in both directions.
Since the movement can be seen through the transparent case-back, it is also decorated with a Rhodium plated finish and Geneva waves in arabesque.
The Calibre 8800 offers an increased power reserve of 55 hours, compared to the calibre 1120’s 44 hour power reserve.
The movement is cased inside a 42mm steel case with a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that has an antireflective treatment on both sides. Even though this domed look enhances the watch appeal, it also makes the watch chunkier and hard to fit comfortably under a shirt cuff (the only drawback we have found with this watch).
The calibre 8801 movement is more or less the same as the 8800, barring a couple of minor changes: it uses 18K Sedna™ gold balance bridge and oscillating weight with Geneva waves in arabesque instead of a Rhodium plated finish.
The Dial (white ceramic version)
We are only looking at the dial of the white version — white ceramic and steel on rubber strap, reference 126.96.36.199.04.001 — as the blue version is the same colour as the rest of the old range introduced in 2018.
The most striking aspect of this watch is the legibility on the white ceramic dial.
It’s something to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, and under normal lighting conditions, the gloss finished dial plays exceptionally well with the light. The indexes are applied and raised, and are luminous. They contrast well with the white dial while complimenting the Super-LumiNova on the markers and hands.
The laser-engraved ceramic featuring the wave motif on the dial is shiny and blends well with the bezel that is ceramic as well.
There is a fair amount of depth to these wave patterns — against the gloss of the dial the matte finish of the wave grooves really enhances this effect — that not only flirts with the light but also provides for a three-dimensional effect to the dial.
Adding further to the uniformity of the design language, the numerals on the bezel are filled with white enamel that while merging well with the white dial, contrast exceptionally well against the black bezel thereby providing for enhanced legibility.
It is also good to note that even though the watch design is now 27 years old, Omega has managed to keep it fresh with every new iteration. They have maintained the original architecture and visual aesthetics of the watch, yet have produced a design that is fresh and young.
Another great touch is the use of non-applied logo that harks back to one of original Seamasters: the steel on steel Reference 2254.50.00 featuring the Omega 1120 self-winding chronometer movement with rhodium-plated finish.
A side note on this classic
It is important to talk about this for two reasons: one, it lay the foundation to the current collection we are reviewing with its helium escape valve location, high water resistance, rhodium-plated finish to the movement and unidirectional rotating bezel.
Two, its size.
The latter is fairly important as the size used to be 41mm.
The reason we mention this is that many watch enthusiasts and collectors we have interacted with have expressed a desire for the sizing to be actually smaller.
The new 42mm watches wear large and while a diving watch is usually chunky, not all lovers of the Seamaster use it for that intended purpose. As a sports watch, especially among wearers with wrists under16.5cm, the current version has a tendency to be a bit jarring.
Gotta talk about the dial again
Another great touch is that Omega has kept the dial really clean here. The circular disc like hour markers really protrude from the dial and the polished and blackened skeletonised yet lume in-filled hands work wonders for legibility.
It’s hard to see but under the hands above 6’o clock there’s the text reading ‘[ZrO2]’ for the material used. It’s a nice bit of touch and just a small added detail that adds to the simplistic charm of this watch.
The red of the Seamaster text compliments the varnished red tip of the seconds hand and together they visually explode against the black and white background. Omega has used this black and white theme exceptionally well to their advantage. The white hour markers have a black outer ring, while the date is in black against a white disc background.
Another feature we admire is that the hour marker at 6’o clock has not been completely cut-off because of the date.
The brushed and the polished interplay of lugs and bezel is noteworthy as well.
The strap options are two, steel bracelet or a rubber strap, and both come with fold-over extending dive clasp.
Overall, from a distance the indexes look like pearls on a wave beach. The white version is truly mesmerising, and is one of our favourite Omega watches from the current lineup.
The Omega Seamaster 300M is a good looking sports & utility watch release. It’s got its own iconic wave pattern dial and the red tip of the seconds hand is a great added detail. It is classically built in a very diver watch architecture.
The steel versions make for a more affordable watch and the non-limited edition part makes it widely accessible. The size of 42mm does come off as bit big especially for anyone under 16.5cm wrist size which is a bummer given these watches have a true place in our #FusionFriday list.
The high water resistance of 300m —so diving, swimming, showering, the works really — is an added bonus even for someone who is not deep into the world of playing sports. The white version makes our #His&Her list as even though a 42mm size might be a restraint, but the clean dial has a great unisex appeal to it.
Whether you are a one watch guy, a collector, a snob, a horologist or a watchmaker, you simply can not deny its charm. All in all, the Omega Seamster 300m white ceramic diver is one of the best value for money watches out there.
Cost: 6’950 AUD
If you simply wish to peruse the technical specifications, please head here to our Sneak Peek review.
Alternatively you can also check out our cool Infographic on this watch here.
To find out more about this and other Omega watches, visit the Omega website here.