First introduced in 1993, the Seamaster Professional’s avant-garde design and robust specifications became the core of a long, impressive line of distinguished dive watches by Omega. Fuelling its rise to stardom, the Seamaster line have starred in many Hollywood blockbusters and claimed its fame. For its 25th anniversary, the iconic Seamaster Diver has been given a thorough makeover (both inside and out), reinforcing its reputation as an icon of the 21st century.
In total, there are 14 references of the new watch, including a limited edition Tantalum piece. However, we think that the most popular model will be the steel, mainly due to its accessibility.
Without further ado, we present our review of the all-new Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M.
Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M
The Dial, Case and Hands
The most apparent change with the new watch lies in its dial, which has been given a complete face lift. Made from ceramic, the new dial features the iconic wave pattern, a leaf taken from the original. But unlike the Seamaster from 1993, the new wave motif has been spaced out and is now laser engraved onto the polished dial. This results in a modern and sleek appearance, and brings back a nostalgic charm that we feel was perhaps missing from the previous iteration. Additionally, the ridges created by the laser engravings reflects light brilliantly, ensuring a bright and highly seductive appearance.
The date window has also been re-positioned from 3-o’clock to 6 o’clock, giving the dial a more symmetrical and balanced outlook. Another aspect to note of the new dial would be its printed Omega branding, as opposed to the appliqué logo of the previous iteration.
On the wrist, you may find that the new Seamaster wears slightly larger than the predecessor. This is due to its case size, which has been enlarged from 41mm to 42mm in diameter. Additionally, the watch has gained an extra 1mm of bulk due to the new Master Chronometer movement used. Despite its increased size, we feel that the watch still wears and fits rather nicely for the average wrist of an Asian male (6.5 to 7 inches in diameter). And – purists rejoice as it retains a lug width of 20mm, making it compatible and versatile with popular strap options. To top it off, the crown, crown guards and helium-release valve have also gone through styling edits to keep it proportionate with the beefier case. But, the cherry on the cake would be its ceramic bezel with white enamel infill: it matches beautifully with the hour markers, and contrasts strikingly with the blue ceramic, making it pleasing to the eye.
Perhaps the area which may lead to a divide in opinions are the hands. Love it or hate it, the skeleton hands are one of the defining characteristics that make up a Seamaster. Thus, it comes without surprise that Omega has chosen to retain its usage, albeit with a few aesthetic upgrades: The new hands have been enlarged slightly and polished highly, giving it a lustrous and gleaming appearance. To match the larger hands and case, the indices has also been upsized. These changes not only contributes to the overall aesthetic image, but also results in a highly legible and least to say, enjoyable time-telling experience.
We feel that the new bracelet deserves a special mention since it’s possibly the part and parcel of the Seamaster’s iconic outlook. Firstly, its edges has been squared-off, making the watch appear more masculine and sporty. Next, the solid end-links has been redesigned to be integrated with the case, boosting comfort and wearability. Finally, the new bracelet features Omega’s patented extendable foldover rack-and-pusher clasp – a pleasant addition that makes adjustments on the go painless and effortless. The end result is a bracelet that manages to retain its iconic look, while providing a higher level of comfort to the wearer.
Also a first for the Seamaster Professional is its availability on rubber straps. One of our review pieces comes on a gorgeous, deep blue rubber strap which complements the ceramic dial nicely. The strap fits and wears comfortably on the wrist.
Turning the watch over, you will find the polished case back engraved with “DIVER 300M” along with its water resistance rating. And, for the first time, the Seamaster sports a see-through sapphire crystal window, providing full view of the movement.
Powering the new Seamaster is the 8800-series Co-Axial Master Chronometer made by Omega – a high performance caliber that has been used in several of the brand’s lineup, including the Planet Ocean. The caliber 8800 beats at an unusual speed of 3.5Hz. This speed Omega claims to be a good balance between the practicality and longevity of 3Hz, with the performance that 4Hz delivers. It boasts a 55-hour power reserve, as well as a service interval of 10 years.
Although not a haute-horlogerie piece, the movement features several luxury decorations, with the most prominent being the Côtes de Genève present on the bridges and oscillating weight. While the finishing is rather typical, it’s nonetheless a welcoming sight to see attention to detail being emphasised, especially on a watch at its price point. But perhaps a more impressive detail would be its magnetic resistance of 15,000 Gauss. To achieve such a feat, the caliber 8800 has been equipped with a silicon balance spring as well as a slew of other anti-magnetic material.
The movement is certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), which tests for magnetic resistance, water resistance, power reserve and time keeping. Only upon passing the tests is the watch given its “Master Chronometer” rating. These testing conditions are more rigorous than those set by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), which only certifies time keeping. Thus, as a statement of its robustness, the watch comes with a 4-years warranty.
Dollar for dollar, the new Omega Seamaster Professional is remarkable value-for money considering the technology and innovation that exists in it. Starting at CHF 4,400 for the rubber strap / CHF 4,500 for the metal bracelet, it’s a tough choice to beat. Nonetheless, in the sea of horology, there is an extremely large and non-exhaustive list of watches in the same price point that would rival it.
One of it’s closest rival would be the Tudor Black Bay, priced at CHF 3,200 on a leather strap / CHF 3,500 on a metal bracelet. Both watches have a rich diving heritage, sports in-house movements and are also offered in a plethora of variants to choose from. But, the area where the Tudor shines in would be its unadulterated, thoroughbred design – a tried and tested formula that stood the test of time, remaining a classic now and forever. The Black Bay features a 41mm stainless steel case along with a 200m water resistance rating. While lower than that of the Seamaster, we’re confident that it’ll suffice for “desk-diving adventures” and the occasional splash.
Another watch that is sure to tug at the heartstrings of watch aficionados is the Breitling Superocean Heritage II. It’s clean and no-frills dial design manages to pull off a look that is sporty yet graceful at the same time. Featuring an in-house mechanical movement and as well as the usage of hi-tech materials, it makes for an excellent value proposition. However, like the Tudor, it only sports a 200m water resistance. The Breitling is available three case sizes sizes – 42, 44 and 46, and starts at CHF4,490.
Finally, and perhaps the most prominent alternative would be the Rolex Submariner Ref. 114060. Both the Submariner and Seamaster have their place in cinematic history, and are cult classics. With a 40mm case size and a slender profile, the Submariner is decidedly a better fit universally. Equipped with the in-house workhorse caliber 3035, the watch boasts a power reserve of 48-hours with an impressive accuracy figure of +/- 2 seconds per day, though it’s not as nicely finished nor decorated. With a price tag of S$10,030, the Submariner costs noticeably more too – whether the difference in price is warranted is entirely up to the reader.
Handsome, stylish and versatile, the new Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Diver is a solid all-rounder that’ll go with a suit and serve your weekend jaunts. Despite its makeover, it still possesses the fundamental design cues and charm that makes it instantly recognisable and likable. The striking, highly polished ceramic dial is one of the prettiest at its price, and, fitted with the new movement, we reckon that Omega have hit a home run.