If someone ever decides to deface a cliff with images of dive watches in the style of Mount Rushmore, the Omega Seamaster would be a timepiece that is guaranteed to make the cut. With a storied history, cinema presence, iconic design, high levels of execution and attention to detail, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is a men’s watch that checks all the boxes. I’ve always lusted after it but for some reason or another have never been in the position to secure one for my personal collection, which is why I’m excited to be sharing my experience.
The design motif of the Omega Seamaster has seen many iterations and executions such as chronographs and GMT as well as quartz and automatic offerings. We’ve even had the timepiece’s aesthetics spun into vintage military design, modern tool design, and clean luxury watch designs. As such, the Seamaster is one of the most popular dive watches on sale today and has a cult following within the Omega Watches collection, but is that adoration justified? Let’s explore the timepiece together.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Specs
|Case Size||42mm x 49.9mm x 13.9mm|
|Movement||Calibre 8800 Co-Axial Master Chronometer|
|Power Reserve||55 Hours|
|Accuracy||-0/+5 seconds per day, METAS certified|
|Price Range:||$5,600 – $5,900|
Increased Case Size, Improved Wearability
Let’s start with the case, which is in my opinion one of the standout features on this watch. This was not the sentiment I anticipated taking away from this watch, in fact when I began my review I thought the increase from 41mm in the previous reference to 42mm would be a massive drawback.
As someone who loves 36mm dress watches and Oyster cases as well as classically proportioned divers, I was not sure that the 42mm case this Seamaster Professional would be for me. It does wear slightly larger than a 40mm Rolex Submariner, but only just and not in a way that detracts from the on wrist experience.
This watch is wide on your wrist, with the horizontal wave patterns on the dial adding visual width in your mind’s eye, but the bezel and dial proportions look natural and proper. This is strangely at odds with the thinness of the watch head, and the combination creates a truly wear and forget experience. The Seamaster Diver 300m does not feel nearly 14mm thick.
In fact, when I was typing out the specs for this review I had to double check to make sure that the stated thickness was indeed 13.9mm. This watch truly wears about 12mm thin, which is in my diver sweet spot. That thinness on wrist is also especially impressive as the case construction offers the iconic Omega dive watch 300 meters of water resistance. This Seamester on the Rubber strap is as comfortable and wearable as any watch in my watch box.
The finishing on the case is truly spectacular. In this watch Omega have perfected the twisted wire lugs they have been doing for so long. The top of the lugs are exquisitely high polished, and they twist into a razor thin polished bevel that runs the length of the case just under the bezel. When on the wrist these lugs wink back at you and make some of the case width disappear.
The brushing on the inner sections of the lugs and the flanks of the case is fine and deep, and among the best I have seen in this segment. The case back has a wonderful art deco, gear tooth style caseback surrounding a crystal clear piece of sapphire. This case displays a level of artistry and execution that makes Submariners and Black Bays green with envy, and is one of the highlights of the whole watch.
Paired With A Color Matching Rubber Strap
Mated to this case is that rather good rubber strap. I have some experience with the stainless steel bracelet version of this watch, and as I have never been impressed with this iteration of Omega bracelets I opted for the rubber strap. In fact I dislike the bracelet that comes on this watch, it has the modern Omega disease that confuses weight with quality and does not taper from its 20mm width at the lugs.
The rubber strap accentuates this watch perfectly, especially with the matching green color. It’s soft and supple, although it does lack some of the weight and pliability of a good, modern FKM strap. The rubber strap is finished really well, which is not something I think I have said about a rubber strap before. Most of the strap sports a neutral, flat look, while the two center ribs are brushed lengthwise.
The holes are spaced out just a bit too far for my picky preferences, but they are done well. The keepers, while rubber instead of stainless steel, are embossed with Omega and Seamaster in stylized script. The tang is a work of art, a mix of brushing and polishing that is equal in quality to the case and caseback.
There are also some wearers out there who are able to unlock the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M’s strap monster capabilities across NATOs and different leather straps (however that is most likely easier on either the black dial or the blue dial offerings).
Calibre 8800 Co-Axial Master Chronometer
As you look at that caseback, your eye is drawn to the uniquely finished Caliber 8800. While some companies rest on their laurels and innovate for the heck of it, Omega continues to remain at the forefront of movement design and innovation. This is a METAS certified movement, a step above and beyond COSC certification, to 0/+5 seconds per day. My watch was well within +1 second per day. METAS is a rigorous, 8 step process that ensures the watch will be accurate in all manner of temperatures, shocks, magnetic environments, power levels, and usage rates.
Omega watches uses in the 8800 the George Daniels Co-Axial escapement, a unique alternative to the lever escapement designed to minimize friction and eliminate the need for lubricants. This stretches out service intervals and is part of the reason the brand confidently ships each Seamaster with a 5 year warranty.
The Calibre 8800 is anti-magnetic to a staggering 15,000 gauss, making this watch impervious to nearly all forms of magnetism you might experience, unless you frequent inner bits of MRI machines. This movement is equally pleasing to look at, with the characteristic Omega spiral swirls sucking you in. While pretty and well done, the movement almost struggles under macro and lacks that last little bit of extra definition you get from non-mass produced watches like a Glashutte Panomatic Lunar. One last odd quirk of this watch, it beats at a distinctive 25,200vph. This is noticeably less than the Swiss industry standard of 28,800vph and visually more than the 21,600vph common in Japanese powered watches. Not a pro or con for me, just something quirky to note.
Two Crowns, Two Very Different Functions
The interaction with the movement through the crown is silky smooth, winding this watch is a tactile equivalent of Chocolate Mousse effortlessly dissolving on your tongue. It is a consistent, smooth twisting devoid of slight hitches or raspy ratcheting sensations you may find in other watches as the gears translate rotations into power.
The crown is on the small side, and unscrewing it or screwing it in isn’t as pleasant as winding it. Then there is the glaring helium escape valve crown on the 10 o’clock side of the case. I don’t mind this one iota, and I love this unique quirk of the Seamaster Professionals, but I understand it’s not for everyone. It adds a bit of tool watch vibes to what is really a pretty dressy dive watch.
Sapphire Crystal With Noteworthy Clarity
Peering down at this watch on my wrist, one of the things I noticed first, or I should say failed to notice, is the sapphire crystal. This is easily one of the best crystals I have ever experienced. It completely disappears in nearly every lighting condition. Omega applies several layers of antireflective coating (AR) to the outside of the crystal, which is what reduces crystal glare to nearly zero. In my personal experience, AR applied to the outside almost always picks up annoying micro scratches that appear at very specific angles. That is something to be wary of when purchasing this watch, although my brand new watch was flawless.
The Iconic Wave Dial Reimagined
Most of the dress diver aesthetic this Seamaster exhibits stems from the iconic dial layout. The Semaster Professional is instantly recognizable from across a crowded room because of this dial. The hands are skeletonized, making a slight trade off in legibility when viewed against the lumed hour markers. With this generation Omega has brought back the beloved wave pattern, this time more deeply pronounced in the dial due to being laser-engraved.
The dial has a luster almost akin to enamel or porcelain, and pops off your wrist in a shouty fashion. The attention to detail is really impressive, with the insides of the waves blasted canyons recessed deep into the polished ceramic. The text is crisp and sharp as you expect for a nearly six thousand dollar watch.
One of my all time favorite little details in a watch, the date disc is perfectly color matched in green to match the green dial color. I am not sure I have seen this before in a watch that comes in green. Date disc mismatches are one of the reasons I frequent boring black and blue watches, but Omega has really gone above and beyond with this green. This watch is a chameleon, the shade of green changes from Mil-spec olive drab to bright tropical tree. It never quite looks black, even in darkly lit areas it always possesses a hint of green.
Solid But Not The Best Super-Luminova Application
And when you take this watch into a dark room you’re treated with potent and unique lume. The indices, hour hand, and seconds hands feature a brilliant blue, while the minute hand and lume pip on the bezel are green in color. This makes the watch as quickly readable at night as during the day, and orientating the minute hand with the corresponding bezel pip seamless. It is not the brightest however, dim when compared to a Seiko SKX, and not the longest lasting either. The lume is more a demonstration of what Omega can do visually, and less a practical feature for hard core divers. A running theme for this watch.
A Somewhat Lacking Rotating Ceramic Bezel
The bezel’s 60 click action is crisp and sharp, with no back play, however it leaves me a bit wanting. While it is crisp, it’s not satisfying to fidget with, and it has a feeling that lacks refinement. While a Submariner glides across the circumference of the dial, the Marinemaster fluidly clicks around as a fine bank vault, and the 60 click Black Bay assuredly nestles into each minute tick, the Seamaster just… rotates. It may sound odd or nit-picky until you try it, but this rotating bezel has no personality.
And it is also less than ideal to grasp. The scalloped Seamaster requires concentration and a little luck to twist reliably. Forget trying to use it with wet hands or gloves, which thankfully you’ll never need to do if you use this watch for diving.
The bezel for what it’s worth looks awesome, with alternating brushed facets running the periphery. The green ceramic insert is glossy and bright, and even perfectly matches the ever volatile shades of green of the dial. This bezel also makes the watch seem thinner than it is, as the scalloped edges flow evenly and gently into the crystal. Overall this bezel looks fantastic but is less than stellar in actual use.
That dress-diver, form over function theme persists through almost all aspects of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Professional. This watch looks utterly fantastic on wrist. The clinically suave dial and velvety case finishing set this watch apart from rivals of all price ranges. It’s just more at home sliding under your sleeve at a formal event or accompanying your wrist to the local distillery than going over a wetsuit.
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is more fine jewelry than an unabashed tool, visually more interesting than nearly every actual tool watch I have encountered. This watch is always easy wearing but occasionally hard reading. I for one have very, very rarely do dive watch specific things or participate in even the most pedestrian of the activities brandished about in dive watch advertising, so the dressier style of this watch does not dissuade me from swiping my card but I can understand why it put some people off it.
What may, and has, given me slight pause about pulling the trigger is the price. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M demands $5,600 on the rubber or $5,900 on the bracelet, and I always recommend buying a watch on the bracelet and buying the rubber or leather separately for resale purposes. That prices it well and truly ahead of rivals like the Black Bay, and much less than a Rolex Submariner.
It’s occupying an odd sort of middle ground in the world of men’s watches, clearly better than a Black Bay or Marinemaster in fit and finish, movement competency, and heritage while possessing undeniably less quantities of those same attributes than a Rolex Submariner. I usually am not a fan of watches that occupy middle ground, I either go for the bargain, value proposition pieces or the all-out, halo models brands offer.
While the market positioning is unique, the watch also is equally in a class of itself. There is no other watch that encapsulates the style of the Seamaster Professional, it just feels cool on the wrist. Maybe it’s a bit of my nostalgia that comes from playing James Bond: Nightfire on the Gamecube with my brothers while growing up and using the Seamaster as a gadget in the game, seeing it on screen on the wrist of everyone’s favorite gentleman spy, or the lofty grail-worthy place it occupied as I started to dive deep into this financially ruinous hobby. This watch has a panache and allure all of its own, equally untouchable and flawed in its vagaries. That I think makes this watch an undeniably tempting proposition and also makes me slightly envious of anyone who has added one to their collection already.
A huge thank you and shoutout to Moyer Fine Jewelers for making our hands-on exploration of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M possible. I have personally been patroning them for many years and can recommend them to anyone interested in Omega (or any of the other brands they carry really). Feel free to explore their site or if you’re local to their brick and mortar Westfield, Indiana feel free to visit them in person.
Ben is a midwesterner who was infected with the watch contagion when he needed a watch to time his long runs in high-school. Now as a mildly functional family man his fleeting fascination has hemorrhaged into terminal obsession of all things clocks and watches. He loves hunting for eclectic watches well off the beaten path. Adequate culinary concoctions, mediocre photography, and massive enthusiasm for cars and all of the dying sci-fi franchises round out his other passions.