The 5 Best Omega Seamaster Watches Of All Time
With the introduction of the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep in titanium, the line-up of Seamasters has become even more interesting. It is the oldest collection in the Omega catalog and started all the way back in 1948. Before the Constellation (1952), Speedmaster (1957), and De Ville (1967). In these almost 75 years of Seamasters, Omega made some pretty iconic watches you should definitely know about.
Although the first Omega Seamaster watches looked nothing like a dive watch, this changed in 1957 with the introduction of the Seamaster 300. At the same time, Omega also introduced the Railmaster and the Speedmaster. Despite the fact that I have a weak spot for these first Seamaster watches, with only limited water resistance, they are not in this overview of The 5 Best Omega Seamaster Watches Of All Time, but they definitely deserve a mention. These are beautiful watches that look more like a dress watch than a sports watch, and I am especially fond of those 1950s Seamaster Calendar watches, with the date at 6 o’clock. Now you know where the date on the Seamaster Aqua Terra at 6 o’clock comes from.
Of all the Seamaster watches they’ve manufactured since 1948, I tried to make a selection of the five that I like best. It was not easy, aside from the usual suspects, because there are some real gems in there.
Seamaster PloProf 600 / 1200
The Seamaster PloProf is a watch we’ve covered often here on Fratello, and lately, I’ve been wearing my own PloProf 1200M a lot. The Omega Seamaster PloProf 600m watches were made in 904L steel, and were put to use by many of their owners. That’s why finding one with all original parts is becoming nearly impossible. Using this watch for what it was designed to do, also meant it needed proper servicing. From 1968 till 1970, Omega supplied COMEX with watches for extensive testing, resulting in the PloProf 600 being ready for the market in 1971. You can read more about the early PloProf watches and the history with COMEX here. In 2009, Omega introduced a re-edition of this watch, using their in-house developed caliber 8500. One of the main differences between the original and the re-edition, technically speaking, was the construction of the case.
The original PloProf is a monobloc case while the re-edition is depending on an automatic helium valve for saturation diving. Both are great watches though, and it’s just a matter of preference for vintage or modern.
Seamaster Diver 300M
Omega introduced its Seamaster Diver 300M back in 1993, reference 2531.80 for the mechanical version and 2541.80 for the quartz version. You can find the history of the 300M models in the Seamaster 300M magazine that we produced for Omega back in 2018 (click here). The Seamaster 300M was a watch designed from scratch, it hasn’t been based on or inspired by any previous Seamaster watch. In its 25+ years of existence, it has become of the most recognizable Omega watches. Likely thanks to its placement on the wrist of James Bond. In 2018, the Seamaster 300M received a massive update, making it a bit larger (from 41mm to 42mm) and by using the Master Chronometer movement. Whichever version or iteration of the Seamaster 300M you pick, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong.
Seamaster 120 Big Blue 176.004
The Seamaster “Big Blue” is one of the most impressive watches I’ve ever seen from Omega. This watch is huge! Measuring 44mm in diameter and 19mm in height. That’s thicker than the PloProf and the new Ultra Deep. Inside, you find Omega’s caliber 1040, based on a Lémania 1340. A diver with a chronograph, that’s right. It was also the first watch that allowed you to use the chronograph underwater, just like the later (1993) Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph watch. This Seamaster reference 176.004 dates back to 1972 and has that same case style (and movement) as some of the Speedmasters of that era. Omega’s Seamaster Big Blue chronograph is still somewhat under the radar, but definitely a great conversation maker.
Seamaster 300M Chronograph
Besides the normal Diver 300M in 1993, Omega also introduced a chronograph version. And just like the Big Blue Chrono from the 1970s, this Diver 300M Chronograph also had pushers you can use while fully submerged. The design of the pusher might make you think you will need to unscrew it first, but that’s not the case. It’s always ready for action. The reference 2296.80 above was one of the flagship models, using titanium, tantalum, and rose gold. In 2019, Omega came up with an upgraded version of that tri-metal version, now using Sedna gold instead of regular rose gold. Where the 1990s version was powered with Omega’s caliber 1154 and 1164 (both based on the Valjoux 7750), Omega uses the in-house developed caliber 9900 today.
Seamaster 300 (CK2913)
The first real Seamaster you could dive with was the reference CK2913. Introduced in 1957, together with Omega’s other “professional” watches such as the Speedmaster CK2915 and Railmaster CK2914. The Seamaster 300 quickly developed into reference CK114755 and the well-known 165.024 and 166.024. In more recent years, Omega introduced the Seamaster 300 once more, and most recently (2021) it has been equipped with their latest movements (caliber 8912) and there’s even one available in bronze gold. The 1957 Seamaster 300 is a legendary watch though, just like its competitors from Rolex and Blancpain. It must have been great being a witness of all these new divers watches back in the 1950s, when these weren’t considered to be luxury watches, but tool watches.
What the future holds…
This is just a personal selection of all the Seamaster watches Omega has produced. I could have made a list of 10 watches, perhaps even 20, but the challenge was 5. I left out a number of good watches that I wouldn’t mind owning (as well). Some of the Seamaster chronographs from the 1970s are tremendously cool, or what to think of the original Seamaster Bullhead? On the other spectrum, there are some pretty amazing dress-like watches, such as the vintage Seamaster Calendar I mentioned at the start. But also Omega’s Seamaster London 2012 Olympic Games model impressed me a lot when it was introduced. It’s all about making choices.
The Ultra Deep in titanium impressed me a lot. And I can’t wait to add it to my collection of watches. It goes back to this era of rigorous testing and odd-looking, almost conceptual watches. I can imagine that this will be at some point in my favorite Seamaster models.
What are your favorite Seamasters? Any year or reference will do! Let me know in the comments below.