Fratello’s Top 5 Omega Seamaster Professional 300M References Ever Produced
Another Friday, another Top 5! In this series, we take one classic watch and choose our five favorite references ever produced. Four of these references will be based on the historical importance of the specific watch in the grand scheme of things. Though there may be some overlap, it’s not a question of which references are the most collectible or of the highest value on the market. The fifth pick is our Fratello favorite that takes the current market price and collectability into account, potentially making it a sleeper reference. As such, the last pick could be described as our wild card. This week, we’ll take a look at the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M. What are the best references from the line of Omega’s Bond watch?
The subject of today’s Top 5 is a relatively young model line. As most of you will know, Omega’s Seamaster Professional 300M was introduced in 1993. Therefore, the model line is three decades old this year. Compared to most of the previous models covered in this series, the Seamaster Professional 300M is a rookie. But it doesn’t mean there is a shortage of great models to choose from. On the contrary, there are so many great picks that five pieces don’t really do the line justice. But as this is the format and we love to stick to it, we have selected our five favorite Seamaster 300M references for this list. Four of them played a pivotal part in the development of the SMP line. The fifth is our usual wild card as a last great testament to the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M. Let’s jump in!
Omega Seamaster Professional 300M ref. 2531.80.00
Should we start the list with the quartz or the mechanical version? That was the first question that came to our minds. It’s an obvious one as the quartz ref. 2541.80.00 was the first Omega Bond watch. Pierce Brosnan was wearing it for his first time portraying 007 in the 1995 film GoldenEye. As most of you will know, the Seamaster Professional 300M was launched two years before it could be seen on the silver screen. But the moment it broke to a larger audience came thanks to Brosnan wearing the quartz version in GoldenEye. In the end, we opted for the mechanical version as that is more relevant for the further development of the series. And on top of that, that’s the version we would all pick.
Omega designed the Seamaster 300M line from scratch. Because of this, the ref. 2531.80.00 does not take after some of the legendary Seamasters that came before it. Instead, the case with its lyre lugs and the now-iconic bezel were designed with a blank sheet. The result is a watch that has a very distinct ’90s design. It’s actually one of the most iconic watches from the 1990s, if not the most. The case, the bezel, the dial with its intricate wave pattern, and the handset are all now instantly recognizable as Seamaster traits. Inside the 41mm case, Omega equipped the watches with its ever-reliable ETA 2892-based caliber 1120. As we saw in our Sunday Morning Showdown series two weeks ago, the first generation is still a crowd favorite with great sentiment, making it a no-brainer for this list.
Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Chronograph ref. 2296.80.00
The second pick for this list was also a no-brainer. The Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Chronograph ref. 2296.80.00 needs to be on this list for multiple reasons. First of all, the use of different materials makes it an instant stand-out. Omega used a combination of titanium, tantalum, and rose gold to create this watch. The different hues and the uncommon use of tantalum make it a special release. On top of that, it is a chronograph dive watch. While it is not uncommon to see watches like this, they are definitely still a special breed. And as Robert-Jan explained in his overview of the best Seamaster models ever, the watch had pushers that one could use while fully submerged, just like the Big Blue chronograph from the 1970s.
Inside the 41.5mm titanium case, Omega equipped the watch with the caliber 1154 or 1164, which were both based on the trusted Valjoux 7750. It also explains the layout of the blue dial that looks gray from some angles. It makes for an absolute standout piece in design, functionality, and materials. In 2020, Omega introduced the current version of the same watch that proved the concept hasn’t aged a day and is still mighty impressive. You can expect to pay roughly €4K to €5K for the original, which is not a lot considering its innovation and exclusivity.
Omega Seamaster 300M GMT ref. 2534.50.00
Another model that had to be on this list is the Omega Seamaster 300M GMT ref. 2534.50.00, which Omega released in 1998. The watch celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Seamaster line and introduced a GMT complication to the Seamaster 300M. The 300M GMT has become one of the most recognizable models with its black and silver aluminum 24-hour bezel with oversized numerals. It’s a standout element together with the bright red GMT hand, red “GMT” script on the black dial, and red tip of the seconds hand. All of these touches add just the right amount of zing to the watch.
This GMT version of the Seamaster 300M proved once more how incredibly versatile the watch’s design was and still is. I have always loved this variation of the Seamaster 300M because of its design and the added GMT function. While still very much recognizable as that capable diver, the GMT twist makes it even better. Inside the 41mm stainless steel case, Omega equipped the watch with its caliber 1128, which was based on the ETA 2892-A2. This chronometer-grade movement proved to be the perfect GMT caliber as Omega made sure it was a flyer GMT, allowing the wearer to independently set the 12-hour hand when traveling between time zones. Twenty-five years after its release, the Seamaster 300M GMT ref. 2534.50.00 is still an impressive piece that you can pick up for roughly between €2K and €4K.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001
Our fourth spot goes to the current-generation Omega Seamaster Diver 300M that came out in 2018. It marked a significant change in many ways for the SMP when it was introduced. First, the new models slightly increased in diameter from 41mm to 42mm. Additionally, Omega reintroduced the iconic wave pattern that was absent in the previous generation. Much to the delight of fans, the laser-engraved pattern returned on the ceramic dials. Speaking of which, Omega updated its dials and bezel inserts and used ceramic for both. One thing that some fans were less happy with was the increased size and shape of the conical helium escape valve. While it has been integral in the design of the Seamaster, not everyone is a fan of this quirky design element. I happen to love it because I think it adds character.
But perhaps the biggest change came in the form of a new movement. Omega introduced its Master Chronometer caliber 8800 to the series, which is visible through the sapphire window on the case back. This beautiful automatic Co-Axial movement was a huge update for the Seamaster Diver 300M. The METAS-certified caliber made it a modern-day diver that is hard to beat in today’s watch landscape. At €6,400 on the bracelet, it is pretty tough to find anything better. A much better question is which of the versions of the Seamaster to go for. Besides the regular options in stainless steel, the two-tone version in Sedna Gold and steel on the rubber strap is still a stunner five years after its introduction.
Omega Seamaster Professional 300M ref. 2232.30.00
What to pick as our weekly wild card? With the Seamaster 300M, there are so many options. One that came to mind was the Seamaster Professional Apnea ref. 2595.30.00. But despite its great story, it is also a bit of an oddball watch. In the same design vein, the stunning Seamaster 300M GMT “Great White” that Nacho and I both love so much is also a great option. You can still get one for between €3K and €4K. Ultimately, we went with the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M ref. 2232.30.00 as our last pick. It was in a neck-and-neck fight with the Seamaster 300M ref. 2231.50.00, which Nacho wrote about not too long ago. Both are titanium versions of Omega’s famous diver, but we decided to go for the first full-titanium version of the Seamaster 300M that celebrated the 150th anniversary of Omega in 1998.
Omega released this watch in a limited series of 1,848 individually numbered pieces. All the familiar Seamaster elements are there, but you can also spot some quirks. First off, the right side of the case features a huge “Seamaster titanium” engraving. It’s a bit of a weird spectacle to behold. Additionally, the waves on the silver sunburst dial do not extend all the way to the edges. As you can see, the minute track does not feature any texture. I love this detailed dial because it adds depth. And the watch features sword hands instead of the skeletonized hands on the regular model. Lastly, the oversized numerals on the bezel insert are another break from the regular models. Inside the case, Omega used the trusted caliber 1120. This special edition is a stunner for roughly €2.5K to €4.5K and our perfect last pick.
There you have it — the best or most important Omega Seamaster Professional 300M references ever produced, according to us! The first four played a pivotal part in the legacy of the Seamaster 300M, and our wild card is a delightful oddball. We realize that you might not agree with all the picks here. There are plenty of other classics that deserve a spot on this list. That’s why we would love this to be the start of a bigger discussion. Let us know your choices for the most relevant references in the development of the Omega Seamaster 300M. We will see you next week for another Top 5 list of references for a different classic watch.