Recently, I did an in-depth review on the Seamaster 300 Spectre, but Omega also sent us this Seamaster 300 Sedna gold watch some time ago. Where the Spectre is limited to 7,007 pieces, this Seamaster 300 Sedna gold model is part of the regular collection and has all the ‘default’ features. For reference, the Seamaster 300 Spectre featured a lollipop second hand, an hour-scale bezel and a slightly different logo on the dial just for the occasion of this year’s 007 movie.
The watch for review today is the Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna gold in titanium, reference 126.96.36.199.03.001. It was part of the batch of Seamaster 300 models that was introduced this year, with a leather strap instead of the titanium or stainless steel (or bi-color) bracelets. Based on the looks, I was quite enthusiastic so I asked Omega if they could ship one to our office so we could have a go with it. And that is how it went down…
Now without further ado, let’s have a look at this divers watch.
Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna Gold 188.8.131.52.03.001
Let me start by mentioning the price first. Whereas the full stainless steel retails for 5500 Euro (deduct 100 Euro for the steel version with leather strap), the full titanium version comes in at 7600 Euro (deduct 600 Euro for the version on a leather strap), this model comes at 9200 Euro and the one with the bi-color titanium bracelet at 12.600 Euro.
Honestly, I wasn’t aware of the big differences in price between stainless steel and titanium. The mark-up for the use of Sedna gold is quite big as well. However, let’s not forget that the 18 carat Sedna gold bezel has a Ceragold ring and diving scale. The process of merging Sedna gold with ceramics isn’t an easy one, so that is reflected in the price. The difference in price between grade 5 titanium and stainless steel is there because titanium is much harder to work with, especially when polishing is involved. When you are not aware of the fact that the Ceragold process and polishing grade 5 titanium are quite difficult to perform, these prices – compared to the stainless steel references – might come as a huge surprise. It is up to you, of course, if you think all these features are worth the mark-up.
Does gold belong in a sports watch?
One of the things that kept me busy while wearing this two-tone Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna watch is whether a piece like this should actually have a gold bezel, crown or gold details at all. Even though the Seamaster 300 is a kind of retro watch based on the original Seamaster CK2913, it is a sports watch. Perhaps gold is not the best material for a sports watch due to its softness, on the other hand it withstands salty seawater better than a stainless steel watch. Of course, most of us are deskdivers so it is hardly relevant whether a diving watch has gold.
Omega used their own alloy called Sedna gold for the bezel and crown of this Seamaster 300. The bezel has a Ceragold ring (ceramics merged with gold) and diving scale to match the gold elements. So despite the use of gold, the titanium Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna gold is a tough watch and definitely fit for the job.
Co-Axial Caliber 8400 Movement
The movement inside this Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna is the in-house developed Co-Axial caliber 8400. Based on their 8500 caliber, but with special alloys, Omega made sure it can resist up to 15,000 gauss. In our recent review on the James Bond model, the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre, there is a bit more explanation on this movement.
As you can see below, the caliber 8400 is a “Feast for the Eyes” (as author Kreuzer once put it as a book title on Omega Designs) and I don’t mind a see-through case back at all on this watch. The finish is beautiful as well as the contrast with the blued screws. The double bridge with the balance wheel and Si14 hairspring is perfectly visible. The case back carries a lot of information regarding the specifications of the watch, although I am pretty sure I could do without all that information. Some of you might like it, though.
You could say that the only novelty about this piece is the fact that it comes on a leather strap now. Which is true, but as we didn’t review a Seamaster 300 – other than the aforementioned Spectre – before, I took the opportunity to request this particular model and wear it for a couple of weeks.
The strap is calfskin and comes with a folding buckle. The folding buckle uses two pushers to release and can be closed with a soft press on the clasp. The tan brown strap is not to everyone’s liking I noticed, but I like the contrast with the blue and gold on this piece. Also, a strap in general gives this watch – like the Bond’s NATO strap – a nice vintage look & feel.
The watch is 41mm and quite thick, which makes it look like a slim watch to be honest (for a sports watch). With a strap, this is being emphasized even a bit more. Omega does a great job on retro models or re-using old designs, which started (from the top of my head) with their 2009 Seamaster 1200M PloProf (we did a comparison article between the original Ploprof 600M and new Ploprof 1200 here) aside from some limited editions (or Museum Collection pieces). Omega also did some models like the Railmaster again in the early 2000s, but to be honest they didn’t come close to the original CK2914 as this Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna comes to the original CK2913. Or the Ploprof 1200 to the Ploprof 600.
However, while wearing this piece, I wasn’t under the impression that anyone thought it was vintage. This Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna is probably also not the right configuration to make you, or others, think that it is something old. The stainless steel version on a leather strap or NATO can give a slightly different perception though. Truth be told, if I would like to have that true vintage look & feel, I’d go out and search for the CK2913 or perhaps a slightly later Seamaster 300 with date from the 1960s. This is a modern watch, with Omega’s latest innovations. Despite the looks based on the original Seamaster 300, you are not buying a vintage watch.
And that’s exactly what I like about this piece. A modern state-of-art mechanical timepiece that you can wear on a daily basis without having to be afraid of damaging the bezel, crown, crystal or what not. Not that a vintage model is not good or not suited for daily wear, but finding spare parts (original) will be very difficult or at least is very expensive.
As I am getting older, I noticed that I am getting warmed up for gold timepieces. I have some vintage small 34/35mm watches in gold that I some times wear and an 18 carat gold 42mm Speedmaster Professional that I find myself wearing a lot. Not once did I get a comment on the fact that I was wearing a gold piece, at least not in a negative way. This Sedna gold bezel and crown are only small parts in Omega’s precious metal, but the appearance is definitely ‘gold’ enough. Yes, I could definitely get used to wearing this Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna in this combination, or perhaps even in the full gold version (click here) on a leather strap that retails for €16800 Euro.
Just like the Spectre model, the dial has been laser-etched at the hour markers so it isn’t a sandwich dial as in many Panerais (amongst other brands). The broad arrow hands are also coated with Sedna gold and match nicely with the bezel and crown. Especially at some angles (in the Sun light), the hands really give a nice contrast to the dark dial.
The gold bezel is very easy to grasp and has no play. I’m not sure what to use it for when not going in the water, but it works. Sometimes people use it as a count-down timer, but you still need to keep an eye on it yourself of course.
The straight lug case design makes this 41mm watch feel like it is – a slim, but thick watch. The lack of crown guards might have to do with this as well. I actually don’t mind the lack of crown guards, though, as I have a desk job (mainly) and there is little risk in hitting the crown into something. The titanium (grade 5) case makes it a great companion on the wrist and although it didn’t feel terribly light-weight, it is definitely not as heavy as the all-steel version.
As said earlier, the price difference between this Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna gold and the stainless steel version or titanium version is quite significant and you have to decide whether it is worth it. I love the gold elements on this watch, as I am not a diver or purist when it comes to sports watches. However, a Seamaster 300 in stainless steel + a Moonwatch are only a few hundred Euros more than the list price of this Omega Seamaster 300 Sedna gold. Something to think about. However, if the use of Sedna gold and Ceragold are important design elements to you, this will be a perfect everyday watch for you!