Hands-On Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton Review
Last week, Omega introduced its new Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton Edition. I wrote how much the watch reminded me of the Seamaster 300M America’s Cup from 2000, with the white gold bezel inlay.
Omega made this new Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton watch available to us for a review. However, with the remark that the watch is not being delivered to the boutiques before October 2020. Well noted.
We received both versions of the new Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton edition, with a rubber strap and with a stainless steel bracelet.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton
Since I already wrote the introductory article last week (click here), I will leave out the dry specs that were shared. In our hands, we have two Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton watches. One with the stainless steel bracelet and one with the rubber strap. Although the bracelet looks nice and wears quite comfortably, my eyes are drawn towards the “Nekton” on the rubber strap.
Elephant in the room
Many people commented on this watch on social media and in our comments section below the initial article. Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room first — the bezel. Omega used a bezel with raised numerals in 1993 for the full-gold Seamaster 300M. But there are people who see this for the first time on an Omega today and comment that it is a Yacht-Master copy. It’s a strange take, given that there is only so much you can do with a bezel and that there are many more examples of positive relief bezels beyond the Yacht-Master that don’t come in for the same flak.
I have never heard anyone call the Oris, Blancpain, or even Paul Picot watches with a bezel like this a Yacht-Master copy. Additionally, this bezel on the Seamaster 300M is, of course, a proper diving bezel. Conversely, the bezel on the Yacht-Master is bi-directional and therefore pretty useless for dive timing. I used to have a Yacht-Master 16622 myself. While I liked it at the time, I feel there is little that these watches have in common other than how the bezel looks.
Steel and Titanium
The case of this new Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton is made of steel, but it uses titanium for its bezel. Why? I asked and Omega replied that it has to do with the manufacturing process. Using laser ablation for the finish of the bezel will affect the structure of the stainless steel, resulting in discoloring. Also, by changing the structure of the material, it becomes prone to corrosion. By using (grade 5) titanium, there are no issues with discoloring and corrosion. Creating the entire watch of titanium was not according to the plan. It would have a negative effect on the price tag and the 300M Bond edition is already in titanium.
Bracelet versus rubber strap
There’s little wrong with the 9-row bracelet for this Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton. But yet, I prefer it on the rubber strap. The rubber strap gives a sportier look and a nice contrast with the steel (and titanium). I feel that this watch on the bracelet is a bit too metallic, for my taste. However, if I am to purchase this new Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton edition, I think I will buy it on a bracelet and add the rubber strap separately. Based on experience, I know it is often more expensive to buy a steel bracelet than to add a separate strap. Just in case I change my mind in the future. When you’re very confident you never want to wear it on the bracelet, it will save you a few hundred for sure.
Nekton Submersible caseback
The submersible that the Nekton Foundation is using, goes by the name of Seamaster 2. Named after the ship that Omega ambassador Sir Peter Blake sailed. I’ve touched upon that in the introduction article the other week as well. The Seamaster 2 is embossed on the caseback of this new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton edition. Although I wasn’t aware of Nekton before Omega partnered with them, I do think it looks very cool on the watch. Even when I would not particularly interested in Nekton, I would not mind having it on the caseback of the watch. This also results in being unable to see and enjoy the looks of the movement, of course.
Omega Caliber 8806
In the initial announcement, I wrote that this watch had a movement with a “special luxury finish”. Although it does have a very nice finish, I interpreted the press release from Omega in the wrong way. I thought it had a finish different from the other caliber 8800 movements. It doesn’t. It has the Geneva waves in arabesque as you can see above. Caliber 8806 is a nice movement to observe, but you’ll have to work with pictures of it. It is the same movement as used in the titanium Seamaster 300M Bond. What I like about it, is that it doesn’t have a date complication. It keeps the dial very clean. And in all honesty, I don’t need a date on a watch. When I wake up in the morning, I see the date on my iPhone, and don’t need to be reminded everytime I look at my watch.
Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton On the wrist
In the past, I have been very enthusiastic about the Seamaster Diver 300M collection. I have a couple of the old 300M models, and I am sure I will add a newer version to my modest collection as well. While the titanium 300M Bond edition has a lot of cool ingredients, there’s only so much I can spend on watches every year. My days in banking are over and on top of that, I have a family now.
But, this Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton is a very interesting addition to the 300M collection and with a more attractive price tag. I enjoyed the steel and Sedna gold 300M on rubber (click here) and made it one of my favorites in the past, but this Nekton edition makes me rethink that. The matte dial, the titanium positive relief bezel, and the no-date display make this a winning combination. The 42mm size is perfect for my 19cm wrist and especially on the rubber strap, which is soft and comfortable to wear.
The grade 5 titanium bezel goes perfectly with the stainless steel case, there is no noticeable difference in color. Whereas grade 2 titanium, would be much darker. The finish on the case is beautiful, brushed sides and polished facets on the lugs and crown guard. At 10 o’clock, you will find this model’s famous helium valve (click here for an explanation published in our 300M Magazine).
Some people truly dislike the extra crown, but I think it looks cool, even though I will (most probably) never use it. Since it has been used on the Seamaster 300M since 1993, I’ve become accustomed to it. I guess it would seem awkward to me now, were there no helium valve at 10 o’clock. Anyway, if you don’t like it, you either need to deal with it or pass on this watch. There’s no other way.
Price And Availability
Omega’s new Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton edition is simply stunning in the flesh. I didn’t elaborate much on the technical part of the movement, because we already did that often in the past. But, it is the Master Chronometer certified movement that will do its job perfectly. I wouldn’t mind seeing the movement, but I also kinda like the Seamaster 2 submersible on its case back. It makes it special.
The price is significantly higher than the normal 300M version, which has a retail price of €4,600. This Nekton edition has a price tag of €5,500 on rubber (188.8.131.52.01.002), and €5,800 on steel (184.108.40.206.01.002). I prefer the matte dial of this Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton edition over the regular ones, I like the absence of a date window and I love the positive relief bezel, despite that it is being associated with the Yacht-Master (I don’t dislike that watch anyway). Is it worth shelling our the extra €900 compared to the regular model? That’s up to you. This watch comes in a special box, similar to the one of the Ploprof 1200M.
The Nekton will be available starting in October 2020. More information via Omega online.