Hands-On: The Full Ceramic Omega Seamaster 300M Black Black Dive Watch
Meet Omega’s latest addition to the 300M collection: The Seamaster Diver 300M Black Black reference 18.104.22.168.01.003. This 43.5mm diameter diver watch looks similar to the titanium and ceramic edition of 2019, but now in all-ceramic.
What I love about the 2019 Seamaster 300M Diver in titanium & ceramic (reference 22.214.171.124.01.002) was the diameter size of 43.5mm and the fact it has no date. I am a sucker for no-date watches, as I rarely use the date on my own watches. Consequently, I prefer to keep things clean. So, I am giving the new no-date Seamaster 300 Black Black a very warm welcome to the collection. Without further ado, let’s have a look.
Omega Seamaster 300M Black Black
Omega often wants to bring all its innovations and most modern watchmaking techniques together in one watch. I think that the Seamaster 300M Black Black is the result of that, as it has a few new “firsts”. However, those do not include the ceramic case or dial, as Omega has been using these for a while (perhaps best known in the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon collection).
Here we have fully ceramic crowns. Both the Helium valve and the winding crown are made from ceramic. That is new. Also new is the blacked-out ceramic bezel with anti-fingerprint technology. As you probably know, there are few things more annoying than fingerprints on your watch. By applying a certain laser-ablated surface texture to the ceramic bezel, fingerprints won’t appear so visible.
And talking about laser technology, which has been applied for the bezel and the dial, it has also been used to create the circular finish on the case back. This way, the lettering (white chromium metalization) is also more readable, according to Omega. The case back of the Seamaster 300M Black Black uses the NAIAD lock system, meaning it will always “lock” in the same position. That is especially useful to ensure a certain engraving or text sits at a fixed position.
In this Seamaster 300M Black Black ticks Omega’s in-house developed caliber 8806 movement. This is basically a caliber 8800 without a date function. This movement has a power reserve of 55 hours and ticks at 25,200vph. It uses a Co-Axial escapement and has a silicon balance spring. Metas certified this watch as a “Master Chronometer” meaning the movement has been chronometer-certified by COSC and, after casing, underwent eight more stringent tests.
One of the requirements is the anti-magnetism to at least 15,000 gauss. Another important one is the performance of the movement with only 30% of the power reserve left. Under all circumstances, the accuracy is +5/0 seconds per day on average. If you purchase a Master Chronometer certified watch from Omega, you will get a special code to look-up the exact tests and the results of your personal watch on their website.
Seamaster 300M Black Black on the wrist
When I took this watch out of the box I wasn’t immediately smitten by it. The new Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold is the one that received all attention. But when I put this new Seamaster 300M Black Black on the wrist, I realized how good it actually looks. When shooting the video about the Seamaster 300 watches for our YouTube channel, I put this 300M Black Black on my wrist and my colleague and co-host Karina actually told me after the shooting how nice it looks. Even our ever-skeptical Bert (our photo/videographer) was impressed by the watch when he tried it on. I realize that because we’ve been in the watchmaking game for so long, and often find ourselves confronted with vintage-inspired watches, it is sometimes difficult to be open-minded to something new.
Aside from how the watch looks on the wrist, I was worried that you simply wouldn’t be able to read the time on this Seamaster 300M Black Black. Weirdly, you can. There’s enough contrast between the shiny black PVD hands and the dial that it is actually easy to read the time. The lume on the hands and hour markers is actually in anthracite, giving better results than the all-black luminous material.
The bezel with positive relief might remind you of the Seamaster 300M Nekton that Omega released last year, but also of the 2000 America’s Cup Seamaster 300M with white gold bezel.
This watch is not something that I would pick from a catalog or based on pictures online. On the wrist, however, the Seamaster 300M Black Black certainly has a presence that I like. I have the famous Seamaster 300M 2531.80 and the 300M Chrono Diver in tri-metal (rose gold, titanium, and tantalum), but those are over 20 years old. When I put this new Seamaster 300M Black Black next to them, it’s apparent that these watches are related, but it also made it painfully clear that perhaps it is time to update my collection. Omega today is not the brand it was when the references 2531.80 and 2296.80 were introduced.
Price and availability
The new Omega Seamaster 300M Black Black 126.96.36.199.01.003 will retail for €8,600. That is not even that much more expensive than the titanium and ceramic model on a NATO strap. This 300M Black Black comes on a comfortable and soft rubber strap, with black buckle. The expected delivery is June 2021.