Omega Celebrates The Seamaster’s 75th Anniversary In Style With New Seamaster 300 And Diver 300M Editions
It’s the 75th anniversary of the Seamaster this year, and to celebrate, Omega is releasing 11 new Seamaster references. All of these watches feature beautiful “Summer Blue” dials that get increasingly darker depending on each model’s increased water resistance. It starts with a light blue dial for the Seamaster Aqua Terra models and goes to a rich dark blue for the Ultra Deep. This article will focus on the new Seamaster 300 and Seamaster Diver 300M. The two popular dive watches are exactly in the middle of Omega’s Summer Blue spectrum.
The Omega Seamaster history
I love this simple but effective concept that Omega came up with for the 75th anniversary. The brand could have easily returned to the archives and reissued the first Seamaster from 1948. But the brand did that successfully five years ago for the Seamaster’s 70th anniversary. I adored those two models (except for the large images of the Chris Craft boat and a Gloster Meteor aircraft etched in the display case backs). Before that, the Seamaster 1948 was also reissued to celebrate the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. On both occasions, the commemorative models hinted back at the introduction year of the first Seamaster nicely.
As most of you will know, Omega’s history in dive watches goes back a long way, even before 1948. In 1932, Omega released the Marine as the world’s first commercially available diver’s watch. The timepiece was constructed with a patented double case developed by Louis Alix. It smartly avoided the issue of the hard-to-seal crown by covering it completely, and the Omega Marine was successfully tested in Lake Geneva to a depth of 73 meters in 1936. Five years later, in a series of laboratory tests, the watch turned out to be water-resistant to a depth of 135 meters. That was quite a spectacular result at the time.
An evolution of the watches from WWII
If we fast-forward a decade, we get closer to the true origins of the actual Seamaster line. Omega played a vital part in providing the British Ministry of Defence with many wristwatches during WWII. Great Britain’s MoD handed them out to pilots, navigators, and members of the Air Force and Navy to support them during service. To celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, Omega released the first Seamaster models in 1948 during the London Summer Olympics. The first Seamaster watches were modeled after the utilitarian watches that Omega provided to the British Ministry of Defence. Their standout feature was the use of an O-ring gasket that improved the water resistance up to 60 meters. But these Seamasters were marketed as watches for “town, sea, and country” rather than dive watches.
However, it turned out to be the start of the Seamaster legacy that has seen a string of notable historical releases in the last 75 years. Some of the most iconic wristwatches in the world are part of the Seamaster line. Just think of the Seamaster 300 introduced in 1957 alongside the Speedmaster and the Railmaster. The Seamaster 300 was Omega’s first dedicated Seamaster dive watch. Or how about models like the PloProf 600M developed with the famous Comex divers and the famous Seamaster 200 “SHOM” developed for France’s Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine? The list continues with the Seamaster Mariner MK1, the Seamaster Cosmic 2000 collection, the follow-up Seamaster 300 models, and the Seamaster 120 watches. There are simply too many references to mention.
The Seamaster Diver 300M
The 1960s and 1970s were amazing times for the Seamaster line. Omega created some of its best and wildest designs for the Seamaster models during those days. I have dedicated an article to some of the highlights from the brand’s 70s designs that I just mentioned as an example for so many more great timepieces. If we then move forward to the early 1990s, there is another important step in the Seamaster’s history. With the introduction of the Seamaster Diver 300M, Omega added another future classic to its long lineage of Seamaster dive watches. The watch got its big break thanks to Pierce Brosnan wearing the quartz version of the Seamaster Diver 300M (ref. 2541.80.00) in the 1995 Bond movie GoldenEye.
But that’s not where the expansion of the Seamaster line ends. We saw more modern introductions with the Planet Ocean and Aqua Terra lines. On top of that, Omega brought back a modern line of Seamaster 300 models inspired by the 1957 original. Finally, the most recent addition to the Seamaster collection has been the series of Ultra Deep models, serious tool watches that are water resistant to a whopping 6,000 meters. The Seamaster is Omega’s longest-running collection and features a wide variety of models over the Aqua Terra, Seamaster Diver 300M, Planet Ocean, and Heritage Models lines. For the Seamaster’s 75th anniversary, the brand picked eight models to celebrate the collection’s diversity.
The 75th anniversary Seamaster 300 and Seamaster Diver 300M
As mentioned in this article, I will focus on the Seamaster 300 and Seamaster Diver 300M. Together with the Aqua Terra, they probably represent the most popular silhouettes of the Seamaster collection. Regarding the lineup of anniversary models and the accompanying blue dial colors, both models are right in the middle on the scale of Summer Blue. Both watches have a 300m water resistance rating, resulting in a rich blue dial. But it’s not just the gradient dial that is blue. As part of the design concept, Omega has decided to use a variety of shades of blue for the dial, bezel, numerals, Super-LumiNova, and date disc.
The only elements that are not blue are the stainless steel elements on the face of the watch. With a bit of imagination, the watches truly give the idea you are submerged in the beautiful waters of a place like the Mediterranean Sea. I think it’s a very cool concept, but you do have to like the color blue. If you turn both watches around, you are greeted by commemorative case backs. They feature a trident-bearing Poseidon and two seahorses — Omega’s 1956 original, as designed by Jean-Pierre Borle, and the brand’s current design. Technically speaking, the watches align with the regular Seamaster 300 and Seamaster Diver 300M models. That means that we can focus on the aesthetics.
The Omega Seamaster 300 ref. 184.108.40.206.03.002
Let’s start with the Omega Seamaster 300 ref. 220.127.116.11.03.002. The brand’s latest version of the 1957 classic gets the full-blue treatment except for the rhodium-plated hands. The watch comes with the familiar 41mm stainless steel case that is 13.9mm thick, 48mm long, and 21mm between the lugs. The blue gradient dial starts lighter in the middle and gently fades to a darker blue on the edges. This dial has a sandwich construction, so through the cut-outs, you will see a lighter shade of blue underneath and used for the minute markers in between.
The ceramic bezel with its diving scale is filled with light blue Super-LumiNova. It corresponds with the light blue color of the markings on the dial, and the same goes for the light blue Super-LumiNova in the characteristic handset. As mentioned, it results in a very blue watch face overall. I think the color fits the vintage-inspired Seamaster 300 well. It makes for a stylish watch that suits the warm Southern European summers nicely.
The familiar Master Chronometer caliber 8912
As you can see, the case back features the mentioned depiction of Poseidon and the two seahorses. Underneath, Omega equips the watch with its Co-Axial caliber 8912. The automatic movement operates at 25,200vph, has 38 jewels, and provides a 60-hour power reserve. The Master Chronometer movement is approved by METAS and resistant to magnetic fields of at least 15,000 gauss.
Omega offers this Seamaster 300 on a stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp and micro-adjust. As we know, the micro-adjust is easy to use and ensures the watch is always comfortable on your wrist, no matter the conditions. As mentioned, with this Seamaster 300 “Summer Blue,” Omega has created a very nice and stylish version of its heritage diver. The 75th-anniversary look is a unique one that I’m sure plenty of people will enjoy. The retail price of this Seamaster 300 75th Anniversary edition will be CHF 6,500.
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M ref. 18.104.22.168.03.002/003
The Seamaster Diver 300M is also perfectly executed according to the “Summer Blue” concept. The watch features the familiar 42mm stainless steel case with its characteristic helium escape valve. The case is 13.6mm thick and 49.9mm from tip to tip with a 20mm lug spacing. The ceramic blue gradient dial features the characteristic laser-engraved wave pattern, and the combination of elements creates a new look. The rhodium-plated hands and applied hour markers are filled with light blue Super-LumiNova. The blue ceramic bezel features a light blue enamel (Grand Feu) diving scale. The color is a slightly darker shade of blue compared to the Super-LumiNova on the hands and indices.
Again, we have an abundance of blue here. I have to get used to this model’s full-blue color configuration, though. Whereas the vintage-inspired Seamaster 300 feels very natural in this guise, the Seamaster Diver 300M seems radically different. The most logical reason is that more elements are at play on the dial, including the wave pattern and the date window at 6 o’clock. Combined with the gradient dial, there is a bit more to take in.
The Master Chronometer caliber 8800
On the case back, you will find the same depiction of Poseidon and the two Seahorses as on the Seamaster 300. Hidden beneath the case back is Omega’s Co-Axial automatic caliber 8800. This Master Chronometer movement operates at 25,200vph, has 35 jewels, and provides a 55-hour power reserve. The METAS-approved movement is also resistant to magnetic fields of at least 15,000 gauss.
For the 75th-anniversary model of the Seamaster Diver 300M, you can choose either a blue rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. The retail price of this Seamaster Diver 300M 75th Anniversary edition on a rubber strap is CHF 5,200. On the stainless steel bracelet, the watch will be CHF 5,500.
Impressions of the Seamaster 300 and Diver 300M 75th Anniversary editions
Overall, I think Omega came up with a nice concept for its 75th-anniversary collection of Seamasters. The idea of the color changing to a darker blue as the water resistance increases is simple, but it works well visually. It links all of the new releases in this series and provides a new look for each one. When it comes to a favorite out of these two models, the vintage-inspired Seamaster 300 is my pick. The watch looks great with the full-blue treatment.
As mentioned, with the Seamaster Diver 300M, a lot is happening on the dial, and it’s all blue. What I love about the regular models is that the dials look great, thanks to the high color contrast. If you remove that contrast, use one color, and add a gradient, it’s a bit tougher to love. But that’s mainly something that I notice in the close-ups. The wrist shots of the Seamaster Diver 300M look pretty amazing. That’s why I can’t wait to see the watch in the metal and get a better feel for it. But overall, I have to compliment Omega for coming up with this concept to bring something stylish and substantial to the Seamaster’s 75th anniversary.
For more information, visit the official Omega website. Let us know which of these two models you prefer in the comments section.