I took the Omega Seamaster Professional 300m on vacation. I wanted to see how a single piece can face all the needs that I have in my recreational time. Could it withstand all the situations? The watch is impressive in many aspects. I enjoyed it every moment. These are my thoughts at the end of the summer.
Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m – a descriptive presentation
Omega, as a brand, is very versatile. This fact is reflected in their timepieces. The Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m respects this versatility. The watch was released in 1993, in a quartz and a mechanical automatic version. The wavy patterned dial made history in the Bond movies. The grace of Piece Brosnan wearing it to fight against evil made an impressive amount of victims. Me included…
Today’s reviewed piece is the pre-Baselworld 2018 version, with the black lacquered dial, Reference 126.96.36.199.01.003.
Overview of the case
The Seamaster Professional Diver has not changed massively over time. The shape of the case, the 12 notches diver bezel and five-links metal bracelet are almost untouched by the hands of time. The reviewed piece has a 41mm stainless steel case. The case is well proportioned. The sides are brushed and withstand quite easy shocks and scratches. The same brushed pattern can be found on the bezel.
As a genuine diver watch, the Seamaster Professional Diver comes with a crown protection. The implementation is elegant. The polished surfaces make a nice cross from the case’s brushed sides to the polished screwed-in crown. The crown features the Omega logo. The unscrew, the setting and the winding are precise but effortless.
The Helium escape valve is present at 10 o’clock and uses a polished crown embossed with “He” mark. The normal valve position is screwed-in (non-functional). This must be used only during the decompression phase, to release the gas. Unscrewed in the normal conditions, the valve reduces the water tightness to a relative 50m (5bar).
The Seamaster uni-directional bezel is brushed all over the surfaces. The use of the bezel offers a good feedback, every click is well defined. It sounds good too. Even trough gloves, the steps can be clearly defined.
The black ceramic insertion completes excellently the brushed bezel. The first 15 minutes of indexes are highlighted with baton indices. The rest of the register uses dots, batons and Arabic numeral at every ten minutes. At twelve o’clock, a triangle surrounds a luminous dot.
Overview of the dial
The black lacquered dial is spectacular. Some might find it as a departure from the true spirit of the Seamaster. I, personally love it. I am a fan of the classic dial’s waves, but this polished lacquered dial makes of the Seamaster a more versatile piece. Suitable for more occasions, others than just diving.
The dial is decorated with applied hour indexes, filled with SuperLuminova. The raised three-dimensional indexes reflect against the dial blackness, offering a lovely visual show. I am a big fan of the Omega name and logo applied on the upper side of the dial. The elements are surrounded by an outer seconds’ register “touched” by the red-tipped seconds’ hand.
The date aperture reveals a silver on a black background date. Placed at three o’clock, breaks a bit the dial’s symmetry.
The Seamaster Professional has skeletonised hour and minute hands. These are part of the key signature that defines a Seamaster watch. The hands are filled with SuperLuminova. The legibility is remarkable in any light condition, as expected for a diver watch.
The caseback and bracelet
The 20mm wide bracelet is nicely integrated between the lugs. The polished elements come as a nice continuation of the lugs design. The elements are fine brushed and have a good resistance against superficial scratches. The bracelet is fitted with a two pushers clasp and extendable fold-over, to be used over the diving suit. The clasp is decorated with the engraved Omega name and logo.
Omega offers an entire range of colours for the NATO straps to be mix and matched with the watch. The brand has an online application to help you choose the best combination.
The Seamaster Ref. 188.8.131.52.01.003 comes with a stainless steel screwed in case back. This is adorned with the legendary Omega’s embossed seahorse on a wavy background.
Omega Calibre 2500
During its existence, the Seamaster Professional was fitted with several calibres. In the beginnings, the watch was powered by the calibre 1109, Omega’s modification of the calibre ETA 2892. Years later, the Seamaster was fitted with the co-axial movement 2500. This is Omega’s choice movement for the today’s reviewed Ref. 184.108.40.206.01.003.
Launched in 1999, the calibre 2500 was a milestone in the modern watchmaking. Developed by the late master George Daniels, the co-axial escapement was the first new design in 250 years. More about the Omega co-axial movements in this PDF article from the Swatch Group. Another interesting article about the co-axial can be read on the Monochrome Website here. In 2015, A Blog to Watch made an extensive article comparing the calibres 1120, 2500 and 8500. The latest Seamaster Professional, launched this year at Baselworld features the Omega calibre 8800.
Since the caseback is solid, the movement cannot be observed. We expect the movement will be machine-finished with proper details.
Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m – an emotional choice
Having in mind the summer vacation in the Greek Islands, I’ve given it a lot of thought about what watch/watches I should take with me and why. I decided to find the most satisfying piece. Since I loved the Seamaster Professional since the Goldeneye movie, I decided it was time to fulfil my dream and buy it.
I was already acquainted with the newest model Ref. 220.127.116.11.03.001 from Baselworld 2018, but unavailable at the moment of my search. Nevertheless, the new ceramic dial didn’t create for me the emotions of the original blue wavy dial. I decided on the black Ref. 18.104.22.168.01.003 after seeing it live. I fell in love with the depths created by the black dial in combination with the black ceramic bezel.
The Seamaster is a proper watch for many occasions. It looks good in the water, on the beach’s taverns but also in everyday life. This timepiece is by definition a sports watch, however, it goes excellent to any casual moment. I was amazed at how comfortable it was. The watch was during my vacation always on the wrist.
The Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m is a good investment, regardless of the model. It’s a classic. Recognizable and desirable. I enjoy it every moment I have it on my wrist. I have nothing to reproach.
In the first days, I tested the accuracy. After several days with less than one or two seconds, I realised that is excellent regulated and makes no sense to check further. After three weeks I realised it is around 5 seconds behind. But I remember that I changed the timezones and set the watch to the new hour. So the difference was insignificant.
During the vacation, the watch was not spared of hits, scratches and other things that can affect the functionality or the look. I was positively impressed by its robustness.
For me, the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300m is an excellent choice as a free time watch. And not only. With jeans and a jacket, it goes excellent even to a less formal business meeting. I wear it during work time and I receive compliments for it.
For those wanting the latest model of Seamaster Professional (the one presented during Baselworld 2018), I can recommend, as reading, the hands-on review articles from Deployant, Monochrome and Hodinkee. More information about the Seamaster Collection can be found on the Omega Website.
What is your favourite vacation watch?