Omega Seamaster 300 "Spectre" Limited Edition - "Excellent Choice Mr Bond"
If you haven't had the chance to see the new movie Spectre yet that is currently being released across Italian cinemas, I can only reveal in advance that the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition is the first Omega watch in the history of 007 movies to turn intense red before blowing up (I would suggest Omega to keep this shade of red in mind for their next Seamaster 300). From the perspective of an avid collector and a fan of Omega's serial timepieces devoted to James Bond, this watch represents a return to sobriety and the past and it actually reminds us of the first Planet Ocean; the timepiece that inaugurated Bond's new saga that started off with the movie Casino Royale.
Since the Omega Planet Ocean Casino Royale was launched 8 years ago, Omega's technological advancements have been dramatic; the Omega watch that Daniel Craig is wearing in his last movie (the last one he will be starring in the role of secret agent 007) is a small masterpiece of technology. The name of the timepiece is, again, Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition and it was released in 7007 pieces only, it is a sober and inventive customization of the Omega Seamaster 300 to which the manufacturer has skilfully added new features, like the bi-directional rotating bezel with an hour scale that has replaced the diver's minute scale, thus turning this watch into a GMT; a label that is much more adequate to this timepiece than that of a diver's watch, something that it had inherited from the original model.
The second main feature that is worth a mention here is the “lollipop” style central second hand that has replaced the typical elongated arrow that is present on the other watches from the series, the Omega-patented-bezel made of ceramic and Liquidmetal, on the other hand, has stayed the same. I wrote my first and only article about the Omega Seamaster 300 a few months ago but it seems like I had already forgotten about the aesthetic qualities of this special technology; if you look at the case of the Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition from below and place it in a vertical position with no shadow cast on it, you can actually see your reflection in it and you will also realize that bezel is actually matte-finished and is not black, but rather dark gray.
If you turn the case horizontally by 45 degrees, the polished ring placed around the dial and the broad arrow hands start to glisten, the bezel turns a slightly lighter matted-gray colour and the hour scale turns almost gold; a weird optical effect indeed. If you place the case on a flat surface, you will see the light hit it from the side and the two above described visual effects combine together with the addition of a hint of vintage effect given by the historical Omega logo and the “lollipop” style hands that are not present in the previous version of this watch. The Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition is one of those rare cases, where the hot light makes the watch's style and design stand out better than if we were to use any cold light.
Even the movement of this timepiece is top-notch; the 8400 caliber (the acronym identifies Omega's latest generation calibers with total anti-magnetism properties featuring a level of magnetic resistance greater than 15000 Gauss) is equipped with a bi-directional winding rotor, a silicon balance spring with a co-axial escapement and two barrels that are visible through the transparent back case together with the Cotes de Arabesque decoration motif which is one of the trademarks of the manufacturer from Bienne. For the very first time in its history, Omega has equipped its Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition with one of the NATO straps customized with the 007 logo on the first loop. The strap is very comfortable around the wrist but I am also wondering how this timepiece would look like if it were equipped with the Novonappa leather strap (darker in colour, maybe even black) that Omega features in its accessories catalogue (or the stainless steel bracelet with 007 logo that comes as standard option).
The value and meaning of the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition go beyond the concept of “limited edition” and the link existing between this watch and the launch of the movie “Spectre” represents for the Seamaster 300 series what the Speedmaster Broad Arrow Vintage Superluminova used to represent for the Broad Arrow collection, that is to say the ultimate version of the Seamaster 300; a combination that should be permanently featured in the collection and that has made me change idea about this timepiece and has made me reconsider it as a possible timepiece for my own private collection. The size of this watch is well-balanced (the diameter measures 41mm) and it features all the last generation technologies, the lugs are straight and elongated rather than helix-shaped and they provide the timepiece with a more mature and convincing aesthetic look and, on another note, this is definitely the most comfortable Omega watch that I have ever worn.
What I am not totally happy with is the strap, its making is actually fine but it is its style that leaves me a bit perplexed; there are many Omega and non-Omega-manufactured straps available on the market and, personally, I would have opted solely for a metal strap that can be easily adjusted thanks to the shape of the lugs. I would also improve the feeling of the bi-directional bezel, it is the bezel of a GMT but it should be adjusted to allow millimetric precision; something that is more stable and rewarding and much more in line with the rest of the technical features described above. The Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition retails at 6,400 euros; a price that is not too expensive if you compare this watch to similar timepieces by Omega and by other competitors and if you also consider that, by applying some tiny adjustments, you can easily improve the appeal and design of this already great timepiece.
(Photo-credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter