The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 2018 watches hands-on
It will seem strange or even surreal, but Omega celebrates one or more than one anniversary every year - a sign that a lot has been done in the course of the brand’s history and also recently. Simply consider the launch of the first anti-magnetic movement in the world (Omega 8508) and the new METAS chronometric certification that mark two very recent milestones for the brand and for the watch industry itself.
The year 2018 celebrates two anniversaries - the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission and the creation of the Omega Speedmaster Chronograph Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic Seamaster 300M collection.
25 Years of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M: simmetry and dynamism.
For years, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M has been Omega’s only professional diver’s watch and the first of the modern era before the arrival of the Omega Planet Ocean collection. For his twenty-fifth birthday, Omega has decided to update the entire Omega Seamaster Diver 300M collection both with historical references and with the technical update of its caliber.
Moreover it comes with an aesthetic update that reinforces the concept of pure diver’s watch and access to the Omega world, such as the wave pattern on the dial - a feature of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M that had been lost over the years.
The brand does this in an innovative way by taking advantage of the current technology of the brand - a deep laser engraving on a ceramic dial. The dial is engraved rather than printed, as many competitors do, and the elevated glass indexes are filled with SuperLuminova®, and give this timepiece three-dimensionality and a play of light and shadow that are typical of the Aqua Terra collection. A certain degree of symmetry is then re-established on the dial, because the date has been moved to 6 o'clock and the hours counter is now identical in style to that of the minutes, thus acquiring the typical "sword" shape.
Innovation? No, it is natural evolution.
From a technical point of view, the evolution process of the entire Omega range continues undaunted, year after year, model after model. The owners of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 2018 will also be able to enjoy the best available technology. If the movement of the outgoing Seamaster 300M, the caliber Omega 2500, was the evolution of an ETA caliber with the addition of the Co-Axial escapement, the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M inherited an innovative manufacturing caliber, namely the Omega 8800 Master Co-Axial (resistance to magnetic fields above 15,000 Gauss).
The evolution also concerns the general portability of the watch, because the case now reaches 42mm in diameter - a size that I am happy with for its sportiness and versatility (and a reduced thickness - an advantage if compared to a Planet Ocean). The bracelet features a folding clasp with a micro adjustment system and a slightly revised design that enhances its ergonomics.
It is details that make the difference between this Omega Seamaster 300M and its predecessors.
I have been following Omega for a long time and what I noticed is that the details are increasingly the focus of its products development. In the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M the case is a continuous alternation between matted and polished surfaces, the sapphire crystal case-back with its NAIAD lock design reminds us of the the design of the ceramic bezel.
The unidirectional rotating bezel brings along new details - all the engravings are now in Ceragold™ (on the steel and gold versions) or in white enamel, so as to ensure that they will maintain their original shade for as long as possible over the years. The helium valve becomes an element of style, it is now conical and can also be used underwater (although I don’t understand why, considering that it is used in saturation diving).
Is the 2018 Omega Seamaster Diver 300M a "Must Have?"
I must be honest: the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M has never been on my wish list, the same emotion that I can feel for a Speedmaster or the Aqua Terra has never blossomed, but I have to admit that this new reference, especially in its version with a chrome PVD-dial and rubber bracelet (ref. 126.96.36.199. 06.001) struck me for its dynamism, the attention to detail and the attack retail price of $4,400. It will be available in August in the Omega boutiques and who knows if, after the Commander’s Watch, we will be able to see it wrapped around James Bond’s wrist once again…after all he would deserve that!
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Matteo Bulla @Horbiter®