We all saw the first trailer for No Time To Die. Let’s face it: it looks fantastic. However, peeping over one of Daniel Craig’s cuffs was the unmistakable silhouette of a Seamaster 300M. Considering the view of its mesh bracelet in earlier photos and Ben Clymer’s indiscretion regarding its titanium case, the proverbial cat was out of the bag weeks ago. Or was it? It seems that the recently released Omega Seamaster 300M 007 Edition still has a few tricks up its sleeve…
When I first clapped eyes on the photos of this watch I was neither excited nor surprised. However, as I have prepared to write this article, I must confess that it is the most interesting 007-related Seamaster in recent memory. Abnormally for this genre, it is also not a limited edition.
The Titanium Case
The case of this watch remains largely unchanged from the 42 millimetres of the standard watch, its thickness has diminished somewhat to 13.15mm. This is largely due to the lack of exhibition caseback. I suspect that the drop in weight will be more noticeable, though, as Omega have produced a Grade 2 titanium case. The result is much lighter and, as a consequence of the grade of titanium selected, entirely brushed. This choice echoes the spirit of a military homage which is apparent throughout the watch. I must admit, for the price of this watch, I would have expected Grade 5 titanium which offers the possibility for superior finishing. Of course, this being a modern watch, the questionably-shaped helium escape valve remains on the Omega Seamaster 300M 007 Edition.
Interestingly, this watch is offered on both a rather appealing NATO strap, and a titanium Milanese mesh bracelet. Whilst this will not offer the same durability as a conventional metal bracelet, it appears to have a sturdy construction and a good deployant clasp.
At the front, more has changed to tip the balance from a companion for the modern gentleman to a tool for a 1960s commando. Where a subtly domed crystal adorns the standard watch, this is given a tall, double domed equivalent. Likewise, the bezel loses the shine and perfection of a ceramic insert in favour of a proprietary form of anodised aluminium. This will fade over time in order to further the vintage look. Most immediately visible is the tan-coloured Super-Luminova on the bezel insert. This is fully luminous and produced a green glow in spite of its colour.
The dial is a very interesting development. Where I have accused the standard watch of being overly cluttered, this watch does without the waves and glossy zirconia ceramic surface. Instead, the dial is made from the same aluminium as the bezel thus encouraging fading. Unsurprisingly, Omega is trying to follow the current market preference for aged dials. More noticeable is the aged Super-Luminova which should feel at-odds with the modernity of the watch. However, considering the treatment of the bezel and dial, I find the look surprisingly appealing.
The dial detailing is uncharacteristically well-considered on this Omega Seamaster 300M 007 Edition. In the past, ‘007’ motifs have abounded, but here we are given beautifully brushed hands and matted markers in dark grey. Perhaps wisely for today’s market, the date has also been suppressed. Most importantly to Bond’s identity as a British operative, Omega have included a ”crow’s foot’ or ‘broad arrow’ on the dial. This originally-heraldic symbol has been extensively used by various British ministries to denote government property — particularly military equipment.
The Caseback Decoration
On the now-solid caseback, we are given a brushed surface with the same symbol, but accompanied by an enigmatic code. The initial “0552” is the code for a naval watch — Bond was a naval commander. Interestingly, this is the same code seen on many Rolex Milsubs. The following “923 7697” indicates that this is a dive watch whilst “A” is the presence of a screw-down crown. The last number, “62”, is a reference to 1962: the year of Dr. No.
The Omega Cal. 8806
Mechanically, this watch is much the same as the standard watch. It uses Omega’s well-loved and very accurate Co-Axial Master Chronometer cal. 8806. Whilst no longer visible on this watch, it offers the benefits of a co-axial escapement and the 15,000 Gauss anti-magnetism which we have come to expect from Omega. Frankly, these specifications will be of little relevance to daily life, though the irreproachable accuracy and reliability of these movements will.
At this point, the price should be noted. Omega is asking £6,520 for the watch with a NATO strap and £7,390 on the bracelet. Curiously, the watch is not offered with both unlike the Spectre limited edition. For perspective, the standard Seamaster 300M in steel costs between £3,910 and £4, 170. Considering that the titanium Seamaster Planet Ocean is only c.£1300 more than its respective steel model and the bracelet adds only c.£500 to the price, £7,390 is hard to swallow. This is especially the case when the Planet Ocean has more extravagant finishing in Grade 5 titanium.
All in all, this is a very well designed watch. It pulls on the current trend for vintage aesthetics yet does look very individual. Personally, I would have preferred for a less overtly vintage look on such a modern watch, yet this piece is proportionally spot-on. It also gives a genuinely military appeal where previous limited editions have added golden accents and branding.
The only major snag is the existence of the Omega Seamaster 300M in ceramic and titanium. This is an objectively superior watch with greater innovation going into it for the same price as the 007 on a strap. By contrast, the 007 doesn’t even have the appreciation gained from being a limited edition. Certainly food for thought.
Availability: NATO Strap: £6,520 / Milanese Bracelet: £7,390 | Both are Non-Limited Editions
- Dimensions: 42mm x 13.15mm
- Material: Grade 2 titanium / Anodised aluminium bezel insert
- Crystal: High-domed sapphire crystal
- Dial: Anodised aliminium / Applied dark grey matted markers / Brushed dark grey skeleton hands / Tan Super-Luminova glowing blue and green on the hands, markers and bezel insert
- Water resistance: 30 ATM / 300m
- Movement: Omega Cal. 8806: Master Co-Axial Chronometer / Time / Automatic & manual winding / 35 jewels / 3.5Hz, 25,200 vph, or 7 ticks-per-second, anti-magnetic to 15,000 Gauss