October 11, 2015
by James Stacey
With Spectre, the latest entry into the James Bond catalog, just over the horizon, Omega has launched a rather cool limited edition by way of the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition James Bond watch. While we covered the initial launch here, after spending a few moments with a production model at the Omega boutique in Vancouver, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to share some hands on impressions.
Limited to 7007 units, I’ll be surprised if they don’t move each and every one at a quick pace. While the modifications compared to the standard Omega Seamaster 300 (hands-on here) are minimal, they have a considerable effect on the look and feel of the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre LE.
The bezel is the functional change for the limited edition, where Omega has opted for a bi-directional 12-hour bezel. While I think the dive bezel of the standard model is more appropriate for a Seamaster, the 12-hour bezel perfectly matches the ethos of Bond, who travels far more than he dives. The ceramic bezel uses a Liquidmetal scale, and its functionality is uncomplicated, simple, and rather powerful, not unlike Bond. Twelve-hour bezels are seeing something of a comeback, and I couldn’t be more supportive of this trend; it’s a useful “complication” that doesn’t add any specific cost or complexity to a sports watch.
The other changes are on the dial where the stock spear-tipped seconds hand has been swapped for a lollipop hand that appears nearly white in most light. The Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition also hosts a larger logo, brand, and model indication on the dial and deletes the “12” marker seen on the standard Omega Seamaster 300. While I prefer the original logo and “12” marker, the lollipop seconds hand looks really cool.
Functionality is the same as the Seamaster 300, with the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition rocking Omega’s Master Co-Axial 8400, 300m water resistance with a screw down crown, and a domed sapphire crystal with an internal anti-reflective coating.
In person, the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition James Bond watch feels a lot like the standard Omega Seamaster 300 save for the included grey and black striped nato strap – the same Daniel Craig is purported to wear in Spectre. The nato works beautifully for the case and dial and the grey tones match up nicely with the warm coloring of the faux-vintage lume on the markers and hands.
I have a similar grey-black nato on my Omega Seamaster 2254, but aside from function and color, this is little comparison between my $15 strap and the one that comes mounted to the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition James Bond watch. Much like the premium nato on the Blancpain Bathyscaphe, the Omega nato features high quality brushed and signed hardware. Unlike the Bathyscape nato, the Omega strap is soft and pliable right out of the box, requiring no force to fold the tail back into the keeper.
It is a very nice strap, but then again, with a list price upwards of $150 USD, it has to be really good. If the nato isn’t your jam, the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre LE comes with a steel bracelet (with a 007 signed clasp) as well as a strap-changing tool and a loupe. The entire kit comes in a large black box secured by a combination lock – no points awarded for guessing the correct three-digit code.
Like the Seamaster 300, the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre’s dial changes considerably depending on the available light and viewing angle. In bright direct light, the dial has a texture similar to teflon, with the recessed markers adding a warm sandy tone and additional depth as the rhodium plated polished hands catch and reflect light. In lower light or shadow, the dial appears black and the polished hands appear nearly invisible, leaving only the luminous elements at their center to function for legibility. While the display still functions thanks to the arrow-style hour hand and large minute hand, legibility would likely be better served by a brushed handset or perhaps a dial that doesn’t sit as far recessed into the case.
With the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition, Omega has taken an excellent high-end sport watch and modified it in a way that I feel befits its connection with James Bond. I won’t profess to be a Bond super fan, but I have really enjoyed the recent Daniel Craig iterations and the $7500 USD Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition is nicely tuned to the ethos of James Bond in those films, offering a compelling mix of Omega’s sport watch know-how and a few Bond-inspired tweaks. omegawatches.com