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Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Diver

Easily one of the strongest new high-end wristwatch product offerings for 2018 is Omega’s updated Seamaster Diver 300M. Originally launched during the Jean-Claude Biver-era of Omega in 1993, the Seamaster is today a truly iconic model for Omega. At the time in the early 1900s it was meant to reassert Omega’s relevance but also distinctive design ethos. In fact, the Seamaster 300M was supposed to NOT look like the Rolex Submariner – which at the time dozens and dozens of watches did indeed look like. The first companies to copy Rolex did so with their own name on Rolex’s designs. Omega wanted to be more than just like Rolex, it wanted to be something totally refreshing and contemporary in its approach to a late 20th century luxury timepiece.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

All images by Ariel Adams

Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M Background

It is important to talk about the original Seamaster 300M design because the new for 2018 updated models (of which there are a healthy variety) celebrate those core values and aesthetics that made the original so popular. 2018 isn’t the same as 1993 for the watch industry, but 25 years later, I think one can agree that contemporary watch tastes haven’t actually changed that much. I would argue that the modern era of luxury watches clearly began in the 1990s. In 10-20 years from now I anticipate plenty of “vintage re-issue” watches based on watches from the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

Omega had big marketing plans for the Seamaster 300M when it was new. Notably was its popularity both as a professional diving watch and also on the wrists of would-be 007s. Omega used the Seamaster 300M as the British spy Bond watch during the 1990s (and Omega remains the James Bond 007 official wrist watch today) which for many solidified the importance of the Omega Seamaster for men who followed pop culture. At the time Rolex was doing nothing of the sort to reach mainstream (versus already rich) audiences.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

A Discussion Of The Seamaster Helium Release Valve

One of the most iconic design elements of the Omega Seamaster 300M is the manual helium release valve located at 10 o’clock on the case. I’m not sure why Omega opted for a manual versus automatic helium release valve at a time when automatic valves were easy to design. My guess is that Omega simply wanted the case to have the added character created by the addition of a second crown on the case. The curious feature draws anyone’s attention who notices it. “What does that crown do?” is a common question.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

The real answer is that it helps certain types of professional divers from dying or getting really sick after they have spent long periods of time at great depths. I’m sorry, I meant to say that it helps some specialized commercial divers be able to wear a watch in a decompression chamber during the process of not dying after a deep dive… that won’t have a crystal pop out because of helium molecules that want to escape the case.

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I’ve never been into a decompression chamber and even though I dive for recreation, there is a tiny, tiny chance I will ever be in one – let alone with my choice of timepiece. Nevertheless, the duty that the Seamaster 300M was designed to endure is communicated to the wearer of old and new generation models with the presence of a crown that most people will never need to touch. Though for the brand new 2018 models, those helium release valves can be unscrewed and the watch will still be water-resistant to 50m (a new feature).

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

Omega Seamaster 300M Evolution

While I can’t say for sure, I believe that Omega has been continually producing at least some form of the Seamaster 300M for the last 25 years. Don’t forget that Omega even added a few dive watch lines to the Seamaster collection over the years including the dressier Seamaster Planet Ocean, and the vintage-style Seamaster 300 (sans the “m” for meters). The Seamaster 300M remained a good all-purpose mechanical sport watch (some quartz versions were made for periods of time too), and it was also priced at an entry-level ($4,000-$5,000) price for a mechanical Omega sport watch.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

In my opinion, the Seamaster 300M dial with its distinctive hands and hour markers is a design that has aged well. I do admit that when I first learned about the design long ago it didn’t do much for me. It took years of looking at other sport watch dials to appreciate that Omega made something with the enduring power of a Submariner – but with a more contemporary and active feel to it.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

Everything about the Seamaster 300M is new for 2018 and for the purposes of this article I am going to focus on the steel (or mostly steel models). For a long time, titanium Seamaster 300M models complimented the steel ones. To begin with, the modern generation of Seamaster 300M watches for 2018 have only one titanium model – which is a limited edition produced in titanium, Sedna gold, and tantalum. Omega did however produce a fair number of two-tone steel and 18k Sedna (rose) or yellow gold models. Those two-tone Seamaster 300M models are truly lovely, but they include a rather steep price increase that in my opinion takes a lot out of the really high value-proposition fun of the entirely steel Seamaster 300M models.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

Omega Caliber 8800 Movement

To examine the important details of the 2018 Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Diver watches let’s begin by looking at the movement. It goes without saying that Omega has included the Seamaster 300M into its family of Master Chronometer watches, which means it contains an in-house made METAS certified “Co-Axial Master Chronometer” movement. The movement is the Omega caliber 8800 automatic. Operating at 3.5Hz (25,200bph) with a co-axial escapement, the caliber 8800 has a power reserve of 55 hours and uses a silicon hairspring and non-magnetic parts which give the movement a super high resistance to magnetic fields. The movement offers the time and date.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Steel Watches For 2018 Hands-On Hands-On Mens Watches

What’s New With The 2018 Seamaster 300M?

One change to the Seamaster 300M dial for the 2018 models is the position of the date window, which is now at a more symmetrical position at 6 o’clock (versus 3 o’clock). Omega also tells us that new rules exist saying that dive watches need to have luminous points at all 12 hour markers. Thus, the Seamaster 300M has a small hour marker under the date window. According to these new rules, the Submariner would not pass given that on most models the date window replaces the hour indicator at 3 o’clock.

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Comments

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  • Tea Hound

    I quite like the watch, but as ever Omega proves that they can’t make a decent looking bracelet.

  • The silver dial reference is hideous (too much contrast between the surface and the grooves). The two tone models are a pass as well. Otherwise I like the rest a lot – with the exception of the hands (I really don’t like the degree of taper). And yes it’s good that they don’t look like Submariners!

  • Sperelli

    Masterpiece. Well done, Omega!

  • Mikita

    Was looking forward to see these in real life photos.. and I’m not impressed. The gray one, which I liked from renders, has truly hideous pattern: flat, but with high contrast, even distracting – agree with Mark. The rest patterns look flat and boring. Same old handsets. I’d say not worth $5k IMO, better get a Tudor for almost $2k less.

  • Marius

    According to this article: “Easily one of the strongest new high-end wristwatch product offerings for 2018 is Omega’s updated Seamaster Diver 300M.”

    Since when is an Omega 300M a “high-end wristwatch?” Omega isn’t a producer of high-end watches in the first place, and even in Omega`s collection, the 300M is its entry-level diver. A real high-end sports/casual watch would be something like a Blancpain 50 Fathoms, or a JLC Master Compressor, or an AP Royal Oak.

    Personally, I have always disliked the Omega 300M. Besides the fact that it’s Omega`s entry-level diver (which is similar to buying an entry-level Skoda, Fiat, or Yugo), I also find this watch quite dated. You can see that it was launched in 1993, and that He release-valve is ridiculous on a 300m watch. Not to mention that the new wave patterns of the dial look extremely kitschy. Granted, the co-axial movement is an improvement; however, I would never ever spend almost $5,000 on this mass-produced and machine-built Omega.

    • Mikita

      How dare you say that about the King of the machine-cut watches? And METAS TETAS certified!

    • Sisyphe

      Are you seriously comparing Omega to Fiat? Good joke
      So Rolex is like Skoda then, since their watches are also mass-produced and machine-built…

      • Marius

        Indeed, Rolex and Omega are two mass-manufacturers machine-producing around 1.1 million watches per year. So yes, I would compare them with Skoda and Fiat. For me:

        Tudor, Tag Heuer, Oris, Longines, Frederique Constant, Montblanc = Yugo, Moskvitsch, Trabant, Lada, Datsun.
        Omega, Rolex, Breitling, Baume & Mercier, Cartier = Skoda, Fiat, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan.
        Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Ulysse Nardin, Zenith = BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar
        Audemars Piguet, Patek, Vacheron, Lange, FP Journe, Laurent Ferrier = Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari.
        P. Dufour, Voutilainen, Thomas Prescher, Vianney Halter, Haldimann, Urwerk = Pagani, Koenigsegg

    • M’ Lord

      As it is priced nearly the same as the previous model but now has a much better in-house movement with advanced chronometer certification, a much improved bracelet with on the fly clasp adjustment, it is certainly more watch for your money compared to its predecessor.

      What a strange post. Grovelling over semantics. Any wristwatch priced at several thousand dollars is “high end” and all those you mentioned are mass-produced and machine-built to a degree. There’s a new invention: we call in a CNC machine. And they use it to mass produce batches of pieces for your Blancpains, JLC’s, and AP’s.

      Clearly you have a lot to learn about watches.

      • Marius

        Not any wrist watch costing several thousand dollars can be described as “high-end.” For instance, there’s a huge difference between a $4,500 Omega 300M and a $22,000 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ultra Thin 15202. A high end watch is not just more expensive, it also has a much better fit & finish; its case and bracelet are hand-finished; and the movement used is a high-grade caliber decorated to very high standards. Sure, a knuckle-dragger wearing an Omega might think that his watch is “high-end”, but in reality it’s just a mid-tier timepiece. By your logic, any car costing over $10,000 is a luxury car.

        Furthermore, you don’t seem to be au courant with the various degrees of mass production. Sure, JLC, Blancpain, Patek, Lange, FP Journe, and co. are also using CNC machines to produce parts in larger number. In fact, right now, only two watchmakers forgo CNC machines: Beat Haldimann and the Naissance d`une Montre project. Nevertheless, there’s a huge difference between producing 1.2 million watches per year (as Omega does), and manufacturing around 60,000 watches per year ( JLC, Blanpain, Glashütte Original, AP, etc.). Glashütte Original, for instance, uses CNC-machined parts, but because they have an infinitely smaller output than Omega, they can devote a much higher degree of attention to their timepieces, and this shows. An Omega watch is almost entirely machine-produced, whereas a JLC/AP/Grand Seiko is hand-assembled.

        • M’ Lord

          “By your logic, any car costing over $10,000 is a luxury car.” Not at all, cur. By my logic, a $36k car is the equal of a $1200 Swiss mechanical watch. These are the current average new price of each item. Based on this, we can safely say that any car or watch which costs roughly four times the average, such as a $100k auto or a $4k watch, are “high-end” or “luxury”.

          It’s now pretty clear that not only do you not know very much about watches, but you know very little about the price of a new car. Leading me to suspect that you can’t even afford a car.

          As for your numbers mumbling, it’s all pretty tiresome. What is a “Blanpain” anyhow?

          • Marius

            A $4,000 watch is high-end? Hahaha! That’s a good one! You should become a stand up comedian. I can’t wait to inform my fellow Monegasque friends that certain individuals regard the watches produced by Tudor, Omega, Tag Heuer, and co. as being “luxury” wristwatches. Excellent joke!

          • M’ Lord

            It was 7 PM in Monaco on a Saturday night when your post went up. You have nothing better to do? You live about as close to Monaco as your hero Donald Trump does. Nobody is fooled.

          • Marius

            You keep writing hilarious comments, and your sense of humour keeps getting better and better. After the “Omega is a high-end, luxury brand”, now we have another epic joke: “You posted your comment Sunday at 7 PM, ergo, you don’t live in Monaco.” Hahaha! Brilliant!

            At this hectic pace, I’m certain that you will outpace Eddie Murphy as my favourite comedian.

          • Mikita

            Adding “you don’t know much about watches” in each your comment indeed gives you credit over your opponent, oh yes.

        • Brosan55

          Calling someone wearing an Omega a “knuckle-dragger” is a bit harsh. Were the NASA astronauts wearing Speedmasters to the moon knuckle-draggers? They wore high-quality dependable watches, and a great design, too. Those who constantly throw around the names of ultra-expensive brands are shallow & insecure, desperate to convince themselves and others that higher prices mean higher quality. Many are mired in the romantic notion that handmade is superior. It’s just not true. Personally, I prefer the people you call knuckle-draggers to some fancy boy wearing an AP RO Ultra Thin 15202.

  • SuperStrapper

    When I look at these I try to think of how I could make them uglier.

    Haven’t figured it out yet, when I do…

    • M’ Lord

      Perhaps it would look uglier on your wrist? It is a handsome watch.

      • SuperStrapper

        In your opinion, sure. And in mine it’s an abortion. Dont let the subjective personal opinions of others affect you so deeply.

    • Yan Fin

      Genuine Seiko bracelet? This one looks like Seiko’s knockoff.

  • commentator bob

    Omega can build a really attractive dive watch. They should build out the 300 line and leave the 300M in the past. Two 300 meter dive watches just confuses the market and the 300 looks better than the 300M.

    https://www.omegawatches.com/media/catalog/product/cache/image_1/800×1100/e9c3970ab036de70892d86c6d221abfe/s/o/soldier-23390412103002.png

    I actually have the GMT version of the 300M. The 300 still looks better, but the 300M used to be a much better looking watch before they messed up the hands and indices.

    https://cdn.jamesedition.com/media/W1siZiIsImxpc3RpbmdfaW1hZ2VzLzIwMTcvMDgvMTEvMDkvMzQvNDYvYmViOGM0MzktOTdjMC00MzRmLWE0OTEtMjc4MDk3NmMwZmRkL09tZWdhLVNlYW1hc3RlcjMwMG0tMjIzNC41MC4wMC05MzIyNy0yLmpwZyJdLFsicCIsInRodW1iIiwiMjAwMHgiXSxbInAiLCJ3YXRlcm1hcmsiXSxbInAiLCJlbmNvZGUiLCJqcGciLCItc3RyaXAgLXF1YWxpdHkgODAgLWludGVybGFjZSBQbGFuZSJdXQ/omega-seamaster-300m.jpg?sha=a14de1c3dac46689

    • M’ Lord

      No.

  • Luke Deerstalker

    These hands are DEFINITELY worse than either snowflake or Mercedes-style. Ariel didn’t mention that these new Omegas are not made from steel, but from Bondsteel (007L).

    • commentator bob

      James Bond upgraded to the Seamaster 300 a while ago.

  • Blue Note

    Please also inform us about the exact thickness of the case, … „ The finely brushed and polished steel case isn’t very thick for a professional dive watch, … „ is that less than 14 mm, or less than 13 mm ?

    • M’ Lord

      15.5mm

      • Blue Note

        well, 15,5mm is „not VERY thick for a professionell dive watch“ but it is thick
        after all, thicker actually than the old seamaster 300 (calibre 1120), or even the planet ocean (2500), which was 600 m and only 14,5mm

    • LucianoLucio

      13,5 mm.

  • M’ Lord

    Enormous improvement over current model. The bracelet now looks Blancpain rather than 1990’s gigolo. Adjusting clasp a big plus. The movement upgrade is superb. The waves are surprisingly good compared to the original where they were terrible and ruined readability. All they need do is drop the silly helium valve and they have arrived at the perfect Omega dive watch.

    • commentator bob

      They still need to get rid of the ugly hands and indices and replace the scalloped bezel with a coin-edge bezel.

      • M’ Lord

        No.

  • R Ramki

    I wonder if the Seamaster 300 series will drop in price or be discontinued. It’s s full 2 grand more for the same specs now, the movement used to be the big differentiator previously. Or am I missing something?

    • commentator bob

      $2,000 not to be ugly, which is a really stupid marketing strategy.

      Sometimes a car maker will introduce a new car, but carry the old version over for a year at a lower price. Omega has done that for like 5 years.

      I have the best looking version of the 300M that was ever made, the 50th anniversary GMT, and I would trade it tomorrow for a GMT in the new 300 style. Well, not tomorrow, but in a year when that watch was 1/3 off on Joma.

  • IanE

    Not for the first time I seem to be in a small minority here – I’m very fond of virtually all former versions of the 300M [and have the lacquered blue-dialled ceramic bezel version as a much-loved beater]. The current crop however look awful to my eyes (esp. the long wavelength nail scratches). Shame – I was really hoping Omega would deliver the goods this year. Still, all the better for my wallet!

    • James

      I agree. Ultimately over-styled, continuing Omega’s lurch into the fashion watch realm.

  • Greg Dutton

    I really like these, especially the two-tone models. But I can’t understand why the addition of a gold bezel would double the price of the watch; the case is still stainless steel…

  • Rob

    I really like how they didn’t change the overall look much, you see this watch from across the room and know instantly it’s a Seamaster.

    Can’t wait to see what it looks like IRL.

  • mbk

    I really like the dials on these. With the wave pattern and the shine of the dial, the hour markers seem to have a 3D effect where they are almost “floating” above the dial. It’s a unique look. I also love these hands – fun and unique. Nice writeup and photos, too.

  • Pete L

    Great review Ariel, the one I have been waiting for! Really love how they have managed subtle improvements across the board to create something actually new (unlike rolex) but kept the identity intact.
    Can’t wait to see in the metal as this is a watch I might actually buy!

  • commentator bob

    These new Omega Seamaster 300M watches make a really strong case for buying an Omega Seamaster 300.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Gorgeous watch . ” A little large for you sir? ”
    Horrible hands, need filled in.
    Nice to be back to the old format.
    All that summary and conclusion stuff annoyed me.

  • 5 more

    The crowning accessory for my normcore costume!

    • Boris N. Natasha

      normcore? seriously. did you think this was a Nixon review. i think you gots lost comrade

  • BNABOD

    Never liked this model, it screams early 90s and not in a good way. The hands are just so plain horrible they beg for being replaced. The wave dial is just tacky but decently done by sharks w freakin laser beams on their heads. The He valve aka “the tumor” has got to go. Appreciate it is viewed as an Omega landmark but boy is the He valve not only useless but ugly and one more thing that could let H2O in. So in summary, respect tumor, replace hands, less bling on bracelet…

    • wolverbilly

      I am in total agreement. To me (and after all, looks are totally and completely subjective) this watch is, and always has been, awkward. The “manual” He valve is just Omega’s way of saying they don’t take this diving thing seriously, and this shows why: It’s just for show. There’s no point in having a valve you have to remember to manually open if you’re decompressing in a chamber, and now that it is “patented” to allow it to be opened underwater (did you know that, ABTW? No?), the embarrassing sham is complete. It’s pure bumper bullet (but perfect for anybody who doesn’t know what it’s actually for). Throw in skeleton hands that makes the watch harder to read especially in low visibility and you know exactly how much dive testing they performed before launching it in a cinema near you. Oh, and I love this: “While I can’t say for sure, I believe that Omega has been continually producing at least some form of the Seamaster 300M for the last 25 years.” The Editor of “The world’s most popular source of watch reviews” can’t find out a basic fact about a model? It gets better with “It took years of looking at other sport watch dials to appreciate that Omega made something with the enduring power of a Submariner – but with a more contemporary and active feel to it” is even sadder. You honestly believe this dork magnet has the same place as a Submariner in the world of respected watch design? If it wasn’t for the Bond marketing they would have never sold any of these pucks. It’s a Bever thing, and he will no doubt create a Tag next with the enduring power of a Patek Perpetual Calendar.

      • Mikita

        One, not, two teas for this gentleman!

      • Marius

        Excellent comment!

  • I never understood skeleton hands on a non-chronograph; and the He valve is, and has always been, an unsightly wart.

    Give me the old wave dial and some solid hands.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1d356fb642fbb1554073b6d3388cf09bfd703372d4f6a67663f980e72ea2a338.jpg

    • Raymond Wilkie

      The hands i agree are much clearer when solid but overall not quite as nice as the one in question.

    • commentator bob

      The “great white” Seamaster is so much nicer than this ugly new stuff.

  • Philip Beresford

    The dials look very difficult to photograph, I think these will need to be seen in person to properly appreciate.

  • Yan Fin

    On the wrist looks even worse than promo pictures.

  • George Hollingsworth

    The Peter Blake 2254.50 watch is the standard in my opinion. Had quite enough of the Bond nonsense and after 30 years in aviation I have had enough of the pilot/astronaut/large ego meme. Bring back the Blake watch and you will sell at least one to me.

  • SuperStrapper

    I do t enjoy hating on a watch from a brand I like but this watch has always just been awful for me to review. Like it was designed by a committee, so many angle and texture and design changes/contrasts… it just looks messy.

  • Dcf

    WOW, Ariel wrote that meandering drivel? No doubt after a long night of boozing around the watch parties. Seriously, read it when you sober up.

  • Mikita

    Hate this model. It just screams tasteless 90s from the useless He valve to the dated bracelet. At 42 x 16 this hockey puck was made to scream I have no taste but I have 5 grand to play home grown J.Bond. Wave pattern is extremely kitschy and distracting, so are the skeleton hands. Machine finished movement looks like a sphinkter.

  • Han Cnx

    I never liked the older model but this restrained redesign seems to be just what’s needed. It’s a bit more of an adult’s watch now.

    • Mikita

      Modding hands on a $5,000 watch, really?

      • Han Cnx

        No, not really. 😀

  • benjameshodges

    Great writeup. Covered all I wanted to know.

  • Jorge Miranda

    Excellent review that make me think about add one to my small watch collection.

  • King of Desktop Divers.

  • Charles Ford

    What is the case height… that wasn’t mentioned in the article? I hope putting this new movement in the watch isn’t going to ruin it like they did the original Planet Ocean turning it from being a nice comfortable sized watch to a Hockey Puck on a bracelet?