You never really know what wristwatch of long standing will suddenly get sprinkled with the celebrity fairy dust that makes it the object of desire: Paul Newman wearing a Rolex Daytona, Omega’s Speedmaster going to the moon, Steve McQueen and his Heuer Monaco, Rudolph Valentino and the Cartier Tank. Fictional heroes, too, can add magic, and when that character happens to be James Bond, the fan base transcends borders, genders, and age groups.
This year is turning out to be the year of the Omega Seamaster 300, though the hors d’oeuvre arrived in 2020, the latest Seamaster 300 is to be worn by Bond. As the film has been held back that most handsome of Seamaster 300s has enjoyed a longer spell as the range’s most talked-about item. But that hasn’t deterred Omega from following it with special editions and new looks, keeping the watch relevant.
With us since 1957, the Seamaster 300 started life as a classic diving watch with bold hands and black dial for superior legibility, a rotating bezel to keep the diver informed of time elapsed and certified water-resistance to professional standards. While the Seamaster name has also graced dressier models, the Seamaster 300 strictly denotes a tool watch for anyone likely to soak a timepiece in the briny.
Omega’s first diving watch from 64 years ago infuses the descendants of 2021, from the font of the 3/6/9/12, with distinctive “open” 6 and 9, to the “broad arrow” hour hand, necessary to ensure that the diver can distinguish it from the far more crucial minutes hand. Seconds are denoted by a sweep with arrowhead tip, while a unidirectional rotating bezel features numerals for 10- minute intervals, with a luminous dot at zero.
Last year’s model for 007 featured both military and retro details, which made it a guaranteed hit so the bar was raised. The models released in its wake are powered by the in-house Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8912, which is officially certified by Metas. It’s tough choosing a star among the models in the new collection as each is so different that prospective customers will be torn from one to the next, depending on colour preferences, taste and even purpose, as one in particular looks luxurious enough to be worn at a black-tie event.
This uptown version is the Seamaster 300 Bronze Gold. Omega developed a new material for its 41mm case, the BronzeAu375 Gold that gives the model its full name. This is mated to a ceramic bezel ring and a brown leather strap, to create a look that retains every design feature of the definitive Seamaster 300, but in a colour scheme that oozes elegance.
Change the colour palette and case materials to blue or black dials and bezels with cream luminous materials and stainless steel cases, and you have a choice of two fresh models with vintage looks. The style of the original Seamaster 300 is so timeless that these could have been plucked from 1960. Inside, however, is the same cutting-edge, chronometer-certified co-axial calibre that powers its bronze gold sibling, so either will satisfy the wearer who loves the look of the past but wants the most contemporary of movements.
Omega didn’t stop there, with a model recalling the first Seamaster 300M of 1993. Stealthy all-black watches, however, are on-point in 2021, so the company upped the case size to 43.5mm, fashioned the new version from all-black ceramic, laser-blasted a wave pattern into the black ceramic dial, fitted an all-black bezel and called it the Seamaster 300 Black Black. Like New York, this watch is so good they named it twice.
From £5,280; omegawatches.com