OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Guide
An ideal mix of performance and value, with plenty of variety to choose from.
Originally published by Logan Baker for HODINKEE, June 9th 2020
The OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M has maintained, in some form or another, a significant position in OMEGA’s line-up since 1993, developing a tremendous following in a little over 25 years. Two years ago, the Swiss brand updated the collection in a major way, adding the use of in-house produced and Master Chronometer-certified movements and bringing back key design attributes from the model’s past, like the laser-engraved wave motif on the dial, the skeleton handset, the scalloped bezel, and the lollipop-style seconds hand.
The Seamaster name has a long and proud lineage within OMEGA, but – in our opinion – it has never had a better combination of specs, design, and value for money than in its current form, the contemporary Seamaster Diver 300M.
With summer heat starting to show itself across the Northern Hemisphere, we figured it was high time we brought in some variety to our existing Seamaster Diver 300M collection, and today we’re doing just that by adding six new variants of the recognizable dive watch to the HODINKEE Shop. That’s right: We’re filling out our curated selection of OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300Ms with more options than ever before.
A majority of these watches iterate on the same form factor the model has identified with since its 2018 redesign. That starts with a highly wearable case profile that measures 42mm in diameter and 13.5mm in height. You also have rhodium-plated skeleton hands that sport different colors of lume (blue for the hour hand and green for the minute hand), so there are no legibility issues when underwater. The lugs, of course, feature the Seamaster’s recognizable curvy facets, and the bracelet features the same dive extension that has accompanied the watch since the early 1990s. The use of a lollipop seconds hand is a choice that longtime fans of the Seamaster 300M will appreciate.
For $5,000 and change (less than that figure in a number of variations), the Seamaster Diver 300M is a professional-grade dive watch tested to 300 meters and fitted with a true in-house movement that is certified as a Master Chronometer. It’s good looking, too, with laser-engraved dials that feature the model’s signature wave decoration and ceramic bezel inserts (meaning the color won’t fade and the likelihood of scratching or damaging the bezel is close to nil). Oh, and though we’re not one to dwell on celebrities or pop-culture partnerships too often, we’d be remiss not to mention this is the latest evolution of the watch that’s been favored by James Bond since 1995.
One noteworthy detail of the redesigned Seamaster Diver 300M was the new, cone-shaped helium escape valve, which is configured in a way to allow the watch to remain resistant to water damage up to 50 meters if left open by accident. The overall finishing on the case is excellent and up to par with OMEGA standards, with alternating brushed and polished surfaces on the bevels of the case and bezel. The presence of OMEGA caliber 8800 represents the first use of a fully in-house caliber in the Seamaster 300M family (previous Seamaster 300M models featured an ETA 2892 modified with OMEGA’s co-axial escapement), and it’s been certified as a Master Chronometer by METAS, to boot. That means more than just a guarantee of accuracy – it also signifies the watch has been tested for enhanced shock protection and to be resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss, an unprecedented figure in the history of watchmaking.
Five of the Seamaster Diver 300Ms being added to the HODINKEE Shop today remain in line with these defined aesthetic tenets. There’s a white-dial option with a black ceramic bezel on a bracelet, a black-dial option with a matching black rubber strap, and a blue-dial option on a bracelet. All three of these were previously available in the HODINKEE Shop in various configurations, and you know have more choices to select from than ever before.
Joining the HODINKEE Shop for the first time today is a new variant as well, one that features a grey dial with a blue bezel and is available on either a bracelet or a blue rubber strap. The grey dial adds a sunburst finish to the laser-engraved wave design that adds a bit of extra texture to the overall appearance. The dial is made of ceramic just as the other Seamaster 300Ms, but the sunburst look adds a different sort of character, as the other ceramic dial executions feel a bit flashier. There’s a nice mix of high and low that comes across clearly in this grey dial design. The blue accents on the handset, the hour markers, the date, and the ceramic bezel insert all add a great deal of legibility to the dial. It’s an excellent addition to the entire Seamaster Diver 300M range.
Finally, the last Seamaster Diver 300M update to the HODINKEE Shop today is a departure from the standard variation. Although the overall design of the 300M is maintained, the material execution is completely different. Instead of using stainless steel, this Seamaster Diver 300M features a case – as well as a dial, buckle, and bezel insert – built entirely from black ceramic, while the caseback, bezel, crown, hands, hour markers, and helium escape valve are now made from grade 5 titanium. But the differences don’t end with the material application, OMEGA also upsized the case profile to 43.5mm (from 42mm), and the laser-engraved wave motif on the dial is raised in a positive relief rather than sunken like on the standard Seamaster 300M. The overall look is just as bold and luxurious as it is discreet.
Part of what makes this watch work so well is its tone-on-tone design – all-black with a hint of grey – that provides a sleek, monochromatic look unlike nearly any other Seamaster in the current line-up. It’s an interesting exercise in dark tones, and it looks just plain fantastic on the wrist. OMEGA uses Master Chronometer caliber 8806 here, which, as you might have noticed on the watch’s dial, comes without a date. With its extensive use of premium materials, the price of this Seamaster Diver 300M has increased from the collection’s entry price of approximately $5,000 up to $8,100. While this watch is also available on a black rubber strap, the attractive black-and-grey OMEGA-signed NATO strap seen here offers quite the cool look as well.
The sheer variety of Seamaster Diver 300M options available at any moment in time is one of the collection’s most compelling attributes. OMEGA has recast its ever-popular Seamaster Diver 300M range with a nearly unbeatable combination of design panache, technical specifications, and high-end materials to create a truly remarkable and versatile collection of watches that will carry you through the summer season with ease.
You can explore our continuously growing collection of OMEGA watches, including all of the above Seamasters, right here.