A new limited edition celebrating the model's 70th anniversary is complemented by an updated Seamaster 300M that marks its quarter century milestone.
By Nick Gould
The roots of the Omega Seamaster stem back to watches produced by Omega for the British Ministry of Defence from 1940 to 1945. These timepieces were known to be very reliable and waterproof, both important factors for military personnel.
The Seamaster was launched by Omega in 1948 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the company. Back then, the CK 2518 was designed as a practical wristwatch that could be used for everyday use and recreational activities.
It also became the first family of watches released by Omega and featured Omega's first self-winding movement. The new Seamaster, was made more water resistant than its older brothers, as it was fitted with O-ring gasket technology to provide a water tight seal. It was tested to a depth of 60 metres and temperature changes of -40° C to 50°C, which it passed with flying colours. Two versions were made, both in stainless steel. One with a central seconds hand and the second was chronometer certified and featured a subsidiary seconds at the 6 o’clock position.
The Omega Seamaster 1948 Editions made to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Seamaster come in two variants and both are limited to 1,948 pieces each. The 1948 Central Seconds has a centrally mounted seconds hand, while the 1948 Small Seconds has a subsidiary dial at the 6 o’clock position. Both timepieces have stainless steel cases and feature Master Chronometer movements. The Central Seconds has a power reserve of 55 Hours and the Smalls Seconds has a reserve of 60 hours.
They are water resistant to 60 metres just like their older brothers.
The back-sapphire crystal is laser engraved and lacquered by hand with a 70th Anniversary logo, a Chris-Craft boat and Gloster Meteor aircraft, the first jet plane used by the Royal Air Force as a tribute to the aviators and mariners who have placed their trust in Omega's timepieces.
Meanwhile in 1993, Omega had released a new version of the Seamaster, with a modern design. It featured a 41 mm stainless steel case with bracelet, a blue dial featuring a wave pattern, graduated unidirectional bezel, helium escape value and water resistance to 300 metres / 1000 ft. Powering the watch was a quartz movement.
Around the same time period, the James Bond film franchise was rebooting after an extended period of time and in 1995 filming started on the seventeenth film in the series Goldeneye.
At the helm of Omega at the time, Jean-Claude Biver who recently announced his retirement from the watch industry, had negotiated a deal for Omega watches to appear on the wrist of 007 in future films.
When Goldeneye was released in 1995, an Omega Seamaster Professional Quartz was on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan, the new James Bond. This partnership has continued with an Omega seen on the wrist of James Bond in every 007 film since Goldeneye. With this exposure, it enhanced the cool factor of the Seamaster and it became a very popular model.
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Seamaster Diver 300M, and the milestone welcomes a deserved update to the model. First off, the size of the watch has been increased one millimetre to 42 mm. A seemingly subtle and the smallest of change, it however aesthetically brings out a more majestic and modern look to the timepiece.
The unidirectional bezel is now made from Omega's proprietary ceramic, with the diving scale in Ceragold™ or white enamel - the latter offering longer-lasting whiteness and durability. The dial which comes in black, blue or PVD chrome is also made from the same material, with the signature wave pattern laser-engraved. Meanwhile, the date display has been shifted to the 6 o'clock position, a visual re-orientation that gives the dial a more generous layout. The helium escape valve has a new conical shape, and with it also a patent filed by Omega that boasts an innovation that allows it to be operated even underwater.
As for the movement, the Seamaster 300M now has the self-winding CoAxial Master Chronometer Calibre 8800, which has a power reserve of 55 hours and has a magnetic resistance of 15,000 gauss. This is visible through the sapphire caseback.
Clearly not just a timepiece only for James Bond just in the movies, the Seamaster 300M with a quarter century under its belt, continues to impress with its enduring appeal on land, just as in the sea.
Creative Direction: Kien Lee
Styling: Allyson Klass
Videography: Audi Khalid of Urban Aperture
Photography: Rui Liang of Lightspade Studio
Photography Assistant: Lionel Lim
Hair and Makeup: Grego Oh
Model: Tiago C. from Ave Management
Location: FOC Sentosa