Omega Seamaster 300M

The Best Watch From The Year I Was Born

8 min read

In an exciting journey through time, we reached out to our guest authors with a special request: to share their favourite watch release from the year they were born. Here are their fascinating choices, each reflecting a unique moment in the evolution of watchmaking.

Best Watch from 1960s

Omega Seamaster 300 165.024

Neil Cody

Many people develop a fascination with birth year watches, a sentiment that resonated with me once I had accumulated a few timepieces in my collection. While there may not always be a practical reason for acquiring a new watch, for me, it was a meaningful way to commemorate a milestone.

My personal favourite from that year is the Omega Seamaster 300 165.024. Like many timepieces from that era, it exudes a distinctive vintage charm, which I find extremely appealing. While they may come with a hefty price tag in today's market, back in 1968, they were relatively more accessible, costing around £62.00.

Featuring a 40.5mm Staybrite case with fixed spring bars, a characteristic reminiscent of issued military watches of that time, the

Seamaster 300 boasts a distinctive design element—a prominent oversized triangle at 12 o’clock. The narrow rotating Bakelite bezel, tritium-lumed dial, and sword hands all contribute to its iconic aesthetic. With a water resistance rating of 300m, as indicated by its model name, the Seamaster was designed to withstand the rigours of underwater exploration. The case back is adorned with the iconic Hippocampus emblem, (half horse, half fish) a symbol of water resistance—further reinforces its maritime heritage.

The Omega Seamaster 300 stands as one of the most recognisable and enduring timepieces, a testament to its significance in horological history. Omega has leveraged the success of this model to build a legacy that will endure for generations to come, with numerous variants and iterations spawning from its timeless design. This is also on my wish list, as re many of this era.

Best Watch from 1980s

Rolex Explorer II

Rob Nudds

Nineteen eighty-five. They don’t make years like that anymore. The day I emerged into the world blue in the face thanks to my umbilical cord attempting to lynch me on the way out, presumed blind, and sporting a dislocated hip, Mick Jagger and David Bowie topped the charts in the UK,

while Huey Lewis and the News dominated Stateside. Back to the Future was still in theatres. Reagan was president, Fitzgerald was Taoiseach, and Thatcher was Prime Minister. Gorbachev, who would oversee the dissolution of the USSR, had taken power six months earlier, and the country in which I now live (Germany), was still divided. Simply put, it was a very different world, full of political and societal change. The watch industry was no different. In fact, the hobby, as we know it today, had only really begun in earnest, two years prior, with the launch of the Swatch brand on March 1 st , 1983.

Omega X Swatch
Omega X Swatch - Credit WatchGecko
Omega X Swatch
Omega X Swatch - Credit WatchGecko

Collecting watches wasn’t really a thing until Swatch changed the game. The idea of timekeeping and fashion being as intrinsically linked as they are today was new. Long-standing brands were starting to cotton on to the importance not just of product placement (which had existed long before), but the importance of a watch in the communication of one’s character. As such, we were treated to more and more watches playing an active role in the creation of on-screen characters.

Unsurprisingly, one brand that did this very effectively was Rolex, which placed that brand front and centre of my considerations when approaching this task.

The first watch that sprang to mind was the Rolex GMT Master worn by Tom Selleck in his role as the rakish Magnum P.I. from the fourth series (1983–84) onwards. But since that watch had debuted in 1981, I thought I’d choose a weirder wrinkle from the brand’s release history that is not defined by a reference number, but rather a curious paint defect that was still unidentified by the time I was born.

The Rolex Explorer II had been around since 1971 but, in the mid-eighties, reference 16550 with a white dial was released (the exact date

Tom Selleck With A Pepsi GMT
Tom Selleck With A Pepsi GMT - Credit Rolex

is hard to pin down with plenty of sources saying 1985 and just as many marking its release as one year earlier in 1984).What was unknown at the time, was that the white paint used on some of these dials would discolour to a warm cream (ranging from lemon yellow to a more peachy brown) over time. While these rare cream dials are not identified by a specific reference (as their chromatic shift was unplanned), they all hail from the earliest days of the 16550, which had this defect “fixed” in 1989 with the updated reference 16570.

As such, if I could have any watch from my birth year, I’d take one of these seldom-seen beasts from 1985. They boast the versatility of the regular black or white dial Explorer II models, come in a wearable 40 mm diameter, and have a charm that many modern, more sterile Rolex references lack.

Credit Bob's Watches

However, they do not come cheap! Picking up one of these beauties in good condition will set you back somewhere in the region of £20,000, which is honestly the main reason I haven’t seriously attempted to acquire one. If anyone’s keen to treat me to a generous gift for my 40 th birthday next year, however, I’d be more than happy to receive it.

Best Watch from 1990s

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

Charlotte Harris

As a 90’s baby, I was born during a time when watchmaking was big and brilliant. The era in general saw an increase in case sizes, and more importantly, the return of mechanical movements after the upheaval caused by the Quartz Crisis. 1993, my birth year, seems to have marked the launch

of some pretty special watches. There was the introduction of the Chopard Happy Sport, the dressy women’s model with loose diamonds roaming around the dial, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, the larger, black gasket-equipped variant of the 70’s Royal Oak.

But my personal favourite watch to come from 1993 goes to the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. It’s a watch that still frequents Omega’s portfolio and hasn’t changed all that much since its debut. It was originally created as a quartz model but was later installed with automatic movements. It featured the familiar scalloped bezel, an etched dial with a wave pattern and openwork sword-shaped hands. It was a decidedly dressier divers watch compared to what Omega, and other watch brands, had launched during this time, but it was clearly a combination of aesthetics and specs craved by watch enthusiasts.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M also ignited the brand’s partnership with James Bond and thus the model’s reputation as a durable and sophisticated piece. A blue-dialled and blue-bezeled variant appeared on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond film, GoldenEye, released in 1995. And as we know, from that moment, an Omega watch has been worn by 007 in every James Bond movie since.

Breitling Chronomat D13050

Corbin Buff

I have to pick the Breitling Chronomat D13050 as my favorite watch release from the year I was born (1996).

I've always admired Breitling's designs from the late 90s and early 2000s. 

Breitling Chronomat
Breitling Chronomat - Credit Kibble Watches

They embody that classic Breitling machismo that defines the brand, but they do so without going over the top, and without being too big or bulky.  I also think the gold accents on these watches are particularly well-executed—subtle, not gaudy or flashy, adding just the right touch of contrast and elegance.

Growing up, one of the TV shows that was always on in my house was Seinfeld, and it’s still one of my favorite comedy shows to this day. I learned a bit later on that Jerry Seinfeld is a lifelong Breitling enthusiast, and he wore a Breitling Chronomat in most episodes of the show. So that’s just one more way in which this watch really takes me back to that time period. It adds a bit of an extra nostalgic layer to my appreciation of the Chronomat D13050.

This Chronomat is a bridge to a past era, but I feel it also holds up to today’s modern designs, and wouldn’t be out of place or look like an “old watch” on my wrist even today. The design captures the spirit of the late 90s, an era marked by robust and versatile watchmaking. But the blend of stainless steel and gold accents creates a timeless aesthetic that still holds up today.

Overall, the Breitling Chronomat D13050 is both a favorite watch release and a symbol of a formative period in my life. It’s also a testament to the enduring appeal of Breitling's craftsmanship and appeal over time.

Best Watch from 2000s

Omega Speedmaster Date Automatic

Reece Bithrey

My choice of a birth year watch isn’t perhaps as legendary as what others have picked. I’ve picked a reference that’s a little more affordable, and one I’d quite like to own in the future. It’s the Omega Speedmaster Date Automatic, reference 3511.50, which is a reverse panda dial Speedy which is one of the reduced models that was available twenty two years ago.

Credit Fellows Auctions

As a Speedmaster Reduced, it perhaps gets less of a look than the Professional models, but the fact remains it is still a Speedmaster, and one that can be had for between £1500 and £2500, depending on condition. That’s a veritable bargain in comparison to what a modern Speedy will cost, and you’re still getting most of the same charm, as well as a movement with an integrated chronograph. The inclusion of Omega’s Calibre 1155 movement keeps potential servicing and repair costs down as a result of the chronograph being integrated into the movement, as opposed to being a module that was added, which can be more difficult to service.

Elsewhere, this is a reverse panda dial, which is right on trend for certain folks, and offers a wearable 39mm stainless steel case with quirks such as hexagonal crown and chronograph sub-dials at the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions, which is quite unusual for a Speedmaster. Despite being a slightly more modern option, this Speedmaster Date Automatic retains the bracelet from Speedy models that are nearly twenty years older than it, with the 1469 bracelet found on some Moonwatch references as early as 1988. This means it comes with slightly narrower 18mm lugs, but the same 4mm taper as other Speedy bracelets, and otherwise looks fantastic.


While it may be a bit of an unorthodox choice all things considered, the Omega Speedmaster Date Automatic, reference 3511.50 makes for an interesting reverse panda chronograph from the year 2002 and one I’d love to own in the future.

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