I’ve always thought this Omega is the watch that Bond should have worn, but never did.
When my literary hero transitioned from Rolex to Omega I was unsettled. However as he emerged from the dark Brosnan years and evolved into Daniel Craig the Seamaster became cooler, no longer fitted with lasers, and I started to buy into the mood. Bond’s watch was once again just a watch; a tool to be used like his PPK.
I have always admired 1960s Seamasters such as the stunning 165.024 with the sword hour hand and 3,6,9 dial. I believe it is still a serious vintage Rolex Submariner challenger with arguably more style, is a lot cheaper to own, and has the added kudos of being issued in large numbers to British Special Operations divers of the era. It is always a watch I could have seen Ian Fleming’s character wearing.
The vintage sword hand Omegas stuck in my mind so when I decided to buy a Seamaster that’s one design characteristic I wanted. As you will be aware the current Seamaster 300s has very distinctive skeletal hands which define the current version but, in my opinion, do little for the overall aesthetics of the watch. Therefore the model that interested me was the previous incarnation 2254.50.00 in stainless steel which had reimagined sword hands and although lacking the 3,6,9 seemed a good homage to the iconic 60s Diver.
Fast forward to 2010 and I was in Hong Kong visiting family. Hong Kong is a wonderful place to buy pre-owned watches. There are several institutions well worth a visit if you find yourself there. On Lyndhurst Terrace there is Vintage Concept which stocks a fine selection of old Rolex’s. On the same road you will find one of only a handful of Bremont boutiques outside the UK which welcome the watch enthusiast and serves bubbly as you peruse the latest models. What better place to buy a new Broadsword.
But by far the best watch shop in the city is Ken Watches. Ken has four branches, and he stocks a superb selection of pre-owned models. On one visit, I bought the subject of this article. Once secured “Ken” proceeded to fit the watch personally to ensure the links were even numbered left and right, and the clasp sat perfectly across my lower wrist, such was the importance he put in symmetry. The shop is tiny and cluttered with amazing models such as rare sword hand Submariners and special edition SAS Explorer IIs. You come out feeling like you have visited some hybrid between a fictional store in Blade Runner and a high-end Swiss brand AD.
My Omega Seamaster Titanium 300m
As alluded to earlier I had intended to buy a stainless steel version of the Omega but Ken did not have one. What he offered me was the slightly rarer 41mm titanium model. As soon as I handled the watch it was an instant sale. There was so little weight to it (110g) and armed already with the knowledge that that watch was around 40% lighter than the steel model and around six times stronger there was no reason to hesitate.
Over ten years later the Seamaster is still one of my go-to watches and is a firm favourite in my collection. The professional images shot by our team for this feature were only taken a week ago and it is clear to see how the watch has retained its beauty and lustre, even having been subjected to 13 years of hard use by me.
The instantly recognisable gun-metal colour of titanium keeps this Omega one of the best looking Seamasters of all time. It oozes functionality and is a strong contender for the title of ultimate tool watch. Each time I wear it I think “why are all watches not made from this material”? As you will have seen from Watches and Wonders this week even Rolex have succumbed to the lure of titanium with the release of the new Yachtmaster. Universally regarded in the WatchGecko office as possibly one of the better Rolexes of all time.
How does the Seamaster wear?
Effortlessly would be the main answer. The lack of weight and superb legibility make it hard to fault the watch itself as a time keeping machine. Within it beats the respected Omega calibre 1120 which is a modified ETA 2824-2 so it’s unlikely to let me down. Lume is outstanding even given the age of the watch. With the exception of the wave pattern on the dial (which only shows from certain angles) the watch is not elaborate and that is a design characteristic I admire. The case back is not crystal but has a large Hippocampus mythical creature which serves to attest to the quality of the machine.
The only problem with ownership and wear comes if we look more closely at the bracelet. The links are excellent and the bracelet is comfortable but the clasp does not have any micro adjustment other than a wet suit extension. This seems a really odd omission by Omega and the upshot is you have to wear the watch a bit lose in case your wrist swells up or snug in which case it can get too tight. Its frustrating. That and the fact that the buckle scratches very badly (my "Professional Seamaster" is almost illegible) is why my Omega is seldom worn on the bracelet and I opt for other straps which in no way detract from the look of the watch.
I favour two ZULUDIVER options which are the Classic Bond Military Nylon and a Sailcloth two piece. Both compliment the dial but more important enhance the unique colour and finish of titanium case.
Would I recommend a titanium Seamaster? Absolutely without any doubt. The Seamaster itself is a time honoured watch which has been party to some great adventures. The name is every bit as iconic as Rolex Submariner but the watch is far more affordable and obtainable. If you are lucky enough to find a titanium model then give it fair consideration. I believe this material really does elevate an already superb watch and gives it a distinct edge both in both looks and performance. Ownership of this watch is a pleasure and an endless wonder at the advanced construction.