Omega watch lovers are given an almost tedious amount of good options when it comes to what watch to want next. The “Omega love” is high here, but let’s be honest, when it comes to wanting a new Speedmaster or Seamaster choosing the right model for you is just under being as complicated as determining a new neighborhood to move to. There are a complex set of considerations, pluses, minuses, and “should I hold out for X” thoughts that go through your head. Well, to make things better/more frustrating, Omega has released the Omega Seamaster 300M Chronograph GMT Co-Axial watch as another model that ticks off several boxes in your “want list.”
With so much focus on the Seamaster Planet Ocean and the new for 2014 Seamaster 300 (not 300M, yes, we know it is a bit confusing), the longstanding Omega Seamaster 300M doesn’t get all the attention it perhaps deserves. A decade ago, it was all about the Omega Seamaster 300M (300 M). It was the James Bond watch, and it was an extremely versatile timepiece that came in a range of sizes, styles, and with both mechanical and quartz movement offerings.
The Seamaster 300 is just one such watch. Exactly what the dial does, then, is give lovers of classic Omegas a means to get that amazing, authentic look, without any of those compromises that come with owning a 50+ year old watch.The 41mm case of this specific Seamaster 300 is quite interesting primarily because of the Ceragold bezel.As I said earlier, this specific SM300 has a two tone look. The situation is solid steel while the bezel and crown are strong gold, the former with a ceramic insert. However, what makes it so intriguing is that the procedure that enters the bezel. Particularly, the ceramic insert is engraved by laser, then a conductive layer is added to it that gold may adhere to the ceramic. The ceramic rings are then placed in an electrolytic bath for 48 hours while 18k gold collects, filling at the engraved regions and eventually covering the whole insert. Then, the insert is polished, removing the surplus gold but leaving the gold in the numerals and markings. As per the sense of the bezel, I’m on a small hot streak since this is yet another in my list of bezels that sense really large quality. Much like the Pelagos I recently analyzed, this bezel is very strong. I would say that acoustically it is not quite as pleasant, or as loudly, as that watch, but I was very impressed with how well it locates detents. A high quality unidirectional bezel can normally be pushed into a place between two detents and left there, but there was some built in strain which constantly pushed the bezel into a nice locking place, so it was always correct on a given minute mark.
Today, the Omega Seamaster 300M collection is relatively basic and exists just under the Seamaster Planet Ocean in terms of price. The movements are not fully in-house, but rather combine custom Omega parts with stock ETA movements. Frankly, the movements are very good and the value is there too, but you can’t turn them over and admire them like you can the very pretty in-house made Omega calibers. While most Omega Seamaster 300M watches today are three-hand automatics, there are some chronograph versions (such as the Omega Seamaster 300M Co-Axial Chronograph ETNZ Limited Edition, and its non-limited edition variants), and now for 2014, a Chronograph GMT Co-Axial.
In many ways, this new chronograph and GMT version of the Omega Seamaster 300M is a minor update to the Seamaster 300M Co-Axial Chronograph, but with a revised dial and GMT hand. That is OK with me, because I think it is a solid addition of a desirable feature. Omega actually has other chronograph GMT watches such as the Aqua Terra Chronograph GMT with the in-house made caliber 9605, but the layout is different than on the Seamaster 300M Co-Axial Chronograph GMT.
In a steel case with a matte dark gray ceramic bezel, the Omega Seamaster 300M in this form is 44mm wide and properly thick on the wrist. If there is anything you can say about Omega dive watches it is that they make for a bold presence on the wrist – especially the chronograph models. The iconic Seamaster 300M case is water resistant to 300 meters (duh) and has a manual helium release valve at 10 o’clock.
What is also very important to point out is that according to Omega, the chronograph mechanism can be used underwater. It is not super common that diving watches with chronographs allow for the chronograph complication to be used under water. In this case, the chronograph pushers are fully operational underwater which adds to the tool-watch appeal of this Omega Seamaster 300M.
Often replicated but never really well copied is the well-regarded Omega Seamaster 300M bracelet. Omega originally designed it as a more chunky dive-style version of the Speedmaster Professional bracelet, and it continues to have its charms. It also happens to be quite comfortable. Having said that, the Seamaster 300M Chronograph GMT C-Axial is also the type of Omega Seamaster 120 Replica that can look really good on a rubber strap.
Inside the Omega Seamaster 300M Chronograph GMT Co-Axial is the Omega caliber 3603 movement that is essentially a caliber 3330 with a GMT hand. This automatic movement has a Co-Axial escapement and a silicon balance spring. It operates at 4 Hz and has a nice power reserve of 52 hours. Also, like the in-house made Omega movements the automatic rotor winds in both directions. It further has a column wheel for the chronograph and the movement is COSC Chronometer certified. The dial features the time, date, 12 hour chronograph, and central GMT hand.