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The Omega Seamaster: Master of the Sea
The Omega Seamaster has been one of the world's most famous diving watches for decades. The collection contains numerous models with retro designs, as well as state-of-the-art tool watches. There is also a vast selection of vintage timepieces.
Diving Watches in Various Designs
The Seamaster collection is the oldest Omega series still in production. It has existed under the name "Seamaster" since 1948. The Swiss manufacturer has continually expanded the series over the years and now offers timepieces in stainless steel, titanium, gold, ceramic, and platinum. In addition to the Seamaster 300, the collection is home to the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M, Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M, Diver 300M, Bullhead, and Ploprof 1200M. Each model is a unique sub-collection within the larger Seamaster family.
The Seamaster 300 is the first choice of those looking for a diving watch with the charm of timepieces from the 1950s and 60s. On the other hand, fans of modern tool watches should enjoy the Planet Ocean 600M and Diver 300M. Both models feature a helium escape valve at 10 o'clock, making them great choices for professional saturation diving. If you're in the market for a sporty dress watch, look no further than the Aqua Terra, Railmaster, and retro Seamaster 1948 lines. Finally, the Ploprof 1200M and Bullhead turn heads with their bold and unusual designs.
All watches in the broader Seamaster collection are highly water-resistant. Depth ratings range from the Aqua Terra and Bullhead's 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft) to the Ploprof's 1,200 m (120 bar, 3,940 ft). In 2022, Omega introduced the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, which is water-resistant to an impressive 6,000 m (600 bar, 19,685 ft).
The various Seamaster lines also share their technology. They all originate in the same workshops and have featured Co-Axial calibers since 1990. Omega even has some of these calibers certified as Master Chronometers by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. To earn this distinction, a movement must be especially precise and anti-magnetic.
Reasons to Buy a Seamaster
- Collector's pieces likely to appreciate in value
- Wide range of diving watches from retro to modern
- Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep water-resistant to 6,000 m (19,685 ft)
- Stainless steel, gold, titanium, ceramic, and platinum cases
- Diver 300M and Planet Ocean with helium escape valves
Prices at a Glance: Omega Seamaster
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Water resistance, material, features|
|Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer, 18.104.22.168.99.001||70,000 USD||150 m (15 bar, 492 ft), platinum, world time display|
|Planet Ocean Chronograph, 22.214.171.124.01.001||24,500 USD||600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft), rose gold, chronograph, date|
|Diver 300M Chronograph, 126.96.36.199.01.001||12,000 USD||300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), gold and steel, chronograph, date|
|Seamaster 300, 188.8.131.52.01.002||10,000 USD||300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), gold and steel, -|
|Ploprof 1200M, 184.108.40.206.01.001||9,000 USD||1200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft), stainless steel, date|
|Diver 300M, 220.127.116.11.01.001||7,000 USD||300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), ceramic, helium escape valve|
|Aqua Terra GMT, 18.104.22.168.04.001||5,800 USD||150 m (15 bar, 492 ft), titanium, GMT, date|
|Seamaster 300, 22.214.171.124.01.001||5,700 USD||300 m (30 bar, 984 ft), stainless steel, -|
|Railmaster, 126.96.36.199.03.001||3,700 USD||150 m (15 bar, 492 ft), stainless steel, anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss|
How much do the Seamaster 300 and Diver 300M cost?
The Seamaster series is among the most comprehensive collections in the Omega catalog. Prices largely depend on the exact model. This is especially true of the Seamaster 300, which has been in production since 1957. The Seamaster 300 is a classic diving watch with three hands, luminous indices, a unidirectional bezel, and water resistance to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). Little has changed about its design since its introduction. Defining features include triangular hour indices; Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock; and an arrow-shaped hour hand.
The current Seamaster 300 measures 41 mm in diameter and is available in multiple colors and materials. Cases come in stainless steel, titanium, platinum, and several gold alloys. In 2021, Omega added bronze gold to this lineup; made by mixing bronze with gold (37.5%), silver, and palladium, this alloy is corrosion-resistant and hypoallergenic.
The standard Seamaster 300 comes with a black dial and bezel, but if you'd prefer something a bit more colorful, the watch also comes in blue or green. Regardless of the color, you'll find Omega's certified Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber inside.
Plan to pay about 5,400 USD for a stainless steel Seamaster 300 on a leather strap. The same watch on a stainless steel bracelet will cost you an additional 300 USD. Models in titanium usually change hands for between 6,300 and 6,600 USD, depending on the strap or bracelet. Two-tone editions in stainless steel and gold sell for around 9,500 USD on Chrono24; editions in titanium and gold go for somewhat less, approximately 8,500 USD. If you're looking for a watch in yellow or rose gold on a matching bracelet, prices climb to between 26,000 and 27,000 USD. The same watch on a leather strap costs considerably less, between 15,400 and 16,700 USD. The prices for a platinum Seamaster 300 start around 30,000 USD.
Due to its long history, you'll find plenty of vintage Seamaster 300 models on the market. Collectors are especially fond of Seamasters from the 1960s, like the ref. 166.024, for example, which you can purchase on Chrono24 for about 8,400 USD. A well-maintained original Seamaster 300 with the reference number CK 2913 will cost you between 15,500 and 32,000 USD. You can save yourself thousands of dollars by purchasing the Seamaster 300 from the 1957 Trilogy instead. This model debuted in 2017 and combines the original's design with a modern Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber. This particular watch demands an investment of roughly 6,800 USD.
The Seamaster Diver 300M
Omega launched the Seamaster Diver 300M in 1993. This model has a much more modern feel than the Seamaster 300. It features a diving bezel with a scalloped edge, a wave-pattern dial, and wide, skeletonized sword hands. The dial is available in several colors, including blue, black, white, and silver. Omega expanded the selection in 2022 by adding a dial in olive green.
Another detail not found on the Seamaster 300 is the helium escape valve on the case at 10 o'clock. This mechanism protects the watch against potential damage caused by helium molecules entering the case during saturation diving. The Diver 300M's case is water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) and available in stainless steel, titanium, gold, or ceramic.
Over the years, Omega has offered the Seamaster Diver 300M in an array of sizes ranging from 28 to 44 mm. The three-hand variant in the current collection comes in stainless steel or titanium and measures 42 mm in diameter; the ceramic edition is somewhat wider, measuring 43.5 mm. Regardless of the size, Omega has equipped both versions with chronometer-certified automatic movements with co-axial escapements. Older editions of the Diver 300M, such as the first-gen ref. 2531.80.00, come with an ebauché movement from Swiss manufacturer ETA. Quartz movements are also still part of the Seamaster repertoire, as evidenced by the 28-mm women's watch without a helium escape valve.
This last watch is also the most affordable model, and changes hands for about 1,700 USD. For a first-generation edition with an automatic caliber, expect to pay about twice that. The current Master Chronometer model in stainless steel goes for around 4,400 USD. Prices increase as soon as precious metals come into play. A two-tone timepiece in stainless steel and gold on a rubber strap, for example, costs approximately 6,000 USD. By comparison, the same watch on a two-tone link bracelet costs nearly 9,200 USD. Models in titanium and rose gold cost another 2,500 USD more. If you'd prefer a gold watch, plan to spend at least 20,000 USD. If you're not in the market for a watch in stainless steel, gold, or titanium, prices for the 43.5-mm Diver 300M in black ceramic start around 7,000 USD.
The Diver 300M Chronograph
In addition to three-hand timepieces, the Diver 300M is also available as a chronograph. Omega offers models with two or three subdials, as well as versions with a GMT function. You can purchase the 44-mm watch with three subdials for as little as 4,400 USD on Chrono24. However, these timepieces lack the distinctive wave pattern on their dials, and the caliber 3330 inside is not a certified Master Chronometer.
This is also true of the Diver 300M GMT Chronograph, fitted with the caliber 3603. You'll easily recognize this watch by its additional GMT hand and the 24-hour scale at the outer edge of the dial. Plan to shell out about 5,400 USD for a Diver 300M GMT.
Omega equips its bicompax watches with the ultramodern Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 9900, which boasts a power reserve of 60 hours and is anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss. Stainless steel editions cost around 6,500 USD, while prices for two-tone timepieces in gold and steel range between 8,800 and 11,700 USD. The model released in mid-2021 in titanium, rose gold, and tantalum demands upwards of 18,000 USD; the solid rose gold edition sells for around 23,500 USD.
About the Planet Ocean and Ploprof
The Seamaster Planet Ocean is still a relatively new addition to the Omega catalog. Introduced in 2005, it has since developed into a large collection of diving watches, each water-resistant to 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft). These watches also feature a helium escape valve at 10 o'clock and look like a modern interpretation of the Seamaster 300. This is due in large part to its arrow-shaped hands and the numerals at 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. The collection offers three-hand variants in 43.5, 39.5, and 37.5 mm, which makes the series suitable for both men and women.
In addition to the three-hand models, this watch also comes with chronograph or GMT complications and in your choice of stainless steel, gold, ceramic, or titanium. Once you've selected a case material and functionality, you have to decide whether you're willing to pay more for a model with an anti-magnetic Master Chronometer movement. There is also an array of color options available. The dial comes in black, white, gray, blue, brown, and mother-of-pearl. The manufacturer also offers bezels in red and orange, as well as diamond-studded versions.
The three-hand models are the most affordable. A 37.5-mm timepiece in titanium with a blue dial and matching leather strap costs approximately 3,600 USD. However, Omega does not equip these watches with Master Chronometer calibers. Those looking for a watch with state-of-the-art technology will find affordable alternatives among the 39.5 and 43.5-mm stainless steel editions. Prices for these models sit between 5,300 and 5,500 USD.
For a Planet Ocean with a GMT function in stainless steel and without a Master Chronometer caliber, plan to spend approximately 5,000 USD. When fitted with a certified Master Chronometer caliber, prices climb to almost 6,700 USD. Black ceramic models change hands for around 9,300 USD.
A titanium chronograph costs about 8,400 USD, which is approximately 2,100 USD more than the same watch in stainless steel. More expensive models inhabit a broad price spectrum, depending on the material. Ceramic editions sell for around 9,400 USD, while two-tone chronographs require an investment of about 14,000 USD. Gold editions go for approximately 24,500 USD.
For Especially Deep Dives: The Planet Ocean Ultra Deep 6000M
In spring 2022, Omega launched the Planet Ocean Ultra Deep 6000M. This diving watch boasts water resistance to 6,000 m (600 bar, 19,685 ft). The model was developed from an experimental watch created in 2019, the Ultra Deep Professional, which survived a dive of 10,935 m (35,876 ft) into the Mariana Trench strapped to the exterior of the submersible Triton.
The Ultra Deep 6000M measures 45.5 mm in diameter and is made of the company's own O-Megasteel. This unique alloy has a higher tensile strength than normal steel, and is both ferromagnetic and corrosion-resistant.
The watch comes equipped with the Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8912 and has a 60-hour power reserve.
In the summer of 2022, the Ultra Deep 6000M was still a rare sight on Chrono24. Omega's MSRP for this timepiece is 11,600 USD.
Ploprof 1200M: Water-Resistant to 1,200 m (3,940 ft)
"Ploprof" stands for "plongeur professionnel," which is French for "professional diver." The Seamaster Ploprof more than does justice to this name. Two things stand out in addition to its dimensions (55 x 48 mm) and angular design: the crown at 9 o'clock surrounded by a massive crown guard and the diving bezel with a security pusher at 2 o'clock. Thanks to its automatic helium escape valve and water resistance to 1,200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft), current models easily meet professional requirements.
Prices for a stainless steel Ploprof 1200M come in at around 8,900 USD. This model uses the Co-Axial caliber 8500 with a date display. If you prefer the version with a titanium case and Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8912, be prepared to spend about 10,300 USD. Two-tone watches in titanium and rose gold demand an additional 4,400 USD. Fans of vintage watches will find just what they're looking for with the Ploprof 600 from the 1970s. As its name suggests, this timepiece is water-resistant to 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft). You can purchase a model in good condition starting around 6,000 USD.
The Aqua Terra: An Elegant Seamaster
The Seamaster Aqua Terra is perhaps the most elegant member of the Seamaster family. With its simple and linear design, this diving watch can easily pass for a sporty dress watch. Its case is water-resistant to 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft). Three-hand watches make up the majority of this collection, though you'll find chronographs and models with a second time zone as well. Omega even offers special editions for women in their Ladies' Collection. Master Chronometer movements have been powering the Aqua Terra since 2017. Before that, the series featured both automatic and quartz calibers.
Quartz editions in stainless steel demand as little as 1,700 USD. Prices begin around 2,800 USD for older, three-hand models with an automatic caliber, whereas current stainless steel timepieces can be purchased for between 4,100 and 4,700 USD, depending on the choice of color (black, white, silver, olive green, or blue) and band (leather or rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet). Gold watches often change hands for upwards of 25,000 USD, especially those with diamonds on their dials and bezels.
Omega expanded the collection in the summer of 2021 by introducing three-hand watches with a small seconds dial. The corresponding subdial sits at the 6 o'clock position, along with the date display. The design of this timepiece is almost identical to that of the standard edition. Depending on whether you want a stainless steel, two-tone, or solid gold watch, plan to spend between 5,300 and 35,000 USD.
The Aqua Terra With Additional Complications
A stainless steel, three-hand Aqua Terra with a second time zone and fitted with the Co-Axial caliber 8605 costs about 3,700 USD. The price point for the two-tone version sits around 6,300 USD, while that of the rose gold model is nearly 19,000 USD. For a titanium Aqua Terra with a certified Master Chronometer caliber, plan to spend approximately 6,000 USD.
If you need to keep your eye on more than two time zones at once, you may prefer the Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer. This timepiece has a world time display, meaning it can show the time in 24 time zones simultaneously. Perhaps this watch's most stunning feature is the stylized Earth in the center of its dial. You can call the stainless steel edition your own for about 7,500 USD. The version in 18-karat rose gold requires an additional 13,000 USD. The GMT Worldtimer is also available in platinum. Only 87 copies exist of the platinum model, which sells for around 70,000 USD.
Those looking for an Aqua Terra with a chronograph function should plan to spend at least 3,400 USD. Models that combine a chronograph and GMT function demand another 1,000 USD. Prices for watches with gold and diamonds are significantly higher and range from 12,000 to 34,000 USD.
Aqua Terra Ultra Light: Lightweight on the Wrist
Omega introduced an especially lightweight version of the Aqua Terra in the summer of 2020: the Aqua Terra Ultra Light. Omega crafts not only the case out of titanium, but also parts of the manual caliber 8928 Ti. As a result, this watch, including its textile strap, weighs a remarkable 55 grams.
The Ultra Light also boasts two further features: a telescopic crown and a second hand available in red, blue, or green.
This featherweight watch can be yours for around 39,000 USD.
The Seamaster Boutique Edition is a close cousin of the Aqua Terra. But whereas the Aqua Terra has a decidedly sportier look, the Boutique Edition is all about elegance. The dials are slightly domed and finished with discreet sunbursts and color gradients. The applied indices vary by model, but are made of polished white or rose gold, which harmonizes beautifully with the watch's gold leaf-shaped, or feuille, hands.
All this elegance comes at a cost, however: the Seamaster Boutique Edition is only water-resistant to 60 m (6 bar, 197 ft).
You can watch this timepiece's Master Chronometer caliber 8800 at work through its transparent sapphire crystal case back.
Every Boutique Edition is dedicated to a world metropolis. The individual editions can be recognized by the color of the dial and the engraving of a particular city's skyline on the case back. The dial on the New York Edition, for example, is silver; the Paris Edition shimmers in anthracite; the London dial is blue; Macau's dial is green, etc.
The average price of a Seamaster Boutique Edition is approximately 7,900 USD.
Anti-Magnetic and a Bullhead Design
The Seamaster Bullhead is a coveted collector's item. Two push-pieces flank the main crown at 12 o'clock on top of the wedge-shaped case, giving the watch the look of a bull's head. Another crown sits at 6 o'clock and is used to operate the inner bezel. This unusual chronograph made its debut in 1969. After decades of quietly developing a cult following, many watch enthusiasts rejoiced when Omega reintroduced the Bullhead almost entirely unchanged in 2013.
The new edition costs between 7,200 and 7,800 USD, while well-maintained examples from 1969 sell for about 9,300 USD. Collectors may also be interested in limited-edition models, like the one dedicated to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. You can rope the Bullhead Rio for approximately 7,400 USD.
The Anti-Magnetic Railmaster
Even though the Railmaster isn't a diving watch, it's still part of the Seamaster family. When Omega first presented this timepiece in 1957, it was primarily aimed at people whose work included regular exposure to strong magnetic fields. Magnetic fields can have a major effect on a watch's performance. Omega solved this problem by housing the movement in an internal cage made of soft iron, which protected it against magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. Thanks to their Master Chronometer movements, current models are anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss.
The Railmaster only comes as a simple, three-hand timepiece in stainless steel – a reflection of its purpose as a functional and reliable tool watch. Plan to spend around 3,600 USD on a new 40-mm edition with a black, blue, or silver dial. The limited 1957 Trilogy series features a Railmaster very similar to the original model. This timepiece costs about 6,000 USD. You'll have to spend significantly more if you're looking for a vintage watch from 1957, prices for which usually sit around 18,000 USD.
The Seamaster: 007's Service Watch
The most well-known Omega Seamaster wearer is British secret agent James Bond. In the 1995 film "GoldenEye," Pierce Brosnan wears a standard Diver 300M with a quartz movement and blue dial. This movie marked the Bond film debut of both Brosnan and the Seamaster. You can find this watch on Chrono24 selling for around 2,000 USD.
Since then, Omega has released limited-edition Bond watches for each new entry in the franchise. This includes the Diver 300M Casino Royale, Seamaster 300 Spectre, and Planet Ocean Skyfall. Each watch offers the same technology as their respective standard editions, but features 007-themed dials or engravings that make them especially popular among fans and collectors. Prices for Bond watches depend on the exact model and its condition and range from 5,600 to 10,200 USD.
Omega announced several watches in anticipation of the 2020 James Bond movie "No Time to Die." One is the titanium Diver 300M 007 Edition, which costs about 8,400 USD. The manufacturer also released three versions of the Diver 300M James Bond Limited Edition. The main difference between these three timepieces is their material. You can choose from stainless steel, 18-karat gold, or a platinum and gold alloy. The stainless steel version is limited to a run of 7,007 pieces and demands roughly 10,400 USD. You can also buy it as part of a set with the gold model, of which only 257 copies exist. Together, these two watches will set you back over 41,000 USD. Finally, the platinum James Bond Numbered Edition is the most expensive model, with a list price of 51,900 USD.
The History of the Seamaster
Omega initially designed the Seamaster as a plain, all-purpose men's watch with improved water resistance. However, this changed in 1955 when diver Gordon McLean wore the Seamaster on his wrist to a depth of 62.5 m (205 ft) off the coast of Australia. The watch lived up to its name, and withstood the dive undamaged. An innovation at the time was the rubber O-ring, which replaced the use of lead or shellac. When developing the Seamaster, Omega was able to draw on the experience they had gained when creating the Marine in 1932. This rectangular watch was made for life under the waves and was the first timepiece to receive a certificate of water resistance from the Swiss Laboratory for Horological Research (LSRH), after testing in a laboratory.
In 1956, Omega sent the Seamaster on a polar route over the North Atlantic attached to the outside of a Douglas DC-6 aircraft. One year later, the Biel-based manufacturer introduced the Seamaster 300, a version that is still in production today. The Seamaster 300 quickly gained a strong reputation among professional divers. Many divers from the civil and military sectors chose to wear this watch, including the British Royal Navy's Special Boat Service. In 1963, oceanographer Jacques Cousteau used the Seamaster during his experiments with the underwater station Precontinent II off Sudan's Red Sea coast. Swiss brands like Omega, Blancpain, and Rolex have been competing to create the best diving watch ever since. Of course, there will never be an objective winner, because personal preference plays such a large role when watch enthusiasts make their purchases.
In 1970, Omega added the Seamaster 600 to its collection. The watch functioned up to a simulated depth of 1,370 m (137 bar, 4,495 ft) in laboratory tests. It finally stopped working after water pressure warped the 4-mm thick crystal so far inward that it impeded the second hand. At such depths, the pressure is about 1,990 pounds per square inch (140 kilograms per square centimeter). Outside the laboratory, its bigger sibling, the Seamaster 1000, reached a depth of 1,000 m (3,281 ft) attached to a robotic arm on the Beaver Mark IV submarine. In the 1980s and 90s, Seamaster watches were used to time many a free diving record.
The current deep sea watch record has been held since 2019 by the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional. This watch survived a dive of 10,935 m (35,876 ft) into the Mariana Trench, strapped to the exterior of a submersible. In doing so, the Ultra Deep displaced the previous record holder, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge, which dove to 10,908 meters (35,787 ft) in 2012.