All About Omega Seamaster Watches
One of the first brands which comes to our minds when we think of luxury watches is Omega. Being a trailblazer in the watch industry, this brand has stood the test of time with continuous innovation, excellent craftsmanship and remarkable precision. Since its establishment in the 1800s, the brand has been revered for its high-quality watches from collections like the Seamaster, Speedmaster, Constellation and others. The Seamaster collection, in particular, has been crucial to the establishment of the brand’s reputation.
The Seamaster watches are famously known as the “James Bond watches”, because they were repeatedly featured in the James Bond movie franchise and worn by many Bond heroes. The Seamaster collection, which was originally made for professional divers, has become one of the best-seller timepieces of the company. The Seamaster collection features models like the Seamaster 300, the Seamaster Professional, the Ocean Seamaster Aqua Terra and the Seamaster Planet Ocean.
Omega is one of the biggest names in the watchmaking industry. The Omega watches have been revered for decades because of their fine craftsmanship, exceptional accuracy and unique technological innovations. The watch has also been a favourite among celebrities like Jack Lennon, Elvis Presley, Mikhail Gorbachev, John F. Kennedy Junior, Neil Armstrong and even Pope John Paul II.
Omega began as an établissage in 1848, when Louis Brandt set up La Generale Watch Co. in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It was in 1894 that the company developed the revolutionary Omega Calibre, which featured the 19-ligne movement and interchangeable parts. The name of the company’s best-selling product Omega Calibre was adopted in 1903, and Le Generale Watch Co established itself as Louis Brandt et Frère Omega Watch & Company. The watches manufactured by Omega, whether mechanical or quartz, continued to win several prizes for their chronometric precision. It eventually became one of the biggest names in the watch manufacturing industry, producing around 1,00,000 watches every year.
The year 1925 saw the union of Omega and Tissot, which eventually merged into the Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère (SSIH Group) in 1930. In 1983, there was merger of Switzerland’s watchmaking giant ASUAG with SSIH. Eventually, in 1985, Omega was acquired by the Swatch Group.
Omega has introduced some of the most iconic wristwatches in the world, which feature the brand logo on their dials. Some of the most popular collections include the Constellation, the Speedmaster, the Seamaster and De Ville. The Omega Seamaster, in particular, has been essential to establishing the brand’s reputation since 1947.
The Omega Seamaster has been popularly referred to as the 007 or James Bond watch. It has been featured in many films of the James Bond franchise since 1995. However, the history of the Seamaster models can be traced back quite far back in the past, as it is one of the oldest watches in Omega’s collection.
The Omega Marine watch: The predecessor of the Seamaster line was the Omega Marine watch, which made its debut in 1932. It was worn by the Yves Le Prieur, who is called the ‘father of modern diving’. It was also worn by Charles William Beebe later, when he rode a sea submersible off the coast of Bermuda. This helped in establishing the reputation of the brand among divers. Omega designed watches for the British armed forces during the World War II, which were designed specifically to be resilient in water and magnetic fields, and also resistant to shocks.
- The Seamaster line: The first Omega Seamaster watches, which were launched in 1948, were modelled after these Omega Marine models, which were front-runners in water-resistant technology since the mid-1900s. One of the key components of Seamaster watches was the O-ring gasket which ensured that water did not damage the internal components of the watch. Inspiration was also taken from the submarines used during World War II, to make the gasket out of resilient rubber, which was the last step of the Omega design. The final model had a case that could remain intact in 60 metres of water depth, and could withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 50 degrees Celsius. This model was also subjected to rigorous testing over the years. Eventually, it became a favourite among the divers, after Jaques Cousteau’s team used it for experimental diving.
The Seamaster watches have continued to evolve over the years, and the brand has come out with iconic watches like Seamaster Ploprof 600, Seamaster Ploprof 1000, Seamaster Ploprof 1200M and the vintage Seamaster Bullhead. The Seamaster collection entered mainstream popularity in 1995, when it partnered with the James Bond franchise. Following is a comprehensive discussion of some of the most popular models of the Seamaster collection.
Omega Seamaster 300
One of the first Seamaster 300 models was introduced in 1957, when Omega came out with its trio of sports watches, which included Speedmaster, Railmaster and the Omega Seamaster 300. It used Omega’s self-winding caliber 501. The second generation of Seamaster 300s was launched 1964, which replaced the thinner bezel with a thicker one. It also had individual minute marking around the dial, and the arrow-shaped hands were replaced by sword-shaped hands. The second generation of Seamaster 300 watches became quite famous because they were issued to the British Royal Navy.
The newest addition in the Seamaster 300 line was the Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial, which was introduced in 2014. The appearance of this model was heavily inspired by the original, and it used a liquid metal alloy, which was fused with a strong ceramic compound. This mechanical dive watch has features like SuperLumina luminescence and caliber 8400 movement. It is also COSC certified.
Omega Seamaster Professional
In 1957, the professional series of watches joined the Seamaster line with the Seamaster 300. All Seamaster Professional timepieces boast a minimum water-resistance of 1000 feet, which makes them a favourite among professional divers. They also have luminescent dials, which provide optimum visibility even in turbid water, and unidirectional rotating bezels. Many watches in the professional series also feature a Helium Escape Valve (HEV), which prevents damage from pressure underwater by allowing the automatic release of built-up gases.
One of the most popular models in the professional series is the Diver 300M, which has a ceramic and titanium case, besides being a chronograph.
The Omega Seamaster 007 Edition
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition was a limited-edition watch launched in 2019, with the new movie in the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die. The watch was developed with input from Danial Craig, who is the reigning bond hero. It has a vintage look with an aluminium dial and a Milanese bracelet, that gives the watch a sleeker profile. The watch’s case is made with strong Grade 2 Titanium, which makes it best for military use. It also features the highly precise Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806, which makes it resistant to 15,000 gausses of magnetic fields.
Omega Seamster Aqua Terra
The Seamaster Aqua Terra is one of the newer models in the Seamaster collection. The most distinct feature of this model is the “teak concept” pattern, with vertical lines running across the dial. This style is inspired by the wooden decks of expensive boats and luxury yachts. Besides this, the watch features tapered hour marks and an arrow-tipped minute mark. The aqua terra watches boast a minimum water-resistance of around 500 feet. The newer models of the aqua terra line use the Omega Master Chronometer automatic movements, which have passed rigorous testing by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
The Planet Ocean series is the latest addition to the Seamaster line, and was launched in 2005. These watches come in a variety of materials like gold, steel, titanium, platinum and ceramic. Each Seamaster Planet Ocean watch has a unidirectional bezel, besides a helium escape valve (HEV), which makes it the best choice for divers. Other features of the watch include Super-LumiNova accents on the dial for optimum visibility in low light and Master Chronometer calibers.
As the decades have passed, Omega has continued to retain its coveted spot among the top luxury watch brands of the world. This is because the company has kept abreast with the latest technology and has continued to innovate and improve over the years.