A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster

OMEGA Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial SPECTRE Edition
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OMEGA Seamaster Ref. CK-2518 - 1948
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
OMEGA Seamaster Ref. CK-2518 - 1948

The first Seamaster (Ref. CK-2518) was released in 1948 to coincide with the brand's 100th anniversary and is the oldest line still in the OMEGA collection. Inspired by late WWII-era British Military wristwatches, the Seamaster was marketed as a robust yet elegant watch for active individuals who wanted a watch for “town, sea and country."

Seamaster 300 Professional Ref. CK-2913 - 1957
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
Seamaster 300 Professional Ref. CK-2913 - 1957

...but it was the "Professional" line of Seamaster watches released in 1957 that put this watch on the map as a true diver's timepiece. It was launched just a few years after other scuba mainstays, the Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms.

Seamaster attached to the outside of a DC6 aircraft - 1956
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
Seamaster attached to the outside of a DC6 aircraft - 1956

So confident were OMEGA's engineers in the Seamaster's singular ability to withstand fierce temperature changes that in 1956 they affixed one to the outside of a Douglas DC6 aircraft as it flew the Polar Route over the North Atlantic. Did those punishing conditions stop the Seamaster? Hell, no!

Seamaster 300 Ref. 165.024 Royal Navy model - 1964
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
Seamaster 300 Ref. 165.024 Royal Navy model - 1964

The Seamaster was issued to British Royal Navy divers for a few years in the 1960's, making it an (eventually) appropriate choice for BRN Commander James Bond.

Seamaster 600 Ref. 166.077 COMEX - 1970
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
Seamaster 600 Ref. 166.077 COMEX - 1970

1970 OMEGA advertisement highlighting the Seamaster's use by French underwater research firm COMEX, with whom the watch set a world record for underwater exploration at 253 meters' depth in the Ajaccio Gulf in France.

OMEGA and Bond - Pierce Brosnan
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
OMEGA and Bond - Pierce Brosnan

OMEGA Seamasters have been the watch of choice for 007 since Pierce Brosnan took the mantle in 1995's Goldeneye. See our Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond to learn more about each model worn during Brosnan's James Bond tenure.

OMEGA and Bond - Daniel Craig
A classic, reborn: the OMEGA Seamaster
OMEGA and Bond - Daniel Craig

While Daniel Craig took over the Bond throne with 2006's Casino Royale, the Seamaster continued to hold court. See our Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond to learn more about each model worn (so far) during Craig's James Bond tenure.

Okay, we admit it—we’re all pretty damn jazzed about SPECTRE around here. The legend, the cars, the girls, the gadgets, and oh the watches. We recently catalogued the entire formidable history of 007’s watches, but in honor of the current Bond’s ticker of choice—and to celebrate its inclusion in the Eleven James collection!—we turn our gaze to the classic and tenacious OMEGA Seamaster.

A quintessential midcentury-born dive watch, the Seamaster has been setting submersion and temperature records for over 60 years. Like so many great divers, it was the product of 1950’s scuba zeal: ’53 saw the release of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms; ’54 gave us the Rolex Submariner and Zodiac Sea Wolf; and in 1957 OMEGA released its “Master” trio of sport watches—the Speedmaster for racers, the Railmaster for scientists, and the Seamaster 300 for divers.

Though the Seamaster officially launched in 1948 in time for OMEGA’s 100th anniversary, it was this 300m “Professional” line that put the watch on the map. Its innovative rubber O-ring gasket gave the Seamaster an edge when water-resistant watches generally used temperature-sensitive lead or shellac gaskets. It’s been the choice of many a notable adventurer over the years, from Jacques-Yves Cousteau to deep-sea research outfit COMEX and was temporarily the official timepiece of British Royal Navy divers in the 60’s (before being unseated by what one might consider its arch competitor—the Rolex Submariner.

Of course that BRN association makes the Seamaster a sensible choice for our man Bond, a commander in the Royal Navy. As you read in our Definitive Guide to the Watches of James Bond, OMEGA’s been the brand of choice for 007 since the 90’s, and while the big, flashy Planet Ocean and quartz models of the Brosnan years were a good fit for that slightly more playful chapter of Bondery, the SPECTRE Seamaster is the perfect nod to both the legacy of James Bond and the series’ chronicle of great dive watches.

Both utilitarian and sleek, understated yet statement-making, this watch feels like the glorious reincarnation of a classic. The design represents an obvious nod to its roots—the straight lugs, lack of crown guards, thin bezel insert, and broad arrow hands with a vintage-style lollipop seconds hand. Incidentally, its austere design and NATO strap even feel reminiscent of the original and highly coveted Rolex Sub famously worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No.

Limited to 7,007 pieces worldwide (naturally), the Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial boasts a caliber 8400 Omega co-axial movement, antimagnetic to at least 15,000 gauss/1.2 million A/m and COSC-certified chronometer. It’s got a 41 mm, stainless steel case with bidirectional Liquidmetal bezel, black ceramic 12 hour second time zone/timing insert, and a bright Superluminova lume. It is, of course, water resistant to 300 m and factory-issued on a black and grey striped NATO strap.

Best of all, it is available to Eleven James Members in our Aficionado Collection (with either the NATO or a stainless steel strap). Contact the Concierge today about getting your hands on it, Secret Agent Man.

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