WATCH TEST

Diving Titan: Reviewing the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in Black Ceramic


In 2018, Omega introduced its newest Seamaster Diver 300M – larger, and in new materials, ceramic and titanium, rendering it more scratch-resistant and lighter in weight. In this feature from the WatchTime archives, we delve into the depths of the timepiece and its Master Chronometer movement.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic - intro
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in titanium and ceramic

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Seamaster Diver 300M in 2018, Omega made a huge splash by issuing a new version – updated and modernized with higher quality features and more functionality than ever before, and still at a fair price (click here for a review of that watch). This watch was first introduced as a steel model with a varnished dial, an ETA-based Omega Caliber 2500 and a folding clasp with a divers’ extension that cost around $3,500. The newer generation offers a laser-cut ceramic dial, the super-modern in-house 8800 movement and an improved clasp with additional quick-action extension at a price of $5,200. Unchanged, of course, are the skeletonized sword-shaped hands, water resistance to 300 meters, a helium-escape valve at 10 o’clock and a metal bracelet. The overall diameter of the watch was enlarged from 41 to 42 mm.

Modern Materials
For the newer models, Omega took the next step. The Seamaster Diver 300M is now available as a scratch-resistant and more lightweight model in ceramic and titanium. This watch, which we tested, is available on a rubber strap with a ceramic prong buckle or on a NATO strap with a brushed buckle and a titanium loop. (For either version, watch fans must accept a considerable jump in price, to $8,100.) The newest edition has a 43.5-mm case and a nicely balanced dial, omitting the date indication at 6 o’clock. Also, the stylized waves are not laser cut into a polished dial but now stand out in relief with alternating polished and matte surfaces.

Ceramic characterizes the entire design. Not only does the dial have polished and matte sections, so does the case with its ergonomically shaped lugs. Particularly pleasing is that Omega uses the same ceramic material for the prong buckle and also for the curving shapes of the case.

The rubber strap attaches seamlessly to the case and continues the fluid lines of the lugs. Running along its length are three wide matte strips and two raised strips with a brushed- finish look. The material appears at first to be quite thin, but once it’s on, the strap feels great, and despite the large case size, the watch fits perfectly, even on narrow wrists. The strap material may feel uncomfortable on really warm days – even Omega has yet to discover anything to prevent perspiration.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M - caseback
Omega’s in-house Caliber 8806 is visible through the caseback.

High Quality Overall
Every component – from the ceramic dial and brushed titanium hands, the ceramic and titanium case, and even the rubber strap with its ceramic buckle – displays the highest quality and reminds us that Omega has long been a top brand among watch manufacturers.

Turning the watch over reveals even more of its superior quality. The first thing you may notice is the engraved lettering, “Diver 300M,” which is always centered thanks to a patented bayonet closure known as the Naiad lock. Then your eye may be drawn to the polished wavelike notches along the edge of the caseback that encircle the brushed inner ring. And then you’re rewarded with a view of the beating heart of the watch – the accurate, individually decorated and fully antimagnetic in-house 8806 movement.

This variation of the 8800 caliber has no date indication. The technical advantages remain the same – the oscillating weight winds the watch in both directions to provide an above-average power reserve of 55 hours. The silicon hairspring ensures very good rate results even when subjected to the effects of fluctuating temperatures and impacts. The balance wheel is fastened more securely beneath a bridge so that, thanks to poising weights, the oscillating system “breathes” freely. And last but not least, the Omega co-axial escapement with its multilevel pallets and escape wheel ensures a consistent transfer of impulse for even better rate results.

Master Chronometer
All the constructive advantages of the company’s own in-house movements meant that Omega was no longer satisfied with the rate tests conducted by the official Swiss testing agency COSC. For the past several years, Omega has subjected its watches to additional testing by METAS, the Swiss national metrology institute. Here, the fully assembled timepieces undergo tests for functional reliability, rate results, water resistance, power reserve and resistance to extreme magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss.

A watch that passes all of these tests is certified by METAS as a Master Chronometer. Due to the large number of watches Omega produces, the testing agency has established an office in the Omega building in Bienne. The independence of the tests, ensured by both contractual partners, is guaranteed at all times.

And our test watch? It performed as promised, both on the timing machine and on the wrist. The electronic test showed a rate of +3.8 seconds per day and only +3 seconds on the wrist. Values in the individual positions showed only a 2-second deviation – something that very few watch brands have achieved in our tests.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic - side
The laser-cut ceramic dial features a distinctive wave pattern.

Over and Under Water
Anyone who wants to wear the Seamaster Diver 300M as an everyday watch will be thrilled with its comfortable feel, the accuracy of the in-house movement, and the fact that the ceramic prong buckle remains completely free of scratches even after weeks of wear. Our real-life test in the early summer months showed that it is reliable and comfortable to wear while swimming, playing tennis and biking.

And anyone who actually dives with a luxury watch will appreciate the brightly glowing luminescent coating, the high degree of water resistance (to a depth of 300 meters), and the scratch-resistant case material that neither coral nor the metal parts of the diving equipment can harm.

Of course, the watch is only suitable for warm diving locations where no wet suit is needed because of its standard-length rubber strap. And when you don’t need to wear diving gloves, the polished surfaces on the rotating bezel are less of an issue. While even a diving titan cannot do everything, this one can still do quite a lot.

SPECS:
Manufacturer: Omega S.A., Stämpflistrasse 96, 2504 Bienne, Switzerland
Reference number: 210.92.44.20.01.001
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Movement: In-house movement 8806 automatic with antimagnetic components, 25,200 vph, 35 jewels, hack mechanism, co-axial escapement with silicon hairspring and DLC-coated titanium balance, fine regulation via poising weights, Nivachoc shock absorber, diameter = 26 mm, height = 4.6 mm, 55-hour power reserve
Case: Ceramic mid-section and bezel inlay; titanium bezel, crown, manual helium valve and caseback; curved sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-glare treatment, screw-down crown, fully threaded caseback with sapphire-crystal viewing window, water resistant to 300 meters
Strap and cla­­sp: Rubber strap with ceramic prong buckle
Rate results (Deviation in seconds per 24 hours):
Dial up +5
Dial down +3
Crown up +4
Crown down +4
Crown left +4
Crown right +3
Greatest deviation 2
Average deviation +3.8
Average amplitude:
Flat positions 304°
Hanging positions 273°
Dimensions: Diameter = 43.5 mm, height = 14.2 mm, weight = 108 grams
Variations: With NATO strap with brushed buckle and titanium loop ($8,100)
Price: $8,100

SCORES:
Strap and clasp (max. 10 points): Seamless connection of the rubber strap to the case. The matte and brushed sections and the ceramic prong buckle are well executed. 8
­­­Operation (5): The screw-down crown is much easier to grasp than the rotating bezel. The helium valve must be unscrewed manually, just like the original Seamaster Diver 300M from 1993. 3
Case (10): Modern materials, complex shapes, high water resistance and fully threaded caseback with bayonet locking system. Perfection. 10
Design (15): Sword-shaped hands and wave motif on the dial are the most striking and most polarizing design features. 13
Legibility (5): Easy to read, thanks to good contrast and generous luminescent coating. 4
Wearing comfort (10): Perfectly comfortable as long as the temperature is not too warm. 9
Movement (20): The fully antimagnetic and accurate in-house movement is one of the best three-hand movements on the market. No decoration is visible beneath the balance. 18
Rate results (10): Very good results, with an average daily rate of +3.8 seconds and only 2 seconds separating the different positions. 9
Overall value (15): The ceramic version is quite expensive compared with the attractively priced steel Seamaster Diver 300M models. But the watch’s price is similar to ceramic watches from other manufacturers like Panerai and Zenith. 11
Total: 85 POINTS

17 Responses to “Diving Titan: Reviewing the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M in Black Ceramic”

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  1. Simon Rowlinson

    “This watch was first introduced as a steel model with a varnished dial, an ETA-based Omega Caliber 2500”

    No it was not. The Cal.2500 was not introduced until 1999 and the Seamaster Professional was introduced in 1993. The watch was introduced with a Cal.1120 movement which is a Swiss lever escapement movement, not a Co-axial movement like the Cal.2500, based on the ETA 2892 ebauche. Please try to be accurate.

    Reply
  2. Danny Simenauer

    I own this watch with a blue wave dial on a steel bracelet and absolutely love it. It can also be a dress watch if you get it with rose gold accents. The watch is readily available and less expensive then the Rolex Submariner. Kudos to Omega!

    Reply
  3. Danny Simenauer

    I own the blue wave dial with a steel bracelet and absolutely love this watch. It is readily available and far less expensive then the Rolex Submariner. There are even dress models with rose gold accents that are stunning.

    Reply
  4. Gerry Dimatos

    To those who even dare compare an Omega to a Rolex – really ?
    The problem with Omega as the article says is that it used ETA movements in this Seamaster and eventually now they make their own. Despite the strides that Omega has made in recent years – they are no Rolex and with the exception of the Speedmaster are lacking in visual identity and design. Rolex builds on its designs modifying them ever so slightly year on year so they have the highest brand recognition of any watch in the business.
    The Seamaster is undoubtedly a good watch but it is no Submariner and not desired in the same way.

    Reply
  5. The skeleton hands seem to be a problem for a number of people.
    There is a simple solution, “Don’t buy one”.
    I have a seamaster diver,and if you’re having trouble reading the time, may I Suggest a visit to your nearest optician !

    Reply
  6. Rick Turschman

    My current Omega Seamaster is the “2254”, so you may know where I’m going. This is a nice looking watch, but I hate, hate the skeleton hands. And I don’t know how you can call them sword shape. They may look nice but on a real tool watch they’re difficult to see at a quick glance when time is essential. The real sword hands of the 2254 or the arrows on Planet Ocean provide the ability to see them without the need to stop and find them. And like others, I wish Omega would make a new Seamaster with true sword hands!!

    Reply
    • Peter Currer

      You are right, those skeleton hands kill the watch, plus there is no need for them on a dial that has no features that would otherwise be obscured by solid hands.

      Reply
  7. I agree with WPN, in that the Rolex Sea-Dweller is the only real world competition for this Seamaster, but at twice the price (The Sea Dweller is also not ceramic or titanium, so the edge goes to the Omega). Rolex… yesterday’s technology at tomorrow’s price.

    Reply
  8. Love my Planet Ocean 2500, but whenever I read or see about the latest advances in the 300M series, I get a little wistful.

    Reply
  9. George Joannou

    Omega have made huge strides in their use of ceramic, titanium and let us not forget magnetic resistant materials. This watch looks great. My only criticism, and this is just my opinion. I do not like the skeleton hands, try as I will I cannot accept them. Why not use the old sword hands from older Seamaster watches. If this time piece used sword hands I would buy one in a heartbeat.

    Reply
    • I asked the AD to replace the skeleton hands with the true sword hands. He said I would have to have it done at a Non-AD jeweler.

      Reply
  10. Medhyps.Com

    centuries. It also has a star-studded cast of brand ambassadors, from high-profile sportsmen and explorers to cinematic legends like James Bond.

    Reply
  11. I’m sure this will be challenged but I see the closest competition in real life to this being the Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600. And given the case height difference the Omega is more wearable for desk divers on a daily basis.

    Reply
  12. Richard Johnson

    Looking at a couple of past reviews of the new METAS certified line of Omega divers that you’ve done shows similar results concerning greatest deviation. Your review of the 9900 chronograph had 2.0 s/24 h (2017) and 8900 Planet Ocean 600 (2019) had 2.4 s/24 h.

    These new movements are very accurate and precise and if you like to “make” adjustments when not being worn difficult slow them down. But having a slightly fast movement is preferable to having a slow running movement.

    Reply
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