At first glance, the Omega Seamaster collection seems like an eclectic assortment of timepieces. There are diving watches elegant sports watches and vintage-inspired timepieces—not to mention all the different types of complications available. Yet, if we dig a little deeper, we see that the original ethos of the very first Seamaster watch from 1948 permeates through the modern collection: high-quality water-resistant watches built for an active lifestyle.
Omega is known for producing a vast assortment of luxury watches, yet the brand categorizes them into just four main collections: Seamaster, Speedmaster, De Ville, and Constellation. However, within these main collections of Omega watches, there are numerous sub-collections of various models. Below are all the sub-collections currently within the current Omega Seamaster lineup.
The Seamaster is Omega’s oldest collection of watches that still remains in production today. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that there are a few vintage-inspired models pulled from the Seamaster archives.
The Seamaster 1948 collection of watches houses faithful reissues of the first Seamaster models that made their debut in 1948. During that time, the Seamaster models were positioned as tough but elegant timepieces (inspired by the watches Omega supplied to the British Ministry of Defense during WWII) that were waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and antimagnetic.
Omega launched the Seamaster 300 in 1957 as the brand’s first dive watch, complete with a rotating timing bezel, a black dial with plenty of lume, and a water resistance rating of 200 meters. The contemporary Seamaster 300 collection are modern iterations of these vintage divers, offering very similar designs but with up-to-date upgrades such as larger cases, sapphire crystals, Super-LumiNova luminescence, and of course, modern state-of-the-art movements.
The Railmaster was also presented in 1957, but was positioned as Omega’s flagship antimagnetic watch for the burgeoning scientific community of the era. However, today, the Railmaster sits within the Seamaster collection and the designs of the watches stay relatively close to the original, with steel cases and time-only dials featuring Arabic numerals at the four quarters. Yet, what has improved dramatically is the magnetic resistance of today’s Railmaster watches - up to 15,000 gauss.
In 1969, Omega released the Seamaster Bullhead chronograph, named so for its distinctive case silhouette reminiscent of a bull's head with its winding crown at 12 o'clock flanked by two chronograph pushers, along with an additional crown at 6 o’clock to control the internal bezel. Yet again, the current-production Seamaster Bullheads are re-issues of the original model but they benefit from modern enhancements in mechanics and materials.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra is Omega's offering in the everyday luxury watch genre. It is named after the Latin words for "water" and "earth" to emphasize the sentiment that these watches can be worn all the time, both on dry land and while out on the water.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watches are not specifically intended for diving. However with a water resistance rating of 150 meters, Aqua Terra watches can certainly handle water-based activities. The core watches of the Aqua Terra collection feature round cases, smooth bezels, grooved-dials (to mimic the wooden decks of luxury yachts), and time and date functionality. The Aqua Terra sub-collection is one of the most varied Omega watches, offering a vast assortment of metal, bracelet, and dial colors.
Aside from the standard time and date Aqua Terra models, there are also a small handful of time-only models, alongside more complicated ones such as GMTs, Annual Calendars, Worldtimers, and Day-Dates. Additionally, there are Aqua Terra "Golf" watches, which underline Omega’s longstanding commitment to the sport and feature bright pops of color on their dials and hands.
Straps and bracelets for Aqua Terra models include metal bracelet, both leather and rubber straps, and even Omega's own Nato straps, which are typically found on the various golf-edition models. When worn on a metal bracelet, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra looks like a proper everyday sports watch. However, when on a dark leather strap, the versatile design of the Aqua Terra allows it to easily be paired with a suit for formal attire.
While there are many other types of models within the collection, the Omega Seamaster range is most famous for its lineup of dive watches - and there are three distinct Omega dive watch models.
Omega introduced the Seamaster Diver 300M in 1993 as the company’s go-to modern dive watch. As its name implies, the Seamaster Diver 300M has a water-resistance rating of 300 meters and includes a helium escape valve (HEV) on its case. As with all modern dive watches, the Diver 300M also includes unidirectional rotating bezels and luminous details on the dial. In true Omega form, there’s a wide array of case metals, bracelet materials, and dial colors available, and the most modern versions are furnished with ceramic bezels.
In 2005, Omega unveiled the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M diving watch with even deeper water resistance and bolder designs than the Diver 300M lineup. While the watch model is loosely based on the Seamaster 300M from 1957, the Planet Ocean is entirely modern in execution. Aside from the standard time and date Planet Ocean models, Omega also makes Planet Ocean Chronographs and Planet Ocean GMT watches. Plus, the collection boasts some cool case material options like titanium, ceramic, and platinum, along with the standard stainless steel, gold, and two-tone choices All Omega Planet Ocean watches have HEVs and current-production models are equipped with ceramic bezels.
In the early 1970s, Omega launched the Ploprof 600M and Ploprof 1000M (Plongeur, Professionnel, or "professional diver" in French) to serve technical diving. However, rather than fitting the watches with HEVs to deal with the helium issue, Omega constructed the Ploprof in such a way that helium molecules could not penetrate the case. While today’s iterations, the Ploprof 1200M, do indeed have HEVs, their distinctive and chunky case shapes are almost identical to the 1970’s versions.
Whether you're searching for a topnotch diver, an everyday luxury sports watch, or a modern timepiece designed to look like it was made decades ago, the Omega Seamaster collection has plenty to offer.
While the Omega Speedmaster is the flight-certified watch that first went to the moon, it is the Omega Seamaster collection that holds the distinction of being the watch worn by James Bond. Throughout the years, Agent 007 has worn a wide variety of different timepieces from a number of different brands ranging from Rolex to Seiko and everything in between. However, ever since the 1995 release of the film Goldeneye, there has always been some type of Omega Seamaster watch on his wrist. Though many other Omega Seamaster models have since been adopted by Bond over the years, the ‘icon reference’ (so to speak) is the classic and compact Omega Seamaster Diver 300m ref. 2541.80 that could be spotted on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan in his debut performance as 007.The defining elements of the classic "Bond Seamaster" are the a 41mm stainless steel case, a blue aluminum bezel insert, a blue 'wave' dial (engraved with horizontal wavy lines), a helium escape valve at 10 o'clock, and a stainless steel multi-link bracelet. While the original model worn by Bond during Goldeneye was one powered by a quartz movement (a highly practical choice for a secret agent), actor Pierce Brosnan was outfitted with the automatic chronometer-rated version (reference 2531.80) for his return as Bond in the 1997 film, Tomorrow Never Dies. He would go on to wear that same watch for the remainder of his tenure as 007, and a blue Omega Seamaster 300M can be seen in both his third and fourth (also final) appearances as James Bond during The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).
The 2006 release of Casino Royal marked a new generation for 007 with the introduction of a new Bond actor and a new Bond watch. Pierce Brosnan had passed the torch to Daniel Craig, and to accompany Craig's more rugged and gritty portrayal of James Bond, the watches were now gadget-free and multiple Omega Seamaster watches appeared on screen during the film. While Brosnan's rendition of 007 was notably rather monogamous when it came to his watch selection, Craig's version seems to be a bit more of a watch enthusiast. The classic blue wave dial Seamaster did make an appearance in Casino Royal; however it was the updated version featuring Omega's Co-Axial escapement. Additionally, keeping with Daniel Craig's more rugged and gritty rendition of Bond, a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m with a black dial and a black rubber strap could also be spotted on Craig's wrist during scenes of Casino Royal. For the 2008 release of Quantum of Solace, Bond seemingly ditched the classic blue Seamaster Diver 300m that had been his go-to model for more than a decade. Instead, it was a 42mm stainless steel Seamaster Planet Ocean with a black dial on a matching steel bracelet (again without gadgets) that Craig wore during most of the film. Additionally, Omega also started to release a number of different 007-themed limited and special edition Seamaster models during this time - a practice that continues to this day. While the watches worn on-screen are typically standard-production Seamaster models, these 007-edition watches typically feature special James Bond details, and often include elaborate 007-themed boxes and packaging.
Craig Bond wore two different Omega Seamaster watches again during the 2012 film Skyfall; however, the classic blue wave dial Seamaster Diver 300m was still absent. The 42mm stainless steel Planet Ocean that he wore in Quantum of Solace returned again, this time accompanied by a Seamaster Aqua Terra with a blue dial. The Planet Ocean is noticeably more tool-like and sporty than the classic Seamaster Diver 300m, so the Aqua Terra would make the perfectly complimentary watch for 007. Unlike both the Seamaster Diver 300m and the Planet Ocean, the Aqua Terra was not specifically designed for scuba diving. Instead, it offers a versatile and highly refined aesthetic while still being more than up to the task of being a proper sports watch with 150 meters of water resistance. Although the classic blue wave dial Seamaster Diver 300m did not make an appearance in Skyfall, the particular Aqua Terra model worn by Daniel Craig during the film is vaguely reminiscent of the original "Bond Seamaster" with both watches featuring stainless steel cases, matching steel bracelets, and blue dials that are engraved with lines (straight and vertical on the Aqua Terra, horizontal and wavy on the Seamaster 300m). Despite the rather significant aesthetic differences between the Planet Ocean and Aqua Terra watches feature the same Omega Co-Axial Cal. 8500 movement, which offers exceptional accuracy and shock resistance. For the 2016 launch of Spectre, James Bond received a new watch, although it was still a member of the greater Seamaster collection. Rather than continuing to wear models from the Seamaster Diver 300m and Planet Ocean sub-collections, Bond received a new watch - the Seamaster 300 - which is a modern re-interpretation of the very first dive watch ever produced by Omega way back in 1957. While the standard-production of the watch featured a 60-minute dive bezel, the version featured in the film (which was also made available to the public as a limited edition) was fitted with a 12-hour bezel and a different 'lollipop-style' seconds hand.
The Omega Seamaster is no slouch in the dive watch category, and it has been the go-to watch for 007 himself (ever since the Pierce Brosnan era of the franchise), and this pop culture fame has given the piece a significant boost in mainstream popularity. The classic blue wave dial 'Bond Seamaster' - in all of its different generations - consistently remains one of Omega's most popular watches, and it offers a highly refined, almost dressy aesthetic paired with serious professional dive watch features. James Bond has worn a number of Omega Seamaster watches in the various films over the years, and Omega has also produced a fair amount of limited or special edition 007 Seamaster models, many of which have been dedicated to past films, and this means that there are now ample offerings to choose from on the secondary market. With that in mind, there are also literally countless of other fantastic Seamaster watches out there without any James Bond connotations at all. The original James Bond Seamaster is a classic for a reason. It appearance may not appeal to everyone, but it is undeniably a highly capable watch with a versatile design that could very easily be the only watch that a person owns for the rest of his or her life. It wouldn't ever look out of place, regardless of whether it was worn at a poolside barbecue or a black-tie event. However, the problem of sharing a collection with a watch as famous as the classic 'Bond Seamaster' is that its notoriety can often overshadow some of the other models within the line that seriously deserve more attention than they receive. Below we are taking a closer look at some of the best Omega Seamaster watches out there. These models all mark noticeable departures from the classic Bond Seamaster watch. However, while they don’t carry the traditional 'Bond' hallmarks, they truly stand on their own merits, without attachment to celebrity or fame.
OMEGA SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN CHRONOGRAPH
The Planet Ocean is effectively a Seamaster on steroids - increased water resistance, chunkier cases, and generally more rugged aesthetics. When picking a Planet Ocean to kick this list off, going with this 45.5mm titanium-cased beast of a chronograph was an easy choice. The combination of a matte light grey dial and orange accents paired with a matching grey and orange rubber strap works exceptionally well. At a functional level, this piece is also rock-solid, as Omega was able to maintain the standard 600m of water resistance on it even though it is fitted with a chronograph complication. While it is a standard practice on most watches to never operate the chronograph features underwater, newer Omega Seamaster chronograph pushers can actually be operated at depth. Additionally, like many of the other professional dive watches in the Seamaster collection, the case of this Planet Ocean Chronograph is fitted with a helium escape valve at the 10 o'clock location.
OMEGA SEAMASTER 300
We know that a black dialed version of this Seamaster 300m was featured in Spectre, but that reference is a far enough cry from this sleek 2015 release, as it features a 12-hour bezel, a different color profile, a different strap, and it is crafted from different materials. This particular model is based on one of the early Seamaster releases from 1957, and features a relatively flat case profile with long lugs, making the 41mm piece wear a bit larger than its specs would otherwise indicate. The Omega Seamaster 300 is offered in a variety of metals, with this blue dial/bezel example being made in titanium and fitted with a ceramic ‘LiquidMetal’ bezel. While the style of font and use of beige-colored lume on the hands and indices give the piece a very vintage-leaning aesthetic, its automatic Caliber 8400 Co-Axial chronometer movement makes it properly modern in terms of accuracy and reliability.
OMEGA SEAMASTER DIVER CHRONOGRAPH - AMERICA'S CUP EDITION
Back to a chronograph for our third spot on this list, the Omega Seamaster Diver Chronograph America’s Cup edition is from the same general line of design as the original 'Bond' model. However, it is far from the model worn by Agent 007, as it is fitted with sword hands, a glossy black dial, and of course a chronograph complication to boot. At 41.5mm across in this casing, this divers chronograph wears quite compactly when compared to the Planet Ocean. Additionally, it also happens to be priced significantly below the Planet Ocean, represents a serious bargain for the amount of watch that you receive. Getting an automatic luxury chronograph with a 300m of water resistance and timing bezel at this price point is an absolute steal, even without the added pedigree of it being an Omega Seamaster in the first place.
OMEGA SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN GMT 600M
Closing out the category, It was an easy choice to look at a GMT - a classic complication in the dive watch category, though one that is entirely irrelevant for a dive watch when used for its actual intended task. While the Planet Ocean is Omega's lineup of ultra-capable professional dive watches, a surprising number of different GMT models have been offered within this sub-collection. Once again, we get a solid but not overbearing blue dial, this time mated with those orange accents that are the unofficial calling card of the modern Planet Ocean lineup. The swap to a 24h rotating bezel does a surprising job of changing the piece’s overall look; however the LiquidMetal bezel retains a luminous marker at the 12 o'clock location, which allows it to retain much of its dive-ready functionality. Using titanium for its case and bracelet also does a good job of lightening the piece, as its steel cased counterpart can be a bit on the hefty side.
*Images courtesy of OMEGA