Introduction to the Omega Seamaster Range
The Seamaster Chronograph was created in 1946 and has long been a favourite of sailors and, more recently, secret agents. The watch typically has a stainless steel case and bracelet, screw-in crown and caseback engraved with the Omega logo, phosphorescent hands, unidirectional bezel, blue, silver or black dial with orange accents, sapphire crystal and helium release valve.
The link between sailing and timekeeping dates back to the time when sailors relied on high-precision marine chronometers for navigation. The Seamaster remains the wristwatch of choice for many of the world’s great sailors. When Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup in 1995, Sir Peter Blake and each crew member had an Omega Seamaster on their wrists.
The Seamaster has been associated with James Bond movies since 1995. That year, Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond and wore the Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional in the movie ‘GoldenEye’. In later films, Brosnan wore an Omega Seamaster Professional Chronometer. Previously, James Bond had worn the Rolex Submariner, but the producers apparently wanted to update the image of the famous British icon to a more sophisticated “Euro” look.
A hugely popular modern incarnation of the Seamaster is the Omega Planet Ocean, as worn by Daniel Craig, as James Bond. In Quantam of Solace (2006) he wore the 600m Co-Axial Chronometer version with a black dial.
The Omega f300 Seamaster Models
The Omega Case Number of the following watch is 198.0001, which possibly makes it the first Omega f300 model to be produced. And it looks like Omega have got it right first time — a very attractive watch:
The next gallery of photographs are of the classic 120m f300 diver — often referred to as the Omega SMf300. It has been extensively written about on the DeskDiver’s website. This is not just a fashion diver: with it’s screwdown crown, 3.5mm thick glass crystal and bidirectional click bezel, this is a working diver’s watch. It is rated to 120 meters and came with several bracelet and strap options.
Next is shown the popular Omega f300 Seamaster Cone. It’s called the “Cone” due those slopping sides of the case. This model also had various strap and bracelet options; the strap/bracelet part of the case detaches from the cone part by unscrewing a steel ring on the back. Couple this with position of crown, dial variations and date-only versus day & date movements, and you end up with a lot of combinations:
- 198.012 – Crown at 2 cal 1250, 17mm strap or bracelet.
- 198.013 – Crown at 3, cal 1250, 17mm strap or bracelet
- 198.008 – Crown at 3, cal 1250, integrated bracelet, Omega ref 398.0804
- 198.011 – Crown at 3, cal 1260, 17mm strap or bracelet
- 198.018 – Crown at 3, cal 1260, integrated bracelet, Omega ref 398.0811
The crown at 2 case came in both polished and with radial graining. Also the caseback was with and without the Seamaster logo. I believe the very first version was polished and with no Seamaster logo on the back. It also said just “f300Hz” on the dial, not “electronic”. The 1260 versions have a metal Omega logo that was either above or below centre of the dial. The 1250 versions have just printed text. So all in all, many flavours of Cone…
Finally, the rarely seen cousin to the 120 metre SMf300 above, this is the 60 meter diver. Unlike the professional SMf300 model, this one probably was more of a fashion diver — the glass crystal is only 2mm thick compared to 3.5mm on the SMf300 and the bezel has no click action at all, it just rotates freely in either direction. Finally, the bracelet part of the case is only held onto the main case using a rubber O ring, unlike the 120M SMf300 case that also separates here but is held together by four screws.
Fashion diver or not, I think this is a very handsome watch and I far prefer it to the 120M SMf300. The first set of photos show a customer’s watch but, in April 2015, I bought my own example and photos of this are shown in the second set — slightly different bracelets on the two watches: