Omega launched the Seamaster in 1948 to celebrate the brand’s centennial. The watch remains the brand’s oldest collection still in production. Initially, the Seamaster was positioned as an elegant yet robust timepiece that drew inspiration from the water-resistant watches Omega delivered to the British Ministry of Defense during World War II.
Over the following decades, Omega expanded the Seamaster line to include a vast assortment of water-ready models ranging from stylish nautical watches to professional dive watches. Today, some of the most popular Seamaster models are the Seamaster Diver, the Seamaster Planet Ocean, and the Aqua Terra.
As is customary for Omega, the Seamaster collection is large and home to plenty of different models that serve different purposes. If you're confused as to what the difference is between Seamaster 300 and a Seamaster Diver 300M (yes, they are different) or are just curious to learn more, we've put together a handgy guide to Omega Seamaster models.
In 1957, Omega released the Seamaster 300 as a tool watch for the then-nascent sport of diving. The watch featured a rotating bezel to track immersion times, a dial with plenty of luminous details, and a highly water-resistant case. Although it had “300” in its name, the Seamaster 300 was rated waterproof to 200 meters deep. One explanation for this mystery is that the necessary equipment to test to 300 meters was not readily available, so Omega went with the maximum depth that could be officially gauged.
The contemporary Seamaster 300 collection, which was released in 2014, is heavily inspired by that 1957 model with signature dial details like broad arrow hands, Arabic numerals at the four poles, and the Seamaster 300 name imprinted in the original font. However, there are some important modern-day updates such as a larger 41mm case, scratch-proof sapphire crystal, and a next-generation Master Chronometer automatic movement. What’s more, today’s Seamaster 300 collection offers a wide range of material choices including precious variants with gold or platinum cases. Omega did release a special limited edition 60th Anniversary Seamaster 300 in 2017, which was essentially a reissue of the original, complete with a 39mm case size.
In 1993, Omega would release what was to become one of its most coveted watch collections — the Seamaster Diver 300M. While it shares a similar name to the Seamaster 300, the Diver 300M is an entirely different model. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M (sometimes referred to as the Seamaster Professional) is a dressier diving watch that pairs just as well with a business suit as it does with a wetsuit. The Seamaster Diver 300M gained worldwide fame as James Bond’s watch in 1995 when it was part of Pierce Brosnan’s wardrobe In GoldenEye. Since that movie, Omega watches — particularly the Seamaster — have been James Bond’s official watch of choice.
Omega offers plenty of variation within the Seamaster Diver 300M lineup, including various material options, dial colours, bracelet styles, and a separate collection of Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph watches. While older Diver 300M models featured 41mm cases, Omega launched revamped models to celebrate the collection’s 25th anniversary in 2018. The latest editions sport 42mm cases, ceramic bezels, and wave-engraved ceramic dials with a date window at 6 o’clock.
Regardless of the production year or specific reference, the defining characteristics of Seamaster Diver 300M watches are scalloped unidirectional rotating bezels, a protruding helium escape valve on the case, skeletonized sword-shaped hands on the dial, and a water resistance rating of 300 meters.
Omega expanded its dive watch offering in 2005 with the debut of the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M. As the name of the watch implies, the Planet Ocean — often called the PO — is a heavy-duty diving tool watch that can plunge 600 meters deep. Omega enthusiasts will recognize the similarities between the original 1957 Seamaster dive watch and the contemporary Planet Ocean, including the broad arrow hands and a smattering of Arabic numerals on the dial. Yet, the Planet Ocean is entirely modern in execution with generous proportions, high-tech materials, cutting-edge mechanics, and an impressive water resistance rating of 600 meters. The watches all have helium escape valves jutting from the cases and bright luminosity in low light.
Omega offers several versions of the Planet Ocean, ranging from the flagship time and date model to the sportier chronograph to the practical GMT variant. Plus, the Seamaster Planet Ocean is available in a bevy of materials and colourways such as robust steel, precious gold, and ultra-light titanium.
To emphasize its commitment to underwater exploration, Omega created the experimental Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep watches — all tested to a depth of 15,000 meters. These extreme Omega dive watches were built to accompany the Five Deeps Expedition, which began in 2018 with the goal to dive to the deepest point in each of the five oceans.
This success eventually led to the release of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep collection in 2022, offering watches that are water-resistant to 6,000 meters.
The Ploprof — which is short for “Plonguer Professionnel” or “professional diver”— illustrates Omega’s long and important history of making deep diving watches. Early Ploprof models from the early 1970s served as tools for technical divers of the era (such as crew members of Jacques Cousteau’s legendary expeditions) since the watches were waterproof to either 600m or 1000m deep. Thanks to its innovative architecture, the Ploprof did not need a helium escape valve as the case was built in a way to prevent any helium from seeping in.
Fast-forward to 2009 and Omega revived the Ploprof model to become a part of the modern collection. While Omega did retain the distinctive angular silhouette of the Seamaster Ploprof watch, a helium escape valve was added and today’s versions are rated to dive down to 1,200 metres deep.
Unlike so many popular modern Seamaster models, the Aqua Terra is not a diving watch but rather an elegant sporty watch that is also water-resistant to 100 metres. Omega released the Aqua Terra in 2002 and named it after the Latin words for water and earth to emphasize that this is a watch that’s suitable for land or sea.
The Aqua Terra is the most diverse Seamaster collection, with a large selection of size, material, movement, colour, and complication options. Most Omega Seamaster watches have a striped dial pattern, which is fashioned after the teak decks of luxury boats. The dials have broad arrow hands that point to tapered hour markers (or diamond-set hour markers) and the simplest Aqua Terra models include a date indicator. There are a handful of more complicated Aqua Terra variations including Aqua Terra Annual Calendar, Aqua Terra GMT, and Aqua Terra World Timer models too. There are also Aqua Terra “Golf” versions, in addition to the cutting-edge Aqua Terra “Ultra Light”— designed by golf champion Rory McIlroy as a watch to wear on the course.
1957 was a landmark year for Omega, as the brand launched three significant models — the Seamaster 300 diving watch, the Speedmaster chronograph, and the Railmaster antimagnetic watch. While it was a separate model back then, today, the Railmaster belongs to the Seamaster family of watches.
Though the Omega Seamaster Railmaster stays true to the original design with steel cases, Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, and time-only dials, they also include modern touches like larger 40mm cases, more dial colours and bracelet style options, and are resistant up to 15,000 gauss of magnetism. Omega also released a 60th Anniversary Railmaster in 2017, which was designed to echo the maiden Railmaster from 1957 including the smaller 39mm case size.
Omega launched the Seamaster Bullhead chronograph in 1969. The watch is characterized by its distinctive bull head-like case shape, with the winding crown and two chronograph pushers placed at 12 o’clock. In 2014, Omega released the latest versions of the Seamaster Bullhead chronographs with updated materials and movements.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Seamaster watch in 2018, Omega unveiled the Seamaster 1948 watch models. The vintage-inspired collection is home to two main editions, where one includes a centre seconds hand while the other features a running seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position. Both Seamaster 1948 variants are faithfully reminiscent of the earliest models that launched the Seamaster range over seven decades ago.
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