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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Introduction (skip this paragraph for the full review)

Some of you may know that I have been saving up for my first real (AD) luxury watch purchase (previous watches were either grey market or bought from family/friends). Being an Omega fan, the new 2018 Basel release of the Seamaster 300m caught my eye online. Although it was a tad bigger than the previous model (which I owned for a while) and the dial did not convince me fully, the movement and new bracelet were enough to keep the watch in my head. After a few weeks of contemplation, I decided to pay a deposit and pre-order it with a local AD in Nijmegen, using the money I received for the old SMP as well as some savings I’d done over the past two years. After an excruciating two months waiting time beyond the original release date, I received the call from the AD; the watch had arrived (it was the only single piece they received!). I counted down the remaining hours at work and (pretty much literally) ran to the parking garage. After an hour drive, I parked the car and found my way to the AD.

This was also my very first experience with an AD, and I have to say that the people at Eugene van Baal in Nijmegen did an excellent job. The contact via mail and phone beforehand was fast, polite and informative. The salesperson who had contact with me prior to the visit immediately knew who I was and that I was coming for the long awaited Seamaster. He was very forthcoming and enthusiastic about the watch, up to the point that we checked the Master Chronometer specs right away. I examined the watch and the beautiful box that came with it and had a nice chat with the salesperson about the history of the co-axial escapement. To my regret I had a meeting later that evening, so I could not stay very long (I was in the store for about 45 minutes), so he adjusted my bracelet on the spot so that I could complete the financial affairs. A nice touch; I even received a beautiful Omega pen as an extra goodie! I hurried towards my car and went off to my evening meeting, with the new SMP on my wrist (as one of the very first in the Netherlands!). Since I got home late, I did not have time to extensively review the watch, but I got up early today to give you guys a first look/review on this beauty…

To start things off, you’ve got the shiny, polished wooden Omega box here. Beautifully finished of course, with the Omega logo engraved on the outside and the pushbutton to open and close the cover. The papers (warranty card, serial card and METAs certification) and extra links are present as always, as is the instruction manual. On to the star of the show… the Omega Seamaster Professional 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer in Blue on the steel bracelet, reference 210.30.42.20.03.001 (indeed; a mouth full!). I can say a lot about its looks, but I will let the watch speak for itself…

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As you can see the finishing is stellar; as one might expect from Omega. The white and blue colour scheme contrasts perfectly, and the shades of blue are slightly lighter (more blueish?) than the previous iteration, at least to my eye. This looks great as the laser-engraved waves shift from very light to very dark, creating another contrast, dependent of the lighting you’re in; the ceramic does its work here. Although I do agree that the old waves were more understated, perhaps more elegant, this design’s glaring, engraved presence is a good fit for the modern technology used in this watch’s construction. The larger, raised indices look amazing and the superluminova was obviously handled with great care; I have always been a sucker for the maxi-dial look ever since I saw it, and Omega’s implementation does not disappoint. To match the upscaled indices, the bezel has now been marked with numbers all around and the engravings are filled with enamel. This is definitely an upgrade over the previous iteration, where the numbers were printed on the bezel, and I am curious to see how this ceramic-enamel combination will hold up when compared to the LM variants of the PO-line. Additionally, I reckon that some would have preferred the bezel without the 10-minute marker, which is something I personally don’t mind. If there is a design change that I could criticize, it would be the semi-rail outline of the minute markers that could have done with a consistent line (as for example with the Tudor Black Bay family). This would have brought just a bit more serenity to the dial. To end this paragraph on a high note; the alternating brushed/polished finishing on the lugs and sides, even though it has become one of the brand’s hallmarks, is ever impressive and never fails to amaze me in different lighting conditions.

Seeing the watch in person really makes you appreciate the new design, which looks busier on pictures than it does in real life. The colour can shift from a very clear, sky-like blue to very dark (close to black in some lighting conditions!) blue tone. Something that remains a miss in my book however, is the printed Omega logo instead of the applied version, as it was with the previous SMPc. I don’t know whether Omega is cutting a (small) financial corner here or that it was a conscious (design-related) decision. With respect to the latter point, I could imagine that an applied logo would make the dial increasingly cluttered, so I can live with this change. Noticeably, the ‘Seamaster’ writing does seem to be a little more 3-D-ish as opposed to its older brother’s writing to my eyes; which is a nice touch.

The crown on the 300m has been proportionally enlarged (very slightly) and boldly signed with the Omega logo. Strangely, with its predecessor I always had the idea that the crown was a little too small for its body; now it seems perfect…? I guess it must be in my head! Anyway, the crown action is buttery smooth; as you might expect from an in-house Omega movement. Winding is done very quietly and screwing down feels solid.

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Now… the much-debated helium escape valve. For the record; I always liked the asymmetry that the HEV brought and thought that it was a unique aesthetic feature. The fact that it is conical-shaped this time distinguishes it from the crown, which is refreshing at the very least. However, holding the watch myself, I do think that it just a tad oversized (as was feared by many already!). But only very marginally so. As in, it is not unsettling, but when you take your time to look at it and compare it to the crown, it seems just that little bit off. This is probably also the reason that it did not stand out at all when I examined the watch at the AD; it really is that tiny a complaint. Even someone with as much OCD as myself will not itch about it on a daily basis, especially if you consider the fact that the valve will probably be under a dress cuff most of the time anyway. Summarizing, both the new crown and HEV are design aspects of the Seamaster that I (still) enjoy very much, despite the observation concerning the valve’s size.

As for the build; the watch feels solid; not too heavy and not even noticeably heavier than its predecessor both in the hand or on the wrist. Having worn it for a few hours I can now safely conclude that the extra millimetre in both width and height is not as impactful as I had initially feared; my Asian-ish wrist can still cope just fine. You will notice the slight increase in bulk if you occasionally wear tighter dress cuffs, as I do about twice a week. However, I already tested it and it does slip right under with a little bit of care. Conclusively, I can say that the wearing comfort of the 300m-line will still be top-notch for most wrist sizes; luckily.

On to the display back. Although I have to say that I do miss the engraved seahorse, having the option to take a look at the beautiful Omega 8800 calibre is a change I welcome as well. Although it is not exactly ‘haute horlogerie’ (not that I will ever own a watch of this class), it is a stunning piece of engineering that has been decorated with passion and craftmanship. More than enough for a simple amateur like myself! Besides, looking at the rotor spin around the case gives a man something of a peace and quiet moment in his life :) Of course, I cannot yet comment on the accuracy of the Seamaster; I will report back with some numbers in a few days for those who are interested; but I expect this watch to perform similar to other Omega’s with the 8800-calibre.

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Next up is the bracelet, and oh my is this a bracelet. Of course, people who dislike the ‘Bond’ tank treads will not miraculously fall in love with this iteration, but for us 90’s enthusiasts this update brings some noticeable improvements. Still as beautiful and well-finished as ever, the most obvious upgrade to the bracelet is of course the more rectangular, flatter shape of the individual links. The elimination of the traditional curves makes it look more modern, masculine if you will, and in my opinion, increases wearing comfort (it sits ‘flatter’ on your wrist without pulling hairs). Although, the latter point is also due to the new u-shaped end links, which pivot on the spring bars to accommodate for the Seamaster’s increased case diameter. This also helps to compensate for the lack of tapering on the bracelet; something that owners of watches with tapering bracelets will certainly appreciate. These subtle design changes all help the watch fit better with smaller wrists despite the increase in overall size, and noticeably so.

Finally, Omega has decided to add the push-extension to the 300m line as well, which makes the clasp itself a little thicker (but not annoyingly so). I cannot emphasize the advantage of this upgrade enough and the fact that the traditional diver’s extension is still there as well is a nice bonus; I would have given this up in favour of the push-extension, but it seems that there was no choice to be made ;) For you Rolex owners out there; the glide-lock system does provide a more subtle look, as it actually shifts the actual bracelet across the clasp, while the Omega shifts the diver’s extension outward (which of course, looks different than the actual bracelet links). This does look less stylish when compared to the Big Crown’s implementation, but I am just nit-picking here I guess. Having handled both, I would say there is no perceivable difference in quality or daily function.

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Finally, from a utilitarian point of view; the METAS certification and ceramic and enamel materials make the Seamaster 300m a robust force to be reckoned with. I have no doubt that the bezel will very much stand the test of time, even when worn by people who wear it in a more toolish-fashion than I will. The magnetic resistance up to 15.000 Gauss will also certainly help against the increasing number of magnetic fields in our lives (think; IoT). As an IT consultant, I think people are severely underestimating this feat; as more and more organizations are using technology that emit magnetic fields. Thus, a watch that has ample protection against magnetism is something that could be called ‘future-proof’ at the very least. And the Seamaster 300m 2018, with its updated bracelet, movement and dial, is a stunningly beautiful ‘future-proof’ watch at that.

Thank you for reading my very first watch review; I hope it was well worth your time :) I know I do not have a lot of (or very good..) pictures because of a lack of time this morning, but I will post more by request; please enjoy!

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Nice review. What size is your wrist? Shame they didn’t release a smaller version at the same time of 38.5mm like with the Aqua Terra line.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice review. What size is your wrist? Shame they didn’t release a smaller version at the same time of 38.5mm like with the Aqua Terra line.


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Thank you! My wrist size is sub-17 cm. I noticed that in the picture above it looks like it's a tad too big, but in person it's just the right size (I always wear my watch above the wristbone). Although I have to agree with you; I would have preferred a smaller option as well :)
 

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Great write-up! Thanks for posting.

Funny coincidence, Eugene van Baal is where I too got my first nice watch: an SMPc from the Occasions section. At the time it felt like I had paid a fortune. Since then I picked up more expensive pieces but I often think that I should've just stopped looking at watches and stick with the SMPc.

Enjoy your time with the SMPm (m for "master")!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great write-up! Thanks for posting.

Funny coincidence, Eugene van Baal is where I too got my first nice watch: an SMPc from the Occasions section. At the time it felt like I had paid a fortune. Since then I picked up more expensive pieces but I often think that I should've just stopped looking at watches and stick with the SMPc.

Enjoy your time with the SMPm (m for "master")!
Makes me smile to hear your story; thanks for sharing! And yeah I guess that's an approriate abbreviation for the new model haha ;)
 

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Thanks for the well written review. I'm sure it will help many prospective buyers in their decision. Blue really is my favourite colour of the models available.Enjoy your SMP in great health.
 

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I hurried towards my car and went off to my evening meeting, with the new SMP on my wrist (as one of the very first in the Netherlands!). Since I got home late, I did not have time to extensively review the watch, but I got up early today to give you guys a first look/review on this beauty…
I bet that's tough to be in a business meeting with a new watch like this: ...must not look at watch... must NOT look at watch... ....ok it's been about 10 minutes, I think I can look quickly at watch without giving the wrong impression... ...ah heck it was only 4 minutes. Why is time going slower. ;)
 

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Does 8800 movement in this watch makes a noise like a typical 2500 caliber when you try to wind by moving in circle or is it like rolex that is very quiet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the well written review. I'm sure it will help many prospective buyers in their decision. Blue really is my favourite colour of the models available.Enjoy your SMP in great health.
I surely hope it helps others! Thank you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Does 8800 movement in this watch makes a noise like a typical 2500 caliber when you try to wind by moving in circle or is it like rolex that is very quiet?
I actually tested that and found that it is a lot more quiet than the 2500D. However, winding it directly next to a ceramic Sub, it is a little bit louder. However, you will only notice this when comparing directly, so others might find no difference at all. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I bet that's tough to be in a business meeting with a new watch like this: ...must not look at watch... must NOT look at watch... ....ok it's been about 10 minutes, I think I can look quickly at watch without giving the wrong impression... ...ah heck it was only 4 minutes. Why is time going slower. ;)
Haha you read my mind! It was really hard because I didn't even had the time to look at it properly (meaning that I was not able to drool all over it for at least 60 minutes), so I just shove it under my dress cuff to avoid distraction :p
 

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Congrats on your new SMP! Wow, they hit the ball out of the park with that blue dial/bezel. Well done Omega. Wear it in good health OP!
 

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Thanks! This movement then are a lot better than the 2500 though i still do have my old orange po 2500 and still run for 10 years now since the last service but now it needs servicing since the power reserve is very low. i will get this smp8800 soon while i still wait for the blnr gmt which god knows when it will be available . Been waiting for this and i knew they will do this soon and it did happen amnd was happy when i saw the release at basel 2018.
 
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