Released in 1993, and making its major film debut as James Bond’s tool-watch of choice in the 1995 spy film GoldenEye and many 007 films thereafter, the Seamaster 300m “Bond” is likely the most iconic watch ever to have been made by Omega that hasn’t been to the moon – and for good reason.
It’s accurate. Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way – it utilizes a quartz movement – GASP!!! The 6-jewel Omega cal. 1538 (ETA Based)
thermocompensated movement used here is only running a mere 1-2 seconds fast over the three weeks since I last set it to atomic time (shoutout Hodinkee app). Say what you will, but the fact that you can forget about it for days, even weeks, and when it’s picked back up the time is right, the date is right, and there’s no shaking or hand-winding needed, is absolutely marvelous.
Better yet, this movement gets an outstanding feature that the automatic version does not: an independently jumping hour hand. What this means is that when you change time-zones, you can forward or reverse the hour-hand to local time without having to stop the movement and subsequently spinning the entire handset around until you’ve reached desired results (this feature alone makes it more appealing to me than it’s automatic sibling). This thing makes for a near perfect companion when my wife and I go on our out-of-state weekend trips – set the time and go do fun stuff. No wonder this was the first choice of an international travelling spy.
Coming in at a svelte 41mm wide, under 12mm thick, and with a lug-width of 20mm means this watch is a pleasure to wear. Combine this with it’s signature blue (with a hint of grey due to its age) wave dial and slighty faded matte blue aluminum bezel insert and you’ve got yourself a real all-rounder with a stout 300m of usable water resistance. The lume is still good, which is impressive considering this is a 25 year old watch. Another feature worth noting is that there’s a screw-down helium release valve at 10 o’clock that, in all honesty, is likely to never be used by you or I. However, it’s sure nice to know it’s there, you know.. just in case.
So, what do we have here?! In my opinion: An easy wearing watch that’s tough, suitable for a variety of wrist sizes, accurate, casual, and won’t break the bank. The finishing is exceptional as you’d expect from a luxury brand such as Omega. No, the bezel isn’t the easiest to turn with its funky scalloped edges, nor does it have a fancy in-house automatic movement, but what it does possess is value. It’s the near-perfect candidate for a one watch collection if you’re a non-purist who enjoys sport watches and not looking to collect, or a great addition if you’re someone like me who collects/appreciates many different types of timepieces.
NOTE: It’s common to find examples like this one (ref. 2541.80) for well under $2000, and sometimes close to $1000! Surely one of the best bargains out there.
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