Review: Omega’s Seamaster Professional Is No ‘90s Relic

Apr 6, 2022

Category: Style

While the Seamaster has been a stalwart member of Omega’s catalog since 1948, predating even the flagship Speedmaster by nearly a decade, the best-known iteration of the watch didn’t make its debut until almost a half-century later. In 1993, Omega launched the Seamaster Professional Diver 300M. With a blue wave-engraved dial, a scalloped bezel, lyre lugs, skeletonized sword hands, a sizable helium escape crown at 10 o’clock, and a bracelet that looked like a tank tread, the piece looked quite unlike any other dive watch on the market.

Quirky as it was, it soon found an incredibly wide audience upon making its way onto the wrist of the then-new James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, in 1995’s Goldeneye. The watch would from that point on be known as “The Bond Watch” due to its association with the superspy, and versions of it have now appeared in six separate 007 films. But 1993 was nearly 30 years ago at this point, so how does Omega’s latest version of the Seamaster Professional hold up against the dive watch competition of today? We went hands-on with the piece to find out.

At A Glance

Seamaster Specs

Case Size: 42mm
Lug to Lug: 50mm
Case Thickness: 13.6mm
Lug Width: 20mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Water Resistance: 300m
Movement Type: Automatic
Power Reserve: 55 Hours
Movement: OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8800
Lume: Super-LumiNova, Bi-color
Crystal: Sapphire
Strap: Stainless Steel “Tank Tread” Bracelet

To truly appreciate all of the watch’s fine details and interesting quirks, be sure to check out our in-depth and beautiful video review of the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M over on our YouTube channel.

First Impressions

The Same, But Different

The first thing you’ll notice about the Seamaster Professional is that it looks like the same iconic Bond watch we all know and love. But it doesn’t take long before you begin to take in the many significant differences between this new model and the original. The wave dial is still here, but it’s glossier, bolder, and more dramatic. The date has been moved to 6 o’clock and color-matched to the dial, adding even more symmetry to the layout. That helium escape valve remains, but it’s leaning even more into its strangeness with a conical shape. The bezel is still scalloped, but now it boasts a polished ceramic insert and more modernized and symmetrical markings. It’s clear that every detail on the upgraded Omega has been carefully considered but done so in such a way that it hasn’t robbed the watch of its identity.

Photo: HICONSUMPTION

The Case

Purpose-Built

When examining the case of the Seamaster Professional in hand, it immediately becomes evident that this is a premium piece of engineering. Even compared to other luxury divers on the market, the build quality and robust construction of the Omega stand out. The watch feels incredibly solid and toolish, and yet it still glistens in all the right places, with Omega’s well-known knack for contrasting finishes on full display and even an exhibition case back showing its dressed-to-the-nines METAS-certified in-house movement. It’s pretty much like a bodybuilder in a tuxedo — or, perhaps more appropriately, a particularly rugged secret agent.

Photo: HICONSUMPTION

The Dial

Waves Of Nostalgia

While every aspect of the Seamaster Professional manages to stand out in some way, none do so more than the dial. It truly is stunning in person, with the gorgeous manner in which the waves play with the light giving the actual waves of the ocean a run for their money. While the Seamasters of old featured thin, guilloché waves, the modern iteration boasts thick, laser-engraved waves on a high-gloss ceramic dial. It’s an incredibly astounding effect, one that’s further amplified in its boldness by the brilliant white lume and rhodium plating on the familiar skeleton sword hands and bar and dot indices — all of which have seen an increase in size. The lume is also very impressive, with all lumed items carrying a blue glow in the dark save for the minute hand and bezel pip, both of which emit a green hue to make them easier to identify when timing a dive.

Photo: HICONSUMPTION

The Bracelet

Team Tank Tread

Perhaps the most frequent complaint about Omega’s flagship diver from members of the watch enthusiast community is about its bracelet. While pretty much everyone agrees that it’s one of the most comfortable bracelets on the market, many dislike the styling of the “Tank Tread,” feeling it’s a dated design that should have stayed in the ‘90s. We disagree. Had Omega gone the safe route and thrown a boring three-link Oyster-style bracelet on the Seamaster, it just wouldn’t work. This is a watch that is made up of a sum of essential quirks, and its signature bracelet is one of those quirks. Having said that, Omega has definitely modernized the Tank Tread — it’s much flatter and more streamlined than before — but it retains the comfortability for which it is known. Finally, there’s the clasp, which is among the beefiest and most secure we’ve ever used. Like everything else about the watch, it exudes quality and craftsmanship.

Photo: HICONSUMPTION

The Movement

Besting The Competition

Omega didn’t put all this effort into crafting a dynamite home for any old off-the-shelf movement. No, sir. Like most modern Omegas, the Seamaster Professional has received an in-house automatic movement with a co-axial escapement and Master Chronometer certification from METAS (Calibre 8800). In practice, that means you’re getting slightly better accuracy than a COSC chronometer, along with absurd magnetic resistance (up to 15,000 gauss) and improved durability. Plus, it’s a hell of a thing to look at, with Omega’s trademark Geneva waves in arabesque decoration on full display through the sapphire case back.

Photo: HICONSUMPTION

On The Wrist

Substantial Yet Comfortable

The previous two generations of the Seamaster Professional, particularly the first, were known for their thinness and for being svelte on the wrist. That has been slightly diminished with the current generation, which comes across quite a bit heftier and chunkier than its progenitor (the watch is more than 2mm thicker than the original 11.5mm-thick ref. 2531.80). It’s also bigger across, too, measuring 42mm compared to the 41mm of prior versions. When you combine these larger measurements with the fact that Omega eliminated the 36.25mm midsize version when it debuted this current generation, you get the impression that smaller-wristed fans will be left out in the cold. But that’s not entirely the case. Sure, our testers with 6.5” or smaller wrists certainly wish Omega would bring back the midsize option (hint, hint), but everyone was able to get a comfortable fit with the new guy. Thanks to the articulating bracelet, the short lugs, and the shape of the case, the Seamaster Professional remains a comfortable and versatile wear for most wrists, even despite the increase in size.

Final Thoughts

Still Superspy-Worthy

It’s really tough to argue against the current version of the Omega Seamaster Professional being the best iteration of the watch ever. From the high-tech movement to the refined luxurious touches to the unbelievably robust build quality, there’s really not a whole lot of room for improvement on this dive watch. No wonder it’s James Bond’s choice.

Purchase: $5,400+

Review: Rolex’s Submariner Is a Legend for a Reason

Wondering how the Omega Seamaster compares with its eternal rival from the Crown? Well, you’re in luck, as we have a companion review of the Rolex Submariner that’s well worth a look.

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