We were chatting in the Time To Find office the other day about what we thought made a watch “important”. Tony, our CEO, said he couldn’t look past the Seamaster from Omega for two reasons – it looks fantastic and because it has such an interesting back story.
The very first Seamaster launched in 1948, and was based on the designs of watches Omega made for airmen during WW2 – they supplied more than 110,000 watches to the RAF from 1940 to 1945.
This inaugural edition came in two variations: centre seconds, and small-seconds at the bottom of the dial. It was crafted from stainless steel, designed with short, sturdy lugs and given a slim profile to encourage its use as an everyday watch.
Omega describes it now as “A blend of battle-proven technology and beautiful design, they would go on to conquer the watchmaking world” so it is a little bit surprising to know that before the Seamaster was developed into a full-blown dive watch, the Seamaster was better known as a small dress watch cased in steel or gold. It was elegant, classy, and timeless.
The modern Seamaster emerged in the 1950s when the first Seamaster 300 Professionals were launched. This was the first time Omega launched a professional diver’s watch, with rigorous depth testing to 300m, large hands with luminous dial markers and that iconic uni-directional rotating bezel.
In 1995, the movie world was rocked to its core (well, not really) when James Bond discarded his Rolex Submariner, and strapped on an Omega Seamaster. While the Seamaster 300 that Pierce Brosnan wore had a few “special features” like a remote detonator and a laser which aren’t available in the production watches, it marked the start of a long relationship for Omega and Bond, that extended on from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig.
The iconic blue Seamaster Diver 300 is still in production today.
In 2002, came the next step in the Seamaster story when the Aqua Terra opened up a new chapter with a less sporty, more elegant aesthetic, and a co-axial movement delivering unparalleled accuracy. While it was still a tool designed for extreme conditions, the characteristic ridged dial showed where its roots were – a distinguishing characteristic of many of the Seamaster Aqua Terra models is the “teak concept” pattern, the ridged lines reminiscent of wooden decks found on luxury yachts and expensive boats, an elegant nod to nautical life. Newer Aqua Terra models feature the OMEGA Master Chronometer automatic movements which are significant for having passed eight rigorous tests set out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) including resistance to magnetic fields. In fact, the Seamaster Aqua Terra > 15,000 gauss was the world’s first mechanical watch resistant to 15,000 gauss.
Also in 2005, OMEGA presented the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M as the newest addition to the Seamaster family. The Planet Ocean comes in a large variety of sizes up to 45.5mm and they are all rated to 600m depth and feature Helium Escape Valves
The newest editions of the OMEGA Planet Ocean watches are equipped with the brand’s Master Chronometer caliber movements for superb accuracy.
I think you’ll agree, Tony said, that this is an “important watch” – look at who wears one.
Joe Biden has been pictured wearing a Seamaster Diver 300M amongst many watches, (he’s a bit of a watch collector), while Daniel Craig liked the Seamaster Planet Ocean he wore in Skyfall so much he now wears one. George Clooney also owns several Seamasters, wearing a Seamaster Aqua Terra at his wedding.
Last but not least, Prince William wears his blue Seamaster Diver 300M, a gift from Princess Diana, he wore it on his wedding day.
So, an icon for our time, and if it’s the one for you then Time To Find can help.