The Omega Seamaster 300 ref. CK2913 was first introduced to the public in 1957. It was the Biel-based manufacturer’s answer to successful diving watches like the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Rolex Submariner, both of which had already been battling it out as competitors on the market for several years at that point. While Omega may have been a little late to the modern diving tool watch game, the delay did not diminish the success of the Seamaster 300 in any way.
This likely came down to the watch’s striking dial design, which stood out from the crowd. Today, the iconic wedge-shaped indices filled with luminous material can still be found on the dial, alongside numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, and the famed broad arrow hour hand.
Despite its name indicating otherwise, the original watch was only officially water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). Omega’s engineers justified this discrepancy by arguing the technology to test greater depth ratings wasn’t available at the time. That being said, the watchmakers were confident that the Seamaster 300 could withstand depths beyond 200 m. Subsequent tests confirmed this was indeed the case, and the watch is now officially rated to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft).
In the more than 65 years that the Seamaster 300 has been part of the Omega lineup, the brand released a number of different model variants. Let’s “dive in” and learn more about some of the most popular references and what makes them so special.
Stainless Steel Master Chronometer: The Ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001
By far, the most popular Omega Seamaster 300 on Chrono24 is the ref. 18.104.22.168.01.001. The design of this stainless steel diver comes very close to the original watch from 1957. It features a matte black dial and the typical wedge-shaped hour markers, which are filled with vintage blue Super-LumiNova. You’ll find white printed numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock – just like the first-generation model. Omega also kept the model’s iconic broad arrow hand intact. For the second hand, however, designers opted for a more slender arrow-tipped variant, similar to the one used on the beloved Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch.
Despite its retro looks, the ref. 22.214.171.124.01.001 is a thoroughly modern timepiece. For starters, the bezel inlay is made of scratch-resistant ceramic as opposed to the previously-used aluminum. The diameter has also been increased to a contemporary 41 mm. The biggest difference between this reference and the historical model, however, is the Master Chronometer caliber 8400. The modern movement is equipped with Omega’s co-axial escapement, which can withstand magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss, thanks to its silicon balance spring. The presence of two barrels gives the watch a 60-hour power reserve.
You can purchase the Seamaster 300 ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001 on a leather strap or steel bracelet starting at around $5,300 on Chrono24. This represents a significant savings from the watch’s official list price of $6,800. If you don’t want a stainless steel watch, Omega also offers the model in titanium, rose gold, yellow gold, and a two-tone variant. Budget between $6,400 and 26,800 for one of these timepieces, depending on the version you choose.
Seamaster 300 Spectre: A Watch Made for 007
One version of the Seamaster 300 that is particularly popular among fans of secret agent James Bond is the Seamaster 300 Spectre, ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001. This watch debuted in a limited run of 7,007 examples in 2015, alongside the 007 film Spectre. In terms of technology, it is identical to the previous reference.
The differences between the two watches are in the finer details. The latter watch’s bezel inlay, for example, features a 12-hour scale instead of the typical diving bezel. This means the Seamaster 300 Spectre can be used to track the time in a second time zone.
The numeral 12 on the dial has also been replaced by the Omega logo and a Seamaster inscription, and the second hand has a lollipop tip as opposed to the slender arrow tip.
The Seamaster 300 Spectre will set you back around $10,400. Due to its limited numbers, this model could prove to be an attractive investment. In the past 12 months alone, the watch has appreciated in value by more than 20% (as of September 2022).
Vintage Omega Seamaster 300 Models
Vintage Seamaster 300 models are very popular among watch collectors. First and second generation timepieces, i.e., the ref. CK2913 and its successor, the ref. 14755, are particularly sought-after. The third generation, which can be found under the reference number 165.014, likewise has a strong fan base.
All three of these Seamaster 300 variants belong to the so-called thin bezel camp, meaning they feature much slimmer bezel inlays than later generations. While all the watches have a lot in common when it comes to overall design, Omega released each reference in numerous variants over the years. The biggest visual differences come down to dial inscriptions and numerals. Later versions of the ref. 165.014 also saw a shift from dauphine hands with arrow tips to baton hands.
That being said, the real distinguishing feature between the different watches is the movement. The ref. CK2913, for instance, is powered by the caliber 500 or 501, while you’ll find the caliber 550 or 552 in the ref. 14755. The ref. 165.014, on the other hand, is exclusively powered by the caliber 552.
The most affordable vintage Seamaster 300 on the market today is the ref. 14755. You can find this watch in good condition on Chrono24 for around $8,500. If you want to call a ref. 165.014 your own, expect to pay around $1,000 more. If it’s a ref. CK2913 you’re after, be prepared to pay closer to $15,000.
Alternatively, you could opt for the Seamaster 300 1957 Trilogy edition that Omega released in 2017 in celebration of the model’s 60th anniversary. It is nearly identical to the original 1957 timepiece in terms of looks, but is powered by the ultra-modern Master Chronometer caliber 8806 with a co-axial escapement and silicon balance spring. This watch has a limited run of 3,557 pieces and costs around $7,200 on Chrono24.