Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition

Not Stirred: The Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition

James Bond is known for many things. Cars, sex, martinis, gambling, gadgetry, one-liners, and, watches—at least in some circles. While the most iconic “Bond watch” is arguably the Rolex Submariner 6538 worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No, Omegas have long occupied 007’s wrist. Based on the original Seamaster 300M CK2913 released in 1957 (and revisited in 2014), the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition reference 233.32.41.21.01.001 continues the brand’s connection with James Bond, all while revisiting one of the brand’s seminal releases. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

History

When costume designer Lindy Hemming arrived on the set of the upcoming Bond film, Goldeneye, she told Rolex and Seiko—who had dominated the series for over 30 years—to buzz off. What she recognized was that Omega had a history more closely tied to the British Royal Navy, and as such was more aligned with Bond, a former Royal Naval Reserve Commander. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

You see, the Seamaster line finds its roots in waterproof watches the Swiss brand produced for the British Navy during World War II. The original Seamasters, though, were not dedicated diving watches by design or in how they were marketed. To be sure, the advertising copy suggests they’re the perfect watch for “town, sea, and country.” It was in 1957, though, that Omega released the Seamaster 300, an unabashed diver that made its debut that year alongside the Speedmaster and the Railmaster. After what can fairly be called a 30-year Seamaster identity crisis, Omega released the almost entirely new Seamaster Professional 300M in 1993—if the 1957 Seamaster 300 is the foundation of the line’s modern iterations, the SMP is the ground floor, with its easily recognized bombé lugs, helium escape valve, and scalloped bezel. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

Since Pierce Brosnan strapped on a quartz Seamaster Professional for Goldeneye, the British spy has worn Omega Seamasters. 20 years later, the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition—based on the 2014 reedition of the 1957 debut model—was the watch of choice for Daniel Craig in 2015’s Spectre

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

Design Details

As mentioned, the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition is a Bond-oriented version of the concurrent Seamaster 300. The 41mm case is a daunting 15mm thick, which makes it stand out on the wrist, even more so when on the NATO. Just like the CK2193 released in 1957, the case features straight lugs with a subtle chamfer instead of the Omega’s modern bombé lugs. This is one of those watches that wears a tad larger than its diameter would suggest, mostly on account of the flatness and length of the aforementioned lugs.

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001
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One of the differences between the LE and the standard model is the bezel. While they feature the same ceramic bezel with in-filled LiquidMetal™ markings, the SPECTRE Seamaster is bidirectional and has 12-hour numbering in lieu of the standard’s unidirectional turning with dive indications. This allows for easy tracking of a second time zone, which makes sense: it’s been some time since the underwater fight in Thunderball, with today’s James Bond more of a global traveler than deep-sea adventurer. The bezel also features a steel ring along its interior edge, which breaks it apart from the matte black dial. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

The dial features a fine grain and the recessed hour markers are filled with vintage-toned Super-LumiNova™. Reaching back to the original Seamaster 300, the dial has long minute hashes, Arabic cardinal numerals, and a “broad arrow” handset, which is rhodium-plated and filled with vintage lume. The other change from the standard Seamaster 300 is the seconds hand. The standard model features a narrow arrow hand, which compliments the “broad arrow” handset. On the SPECTRE, the seconds has been replaced with a true lollipop, properly situated at the hand’s terminus, unlike others of the style which sit towards but not at the end. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

One unexpected treat is the time zone hour hand. When you unscrew the crown—which ensures 300m water resistance—you have the option to move the hour hand independently, without stopping the time. Along with the bidirectional 12-hour bezel, this makes the watch more of a travel tool than a diving tool. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

While the SPECTRE LE is typically seen on its striped NATO-style strap (Omega’s NATO straps are considered some of the best), it also comes with Omega’s retro flat-link bracelet, equipped with a 007-branded foldover clasp. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

Inner Workings

The in-house Omega Caliber 8400 (the dateless version of the 8500) can be seen through a sapphire caseback. The caseback ring holds the only Bond branding on the watch, and the movement itself is a sight to behold with its arabesque Geneva waves radiating from the center. The use of sapphire is a more impressive feat than one might think: the movement is antimagnetic to 15,000 gauss (the lower end of an MRI’s output), and because the resistance is reached by constructing the movement itself from special alloys (as opposed to the case or an added protective component), a sapphire caseback can be used without risk. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

The movement features a series-mounted pair of mainspring barrels for an impressive 60-hour power reserve. Moving to the other end of the gear train, Omega’s co-axial escapement, coupled with a free-sprung balance and a silicon balance spring, provides exemplary precision, durability, and stability in timekeeping. The 8400 beats at 25,200 vph and has 39 jewels. Like all modern Omega calibers, it has the “Master Co-Axial Chronometer” designation, meaning it is not only COSC-certified, but also goes through additional testing by the independent METAS lab. The end result is a watch certified to an accuracy of 0/+5 seconds per day. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

Versus the Competition

There are plenty of entry-level Swiss divers on the market from which to choose—it’s one of the more saturated market segments. That said, there are a few that might stand out. A close analog to the SPECTRE LE would be the Omega Seamaster 300 1957 Trilogy Edition, which is essentially a one-to-one remake of the original Seamaster 300. Looking away from Omega, Jaeger LeCoultre has also been revisiting its back catalog, and released the JLC Tribute to Deep Sea Memovox, an amazing diver with a mechanical alarm that has similar tones and dial texture to the SPECTRE LE (you can read our in-depth post here). The SPECTRE LE may be a bit too restrained, and in that case, Breitling has you covered: the recent SuperOcean Heritage ’57 LE celebrates a watch from the same year as the SPECTRE’s inspiration, with an explosion of rainbow color against a rich blue dial and matching stadium bezel.

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

Personality

Buying a Bond watch is a very intentional act, typically one of affinity for the series and the character. The SPECTRE LE, though, presents a bit of a different option. The SPECTRE LE is less overt than more recent James Bond designs, while simultaneously presenting a spin one of the best reissues one the market. This watch is for the Bond Lover who wants a James Bond watch but also wants a watch that stands alone without the Bond branding. Call it restrained fandom. 

Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition 233.32.41.21.01.001

Final Thoughts

The Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition offers a classic vintage look with modern specs. Add to that the appeal of having a watch that’s connected to one of the greatest film franchises of all time, and the piece is a unique opportunity for the watch enthusiast who loves James Bond. 

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