Omega is red hot right now. On watch trading forums, Omega is one of the two or three most in-demand brands, and with good reason. In recent years, Omega has upped its prices but the company also upped its game. Models such as the Dark Side of the Moon and Globemaster became instant icons and earned instant grail status among countless WIS. When WatchPaper’s partner forum, CanWatchCo, invited me to sample several variations of Omega’s Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial, my answer was, “How soon can I come over?”
The Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial is a tribute the first Seamaster 300, which was introduced in 1957. It is very hard to avoid comparisons with Rolex when discussing these pieces. It would be like discussing a BMW M-model without discussing a Mercedes AMG or an Audi S-model. Yes, the Omega stands on its own. But comparing it to other expensive rivals is irresistible, and part of the fun, really. I had seen a few of these Omega from a distance before but wasn’t overly thrilled by the retro dial. Seeing 4 different versions up close and personal has given me a new appreciation for Omega and it has given me an opinion on the Rolex comparisons.
Let’s take a look at these masterpieces in order from least expensive to least accessible.
Black dial MSRP $7450
This piece has a black dial with vintage-looking patina-coloured numerals and indices. The bezel is ceramic and the insert is Omega’s liquid metal. This watch is an automatic piece with no date and a retro dial. The 41mm size is just dead on for proportions. It doesn’t look gaudy or stupidly oversized, but it still fills the wrist and can be recognized from across the room. Stepping back from the details and just looking at the overall effect, you get a vibe from the Omega. That vibe is that of a tough, robust, solid, and manly timepiece that is wonderfully elegant at the same time. I always found that retro designs and vintage-style dials give a watch a certain dressy flavour, even if they have a sporty package.
Titanium, blue dial MSRP $10,100
The engine powering these Omega watches is the Caliber 8400, which is quite a remarkable device. With a 60-hour power reserve and a completely anti-magnetic mechanism, the 8400 is easily a match for any Rolex. And Omega gives you a HUGE advantage with a sapphire case back so you can actually SEE it. This one is magnificent and worth the $10,100 price of admission. Another benefit of the 8400 is its very even torque curve — from full wind to low power, the movement runs at about the same accuracy so the time doesn’t suddenly drop off by 30 seconds when almost unwound.
Titanium is not only light, but it is a gorgeous complement to a blue dial. The mixture of brushed and polished surfaces is a delight to watch at different angles in the light. These watches should really be the workhorse in your collection — they should be worn nearly every day. You could argue the need for a date window for a daily wearer, but trying on this titanium model makes you forget about that little detail. After all, the absence of a date window allows a much cleaner and prettier dial and is more authentic for a retro look.
Two-tone, steel & Sedna gold, black dial MSRP $14,200
Black and gold look amazing together and the patina-coloured numerals are awesome with gold trim. Look at the crown — look how that gold crown contrasts the black ceramic bezel. It is just delicious. The crown is a great feature on these watches — I love crowns that stick out and allow for easy operation and Omega nailed it, the gold crown is so luxurious. I have been itching for a two-tone piece and this one would be a helluva good option. I can imagine myself wearing this nearly every single day to the office. This piece is a grail, my friends. A grail!
The bracelet is a masterpiece itself, with an easy micro-adjustment. That’s a great feature that rivals… yes, you guessed it — Rolex! I can’t help myself from comparing this watch to the iconic two-tone Submariner. This Omega trumps the Sub in every possible category as far as I’m concerned. It is infinitely more attractive. It has the exhibition case back and it has a bracelet and clasp that easily match the Rolex. A Rolex Submariner is fine, but this two-tone Omega feels far more refined.
Two-tone, titanium and Sedna gold, blue dial MSRP $16,900
Man, Omega really upped the ante on this one. Titanium combined with Sedna gold. Damn! I love watches like this. At first glance, it is so basic and boring — it’s an automatic with no chrono, no power reserve and not even a date. It’s a run-of-the-mill 41mm diver on a bracelet. But it’s a titanium and gold Omega bracelet to die for. And that 8400 movement showcased behind the sapphire case back is a showstopper. Can you spell “grail?” This watch makes me wonder why I ever cared for complications on a watch — I could have this as my only watch ever and feel like the big dog any time, any place.
Look at the gorgeous ratcheted edges of the bezel in gold, that is superb. Look at the gold markings on the bezel, also superb!
Once again, it is tempting to draw comparisons with that iconic “bluesy” Submariner. But here, you have titanium as well as a cooler and more distinctive dial. I think the proportions are better and the elegance of the piece is remarkable. You can show up to any party with this Omega and feel like the boss.
For me, any of these Omega’s is a daily wearer. They are so versatile and high quality that they should not be safe queens. They can hang in the pool house or the board room. These watches are made tough and they have a world-class movement. These are serious timepieces. They are quite expensive, but they will still look amazing in 20 years. Thanks to CanWatchCo for showing off these masterpieces. If you’re in the market for a serious timepiece to mark a milestone in your life, take a good look at an Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial. As always, the fun is in the search…
CanWatchCo is the best online forum for Canadians to trade watches.