(picture from Omega web-site)
This watchs history:
After selling my Citizen Eco-Drive GMT Worldtimer, I found myself without a watch I could swimm with. I soon set my mind on an Omega Seamaster. I came across an auction on THAT site. For sale was an Omega SMP Chrono, the James Bond model. I was very pleased to find out I was the highest bidder for a reasonable price.
(picture used by seller on auction site)
Brand and Reference:
I had developped a weak spot for Omega watches. Earlier this year I aquired two other Omega's, A Dynamic date and a Dynamic Chrono, both very good value, great to look at and comfortable to wear. Despite the fact I don't like Omega's marketing strategy, linking watches to celebrity persons, I like the Seamaster series. I also liked the regular (full-size) non chrono Bond model ref. 2531.80. The Chrono function added an extra feature to the outstanding design of that watch. (It also added extra weight, as I soon found out.)
(pictures from the Omega site)
Shown above are two other members of the Omega Seamaster Professional James Bond family. On the left is the original full-size ref. 2531.8000. On the right is the "limited" edition ref. 2537800. At 10.007 pieces produced this can hardly called a Limited Edition IMHO. Besides that I think the otherwise fantastic appearance of the original is destroyed by the dial of the limited edition.
Other members of the Bond family are a mid-size automatic, and a quartz model.
Inside is Omega caliber 1164, a modified Valjoux 7750. A self winding chronograph movement, with 30 minute and 12-hour totalizer subdials, plus a small seconds subdial. The movement has got, as a good Omega tradition, rhodium-plated finish. The power reserve is 44 hours, it's got 25 jewels, and it beats at 28.800 a/h.
The movement comes with COSC certification, therefore making it a Chronometer.
Surprising few chronograph watches have the Chronometer certificate. I know Breitling has got it on most of their chronographs, but other watch brands seldom offer them.
Case and crown:
(dimensions pictures from http://homepage.mac.com/ksugiura/watch/SMCDright.html)
Did I already mention this is a huge watch? Well, it is...The dial itself is 30mm, the case excluding the crown is 42mm. But what really makes it an essential watch is its thickness. A whopping 16mm makes this no watch for the small wrists owners among us. The case is in stainless steel. There is another model of this watch that is made out of titanium.
The case itself is partly polished and partly brushed. As expected on this type of watch the (signed) crown is screw-in with protecting shoulders. The unscrewing, the winding and the screwing back in positions all function flawless. The chrono buttons both function perfect too, the start/stop button requires a bit strength. But hey.....There is a fourth button, at the 10 o'clock position. It's the famous helium release valve, about whitch later. The bezel complements the blue dial. The blue on the bezel is very well scratch resistant. Turning the bezel a full round takes 120 (loud) clicks anti-clock-wise. A luminous dot is the middle of the 0 minutes triangle indicator.
On the screwed back is the famous Seamonster is visible (some people call it Seahamster). The waves surrounding this Seamaster logo is besides a very beautiful detail, also functional. It increases the grip when the watch is on a rubber diving-suit. To open the screwed back a special Omega tool is needed. That is where the 5 holes are for.
Slightly domed scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coating on the inside.
Domed crystal is much stronger compared to flat crystal.
Dial and hands:
The dial of this watch (and the other James Bond Seamasters) is absolutelty stunning. On the dial are waves imprinted. This is done in such a subtle style, it is hard to keep ones eyes of off the dial. The waves are a trademark of recent Seamasters, and I was unpleasantly surprised to find the waves disappeared in the newest (2002/2003) Omega Seamaster chronographs (America's Cup).
Three subdials take their space of the dial. At 12 is the 30 minute chronograph counter. At 6 is the 12 hour chronograph counter. And at 9 is the decentral small seconds.
The date is at 3. Transition towards the next day is completed at 01:00. I like it more when day-transition is completed at midnight exactly.
Another feature, making the James Bond series recognizable instantly, are the skeleton hour and minute hand. These hands are also luminous, as is (a dot) on the seconds hand. These hands, the dial, and the bezel complements each-other in a fantastic way. Together they make this watch a great dress-watch. Which is something that cannot be said of mist dive-watches. In my opinion the non-chrono model even makes a better dress watch because of the lesser thickness.
Large luminous dots are at every 5 minutes. The 12, 3, 6, and 9 partly split because of the subdials and the date-window. The watch is easy to read in the dark.
The chronograph- (1/5)seconds, the -minutes, and the -hours readout is all in red. Furthermore there are little red triangles at every 5 seconds on the outermost side of the dial. All these features makes this watch by far the easiest to read chronograph I have.
On the dial the following is printed. "The Omega logo", "Omega", Seamaster", Professional", "300m/1000ft", and "swiss made".
Although I like straps more, this is one of few watches that look better on a bracelet than on a strap. It will be hard to find a bracelet that is more comfortable than this one. It's heavy, adding even more weight. The signed deployment clasp comes with an extension link for diving suits. These bracelets are known to scratch very easy, and I must say...they do. A good polish every now and than is needed.
Removing links from the bracelet is not easy. It is best to be done by a skilled jeweler. Fitting the bracelet can not be fine-tuned via holes at the clasp.
Functions and Features:
The Omega Seamaster Professional Chrono comes with 2 unique selling points.
1st. The Helium Escape valve.
Situated at 10 o'clock is an extra screw down valve. During deep dives lasting several days, the helium molecules spread throughout all the matter and penetrate the watch in sufficient quantity to push out the crystal at atmospheric pressure levels. The helium valve prevents this from happening. The valve is used by divers to release helium from their watch while they rise up to the water's surface.
2nd. The Chrono Function can be operated UNDER water.
The start/stop and the reset pushers of this chronograph are so constructed, they can be operated under water. No water will enter the watch. I don't know any other watch that is capable of this.
As you can see on these pictures the watch is very loose on my arm, I had a jeweler one link removed and now it fits just perfect.
To start with the con's of this watch.
The two functions mentioned above are fantastic, don't get me wrong. But to me they are just gadgets. I mean...no helium will accumulate in the watch when I'm in the water with this watch. Three meter deep is the absolute maximum I've ever been into water. Besides, I still have to talk to that one person that ever used this feature.
Secondly...What events are there to time under water?? I doubt it very much I will ever use this feature under water.
All in all the watch weights over 200 grams. Although heavy, it is not out of proportion for this watch. But a few grams off would make it even more comfortable. Still I like the stainless steel version over the titanium.
Sizing the watch is a bit difficult, because it lacks the fine-tune possibilities.
Against these few con's are plenty pro's.
It's a true classic, and a beautiful one. Comfortable to wear. You can use it as a diver watch, but you can also wear it as a dress watch. It's chronographs readability is very very good.
And yes, it IS accurate. Mine is only +1 sec./day. It's the most accurate watch in my humble collection.
Included with all the boxes and papers are the Chronometer warranty, and all operating instructions. I also found out it is possible to require the original COSC certificate on any Chronometer watch directly from Omega. I e-mailed them, and a few weeks later the COSC Certificate came to my door at no costs.
If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to e-mail me.
This watch is
for sale SOLD.
I have more watches for sale, to see the actual inventory of my watches for sale, see my little web-shop Horlogerie Nivelacuso at http://shop.kapaza.nl/nivelacuso/