There are few names in the watchmaking world more prominent than Omega, and within the Omega family there are few names more well-loved than Seamaster. The Seamaster is the oldest line in the Omega collection, an honour it has more than earned over the course of its 67-year history. The Seamaster was first intended to be a robust but elegant watch for active individuals who needed a versatile timepiece, but its legacy has expanded far beyond those original intentions.
As its name implies, the Seamaster was originally designed to accompany sailors on their marine adventures. It was modelled after the Omega Marine, which was introduced in 1932 and made history as the first water-resistant watch. Inspired by the success of the Marine, Omega launched the Seamaster in 1948.
Though several variations of the iconic model can be found now, it retains many of its original distinguishing characteristics. The Seamaster is an automatic winding chronometer and quartz watch known for its luminescent arms and markers (which make it highly visible underwater) and its stainless steel case. Other notable features include a screw-in crown and caseback, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a helium release valve and a sea monster logo engraved on the back.
The Seamaster’s list of accomplishments is lengthy. The watch’s first diving record was achieved in 1955, when diver Gordon McLean reached a depth of 62.5 metres in Australia. In 1956 one was attached to the outside of a Douglas DC6 aircraft and flown the Polar Route over the North Atlantic, to prove that its case was immune to water infiltration. In 1963, Seamasters were worn by Jacques Cousteau’s team during experiments to prove divers could live in a submerged saturated gas environment for extended periods without adverse effects.
When not making diving history, the Seamaster was also responsible for much of Omega’s research into alternative case materials and treatments. Many designs in exotic materials – like titanium, tungsten and forged carbon – actually made it into production. Now with both a “Professional” and “Dress” range, the Seamaster line continues to make history and decorate the wrists of some of the world’s most prominent politicians, divers, treasure hunters and even a spy.
In Popular Culture
Throughout its lifetime, the Seamaster has proved particularly popular with a celebrity fanbase. Famous wearers include Jeremy Clarkson, Prince William and the ultimate icon of men’s style, Mr. James Bond. Omega has been associated with the Bond franchise since 1995, when Pierce Brosnan took over the role and sported an Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional in GoldenEye. Current Bond Daniel Craig has worn both the Seamaster Planet Ocean and the Seamaster Diver 300 M in the movies. Omega has released several special edition Seamasters in conjunction with the film series.