Two For Tuesday: Omega Speedmaster Professional Vs. Seamaster 300M Who will "Master" this battle? by Michael Stockton June 16, 2020 MIN READTwo For Tuesday: Omega Speedmaster Professional Vs. Seamaster 300M Speedmaster Professional Seamaster 300M
It’s time for Two For Tuesday and this week we take a look at two of Omega’s finest. The Speedmaster Professional will throw-down with the Seamaster 300M.
In our inaugural episode of Two For Tuesday, the Rolex GMT 16710 duked it out with the Submariner 14060M. It was the heavyweight battle we all expected, but in the end it was the GMT that prevailed by less than 50 votes! We thank you for all your participation and for some very lively comments. Let’s see if today’s contest between the Speedmaster Professional and Seamaster 300M inspires the same spirited debate.
We all know people who can easily afford a Rolex, but they simply will not buy one. For them, a Rolex is too showy, reminds them of unsavory types, or attracts a level of attention they’d rather avoid. Sometimes, they simply don’t wish to follow the herd. On the other hand, they want a high quality timepiece that they’re proud of owning. The answer — literally 9.9 times out of 10 — for them is almost always Omega. I don’t know how they’ve built such a reputation, but Omega somehow embodies the “put your head down and go to work” type ethos so many people enjoy.
And so it’s not surprising that two of the brand’s more versatile tool watches frequently emerge as purchasing options. We’re talking about the current Speedmaster Professional and the most recent Seamaster 300M. For today’s purposes, we’re talking about 42mm stainless models on bracelet or strap and that means exactly one Speedmaster dial choice and four Seamaster options. Let the games begin.
A Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’
The Omega Speedmaster Professional
So many people wimp and whine about Omega’s so-called dependence on its space exploits. Get over it because guess what? The damn marketing works. I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me to ask about “the watch that went to the moon” and if they should buy one. Now, if I know the person well, I’m able to answer easily. If I don’t, I ask some deeper questions.
An Icon Unchanged
The current Speedmaster Professional has essentially been around in its current form since 1996. And while the current reference 3126.96.36.199.01.005 started as a different set of numbers, the changes have been minimal over the last 25 years. The watch today is startlingly close to the watches that made it to the lunar surface in 1969. In other words, this is a legendary watch that Omega has left alone.
Even the current Omega (née Lemania) 1861 hand-winding chronograph movement can trace its roots back to the column-wheel 321 caliber. What’s more is that Omega still gives the Speedmaster Professional a hesalite (aka acryclic) crystal along with a solid screw-in case back. That case back tells us that this watch is flight qualified by NASA and people wear it like a badge of honor.
But when it comes to recommending the Speedmaster, I come back to those questions I typically ask. First, do you like to hand-wind a movement? You’d be surprised at the quizzical looks I often receive. Most people think that hand-winding went out with their grandparents’ generation. And then I ask if a plastic crystal is something they’d like. I inform them that removing scratches is easy, but this can still be a turn-off. And finally, what about swimming? Yes, we know that the Davidoff Brothers love to swim in their Speedies (maybe their Speedos too!), but these chronographs are really made for land. Yes, 50 meters of water resistance is “ok” for the pool, but I’ve never liked the thought of it.
The Speedmaster Professional is an archaic watch brought up to a level of modernity just short of being — well, modern. The lume is great, the bracelet is solid (even if I’ve never warmed to the style), and they’re dependable. Even though the Speedy isn’t chronometer-certified, caliber 1861 is a solid runner. And at 42mm with short lugs, it somehow fits a smaller wrist. Most importantly, though, you’re looking at one of the most recognizable watches in history.
And — the Speedmaster Professional is one hell of a looker. Perhaps we’ve seen it so much — especially on this site — that we take it for granted. But really, it’s much cleaner looking than a wordy Daytona and it’s an acceptable watch to wear in almost any setting. And at €4,600 it’s a downright bargain (you can get it on strap for €100 less but why would you?). Its history alone affords it that rare air access. So yes, the Speedmaster is a great choice if you can live with its anachronistic nature. But what of its sea-faring stablemate?
The Omega Seamaster 300M
The Omega Seamaster 300 is nearly as well known as its Speedmaster relative. After all, both were released back in 1957 along with the Railmaster. But it was in 1993 that Omega gave us the model known as the 300M. The 300M has been with us ever since and has only grown in popularity during that period. We can thank the fictional character James Bond for that as it’s been a mainstay on the spy’s wrist.
Ceramic wave dial in the new for 2018 models
One thing that made the Seamaster 300M so popular in the beginning was its dial surface with a ridged wave effect. It’s funny that this trademark feature went away for a period before coming back in 2018 on the most current models. Personally, I was never in love with the look on the older watches. But on the newest editions, all dials are made of ceramic and the ridges look incredible.
Master chronometer 8800 caliber
Like the Speedmaster, the Seamaster 300M weighs in at 42mm in diameter. And at 13.7mm in thickness, it’s not super slim but it’s very wearable. With that, you’re getting 300 meters of water resistance and the requisite helium valve at 10 o’clock. That last addition is a bit superfluous, but it’s become a hallmark of the series. Omega also gives us the Master Chronometer Co-Axial caliber 8800 automatic.
Spec-wise, the Seamaster 300M is a giant killer, especially when taking into consideration its €4,800 price tag (the sublime rubber costs €300 less and makes for a tough decision). Oh, and you want some color choices? Fathom this: blue on blue bezel, black on black bezel, white on black bezel, and silver on blue bezel. If you can’t find one to match your tastes, you’re probably not hungry!
Now, there’s little to complain about with the Seamaster 300M. I’m not huge a fan of the clunky clasp design or the fussy bracelet design in general. But, it’s well made and at least consistent with the original 300M theme. And I’d absolutely love to see this watch without its helium valve, but that’s highly unlikely. Perhaps the only concerning thing about the 300M is that Omega continues to add new variants to the line and I’d be concerned about missing something. But that’s a very light complaint.
The Seamaster 300M is very popular
I’ve personally helped two colleagues source their Seamaster 300M models — both chose the blue dial if you’re wondering. And here’s something interesting. One initially saw the model due to — ding ding ding — a Daniel Craig ad! The 300M might not have the same iconic stature like the Speedmaster but it’s one hell of a watch. If I were in the market for a new diver, this would be a hard one to ignore.
Let the voting commence
So, I’m genuinely curious about whether you, our readers, will choose the Speedmaster Professional or Seamaster 300M. The easy guess is for the Speedmaster. It’s massively popular on this site and has one heck of a history. Then again, if you want a true daily watch that can do it all, the Seamaster 300M on bracelet is a perfect choice. The sizes are essentially the same and the prices are within spitting distance of each other. Let the voting begin!
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About the author
Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more
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