Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

The Titan ETNZ Seamaster

Hands-On Review: Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

This Omega Seamaster watch is refreshingly different to the usual stainless steel and metal bracelet norm. This ETNZ special edition Seamaster 300m has an unusually spartan dial, that focuses on functionality, and is of a surprisingly lightweight build for such a big chunky watch.

Continue reading to find out what’s so different with this Seamaster 300m and who this watch is made for…

The Seamaster’s Background

The first Seamaster made by Omega was originally released all the way back in the year 1948, being based on the Omega Marine which was their first water-resistant watch. Today the watch conjures up images of Britain’s best-loved secret agent 007 – James Bond. First seen on the silver screen sat on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan while he outmanoeuvred his enemies in the film GoldenEye that hit theatres in 1995.

The Seamaster was chosen thanks to Lindy Hemming, the costume designer for the film (who’s subsequently worked on five James Bond films), because of its long fruitful heritage of being worn by members of the British Navy, to which Bond belongs to.

You can buy this Omega Seamaster [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ] watch from our shop here.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Yachtsmen of Emirates Team New Zealand – ETNZ

This edition of the Seamaster 300m is different because of Omega’s long-held collaboration with ETNZ; or, Emirates Team New Zealand, a sailing team based in Auckland New Zealand being sponsored by the Emirates airline. This partnership being established in the year 1995, at the time they were becoming a household name (in New Zealand and Yachting circles) because of their astronomical sporting success winning the America’s Cup in 1995 and again in 2000; being the first team outside of US to win, and then defend the cup over two consecutive competitions.

I must add that unlike some other partnerships between a watch brand and another person or group of people – this has a defining purpose. The collaboration has not only increased the perceived value of the watch: but, it would appear to have also increased the actual quality of the watch. And the increased price point is more justifiable because of this.

Aesthetics

Because of the change of case materials from stainless steel to brushed grade 5 titanium, the cleaner dial design, and having it paired with a rubber strap – this Seamaster seems even more a master of the sea than ever before. And I can now confidently say that this is a real ‘nautical’ watch. Not just by its asthetics, but by its rouged functional construction.

Horizontal dial close up for Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Feel of the watch

When picking up this watch I was immediately struck by how insanely light this watch feels to lift up. At only 120 grammes this 44mm wide watch (18mm thick) performs some peculiar optical illusion, that appears like it should weigh significantly more. Omega has cut down on weight by using what is perhaps my favourite metal. It has an atomic number of 22, has a boiling point of 3560 K (3287 °C / 5949 °F), is as strong as steel unalloyed but has the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metallic element – it can only be, Titanium!

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Case

The well finished brushed titanium case is built from the grade 5 titanium alloy that improves on the commercially pure variants by the addition of extra metals: 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium, 0.25% (maximum) iron, and 0.2% (maximum) oxygen. These give the metal an excellent combination of strength and corrosion resistance that makes this alloy extensively used in both aerospace, supercar, medical, and marine industries.

The case design is incredibly clean and crisp with a helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position and incorporates with it a date corrector when the centre is pushed down. The helium escape valve is of the manual variety – but with the number of people who actually take their watches saturation diving is rather small, I don’t think they’d find rotating the valve a few turns when on their long ascent back to civilisation, much of a deal breaker.

On the right side of the watch, we have our chunky Omega signed crown and beside it, two screwed down chronograph pusher buttons. With the pusher button at the 2 o’clock hour marker being colour coordinated with the chronograph complication indicating hands – they are all red.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Movement

Turing the watch over will find the solid (stainless steel) case back of the Seamaster ETNZ edition [212.92.44.50.99.001], which is unusually sparse, with only the Emirates Team New Zealand logo centred and the inscriptions ‘Si14‘ and  ‘Column Wheel‘.  The first referring to the silicon balance spring contained within that will keep the watch in good timing: and largely avoiding the problem of magnetic fields that have so recently become such a great adversary of the modern mechanical watch. That is arguably a greater menace to mechanical watches than water damage, knocks and jars, or changes in temperatures.

A Note On Chronograph Types

The wording Column Wheel refers to the type of chronograph mechanism used. They can be either a Column Wheel Chronograph that is perceived as being more high-end due to the difficulty in constructing and finishing the tiny pieces required. When operating one you will also notice how smooth they are when the chronograph is started again from the stopped position – with almost no noticeable jerk. This is because the gearing is lifted out-of-place vertically, and means the hand will rest exactly in position. These types of chronographs are also a pain to have fixed if its delicate pieces become broken, as it’s very time-consuming to fix and is the most expensive of the two options.

The alternate chronograph option available would be Cam Actuated Chronographs (like the one in the Omega Speedmaster). They are simpler to produce and easier to service, cutting down on costs. But if NASA approves of them as accurate and reliable enough for space flight – they surely can’t be that bad.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Specs

The movement beats at 28,800 vph, contains 31 jewels, and has a modest power reserve of 52 hours.

The 3 dub-dials are located in the 9-6-3 positions on the Omega calibre 3330 movement and not the 12-9-6 positions that used to be the case when Omega used the ETA/Valjoux 7750 movement.

The movement is also Chronometer certified (COSC) assuring of the exceptional quality time keeping mechanism within.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Bezel

The bezel on this wonderfully industrial and tool-watch tough watch is, of course, ceramic. It’s unidirectional and has a lovely matt finish that should repel fingerprints nicely. One thing that surprised me on this watch was when turning the bezel. It didn’t really give off a clicking noise, but rather a violent mechanical clacking sound – nobodies going to be complaining of mushy bezels with this watch.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Strap

America´s Cup 2007 NZL 92
America´s Cup 2007 NZL 92 Emirates Team New Zealand – 11 May 2007 [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

The rubber strap on the Seamaster 300m ETNZ [212.92.44.50.99.001] is unusually thin for such a large watch. But because of the unusual lightness of this watch, it is able to pull it off with ease. The rubber strap is fashioned in the colours of the Emirates Team New Zealand’s logo of dark grey and a deep red. It’s ribbed on the outside which I feel would collect dirt fairly easily between all the little crevices. But luckily this watch is water-resistant to a good 300m and can easily endure a quick rinse under water. The bright red on the reverse is patterned and has a passing abstract resemblance of a nautical sail.

Close up of reverse of titanium deployant buckle for Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

The buckle is the usual deployant clasp used by Omega with their signature centred, and two polished pusher buttons on either side – but like the case of the watch, it’s in brushed titanium. We are also reminded by this with a laser etched engraving on the under side with the text ‘TITANIUM’ in capital letters.

Rubber strap with titanium deployant buckle for Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Face

Arguably what I feel is the best feature of this Seamaster is the brutal simplicity of this watches design – particularly the dial. The round Super Lumi-nova coated indexes (and two rectangular ones at the 12 position) are sat on a delectable sand blasted titanium dial. It’s not a highly reflective mirror, it hasn’t been brushed in a radial pattern for fancy light patterns, there are no distractions from this watches purpose as a tool watch to read the time. It’s simple and plain – and that’s just how I prefer my watches (you might not share my opinion but that’s okey). There is also the added bonus of it being constructed out of solid titanium: with the only piece of proof other than its distinctive colorisation and texture, is the little engraving of TI just above the hand stalk but bellow the text ‘Ω, OMEGA, Seamaster, PROFESSIONAL’.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]
‘Ω, OMEGA, Seamaster, PROFESSIONAL,TI’

All the hands and indexes are colour coordinated with each time indicating item, being the hour markers, small seconds hand (at 9 o’clock), minute and hour hands, all being white.

The chronograph’s, seconds hand in the centre, 30 – minute hand (sub-dial at 3 o’clock) , and 12-hour hand (count down sub-dial at 6 o’clock), are all in red – which happens to match the chronograph’s start/stop pusher button.

The regatta modification made by Omega is that the 30-minute counter has a 5-minute countdown for the start of the REGATTA. With each minute being written out in Arabic numerals and the word ‘START’ being written in capital letters to make sure you don’t miss the start of your race.

There does not appear to be a way to modify the reggata count downs duration like on the Rolex Yachtmaster II.

Each hand is skeletonised with the exception of the two seconds hands, and they all have a Super Lumi-nova coating for night-time visibility.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

The Box

This Seamaster is supplied in the standard wooden Omega box as it’s only a Special Edition and not a limited edition watch. It would have been nice to have something special to distinguish it from a normal Seamaster 300m; but, it does its job well and in the end it will be the watch that you will be wearing on your wrist and not the box.

Verdict

The Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ] is a rather different watch to its siblings that it shares its internals with. The big bold 44mm wide case is highly legible but retains a tool-watch feel with its brushed titanium construction. I love how different this watch is from the normal Seamaster’s available and think it would appeal to people who want a watch thats more under the radar and a less ubiquitous watch than a Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm or even a Submariner.

While this Omega Seamaster and Rolex Yachtmaster II are both watches of a 44mm diameter and designed for a life racing yachts. They are both so fundamentally different. The Yachtmaster II is a very showy watch with an especially complicated regatta complication to make (that very few people will end up using). The Seamaster is the polar opposite, it’s highly functional and lets its quality quietly speak for itself.

A simple tool-watch then, for the minimalist guy, who wants a Seamaster with a difference.

This Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ] can be brought from our shop from here.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Watch Photos:

Watch Specs:

Brand

Omega

Series

Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm

Model Number

212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ

Size

Mens

Case Material

Titanium

Dial Color

Grey

Bracelet/Strap

Rubber Black

Clasp

Push Button Deployant Buckle

Movement

Automatic – Chronometer

Bezel

Uni-Directional Rotating

Screw-down Crown

Yes

Crystal

Anti-Reflective Scratch Resistant Sapphire

Case Back

Solid

Water Resistance

300m/1000ft

Diameter

44mm

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