It's often been said that if James Bond wore an Omega in the early days, it would have been a Seamaster 300, and it's pretty easy to understand why. With a perfectly proportioned 41mm steel case with twisted lugs, rotating outer timing bezel, waterproof crown, and a jet black dial with luminous markers and plongeur (sword) hands, the SM300 is a no-nonsense - and extremely handsome - dive watch.
Backing up those rugged good looks is the tried and true Calibre 552 automatic winding movement making the SM300 a robust and reliable companion under the cuff of your dinner jacket or strapped to the outside of your wetsuit.
This particular Reference 165.024 has an honest case with very light wear, a gorgeously aged bakelite and tritium bezel - completely devoid of common cracking - and a properly patinated dial and handset with original luminescent material.
Topped off with an extract from Omega confirming production in November of 1966 and delivery to Italy, it's period correct (and rare as hen's teeth box), and Omega 1039 bracelet, this Omega SM300 is one of our favorite alternatives to the ubiquitous Submariner from that *OTHER* swiss brand.
The origin of the Seamaster can be traced from the watches Omega developed for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, but with the emergence of SCUBA diving as a recreational sport, it metamorphosed into something entirely its own: the Seamaster 300.
Omega released the first Seamaster in 1948 to coincide with the Summer Olympics held in London. In a city ravaged by the Blitz, the Olympics represented a time to look forward while still being respectful of the past. For Omega, whose 40th anniversary was also that year, the manufacture’s role as Official Timekeeper represented the ideal opportunity to launch a new collection.
Advertising material of the time touted the “ruggedness” of the Seamaster, more than the average wearer would ever likely call for in its life… which would prove all the more important with the 1957 launch of the Seamaster 300.
In the mid-1960s Omega would release its second-generation Seamaster 300 with an entirely new twisted lug case design —the Reference 165.024.
The case was larger, 42mm to the first generation's 39mm, and made cosmetic changes that really brought home that this was a new watch. Because the broad arrow hands of the previous versions proved hard to read underwater, Omega switched to sword hands. The timing bezel was enlarged and made with luminescent material layered inside acrylic.
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