What would the Olympic Games timed by Omega be without a release of thematic Olympic watches? As the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – an honour the brand has enjoyed 29 times since 1932 – Omega has released five Seamasters to celebrate the games. However, some of you might remember that in 2018, well before the arrival of the dreaded coronavirus and everything on track for 2020, Omega released a quintet of Speedmasters that were only available in Japan. Fast-forward three years and countless obstacles, Tokyo is finally celebrating the 2020 version of the Olympics. The family chosen to represent the Swiss brand’s Olympic presence is the Seamaster.
Brief history of the versatile Seamaster
The Seamaster was the outcome of Omega’s experience supplying watches to the Royal Air Force during WWII. Using the technology developed during extreme wartime, Omega created a robust waterproof, amagnetic watch for pilots, naval officers and infantry that was clearly up for the job. The foundations of the Seamaster were born during the war, but the watch surfaced in civilian guise in 1948 and has expanded in countless directions since then. The first models of the early 1950s had rugged specifications and a rubber gasket hidden beneath, but they complied with the dress watch style of the day.
It wasn’t until 1957 with the release of Omega’s trilogy of professional watches (Speedmaster, Railmaster and Seamaster) that the Seamaster 300 (CK2913) revealed its true grit as a diving watch (see our in-depth Seamaster Chronicle videos, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to get a real feel for the impressive attributes and versatility of this watch). From deep-sea saturation models like the PloProf developed with Comex in the late 1960s to the Seamaster Professional 300M worn by James Bond in Goldeneye (1995), the Seamaster has many a tale to tell.
One of the surprising attributes of the Seamaster has always been its versatility. The Seamaster Divers, for example, are professional dive watches with all the trimmings you’d expect on board a deep-sea companion. However, the Aqua Terra line also belongs to the Seamaster family and comes across as a much dressier model with slightly less water-resistance but all the resilience and precision guaranteed from Omega’s Certified Co-Axial Master Chronometer movements. To suit a wide range of tastes, Omega has unveiled five Seamasters to celebrate the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020
This watch will get Bond fans excited and is based on the classic 42mm Seamaster 300M reviewed here. First introduced in 1993, the Seamaster Professional 300M shot to worldwide fame on Pierce Brosnan’s wrist in 1995. Although he was wearing a quartz version in Goldeneye, Bond was upgraded with an automatic and chronometer-graded version in the next instalments of the Bond saga. After a lot of fiddling and removal of certain iconic features – including the wave pattern – in 2018, Omega revamped the model from head to toe to create the latest Seamaster Diver 300M Master Chronometer. With shaper aesthetics, a larger 42mm case size, innovative materials, the return of the wave dial, and the incorporation of a powerful in-house movement, the latest incarnation of the Seamaster Diver 300M has been interpreted for the Tokyo Olympic Games with a special colour theme.
The 42mm steel case with its 12-sided bezel now features a blue ceramic inlay with a white enamel diving scale. The hallmark wave pattern is laser engraved on the white ceramic dial paired with blued indices and hands, filled with white Super-LumiNova. There is no mention of the Olympic Games on the dial or case, but there is a “Tokyo 2020” transfer on the sapphire crystal NAIAD lock caseback. One marketing trick Omega missed was mentioning that the white wavy pattern with blue details traversing the dial could evoke the powerful painting by Hokusai of The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Under the hood is the self-winding Calibre 8800 with Co-Axial escapement. As a certified Master Chronometer, it is resistant to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss. Fitted with a free-sprung balance and a silicon balance spring, it is finished with rhodium-plated bridges with Geneva waves in arabesque. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Tokyo 2020 comes with a brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet with fine adjustment on the clasp. It is delivered inside a special Olympic Games presentation box. The watch is non-limited and retails for EUR 5,500.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter x 13.5mm height – stainless steel, polished and brushed – unidirectional rotating bezel with blue ceramic insert with white enamel diving scale – screw-in crown and helium escape valve – 300m water-resistant – white ceramic dial with laser-engraved waves – applied indices and blue hands with Super-LumiNova – Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8800 – 25,200vph – 55h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp – Ref. 5220.127.116.11.04.001 – non-limited edition – EUR 5,500
Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M “Tokyo 2020” Limited Edition
The watch that best captures the spirit of the 2020 Olympic Games is this Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M picked out in the red and white colours of Japan’s flag. Using the 39.5mm Planet Ocean 600M as its base, the Tokyo 2020 edition is almost entirely decked out in white with two touches of red: the number 20 on the bezel filled with red liquid ceramic and the red lollipop tip of the central seconds hand.
With its 39.5mm diameter, the Planet Ocean 600M is really a unisex watch. The steel case features a rotating bezel with a white polished ceramic insert with a silvery Liquidmetal® diving scale and a beautiful polished white ceramic dial. Water-resistant to depths of 600 metres, the robust steel case is finely decorated with polished surfaces and brushed flanks and has a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock. The applied indices and the arrow-tipped hour and minute hands are treated with white Super-LumiNova, and there is a date window at 3 o’clock. Like the Seamaster 300M, the dial is protected by a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides. The caseback is transparent with a transfer of the Tokyo 2020 logo in blue. Beneath the sapphire crystal, you can see the Master Chronometer calibre 8800 with the same specifications as the Seamaster 300M.
The Planet Ocean 600M “Tokyo 2020” is limited to 2,020 pieces and comes on a white leather strap in a presentation box with an additional stainless steel bracelet and a light grey NATO strap. The watch retails for EUR 7,400.
Quick facts: 39.5mm diameter – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal front and back – screw-in crown and helium escape valve – 600m water-resistance – polished white ceramic dial with red-tipped central seconds hand – white ceramic bezel with Liquidmetal diving scale and number 20 filled in red liquid ceramic – applied indices and arrow-tipped hands with Super-LumiNova – Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8800 – 25,200vph – 55h power reserve – white leather strap and stainless steel bracelet and grey NATO strap included in a special presentation box – Ref. 518.104.22.168.04.001 – limited to 2,020 pieces – EUR 7,400
Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M in 41mm and 38mm
As I mentioned earlier in the review, the Seamaster is a versatile animal. The Aqua Terra belongs to the Seamaster dynasty, Omega’s longest-running product line that was launched in 1948, and its name alludes to its flexible nature on both land (terra) and sea (aqua). The Seamaster Aqua Terra surfaced in 2002, and although it still offered robust water-resistance (150m), its looks were modelled on dressier Seamaster models of the 1950s and 1960s, some of them decorated with the horizontal striped lines (decking) that characterise this family. Smart and sporty, resilient and attractive, the three-hand Aqua Terra offers the best of both worlds and is Omega’s answer to a daily beater.
To celebrate Omega’s role at the Tokyo Olympics, three Aqua Terra models join the line-up, two for men in 41mm cases and a smaller 38mm model that is labelled a ‘ladies’ watch’ but certainly complies as a unisex watch. Two of the Aqua Terra models (41 and 38mm) are yellow gold, while the third 41mm is stainless steel. Curiously, the 41mm steel model is the limited edition produced in just 2,020 pieces.
The novelty of all three models, and a first for the Aqua Terra, is the blue polished ceramic dial that has been laser-engraved with the Tokyo 2020 emblem. Designed by Asao Tokolo, the Tokyo 2020 emblems are three different rectangular shapes to represent different countries and cultures. Chequered patterns – known as ichimatsu moyo – have been popular in Japan since the Edo period (1603-1867) and were usually depicted in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue.
Applied on the engaging navy and lighter blue geometric background, the triangular indices are highlighted with Super-LumiNova, as are the three central hour, minute and seconds hands. The gold models feature faceted and applied gold indices and hands, also treated with white Super-LumiNova.
The 41mm steel “Tokyo 2020” Limited Edition is fitted with Omega’s latest generation Master Chronometer calibre 8900 with Co-Axial escapement, a silicon balance spring, automatic winding and two barrels mounted in series for a 60h power reserve. The gold models are equipped with Master Chronometer calibre 8901 (for the 41mm) and calibre 8801 (38mm) with a Sedna™ gold balance bridge and oscillating weight.
The 41mm steel “Tokyo 2020” Limited Edition comes on a structured blue rubber strap with polished stainless steel links; inside the presentation box is an additional stainless steel bracelet. It retails for EUR 6,200. The 41mm yellow gold comes with an integrated blue alligator strap and 18k yellow gold foldover clasp and retails for EUR 18,200. At the same time, the smallest 38mm yellow gold is also fitted with a blue alligator strap and gold foldover clasp retailing for EUR 17,500.
Quick facts: 41mm in steel or yellow gold, 38mm yellow gold – sapphire crystal front and back – 150m water-resistance – blue ceramic dial with Tokyo 2020 pattern – applied indices and hands filled with white Super-LumiNova – date window at 6 o’clock – ref. 522.214.171.124.03.001 41mm stainless steel with Master Chronometer calibre 8900, blue rubber strap, limited to 2,020 pieces, EUR 6,200 – ref. 5126.96.36.199.03.001 41mm yellow gold with Master Chronometer calibre 8901, blue leather strap, EUR18,200 – ref 5188.8.131.52.03.001 38mm yellow gold with Master Chronometer calibre 8801, blue leather strap, EUR 17,500
For more information, please consult the official Omega website to ascertain prices in your region.