Model # 18.104.22.168.03.001
Brand/Model: Omega Seamaster Pro Ceramic
Movement: Swiss automatic
Material: stainless steel case and bracelet, ceramic bezel insert
Complications: date display
Price: MSRP $4,400 USD
Plenty of photos follow the review. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
I’ve been looking forward to writing this review for quite some time. The Omega Seamaster Pro is one of those truly iconic watches that every serious watch collector should have in their collection. About two years ago, Omega upgraded the Seamaster with several new features and practically every one of the upgrades made the watch better.
I have owned both the ‘standard’ and ceramic bezel versions of this watch, and I am firmly in the new ceramic bezel camp. Don’t get me wrong, the older version is still a great watch and can be had used at very good prices, while the newest version is now becoming more available on the used market, selling for roughly 30-percent less than the MSRP listed above. A clean, used Omega Seamaster is an excellent value.
First off, I wanted to run down the changes Omega made between the old and new version. The biggest change is the bezel, going from metal (I believe aluminum insert or steel insert, not exactly sure, so don’t quote me) to a ceramic insert, which is all the rage these days (Rolex, Tudor, ORIS, Audemars Piguet and many others are all using ceramic bezel inserts on various models).
The dial on the new version drops the ‘wave’ pattern dial (probably the one feature most people decry losing) and moves to a solid, gloss finish. The updates also include applied markers, applied logos, a white on black date wheel instead of a black on white wheel, blue lume on the markers and green lume on the minute hand and bezel pip only instead of all green lume, an improved bracelet with screws that neatly secure the link pins instead of those dreaded pins and collars (big improvement here!) and a slightly different clasp and pushbutton assembly.
Many of the most liked features (the skeleton hands, the case size, the style of the bracelet links, the chronometer rated Co-Axial escapement movement, 300 meter water resistance, HEV) remain the same. As I said earlier, Omega did a bang up job renewing the Seamaster without changing its most iconic elements. It’s just a better watch now and still a stone-cold classic.
The ceramic Seamaster starts with a beautifully brushed and polished stainless steel case (with those sensual Omega curved lugs) that measures 41.1mm without the signed screwdown crown, 45.5mm with the crown included. A signed helium escape valve (HEV) is located at the 10 position on the left side of the case. Case thickness is 12.8mm, lug width is 20mm.
The caseback is heavily embossed with the Seamaster seahorse logo and screws down. Omega does a wonderful job with the embossing of their casebacks…they often remind me of a proof coin, they are so smooth, shiny and finely detailed. Job well done!
The dial on the ceramic Seamaster, while not the famous wave design, has such a deep gloss finish, it looks like a freshly waxed car in certain light. It’s a true stunner! The shade of blue is just about perfect and will change a bit depending on the lighting conditions, but most of the time it’s a pure, pleasant shade of medium blue.
The round markers are applied, with a double rectangular marker at the 12 position and single rectangular markers at the 3, 6 and 9 positions (abbreviated at the 3 due to the date window). The Omega logo is applied and looks great, the right touch of class on an overall clean dial. Below the Omega logo is the wording ‘Seamaster’ (in red) and ‘Professional’ below that. Above the six position, are the words ‘Co-Axial’, ‘Chronometer’ and ‘300m /1000ft’. It might sound like a lot of text, but it’s not intrusive and doesn’t detract from the functionality of the dial.
While I’ve never been a big fan of skeleton hands, and to be honest, they were pretty much the only feature that kept me from purchasing a Seamaster for a long time, I have come to really like the hands on the Seamaster. They are crafted in such a way as to look expensive yet purposeful at the same time and they are easy to read, thanks to the luminous material at their ends and along their sides. The seconds hand is a simple stick style with a ball end and a red tip, just like the older version.
The date window has radiused edges and is outlined in white for easier viewing. The white on black date wheel is a big improvement and is easy to see. The quickset function works fine and wheel alignment inside the window is perfect.
Compared to the torch-like green lume of my first Seamaster, the new blue lume on the ceramic Seamaster is a bit of a let-down to me. It’s also a bit odd that they made the ends and edges of the minute hand in green lume and the rest of the dial in blue lume. The bezel pip is also in green lume. The blue lume doesn’t glow as brightly as the green used to. The lume quality is still good, but it doesn’t scream Omega! like it used to. I’ll let you be the judge.
The dial is capped by a slightly domed sapphire crystal. The much talked about ceramic bezel looks good surrounding the dial. The ceramic is finished in the same blue color as the dial, is glossy and smooth and has matte silver arabics and markers. A lume pip inside an inverted triangle is located at the 12 position on the bezel. The bezel is a 120-click unidirectional type. Bezel action is smooth and precise and this bezel is much easier to turn (but not too easy) than my first Seamaster, which is a welcome change for me.
The Seamaster is a true dive watch and many owners use theirs for actual diving and wear them in wet conditions. The Seamaster is factory rated at 300 meters of water resistance. Needless to say, overall fit and finish is first rate.
Inside the ceramic Seamaster beats the venerable and well-regarded Omega Co-Axial automatic movement. Caliber 2500D is based on an ETA 2892 movement with 27 jewels and beating at a somewhat odd 25,200 vibes per hour. The Seamaster is chronometer certified and both Seamasters I have owned (standard and Co-Axial movements) have kept outstanding time. The new ceramic Seamaster in my possession runs about +1 second over 24 hours and has an excellent 54 hour power reserve. The movement winds butter smooth, sets and runs precisely and is just a joy to operate and wear. Kudos to Omega for continuing to make this exceptionally accurate and reliable movement. It just makes the Seamaster than much better.
The bracelet is a solid link multi-piece design crafted in stainless steel with brushed and polished pieces that look and feel great. I’m so glad Omega ditched the annoying pin and collar link pins and replaced them with what I feel is the most elegant, simple and well-designed link pin system around. All they did was design two easily removable screws (one on each side of the link). You remove the screws, the pin comes out and then you replace the screws. What could be easier? Why more watch companies don’t use a system this simple and elegant is beyond me.
The bracelet measures 20mm both at the lugs and the clasp. The clasp is signed and has larger pushbuttons to open the clasp, revealing the machined deployant. The operation of the clasp is first rate. A machined dive extension pops out from the rear of the clasp. Since the lugs on the Seamaster are the popular 20mm size, you can put on a variety of stock or aftermarket straps or bracelets, making the versatility of the Seamaster one of its best features.
Presentation is standard Omega: a heavy gauge white cardboard outer box and a big padded red inner box with a vinyl ‘wallet’ containing the warranty card, chronometer card, pictograms, etc. Perfectly fitting for a watch in this price range.
Obviously, I think the Seamaster ceramic is a great watch. It’s one of those pieces that could suffice if you had to choose just one watch to own, it’s simply that versatile, rugged, dependable, good-looking and iconic. Do yourself a favor and buy a Seamaster Pro, preferably the new ceramic bezel model. You will not be disappointed!
Pros: useful and well-thought out upgrades to an already iconic watch, great movement, great accuracy, ceramic bezel, lovely dial, great build quality, easy to use link pin system
Cons: new blue lume disappoints to a degree, crown could be a tad larger
Verdict: one of the all-time greats! The Omega Seamaster Pro ceramic is a winner through and through. Just a superb overall watch that continues to shine in most all regards.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.