When you first develop an interest in luxury watches, the diversity of established brands, historic manufacturers, and independent watchmakers can seem overwhelming. Most of us only come across a fraction of what the market has to offer from advertisements or social connections. The entry point into the world of watches for many novice collectors is a popular model from one of the industry giants.
Whether that timepiece really is their dream watch is another matter. Is the brand too ubiquitous and not individual enough? Does the watch align with their personality? Is their true dream watch just out of their budget? You’ve probably had similar thoughts at some point and may have even questioned whether a different timepiece might suit you better. This series of articles explores some surprising alternatives to the industry’s most popular models. Who knows, you may even be inspired to look outside the box when buying your next watch.
Alternatives to the Iconic Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
In this installment, we’re taking a look at alternatives to the iconic Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. This is the Omega made famous by none other than James Bond himself. Introduced in GoldenEye, the first 007 film to feature Pierce Brosnan, the watch quickly became an icon in the industry and a bestseller for Omega. The series has since grown, and nowadays, you can choose from a wide array of colors and models both new and pre-owned. If you’re looking for something a bit different or more affordable, however, there are plenty of other options out there. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some alternatives to the Omega Seamaster.
Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600
Christopher Ward is a British brand that offers a great selection of watches in many different styles. When it comes to diving watches, the brand offers both vintage-inspired and modern divers. The modern Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600 would make a great alternative to the Seamaster Diver 300M – and it’s more affordable, too.
The watch comes in three sizes – 38 mm, 40 mm, and 42 mm – so you can choose the one that best fits your wrist. When it comes to technical specs, all three watches are the same, which explains why they are all priced at $965. The C60 Trident Pro 600 is a great modern-day stainless steel diver with a ceramic bezel. It is water-resistant to 600 m (1,968 ft), meaning it can hold its own underwater. This model gets its power from the automatic Sellita caliber SW200-1, a very reliable and high-quality movement with a 38-hour power reserve. You can also choose from several different color schemes, which makes this watch an attractive option for a lot of different tastes.
Certina DS Action Diver
Certina, part of the Swatch Group, has been making waves over the last couple of years. Their vintage-inspired divers are some of the best out there, and the recently launched DS PH200M was one of the top new releases of 2020. The Certina DS Action Diver, in turn, is a 43-mm contemporary diver that comes in numerous different color combinations. Versions on a steel bracelet cost around $950, while those on a rubber strap cost only some $15 less. With that in mind, I would opt for the steel bracelet. You can always buy a rubber strap later on, and it won’t set you back as much as a steel bracelet would.
The DS Action Diver is water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft). It features the Certina Powermatic 80 movement, which is based on the ETA C07.111. Other Swatch Group brands like Tissot and Hamilton also use this base caliber in their watches. The automatic movement boasts an impressive 80-hour power reserve, meaning it will keep running for more than three days after you have put it down. However, that’s not likely to happen since the Certina DS Action Diver is the perfect daily wearer for people looking for a solid diver that costs less than $1,000.
Mido Ocean Star Tribute
Another more affordable option is the Mido Ocean Star Tribute. This watch is part of the Ocean Star collection, which features several great contemporary divers like the Ocean Star 200 and Ocean Star Diver 600. For this list, I chose the Ocean Star Tribute. It celebrates 75 years of Ocean Star divers and combines the best aesthetic features of models from the 1960s with modern-day specs. This 40.5-mm watch is available with a black or blue dial and bezel and comes on a stunning retro steel bracelet, giving the Mido Ocean Star Tribute a cool wrist presence.
Inside the case, you’ll find the automatic Mido Caliber 80, which a modified version of the ETA caliber C07.621. It’s actually the same Powermatic 80 movement that powers the Certina but with a slightly different escapement. This comes as no surprise, considering Mido also belongs to the Swatch Group. Thus, the Mido also has an impressive 80-hour power reserve. It also has a day-date display at 3 o’clock and is water-resistant to 200 m (656 ft), making it a good option for your next diving trip. While it may be a little more retro in its looks, its technical specs meet modern standards, making it a great option at just over $1,000.
If you are willing to spend a little more on a diver (but not the $6,000 required for a Seamaster), you should consider the modern Tudor Pelagos. The Pelagos is available in three configurations, all of which have a titanium case. This choice of material makes the 42-mm Pelagos very lightweight and comfortable to wear. You can choose between the Pelagos LHD (“left-hand drive”) or standard editions with a bright blue or black dial and bezel. The former also comes with a black dial and bezel but features a different tone of luminous material for the numerals, giving it a hint of vintage charm.
This is a very modern diver in terms of both looks and specs. The Pelagos is water-resistant to an impressive 500 m (1,640 ft), giving it the second-best depth rating on our list. The automatic Tudor caliber MT5612 ticks away inside the case. This movement has a power reserve of 70 hours and a date display at 3 o’clock. The LHD version only differs in the position of its crown (9 o’clock) and helium escape valve (3 o’clock). One might think that left-handed people are the only ones interested in the LHD version, but in fact, plenty of righties prefer the alternate position of the crown since it doesn’t poke their hand. Take a look at all three Tudor Pelagos options, and decide for yourself which you prefer. They are all priced at 4,100 CHF (approx. $4,600).
There you have it – four different and more affordable alternatives to the iconic Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. Of course, there are many more options out there from a ton of different brands, but before you start your search, it’s a good idea to set your budget. You’re sure to find plenty of options whatever your budget, as divers are the most popular style of watch out there. Happy hunting!