The Rolex Submariner is not only the world’s most famous diving watch but also the most-copied watch of all time. Meanwhile, the Omega Seamaster 300M is quickly winning over the hearts of more and more watch fans. No wonder: Its unique design and technical finesse offer a ton of watch for considerably less money than a Rolex. There’s no doubt that these watches are on par with one another. So today, we’re comparing them according to five criteria definitively answer the question: Which of these two iconic divers is the greatest?
1. Rolex Submariner vs. Omega Seamaster 300M: Heritage
When it comes to luxury watches, their heritage plays a pretty significant role for many enthusiasts. After all, people want to buy more than just a timepiece; they also want to be part of the legacy that an iconic watch has created. The Rolex Submariner is an undisputed legend that has been around since 1954. The Omega Seamaster 300M, on the other hand, first showed up on the watch scene in 1993 as a continuation of the Seamaster 200M.
Despite their age difference, these watches share a claim to fame: Her Majesty’s secret service. The Submariner adorned the wrist of “Bond, James Bond” as played by both Sean Connery and Roger Moore before appearing once or twice on the wrists of other Bond actors. As for the Seamaster 300M, it made its Bond debut alongside Pierce Brosnan in 1995’s GoldenEye, relieving the Rolex Submariner of its 007 service once and for all. It’s certainly true that it’s nearly impossible to match the heritage of the iconic Submariner. Still, in this case, the Omega Seamaster 300M showed the world that it belongs in the same league as the Rolex legend.
2. Rolex Submariner vs Omega Seamaster 300M: Design
Even the most recent edition of the Rolex Submariner remains true to its roots. With a 41-mm case, it looks great on just about every wrist. Its black dial offers incredible design depth, the diving bezel is made entirely of ceramic, and its satin-brushed Oyster bracelet looks, you know, fantastic. Its patented Glidelock clasp is an ingeniously designed, practical feature that lets you shorten or lengthen the bracelet by a few millimeters without the use of any tools. Even with its modern feel, the Submariner remains a very traditionally designed watch. If you ever have the opportunity, compare today’s version with older references. The only differences you may find will only be upon additional, closer inspection.
The Omega Seamaster 300M also shares similarities to its original 1993 model. However, Omega was a bit bolder than Rolex with the design of its current reference, giving its iconic diver a fresher, almost futuristic appearance. Its dial, which, like its bezel, is made of ceramic, is truly one of a kind. Its laser-engraved waves have an almost hypnotic effect on anyone who gazes upon it. It also has a more complex case design. At 42 mm in diameter, this may be a larger watch, but it still wears well on most people’s wrists. Its steel bracelet makes a heftier impression than the Rolex Oyster bracelet. For the clasp, Omega implemented its own system that also lets you shorten the bracelet by several millimeters. So while the design of the Rolex Submariner is more straightforward and more traditional, the Omega Seamaster’s design is fresher and bolder. It’s no wonder that both models are some of the most beloved watches of all time, with the respective fan bases to prove it.
3. Rolex Submariner vs Omega Seamaster 300M: Technology
When it comes to technology, the Omega Seamaster 300M brings a lot to the table that even today’s Submariner can’t beat. The Omega Seamaster 300M offers 300 meters (30 bar, 984 feet) of water resistance, which at first glance puts these watches on equal footing. However, looks can be deceiving. While the Seamaster 300M is actually sent to a depth of 300 meters for its rating, the Submariner is “only” tested in a pressure chamber that simulates the pressure at 300 meters below the waves. Although the Seamaster 300M’s power reserve of 55 hours can’t fully keep up with the 70 hours delivered by the Submariner, the Omega has other qualities that leave their technological mark. The Seamaster 300M gets its power from the METAS-certified caliber 8800, an extremely precise movement that can resist magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. Neither of these features is available with the Submariner. This is also true of the Seamaster 300M’s sapphire crystal case back that lets you admire its automatic movement at work. To be sure, this would be a bit out of place with Rolex. With the Submariner, I sometimes get the impression that the goal is to keep things to what’s essential when it comes to its technology. Now, there’s no question that the inner qualities of the Rolex icon are second to none. But Omega, in this instance, truly seems to have put a little more emotion and creativity into their diving watch.
4. Rolex Submariner vs Omega Seamaster 300M: Quality
The Omega Seamaster 300M’s dial is extremely well-manufactured. The super-sharp laser-etched waves have an almost computer-animated effect. And although I would say the quality of this dial is even better than the Rolex Submariner’s, haptically speaking, the Submariner is unbeatable. Rolex delivers a haptic experience that is second to none. Its bracelet is soft and smooth, with sharp, precise edges. The clasp closes snugly with a highly satisfying snap that is outdone only by the wonderful click of the Submariner’s unidirectional dive bezel.
Whether you turn the bezel slowly or quickly, be prepared for goosebumps with each of its 120 clicks. In my opinion, it is the best bezel on the entire watch market – period. The Omega, despite its high-quality material, doesn’t come close to this haptic experience. The biggest criticism for me here is the Seamaster 300M’s ceramic bezel, which you can’t turn nearly as precisely as the Submariner’s, and if I’m being honest, it feels a bit like it doesn’t even belong on the watch. I hope Omega works out this kink in future models.
5. Rolex Submariner vs Omega Seamaster 300M: Prices and Market Performance
At under $6,000, the Omega Seamaster 300M offers you unbeatable value for money and a diver’s watch that can keep pace with the iconic Rolex Submariner and even beats it on a few critical points. You can expect to pay double the Seamaster 300M’s price on the secondary market for the current Submariner model, and this is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. But with the Submariner, you’ll be getting a watch that will not only retain but also increase its value in the coming years. Do you see a watch purchase as a financial investment? Then the Rolex Submariner might be the right choice. Hardly any other brand has delivered as many models that have performed so well on the market.
Rolex Submariner vs Omega Seamaster 300M: The Bottom Line
So which of these two iconic diver’s watches is better? The Rolex Submariner offers an impressive heritage and prestige, while the Seamaster 300M delivers better technology. Both timepieces are on the same level in terms of design, with the traditional-looking Rolex and the fresher, bolder Omega. The haptic experience you’ll have with a Rolex Submariner is simply unbeatable, while the Omega Seamaster 300M has considerably better value for money. However, the Rolex is the clear winner when it comes to financial performance.
Although the Seamaster 300M offers fantastic value for money, its market value doesn’t come close to that of the Submariner. But at the end of the day, it isn’t fair to declare the Submariner the winner based on market performance alone. My aim was to rate these watches by looking at what they bring to the table. And having done that, we have a clear tie. It ultimately comes down to you to decide what you want in a watch. Looking for a prestigious, traditional timepiece and industry icon? The Rolex Submariner is probably the way to go. Want something fresher and new with all kinds of technology and great value for money? Choose the Omega Seamaster 300M. Both belong to the elite category of the best diving watches in the world – each in their own unique way.