In January 2019, Omega introduced the Ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001, an impressive and very stealthy-looking piece of engineering that was based on the popular Seamaster Diver 300M: 43.5mm in diameter, a case made of titanium and ceramic and lastly a black rubber strap with a polished and brushed ceramic buckle. With the omission of the date and the increased case diameter, the watch was already quite a statement at the time, but the watchmakers in Biel must have thought to themselves: We can do better than that.
The result is the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Black Black, whose name definitely speaks for itself. By omitting titanium, Omega was able to incorporate even more ceramic, resulting in a completely(!) black watch.
In terms of dimensions and specs, this “re-issued” version is basically identical to its predecessor: 43.5 mm in diameter, a height of 14.47 mm and the Omega Master Chronometer calibre 8806 ticking inside. The METAS-certified movement offers a handy power reserve of 55 hours and a magnetic resistance of up to 15,000 gauss.
The highlight of the watch, however, is the fact that Omega has now dispensed with titanium and given the watch a complete ceramic case. This makes the watch significantly lighter than its steel counterparts: Not least due to the use of a rubber strap, the watch weighs in at about 115 g, corresponding to a weight saving of about 20% compared to the steel version.
Does that really make sense? Well, yes and no.
On the one hand, very few buyers are really likely to take the watch to a depth of 300m below the water surface. On the other hand, Omega has come up with a few tricks to guarantee satisfactory readability despite the monochromatic black appearance. To this end, the ceramic has been given a number of different contrasting textures throughout the watch, from the case to the dial and bezel, to ensure that good readability is achieved.
Omega for instance uses laser etching techniques to achieve satin-finished surfaces that stand out visually from the polished surfaces. Even the Super-LumiNova used on the hour markers and skeletonised hands glows in a shade of anthracite that illuminates in a bright blue in dim light and changes to a contrasting dark grey in daylight.
Then again, is legibility really the main selling proposition with this watch?
The watch will be available as of June 2021 at a MSRP of €8,600.