OMEGA Seamaster GMT
By Marc Levesque

INTRODUCTION

It has been quite a while since I have written a review, please forgive me I am a little rusty. This new watch marks my 9th Omega Seamaster over the span of 8 years. My first was an early 90’s 200m-quartz version, which I acquired in a trade with a local pre-owned watch shop. I had this watch for about a month, it was missing a link and so it never quite fit well. I did not get another until I became a WIS. Via another trade I acquired a two-tone 120m quartz Seamaster, but this one lasted even less time. I found it too small and just could not get past the hidden/slide clasp. My next one was the James Bond model, which I held onto for over 2 years! I wrote an on-line review for this one and even a long-term review in print. This model still has a special place in my heart. 

From there I moved on to the America’s Cup white gold bezel Limited Edition model, which I acquired from Henk Hoving, making a friend in the process. I wore this watch when my 1st child was born, 3 years ago last January. I still have many pictures of this watch and have fond memories whenever I look at them. An opportunity to acquire an IWC Aquatimer from Don Nelson came up, so I parted with it, creating a friendship the as well. I eventually sold him my black/black Seamaster Pro roughly a year later. From there I got a great deal on a multi-function 120m from an authorized retailer. This one was a lot of fun, but its diminutive size made me trade it off rather quickly. Another year later I acquired a white dial Seamaster Chronograph, though as much as I loved this one, it was riddled with problems. All of which were taken care of by Omega Canada, nevertheless, I just could not get past the issues and eventually traded it as well. 

Last week I received my 9th Seamaster, the white dialed GMT. A model I have been lusting after for at least 3 years. As a matter of fact, this Seamaster actually introduced me to Nad Zakem. He had one for sale on TZ and I approached him about a possible trade. Since we were both in Montreal, we decided to meet at his office for coffee. We never went through with the trade, but Nad and I have had lunch several times together and every once in a while we get together for coffee. Yet another friend! It seems that Seamasters and friends go together like Mercedes hands and Rolexes!

 CASE

This model is virtually the same as the non-GMT version, except it is a little thicker, does not have the helium escape valve and the crown guards almost completely envelop the crown. The latter feature is very appealing to me. I had originally thought the crown would be difficult to grasp, but surprisingly it is not. I also find that the deeper case backs makes the crown sit a tad higher and it does seem to be digging into the back of my hand as the other models (except the chronograph) did. Another difference with my model is the lack of polished surfaces. It is simply astonishing! I do not know why they do not offer this finish on other models. You would think the watch would appear dull, but on the contrary, the curves / edges are so subtle as to almost look fluid. I hated when the polished portions of my lugs would get scuffed, it would show immediately, the brushed finish masks scratches / scuffs much more effectively. The engraving on the rear of the watch remains the same, as well as the serial number location on the back of the 7 o’clock lug. Another nice feature is the bead blasted screw-down crown. There is absolutely no polish on the entire watch, which is one of the reasons I was so attracted to this model.

DIAL / CRYSTAL / BEZEL 

The sapphire crystal is slightly domed with A/R coating on the rear, same as the others. The bezel is different in that it rotates (120 clicks) in both directions and has 24hr markers instead of the usually elapsed timing divisions. I honestly have no use for the GMT, but I do find it nice looking and since I no longer have the helium escape valve as a conversation piece, I now have something else to talk about. The dial is gorgeous! I have always had a thing for light colored dials, but they do need to have contrast. And this one does! I particularly love the black outline around the markers, it is very thin, almost makes the markers look like they are applied and not just painted on. I also love the mix of polished black and silver powder coat on the hands. No worries about the contrasting date display since the movement comes standard with black on white writing. I also adore the fact that the only writing on the dial is Omega, Seamaster, GMT and chronometer. No WR rating or the overused word Professional. Can you say clean?

MOVEMENT

This is basically the same movement as the regular Seamaster series, but with the added GMT function. From what I have read the Seamaster is but one of a handful of GMT watches with the capability of setting the hour hand independently. The latter feature is particularly handy for me because going back and forth from daylight to standard drives me nuts! Actually, I do travel the odd time to the mid-west and being able to turn back the hour hand without stopping he time just may come in handy. 

Along with this neat feature comes the regular Omega finishing of Geneva stripes and circular graining. This model does not feature the ever so popular co-axle escapement. This is not to say it is a run of the mill 2892; if it is anything like the 1120 Omega Caliber, the winding system should be improved and 2 additional jewels should be added.

My watch is currently running –2 sec/day, which is more than acceptable and from what I understand it has never been serviced in its 4 year history. Something I plan to correct in the very near future.

BRACELET

Once again I find myself pondering which is better the Bond or the Speedy bracelet. As much as I love the Bond bracelet, I feel the Speedy is more comfortable due to the rounded nature of the links. It just feels so smooth and since it tapers down at the clasp (from 20mm to 18mm) it seems to hug my wrist a little better. Nevertheless, both bracelets are fantastic. 

Other than the totally brushed finish it is pretty much the same as the regular Seamaster line. Push-button clasp, tuck-away diver’s extension and solid end-links. The links still adjust via pins and bushings. Since I have the proper tools and am quite used to sizing these, it no longer bothers me as much as it used to. Still, it would be nice if they could adopt a screw link system, or better yet and IWCesque push-release system, but I doubt that will ever happen.

CONCLUSION 

Asking me if I like this watch would be like asking Jeff Gordon (Michael Schumacher for our European friends) if he likes to drive fast cars! Heck, I have owned 9 of these watches. It is pretty much a given that I like them. Now how does this one compare to the others? Well, right now it is my favorite, but then I always say that about my latest. I am kind of funny that way. Having said this, I have always loved silver/white dials; this combined with the mat finish makes it irresistible, to me at least. I am just surprised it took me this long to get my hands on one.

On another note, I called the Omega service center in Montreal and spoke directly to the watchmaker. He and I have a history together going back to my white dialed chronograph. I asked him how much the service would cost and how much it would be to replace the crystal. The previous owner got a little too close to someone who was welding and a spark hit the crystal leaving a tiny mark. Thought I could buff it out, I thought wrong. It is barely noticeable, but if you were as anal as I am, it would drive you NUTS, which it is. So I am most likely going to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Cost is $250 Canadian for the service (includes complete refinishing of the watch, oil change, regulation, crown replacement if needed and all that stuff) and the crystal replacement is under $100. With all of that I get a 1-year warrantee direct from Omega. Not bad at all. For roughly $275 USD, I get my watch back in like new shape!

Only time will tell... 

Thanks for reading,

Marc

p.s. Can anyone please explain the term "keeper" to me? I hear it all the time, but for the life of me I just cannot grasp it...