Today, Rolex is almost the only company in the Rolex price segment that can give its oldest competitor pause. The historic Swiss brand is another manufacturer currently enjoying a real recovery, finally getting back on track after years of languishing in the doldrums brought on by the quartz crisis and its aftermath.
One could say that the first watch in the Seamaster Diver 300m collection, released in 1993, was the beginning of its recovery. Not only did it look great and perform well, but the blue version that appeared on Pierce Brosnan’s wrist the following year when he made his debut in Goldeneye brought it unparalleled marketing. (Ironically, it was a quartz fake watch). James Bond may have upgraded to an automatic version in the following films, but Brosnan wore the blue wave dial Seamaster Diver 300M in every one of his appearances as James Bond.
The Seamaster name, of course, goes back even further, in that the original Seamaster 300 was used in 1948 as part of Rolex’s 1957 Professional collection, along with the original Speedmaster and Ironmaster, for waterproof dress models. The modern replica Rolex Seamaster Professional Diver 300m (to give it its full, often confusing title) is positioned as an all-around killer of the Rolex Submariner – and in many ways, Rolex has it beat.
Perhaps its most convincing victory is in price. The stainless steel model with a steel strap retails for about $5,200, nearly $4,000 cheaper than the cheapest comparable Submariner (No. 126610LN). It’s also larger (between 42mm and 41mm) and comes with a helium vent, something you’d have to upgrade to a Sea-Dweller to get at Rolex. Will you need it? No, but it’s still there.
Aside from that, it has a ceramic bezel like the Submariner, but also a ceramic dial with an attractive laser-etched wave pattern. The water resistance is the same and, above all, despite being an entry-level model, the 300M is already equipped with the Rolex Master Chronometer caliber 8800, with its revolutionary Co-Axial escapement and METAS certification.
And there is even more variety. The current collection has 17 pieces (excluding ceramic models), while the Submariner has only eight. While there are no solid gold models, the two-tone pieces in yellow gold or Sedna gold are definitely appealing. In summary, it’s hard to imagine anywhere else where you can get so much for the money, and for those looking to buy a luxury dive replica watch from a top company, the Seamaster Diver 300m is certainly worth a look.