I’m not trying to write a comprehensive review of this watch. My friend John Holbrook has written one already – 13 years ago in his Seamaster Reference Page. You can read John’s excellent review here:
“Bond Seamaster” was huge success story and it helped Omega to cement their position as the second biggest luxury watch brand in the world.
Yes, this model is old and watch people are very familiar with it. There are many new incarnations of the Bond Seamaster but personally I still like the original version best. It has one shortcoming though. The dial is very reflective and doesn’t have AR coating applied onto it. New versions have improved in this department and anti-reflective coated crystals have become the standard in modern sport watches.
Bracelet is really nice and “almost” unique. “Almost” because the earlier models of the black GMT Seamaster used the similar bracelet, just with a hidden clasp. However, the four thin “stripes” were all-brushed on the GMT, while they’re polished on the 2531.80.00.
Clasp is very good, closes and opens with the push-buttons and has a diver’s extension option (not deployed in the picture). Resizing the bracelet (with pins and tubes) is quite tricky though. If you’re not familiar with this particular bracelet I suggest you take it to a Omega dealer for resizing. I got a few grey hairs when I tried to do it myself for the first time.
“Bond” Seamaster is not a huge watch. It’s a bit bigger than Rolex Submariner at 41mm. But it wears “bulkier” and feels heavier and more substantial on the wrist.
Bracelet is very comfortable providing you find a “perfect fit”. The watch has very “understated” look and it’s actually quite “dressy”, despite being a sports watch. If Pierce Brosnan can wear it with a suit, why couldn’t I?
This model was almost as important to Omega as the original Moon Watch. It was a real smash hit. Buying the James Bond licence was probably a risk but it has obviously paid off. This watch received perfect “product placement” in the Pierce Brosnan era of Bond movies. New Bond Daniel Craig used it in “Casino Royale” as well.
The version Brosnan used in “Goldeneye” was actually the quartz version. You can tell these models apart from the larger 3’o’clock hour marker and lack of “CHRONOMETER” text on the dial (on the quartz version). This is a screen capture from the movie and as you can see 007 has lost the watch bezel pearl too.
Unfortunately you can’t purchase this watch new anymore. 2531.80.00 was discontinued and replaced with the 2220.90.00 Bond Seamaster. It has a new movement, red “Seamaster” text on the dial and metal hour markers.
Personally, I wasn’t too crazy about the upgrades. And besides, the new Co-Axial movement used a bit lower BPH (bauds per hour, which indicates how “smoothly” the second hand ticks around the dial). I can’t say I really like the 007 special editions, either. They are a bit cheesy with their 007 second hands and dials – and in my opinion, too many special editions that Omega put out cheapen the brand image too.
Original “Bond” Seamaster uses ETA 2892-A2 movement, which has been modified by Omega. They call it “Omega Cal. 1120”. It’s a great, reliable movement. Many other luxury watch manufacturers, like IWC, use the same base movement. Movement picture courtesy of John Holbrook.
I like this model so much that I also purchased the chronograph version 2225.80.00. If 16610 Submariner is a good option for people who just want one Rolex, I’d say “Bond” Seamaster and the legendary Moon Watch are both equally strong candidates for people who want just one Omega.
So… you want this watch but can’t buy it new anymore? That means you have to think of other options. And that means buying it used. What kind of deal the original “Bond” Seamaster is at the moment – in the preowned market?
It’s quite good. There are a lot of these. I saw one selling for $1500 at WatchUseek private sales forum just a few weeks ago. Timezone UK prices have been around the same. The movement is well known and almost all qualified watchsmiths can service it. Buying this watch used wouldn’t be a huge risk.
Once again, you don’t have to spend fortunes to buy a real classic model. And “Bond” Seamaster is a classic without a doubt. And if you can find this watch for $1500-$1800 (€1300-€1600) I’d say you’ll get a lot of watch for relatively small money.
Thanks for reading. And feel free to comment this post – or ask questions down below in the comment section.
Thank you to JP from Finland for the original article. You can find it here.