Look for a minute at your wedding ring. Do you like it? It’s hard to answer, right? And your answer, if you have one, is almost certainly less about whether you like the design or the material and a whole lot more about what it represents. It’s about the memories it holds. The person it reminds you of.
I don’t mean to flake on this review (in the first paragraph, no less), but this is where I’m at with the Seamaster 300 “Rio 2016” Limited Edition I’ve had on my wrist this past glorious week. Seven days during which I fled a brutal Melbourne winter to land in balmy Rio de Janeiro to witness the world’s elite athletes compete at the Olympics. New friendships were formed, caipirinhas were consumed, wild carnivale dancing sessions occurred. IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST WEEKS OF MY LIFE. And throughout every precious minute, I was wearing this watch. But, putting the bias of good times and good associations (which you can get a little blast of in the video at the end) aside, let’s talk about it.
My first impression was… wow! Colour! Lots of it. The truth is I like colour on my watches. I had a dive watch with a plain black bezel once. It didn’t last long. I like a bezel with a bit of pop, and the veritable party on the wrist presented by the colours of the Olympic Rings – sans black – on the ceramic bezel didn’t scare me one bit. Bring on the fun. The Seamaster 300 though, in general, reminds me of Pierce Brosnan. The association is hard-wired. Though that’s fairly irrelevant here, to be fair.
Once I put it on, it felt… comfortable. And that’s saying something, because I generally don’t like bracelets. There’s a reassuring weight to the piece and you can feel the raised type on the ‘Rio 2016’ caseback as you slide it on.
Looks-wise… The whole Rio tie-in is pretty real and committed with this one – and the one anecdote I found myself telling people when they asked about it over the week was, “Did you know, the wavy dial is inspired by the mosaic of Copacabana’s sidewalk?” I personally think that’s important. If you’re going to do an Olympics Limited Edition, give me some stories to tell about it. I really like the skeletonised hands. Overall, it’s still a pretty straight 300. (For Olympic-related creativity, the Speedmaster Mark II Rio 2016 wins out of the three ‘Specialities’ Rio Editions. Those medals for subdials… Genius!)
What stood out to me was… The lume on the bezel. It’s crazy! Even on the Omega bus, which we took between events, the incremental markings would suddenly burn very green indeed. And that’s only mildly lower light than outdoors. Obviously the colour is another thing people comment on – and usually to say that they’re surprised how good it looks.
I’d wear this with… white or monochrome. Because it really highlighted the rainbow factor. One day I wore a black T-shirt and white jeans and that worked great, another day it really lit up a crisp white T-shirt and blue jeans with trainers. But really, a dressy diver like this is good to go with the full spectrum. I wore no suits this week, but if I had, I suspect I’d have avoided any formalwear with patterns, details or too much contrasting colour going on.
If I could change anything… The OCD in me wanted black numerals on the bezel to match the black ring from the Olympics, which is technically missing. But that’s just me! Aside from that, if you’re a fan of the 300 Diver in general you’re going to be really happy with this one, because it’s not garishly promotional, or too obviously ‘Olympic’ themed.
By the end of the week… I was devastated that it was the end of the week. That I’d have to trade Havaianas for real shoes. Caipirinhas would be replaced with strong jetlag coffees. That the carnival on my wrist, and in Rio, was over. Look, it’s a perfect everyday watch – comfortable, legible, unerringly reliable – but I knew that already. This watch is really about your sense of personal style, because all the fundamentals are there. So are you feeling colourful, punk?
Omega Seamaster Diver 300m “Rio 2016” Australian price and availability
Omega Seamaster Diver 300m “Rio 2016”, $5875, limited to 3016 pieces.
Feature image: instagram.com/omega