Bonhams, London, June 21 2017
Sold for £31,250
The Seamaster 300 is already in the limelight due to this year’s 60th anniversary of the model and the resulting limited editions based on the original design. But the vintage Seamasters that are really attracting attention in collecting circles are those made for British military issue, the first of which were delivered in 1967 to the specification guidelines issued the previous year.
Although made in large numbers, relatively few military Seamaster 300s that could be considered ‘correct’ appear to have survived, with many ‘Frankenwatch’ examples cropping up, especially on internet auction sites.
Aside from the usual MOD markings and the use of solid rather than sprung lug bars, a true military Seamaster should have an encircled letter ‘T’ on its dial (to indicate the use of Tritium markings for luminosity ) and, generally, a screw-down crown. Although it is said that some early watches had Omega’s Naiad crown system – a non-screw down version which was designed to seal more tightly as water pressure increased.
As with most ‘special’ versions of regular production watches, therefore, the military Seamaster can present a minefield to the uninitiated. Interestingly, while this example offered at Bonhams made its money, two others in the same auction failed to sell – presumably because ‘those in the know’ were not entirely happy with what they saw.