1967 Omega Seamaster 300 (Ref. 165.024) "W10 British Royal Army"
The art of collecting military-issued timepieces has never been more interesting or captivating than in today’s day and age. These alluring timepieces have been sought after for as long as collectors have existed, however, due to the availability of archived information we now possess, the community has never been more interconnected or informed. As we collectively continue to discover new information we reinforce our understanding of where, when, and why these incredible timepieces were enlisted.
Upon first glance this Omega Seamaster 300 may seem like any other well-preserved reference 165.024 model, however, this unassuming example happens to be a part of one of the most prestigious family of timepieces, those issued by the British Ministry of Defense. Like the Rolex ref. 5517 “MilSub”, which the Omega “MilMaster” actually predates, this watch was created to adhere to the exact specifications set forth by the MOD to fit the necessary military applications it would be used for while also being able to survive the environment of global conflict.
Omega created two very similar Seamaster 300 models for the MOD, one for the British Royal Navy, and the other for the British Royal Army which is also designated as the “W10” model. While both of these remain almost exactly the same, both feature military branch-specific engravings on the case back and the British Navy models are also more commonly seen with the iconic circle “T” printing on the dial which designated the use of tritium for the luminous material. Though some “W10” models also featured the circle “T” designation on the dial, most were fitted with standard dials with no military designations.
Besides the previously listed differences, both the Navy and Army models feature the iconic sword-shaped hands (which carried over to the Rolex contract), bakelite luminous bezels, fixed strap bars, and the in-house Omega Cal. 552 automatic winding movement.
Considering vintage diving watches as a category, the Omega Seamaster 300 has
cemented itself as one of the most important watches to come from the “Golden Era” of sports timepieces. The specific aesthetic of the 165.024 evokes a true feeling of adventure and exploration which is all but amplified by the military specifications and provenance.
|Style||Seamaster 300 "W10"|
|Bracelet||Phoenix NATO Strap|
The exceptionally well-preserved case exhibits minimal signs of previous polishing with the original case shape, angles, and dimensions fully present with hones signs of gentle use throughout. The original "flat 1" bakelite bezel is in impressive overall condition, exhibiting some honest and expected, age, wear, and scratches but no cracks whatsoever, the lume within the bezel has also achieved a rich golden-brown patina that matches the dial perfectly. The original crystal shows significant crazing throughout and features the Omega logo embellishment at its center. The case retains its original Omega-signed "flat foot" winding crown. The fixed strap bars are original and remain in excellent condition. The case back retains its original military engraved contract number and serial in crisp and deep condition. The watch comes supplied with a grey nylon Phoenix NATO strap.
The original matte black dial remains in superb condition, showing no damage and only gentle elements of age that are nominal in nature. The tritium lume plots have achieved a lovely patina consisting of dark orange and brown colors with almost no visible degradation present when inspected under UV light. The original tritium sword hands match the dial perfectly with no degradation visible under UV light inspection.
None. The watch is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty of accurate timekeeping.