165.024 Omega Seamaster 300
One of the greatest food critics ever, AA Gill, would always write that the quality of the food in a restaurant is inversely proportional to the splendor of the view. The structure of this dichotomy applies very well to hype watches equally, where the intrigue of the watchmaking or history is, often, inversely proportional to the amount of hype surrounding the reference. It’s also what makes the 165.024 truly great. It’s not a watch anyone would buy in order to, as the kids call it, flex. It’s a watch you only buy when you just love great vintage watches. But it’s getting sort of hard to do just that today.
Examples that haven’t been messed about with are far less common than you may think. It’s a bit like the 964 911 if you’ll follow the over-used automotive analog. Everyone thought they were common as chips, 40-50K USD cars. Then I blinked and they’re five times the price, nowhere to be found. Five years ago, a perfect 165.024 was a 5K watch, everywhere. Then I blinked and the modern watch world was born. Now they’re between three and four times that, with great examples a really difficult hunt. Despite the surge, it’s not what I’d call hyped. It’s just desired, in the same way that more people in the watch world has tripled the price of Pre-Moon Speedies. More people are becoming well educated in watches, and a the good ones are going.
This is Omega at their best, a steel tool dependable enough to be issued to the Royal Navy. Tritium dial, bakelite bezel, and acrylic crystal for all the vintage feel you could want. Some had sword hands, though this ’63 watch does not. HF and CB cases for the nerds, both 42mm with lyre lugs. It’s every bit the watch a 5513 or vintage Fifty Fathoms is, only slightly less collected for the length and quantity of production.
Let me put this in context. I just watched the trailer for the new John Wick. Keanu Reeves is universally loved. He builds motorcycles in his spare time. When a flight he was on made an emergency landing in 2019 and the passengers had to be bussed to LA, he played guitar for the crew and entertained the whole way. But he’s not on many of the Hollywood-usual lists. He’s just excellent at what he does. Shame that Wick wears a Carl F Bucherer. It should’ve been this; the anti-modern Bond, really. Connery got the big crown. Give wick a 2913 SM300 or something.
The case on this one is full, it has perhaps seen a very light polish. The dial is great, hands as well. All very original. Hands have been lume-stabilised. The bezel has one crack down the 3 of 30, quite common on this huge bakelite real estate. It comes from a well-regarded Dutch retailer.
Find this 165.024 here from Bulang & Sons for 13500 EUR.