I recall very clearly being a young horological padawan, learning of the historic contributions the 321 calibre has made to humanity. I also distinctly remember, three years later, learning that there was a Seamaster running the very same venerable movement. Many, many queries ensued. How was this possible? Shouldn’t this be a DeVille? It’s only 35mm? Wait, Roger W Smith owns one?! I admit to becoming quickly infatuated with this reference and make no secret that my goal in this article is to present to you the Seamaster 321 light as I’ve seen it.
The discreet steel case appears nonchalant at a glance. However, this is a Seamaster model with pump pushers that undoubtedly compromise water resistance. What gives? The Seamaster was not intended to be a dive-only range. The initial brief was to create sturdy models that could endure in rugged conditions. However, instead of meeting these aims with tool-like aesthetics, Omega aimed to accomplish their goals with simple elegance. This was the intended design from which this 35mm steel cased chronograph was born. However, the most important feature of this watch is not its aesthetic, as lovely as that is. This Seamaster is powered by the 321, thee chronograph movement of a generation. It is one of just a handful of references outside the Speedmaster line to have the venerable calibre 321 inside. And with all that it mind, it is the daily wearer of Roger W Smith. That is what I believe the kids call street cred, if anything is.
The dial on this example is probably its strength. This will be a point of contention for many of you, I’m aware. It was lightly refinished with a fresh lacquer professionally last year. There is no luminous material on the dial of these in their original design, so this was just a restoration of original script and repair. The metal dial base is original. Make of that what you will. Its handset still contains original tritium. The case is marked but not abused, with bevels still visible. Its movement checks out and is said to have been serviced in 2021. It comes from a small reputable retailer out of Germany.
Find this Seamaster 321 here on Chrono24 for 5100 USD.