Most people know about the British military Seamaster 300, which preceded the MilSub. It’s sometimes referred to as the Royal Navy Omega, but in fact what isn’t so well known is that the first batch was actually issued not to the RN, but to the British Army. Only after seeing this watch did the Admiralty decide to commission a version for the RN. These early army versions differ significantly from the later RN ones, no Circled T on the dial, slimmer fixed bars, no screw down crown, W10 case back markings instead of 0552 and also note the lack of the letter A in front of the issue number, meaning that it hadn’t been modified by Omega. These army versions are much more rare than the naval ones by a factor of 50, which isn’t yet reflected in their market values. The ones on Chrono24 are listed between £69,000 and £75,000; this one is considerably less expensive.
The movement is pink gilt finished version of the 552 automatic with 24 jewels, micrometer regulation for the hairspring and Incabloc shock protection, it is numbered 24716XXX, which dates the movement to 1967.
The watch comes with the Omega Archives extract which shows that the watch was delivered to the British Army on 13thApril 1967.
The case is somewhat more “styled” than the Rolex with “bombé” lugs and a bakelite bezel insert, rather than the removable insert used by Rolex. The watch still has the original Omega Naid crown, and it still has its original Omega signed crystal.
The dial is the early “Small Triangle” one (named after the 12 marker), which was the first style of dial for this model, which was introduced in 1964; it has truncated triangle markers for the quarter hours with large luminous baton luminous batons for the remainder. The hands are the same military “sword’ design as used on the Military Subs and are steel with both the hour and seconds dial in a diamond shape. Unlike the hour/minute hands, the sweep second hand is painted white. The dial, hands and bezel are still the original tritium ones fitted at the factory.
The case is 95%; the dial is 95+% and the movement is 95%.
It measures 39mm diam, 46mm lug to lug and 14mm high it takes a 20 mm strap and a black ‘NATO’ strap is fitted.
PRICE ON APPLICATION