THE OMEGA SEAMASTER VS THE LIV GX DIVER'S AUTOMATIC
One fun activity of collecting quality wristwatches is to compare and contrast brands. To look under the hood, or inside the case when it comes to watches, and see what makes them "tick." Oh yes, a pun right out of the chute! It is also an interesting intellectual exercise to compare watches from widely divergent positions on the watchmaking spectrum.
For this comparison, we'll take a look at two diver watches. One from a well-known scion of the watchmaking industry. The other, a boutique brand that has been shaking things up for several years now. The combatants in this match are Omega and LIV Watches.
Before the bell sounds for round one, let's briefly explore the phenomenon of boutique watch brands. Like many other things these days, the rise of boutique brands can be blamed, er attributed to the internet. And, to the rise of crowdfunding.
The internet explosion enabled sellers to market directly to the consumer, eliminating huge chunks of distribution and other markups. Depending upon your timespan upon this mortal coil, the following cheesy marketing slogan may sound familiar, "We cut out the middleman, and are passing the savings on to you!" A dubious claim in the past, the internet indeed allows this to happen today.
Crowdfunding enabled boutique brands to go to their target audience and secure funding to create and deliver their product. This practice arose from the unwillingness of traditional financiers to back fledgling companies, especially when these companies were taking on competitors with deep pockets.
Call it a perfect storm Okay, that saying is wearing thin. How about this? Call it a fortuitous conjunction of celestial objects that brought us watch freaks and collectors the internet, crowdfunding, and boutique watch brands delivering the goods. All is right in the watch world!
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE OMEGA SEAMASTER
Omega is a storied brand and has a well-respected reputation in many watch fields, including dive, or diver watches. The first Seamaster was introduced in 1948 and was modeled around the dive watches produced for the Royal Navy during WWII. The Seamaster holds the mantle of Omega's oldest watch range.
They've graced the wrists of many glittering personalities including none other than James Bond. Since James Bond's character is known for champagne appetites, you can correctly assume the Seamaster is a pricey item. Just for a bit of fun, here is a list of the movies where Bond, James Bond has worn an Omega Seamaster, courtesy of Wikipedia.
- GoldenEye – 1995
- Tomorrow Never Dies – 1997
- The World Is Not Enough – 1999
- Die Another Day – 2002
- Casino Royale – 2006
- Quantum of Solace – 2008
- Skyfall – 2012
- Spectre – 2015
- No Time to Die – 2021
Astute readers will note that Omega appears in Bond films about 30 years into the franchise. So, fun fact number two, what watch did 007 wear before the Seamaster. Cue the James Bond theme , the Rolex Oyster. Seems the producers decided the Seamaster was a better fit for Mr. Bond; an edgier yet still refined timepiece.
THE OMEGA SEAMASTER DIVER 300M
The Seamaster comes in a large number of variations, from the 300M to chronographs, to James Bond models. The Seamaster also holds the record for the deepest dive in the world. In 2019, Omega strapped three experimental watches to the hull of the bathyscaphe Limiting Factor. They survived a trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, to a depth of 10,928 meters.
For us mere mortal collectors, let's take a look at the 300M's specifications.
THE LIV GX-DIVER'S
Couple this business model with a passion for watchmaking and a dedication to creating engaged fans rather than merely customers, and you see the complete formula that has powered LIV's success.
LIV introduced the GX-Diver's in 2019. Since the diver watch is a classic style that nearly every collector aspires to own, LIV fans had been clamoring for one since the early days of the company. And, true to their DNA, LIV took this fan input, worked their magic, and rolled out the GX-Diver's.
Let's take a look at this diver's watch specs:
- Case: 41mm 316L stainless steel
- Crystal: Sapphire, front, anti-reflective coating
- Bezel: Ceramic, 120 click uni-directional rotating with BGW9 Super LumiNova indexes
- Crown: Screw-down, gasketed
- Case back: Screw-down, gasketed, exhibition with sapphire crystal
- Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic, 25 jewels
- Water resistance: 300m
- Strap: 20 mm
The judges are back from their deliberations. As always, it was a hard-fought contest. LIV's GX-Diver the apparent underdog, punched well above its boutique weight class. Omega's Seamaster 300M, a grizzled veteran of many clashes, showed why it is the longest-running model in the Omega stable.
When the referee read the decision, it was a puzzling, "It depends." The 300M got top points for its in-house calibre with 35 jewels and 55-hour power reserve. The helium release valve was a nice, but unnecessary touch in a timepiece rated only to 300m. Unless of course, you plan to engage in saturation diving. Score some points for the Seamaster here anyway.
- Materials - case, crystal, and bezel
- Swiss-made quality
- Depth rating
The judges awarded some points to the GX-Divers for the 120-click bezel, multi-layer dial, and lume on the bezel.
Where the GX-Divers scored the most points was in the price match-up. To strap an Omega Seamaster 300M on your wrist will cost $4,510 more than the GX-Divers.
Is the in-house movement, extra power reserve, helium valve, and Omega name worth that much? For collectors of Omegas, probably. For watch freaks, enthusiasts, and collectors everywhere else, the GX-Divers makes more cents, dollars and cents. Last pun, I promise.
Strap on a GX-Divers, hum the James Bond theme, and pocket some nice cash for a martini, shaken not stirred.
"I have several watches, all have either a black face or white face. I had been looking for a watch with a little colour. Our family is always boating, in the Ocean and bays. We have some of the best coastlines and beaches, that we also spend summer at. The watch needed to be able to be worn, all the time, in the surf, ocean, bays, creeks, and pools. The TJ Blue diver watch fits the bill, reflects our lifestyles beautiful locations (East Coast of Australia) Everyone notices that it isn't just a white or black face watch too. Cheers"
- Adam E. Austrailia
"Probably hands down my favorite watch in my collection. It took me a while to pull the trigger but very glad I did! I went from one to own 3 now. The customer experience is fantastic and has received loads of compliments. Even the significant other loves it. Look forward to seeing what else they have planned down the road!"
- James M. US