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Diver 300M Nekton Edition - 6-month review - with service update!

  1. Tom Bombadil May 14, 2021

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    Background:
    My 37mm Grand Seiko white-dial quartz watch (SBGX259) was meeting a lot of my watch-needs until the pandemic started. My GS was pretty much Go Anywhere, Do Anything for me (hiking, biking, jogging, office, weddings, etc). But after pandemic hit, life was masks, and fog on my glasses, and a lot of 20-second handwashing. My foggy glasses eventually led me to forgo glasses altogether, unless I was reading. With a 20-second handwashing rule, suddenly that silver second hand ticking across the white dial, which I had previously never cared about, seemed exceedingly important to my health, and the health of those around me. Problem was, it was hard to find at a glance, especially against the white dial, and nearly impossible to track for 20 seconds without my glasses.

    Perfect excuse to get a new watch. I needed one with a lollipop second hand and a high contrast dial. I had been looking at diver watches for years and wanted one specifically without a date (because I can't read date windows, except on Rolex, due to poor vision), and I wanted one with a rubber strap that fit perfectly into the case without a gap, like the Patek Aquanaut.

    One day in late November last year, I looked at the Omega website and right on the home page was a new release: the Diver 300M Nekton Edition. It checked all my boxes:
    Rubber strap fitted tightly to the case
    No Date - no illegible fuzziness at 3 or 6 o'clock, just perfect symmetry and simplicity
    High contrast dial
    Lollipop second hand
    Dive bezel - supremely useful in day to day life (parking meters, cooking, laundry, etc.)
    Plus the bonus of being highly anti-magnetic, and highly accurate (METAS certified)

    I was shocked at my luck, having pretty much resigned myself that I would never own a watch that checked those boxes. (Had been fantasizing about buying a Rolex Sub and then wearing it with a fitted Rubber B strap.)

    A few days later, I had my first Omega, the priciest watch I've ever owned.

    Six Month Review - the good, the bad, and the ugly:

    I've worn the watch nearly everyday for the last 6 months - at the office (I wear casual attire), whilst hiking, jogging, and road biking, swimming in the sea, and even sleeping once or twice.

    The Good: The watch as a whole is comfortable to wear, altho a tad thick - it does snag sometimes when putting on a back pack. It is reliable - only need to correct the time about once every 6 weeks, if that. It is easy to read at a glance - with or without glasses. In social settings, it attracts hardly any attention at all, which is perfect for me. The rubber strap is awesome. The second hand is a breeze to find at a glance, even without my glasses. (It definitely helped me wash my hands for the full 20 seconds on a routine basis.) As per its name, it's water proof - took it swimming in the Malibu surf, got tumbled around by the waves (fairly high pressure) - no leak issues. In certain light, at a certain angle, the hands and hour marker surrounds simultaneously turn to bright silver, and seem to float in a circle of darkness. It's quite beautiful to behold.

    The Bad: The titanium bezel, being monochrome, is from time to time, hard to read without my glasses, depending on the light. Not a big deal, really, but I do fantasize now about finding a black and white ceramic Diver 300M bezel for sale on Ebay, buying it, and swapping it out.

    The Ugly: it seems the particular example I purchased has two extremely small Quality Control flaws related to the dial furniture and the raised markings on the titanium timing bezel. They are so small they took me nearly 6 months to notice them.

    First, the 3 o'clock hour marker is located a smidge low on the dial. I can tell because the painted 15-minute marker does not point to the dead center of the hour marker. See photo.

    Second, when the 60-minute mark (or zero-mark) on the timing bezel is aligned as closely as possible with the 12 o'clock markers on the dial, the 45-minute marker on the bezel is nearly at the 44-minute mark on the dial. The 5- and 25-minute markers on the bezel line up nicely with their corresponding minute marks on the dial, but others do not. See photo.

    IMG_0439.jpg

    I can see these mismatches with my reading glasses on. I will soon take the watch to the Culver City, CA Service Center (they accept walk-ins) and see if they consider this within or without tolerance levels, in terms of Quality Control.

    The effect of these flaws is that it has taken away some (but not all) of the magic of the watch for me. It seems to me, no Omega watch dial should have flaws that can be easily seen with the naked eye (or reading glasses.) As I read once on a blog, "in watches, a millimeter is a mile."

    Overall rating: 9 out of 10.
     
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  2. Batchelor Jun 20, 2021

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    Thanks for this review, I am just in the process of picking one up and your observations are helpful. I have had a close look at the dial and bezel markers based on your sharing. Thankfully, no issues there. Were you able to get your issues resolved?
     
  3. Batchelor Jun 29, 2021

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    And here is mine, finally! 33ADE055-72A5-4BFB-B73B-D12ADFEB1234.jpeg
     
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  4. ConElPueblo Jun 29, 2021

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    I'll admit to scoffing slightly at this until I saw @Batchelor's example. That's a pretty big difference.
     
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  5. Batchelor Jun 29, 2021

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    I agree Tom’s Review had me check some details that I would have otherwise not really looked for. I noticed what he stated immediately when looking this one over.
     
  6. igatomic Jun 29, 2021

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    This is definitely a case of "if you can see it once, you can't ever un-see it". GL with the boutique. I hope that they make things right for you!
     
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  7. Bran8 Jun 30, 2021

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    Any update on the misaligned bezel?
    This happens with all watches and my latest experience was a BB58 with the 12 o'clock index slightly misaligned. Rolex service took a look and said it was in-spec....bugs me a bit but acceptable.
     
  8. Tom Bombadil Jul 2, 2021

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    I have good news to report. Just got my watch back from the Omega/Swatch Group Culver City Service Center. They replaced my dial and bezel for free, thereby resolving my issues.

    Here's a look at my corrected watch -
    [​IMG]

    They gave me the replaced parts, as well -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The free replacement was not perfectly easy to obtain, however. The intake rep at the Culver City location originally looked at my watch and said it was within tolerance levels. That was disappointing. He said the rule for quality flaws is "visible with the naked eye at 30 cm." Then he confessed he has poor vision, and can't really tell. I asserted I can see the flaws at arm's length with my glasses on, and kindly asked him to send it to corporate for a review. He did.

    I soon got an email from Swatch/Omega inviting me to log into the Omega Service website so I could track the progress of my watch repair. I could see it had been received and was being assessed. Within a few days, there was a bill posted to my account asking me to "approve" the charges to replace the bezel and dial. The total cost was nearly $1,800. There was no comment or explanation.

    For a week or two, I emailed back and forth with a rep who was not able to write very well, who did not seem familiar with my watch's issues, and could not explain why I was being charged for the repair. (It seemed like English was their second language.)

    I was on the verge of simply requesting my watch back when I finally decided to call Omega. I was quickly passed thru to a manager who looked at my Warranty Card, reviewed my service file, and approved a free replacement under warranty. The bill on my account for nearly $1,800 was immediately updated in real-time to show $0 due. The whole phone call lasted less than ten minutes.

    Two to three weeks later, I now I have my watch back. Very happy with the results. The back and forth with Omega was not too painful, to be honest. It never got contentious. It just seemed like I was dealing with a large, busy company, almost like a bureaucracy. I don't even know where the watch went or where the repairs were finally made - New Jersey? Culver City? Switzerland? Overall, I love the watch again, and am still an Omega fan.

    Happy 4th everyone!
     
    IMG_0523.jpg IMG_0525.jpg IMG_0524.jpg
    Edited Jul 2, 2021
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  9. funkright Jul 2, 2021

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    Awesome that it all worked out for you :)
     
  10. Batchelor Jul 2, 2021

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    That looks great, what exactly was the issue? The way it was assembled or the parts themselves?
     
  11. Tom Bombadil Jul 2, 2021

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    Thanks! With the dial, the issue was with the dial furniture. The 3 o'clock hour marker was placed a bit low relative to the 15-minute marker on the dial itself. So, it was a "bad" dial, in my opinion. As for the bezel, I think the titanium insert was poorly formed ("laser-ablated"), if that's possible. So, somehow the 45-minute marker was not in the correct spot on the insert? That's my best guess. With the bezel, secondarily, it seemed that it had not been correctly installed onto the case to line the zero-minute marker with the 12 o'clock hour marker. So, it seemed to me the bezel had 2 separate issues (poorly formed insert, and poorly installed bezel). But, I never got any commentary from Omega on any of this.
     
  12. SN13 Jul 20, 2021

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    Usually Applied markers have a stem and hole to align them. Can you take photos of the rear of the dial?

    Also, did you put the old bezel next to the new bezel to see if the markers are really "Poorly Laser-ablated" ?
     
  13. Tom Bombadil Jul 21, 2021

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    I'm glad you asked. You prompted me to open the plastic baggies and actually check. I'm shocked to report that as best as I can tell, the titanium insert I thought was "poorly formed" appears PERFECTLY formed. See photo below. I was sure the 45-minute marker was off-center by a wide margin! (See my original photo at top of post.) *Scratches head, embarrassed*
    [​IMG]
    I'm not sure how to interpret the back of the dial - see below.
    [​IMG]
     
    Bezel.jpg Dial back.jpg
  14. SN13 Jul 21, 2021

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    As someone who has attempted to make my own watch, dial, bezel, hands, etc.... i can say that sometimes items appear "off" and they aren't ... optical illusions can throw us off. :D
     
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  15. Jones in LA Isofrane hoarder. Jul 21, 2021

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    The bezel ring on its own may have the right angular separations, but there was definitely something wrong with the original assemblage. Hold on to the stuff they returned to you: in the future you may find out that you are an owner of the ultra-rare “Eccentric Edition”.
     
  16. Tom Bombadil Jul 21, 2021

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    Ha, that would be cool! Will do! Thank you.
     
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  17. swissra Jul 23, 2021

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    Great review. Thanks for sharing your service experience.
     
  18. Tom Bombadil Jul 25, 2021

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    Thanks.
     
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