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Omega SMPc 8800 long term review

  1. borre

    borre Jan 3, 2019

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    Before I bought my new SMP 8800 in September, I read every (what I could find) review and watched every YouTube video about the watch. Almost all reviews and YouTube videos are of new owners or reviewers that have the watch on loan from an AD. Until now, I think what is missing is a review after a couple of months daily usage of this watch. This is exactly what I will do in this post… my thoughts after more than 3 months of daily (and nightly) wear of the SMPc 8800. I will try to be as honest as possible… but as an owner you are always biased to some extend…

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    WAVES

    My first feelings with the watch after seeing the first pictures after Baselworld were mixed. I liked everything, but the wave pattern on the dial gave me some doubts. Still today, I don't like the waves on pictures, but in real life, everything changed! In reality the waves are much less of an eye catcher than on pictures, much more subtle. I can say I even like the waves, the way the dial catches light and reflects is different each time, depending on the angle. Sometimes the waves are very light gray, sometimes deep black… It' s definitely not a boring watch. The waves don't give a too busy impression, this was one of my fears before getting the watch.

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    DIAL

    The rest of the dial is superb… The big raised indices go very well with the updated skeleton hands. The legibility is top! Before I saw the watch in the metal, I had some doubts on the second track, but eventually nothing to dislike. The new position of the date window is a positive change according to me, the dial is very balanced because of this. What I also like is that the date window has no frame, very minimalistic, goes very well on this dial. Some regret the absence of an applied Omega logo, but on this dial with already bold indices, I think it's good the logo isn't applied. It would make the dial a little busier than needed.

    The red accents on the dial look fantastic on the ceramic black background.

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    CRYSTAL

    The double AR coated crystal looks as if it's not there! Visually it's a stunning crystal. Unfortunately the crystal also leads to the first negative point… After a little over 3 months daily usage, the AR coating has its first scratches. These scratches are very thin, an can only be seen under the correct light angle under LED lights, still… sometimes I do notice them! I was VERY gentle with the watch until now, only wore it at my desk and other 'light' activities. Whenever I thought there was a risk of damaging the watch, I switched watches. My other diver is a TAG Heuer Aquaracer WAN2111. The Aquaracer has a couple of years daily usage, and also has a double AR coated crystal. On the Aquaracer, no scratches can be found in the AR coating! It is still in 100% top condition. I didn't expect this from a new Omega, at least I expected it to be scratch resistant as the TAG. Fortunately, most of the time, this scratches are not visible at all. I tried to get a picture of the scratches, but I don't succeed to get it visible on picture…

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    BEZEL

    The bezel of the new SMP has a very solid feel. What I really don't like is when a bezel is turned unintentionally when hitting or rubbing against something. This has never happened with this bezel. Still it's not too difficult to turn the bezel when you need to turn it. On my watch, there is no play in the bezel and lines up perfectly on the 12 o'clock position. Esthetically the scalloped bezel was one of the reasons to buy this watch, so distinctive… looks beautiful. The ceramic inlay and enamel numbers and indicators have a high quality appearance.

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    CASE

    The case of the Omega is a beauty! The way Omega plays with polished and brushed surfaces is very nice… However, there are some complaints about the size increase of the SMP to 42mm. Personally, this didn't bother me at all until now (for your reference, I have a 17cm wrist). Also the thickness (slightly more than the previous gen SMP) is (again according to my feeling) well balanced with the size of the watch. The SMP doesn’t feel thick on the wrist, nor thin… Just right. I also tried the PO's when buying this watch, there you notice the thickness much more (same with the Tudor Pelagos, that I also tried, feels much thicker).

    Another element that created some noise is the update HE valve. Honestly, I hardly notice it is there… Nothing good or bad I can say about it… It's just there and doesn't bother me.

    What bothers me (very) slightly is the fact the Omega logo on the crown doesn't line up when screwing in the crown. It’s a small detail, but I can appreciate when the crown logo lines up with the case.

    Another point of improvement is the combination lugs + endlink. There is just this tiny bit of space on one side of the endlink and lug. I prefer that this is a really tight fit. In my opinion, this is something Rolex does better.

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    BRACELET

    Talking about endlinks brings us to the bracelet. The bracelet has a unique design, something you don't see on every second watch.

    You either like this design or you don't. I love it… The bracelet comes with two half links, very easy to get a good fit. To get the fit perfect, the clasp comes with 6 micro adjustment positions that you move with a push on the button, very convenient. The bracelet + watch wears very comfortable (I wear the SMP 24/7).

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    MOVEMENT and ACCURACY

    One of the features I love on this watch is the display case back. Although a lot of people prefer a steel case back on a diver I like the fact I can admire the 8800 movement. So far the 8800 is keeping great time. My SMP loses between 1 and 1,5 second per day. Now this brings us at a very strange thing… according to my METAS test results, my clock averaged + 2,8 seconds per day during the METAS test. The +2,8 seconds per day, is the average rate of the 6 positions they measure (equally weighted). Still, the -1,5 is very far away from the METAS test results, and that made me curious… how is this possible (yes I know the 2,8 is an average…). I started measuring myself (test cycles of 24 hours per position) the 6 positions, this is what I measured:
    • DIAL UP : -3,2 s/d
    • DIAL DOWN : +3,0 s/d
    • 12 UP : -1,9 s/d
    • 6 UP : -3,2 s/d
    • 3 UP : -0,1 s/d
    • 9 UP : +0,5 s/d
    When I average my test results, I get -0,82 seconds/day. This is VERY far of the +2,8 seconds per day tested by METAS. I really wonder how this is possible. Anyone an idea? Please post in the comments. I can also tell you that the rate didn't change over the last 3 months, it's very stable.

    My tests results -0,82 s/d is closer to what I see in reality (-1 to -1,5) with my wearing habits. Preferably the clock should run a little fast instead of slow, but at this point in time I don't mind this too much. I don't think it's worth it to get it regulated, maybe I get it back at +3 s/d, worse than it runs today.

    Another impressive feature of the movement is the date change, on my clock the date flips over between 105 and 90 seconds before midnights and it does this consistently, very nice!

    I only let it run until empty on one occasion, the 8800 stopped after 60 hours. 5 hours more than the advertised 55 hours.

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    LUME

    Lume is great! When not properly charged, the lume on the hands is less visible, except for the tip of the hands where there is more lume.

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    CONCLUSION

    The new SMP 8800 is a stunner! Except for the AR coating sensitivity and the deviation of the accuracy compared to the METAS tests I don't have any complaints about the watch so far.

    Mine is already collecting some minor scratches on the bracelet, but that’s the life of a daily wearer, isn't it?

    Do you have other experiences with this watch, or remarks on my review, let me know below.

    1 YEAR UPDATE

    After one year of ownership and (almost) daily wear, I don't have much new to add...
    The accuracty hasn't changed. It is just a fraction slow, but face down it speeds up a little bit.
    The AR coating seems to be the most sensitive part of the watch. In most lighting the (very very) small scratches in the AR coating are not visible, but under very bright halogen light and the 'correct' angle, they become visible. Still, the AR coating is an added value, under most conditions the crystal is invisible.
    I love the bracelet on this watch, unique design, lot's of options to adjust and very comfortable.

    Still very happy with the Seamaster! Definitely a keeper...
     
    Edited Oct 5, 2019
    Tony, scapa, Kingkongsfinger and 27 others like this.
  2. LKLee

    LKLee Jan 6, 2019

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    Does the Reeses Peanut Butter HEV really disappear on you? :confused:
     
  3. borre

    borre Jan 6, 2019

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    Yes. Not a deal breaker
     
    10mmauto and Thrasher36 like this.
  4. borre

    borre Jan 10, 2019

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    Nobody has an idea why there is such a difference with my accuracy measurements and the ones measured by METAS?
     
    squall1 likes this.
  5. Thegreatroberto

    Thegreatroberto Jan 12, 2019

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    This watch,albeit in blue is likely to be a next purchase. I already have a SMP from 2002.
    When I tried one on I was most impressed with the bracelet. Felt very sharp. Going to go back to my local AD and see what deal they can do for me. I'd like to buy from them, but I also travel regularly via Gatwick and know I can get £600 off the rrp.
    Did you get a discount?
     
    harrymcmillan likes this.
  6. borre

    borre Jan 12, 2019

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    I bought it in September from an OB, so no discount. I bought it in the UK but live in the Euro zone, so I could benefit from the Pound - Euro exchange rate. Would be the same I got 10% discount when buying in Euro.
     
  7. dputydwg1

    dputydwg1 Jan 14, 2019

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    Great review, Thank you for posting
     
  8. borre

    borre Jan 14, 2019

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    Thank you!
     
  9. Gruesome

    Gruesome Jan 16, 2019

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    Regarding the rate deviation: how do you measure the rate?
     
  10. borre

    borre Jan 17, 2019

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    Let it run 24h in a certain position. Time with the watch check app
     
    sah likes this.
  11. Thegreatroberto

    Thegreatroberto Jan 18, 2019

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    Yeah, great review and a great watch.
    I picked one up today in the blue dial/bezel combo. And yes, I managed a reasonable discount, so more than happy.
    Definitely feels bigger than my SMP from 2002.
     
    borre and ama98 like this.
  12. ama98

    ama98 Jan 18, 2019

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    Did you buy it from OB or AD?
     
  13. Meme-Dweller

    Meme-Dweller Jan 18, 2019

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    He said he got a discount, so probably not the OB
     
  14. Thegreatroberto

    Thegreatroberto Jan 18, 2019

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    AD.
     
  15. ama98

    ama98 Jan 18, 2019

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    Ok. I got 5% from OB when I bought my 2018 diver 300m.
     
    Edited Jan 19, 2019
  16. borre

    borre Jan 18, 2019

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    Congrats! Stunning watch isn't it? Can you do a check on the METAS timing? Curious to see how close/far others are from the lab test result
     
  17. pianomankd

    pianomankd Jan 20, 2019

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    Great review!
     
  18. Thegreatroberto

    Thegreatroberto Jan 20, 2019

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    Will do. Will have to log on and get the official timings. And then compare after a week or so of use.
     
    Edited Jan 21, 2019
    borre likes this.
  19. Thegreatroberto

    Thegreatroberto Jan 24, 2019

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    Ok. So after a week of wear. A couple of nights I wore it in bed also, and it is 3 seconds fast. That's over the week. The metas stuff ( which I find a bit confusing) shows 3 seconds per day over the 6 positions.

    I'll take the 3s/week!

    I'll be interested to see if this changes.
     
  20. borre

    borre Jan 24, 2019

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    Wow! 3 seconds per week is impressive!
    The accuracy of mine didn't change over time. Stable since day 1.
    If I don't wear mine at night, and store it dial down, it loses less time. But I prefer it on my wrist all the time, also at night...