Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The watch that got me into watches was the Omega Seamaster Diver worn by Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond in 1995’s Goldeneye. The quintessential ’90s watch, with its blue wave dial, skeletonized hands, scalloped bezel and other oddities, is arguably the model most responsible for getting millennials like me hooked on cheap Omega super clone watches. Still referred to today as “the Bond Watch,” Brosnan’s Seamaster in Goldeneye was a quartz-powered 41mm Seamaster 300M, ref. 2541.80. For Brosnan’s three subsequent 007 films, Bond upgraded to the automatic version of the watch, the immortal ref. 2531.80.
When it came time for me to purchase my first luxury watch several years back, there was never any doubt in my mind about which watch I was going to get. It had to be the Bond Watch. But there was just one problem with the ref. 2531.80: its 41mm case was simply too big for me to wear comfortably. My wrists are on the smaller side at 6.25 inches around, and after trying on the full-sized UK 1:1 Omega replica watches, I just didn’t like the feeling of wearing such a large watch. But luckily, there was an alternative. During the entire run of the 2531.80, Omega also produced a smaller version of the Bond watch in the 36.25mm reference 2551.80.
The 2551.80, better known as the best super clone Omega Seamaster Midsize watches, was exactly the same as the larger diver, just scaled down. It had the same materials and design as the Bond watch, the same 300m depth rating and was powered by the same COSC-certified ETA 2892-derived automatic movement. The only differences were its smaller case size of 36.25mm and a slight visual change due to its lack of a half-index at 3 o’clock, which in my opinion actually makes the dial more balanced. So more than five years ago, I bought a used Omega Seamaster 300M ref. 2551.80 from around 2004, and it’s been my favorite AAA Omega fake watches ever since.
Do I ever get FOMO because I didn’t opt for the big dive watch? Not even a little bit. The smaller Seamaster is incredibly comfortable. It’s by far the most comfortable Swiss movements Omega super clone watches I own, and I often forget I’m wearing it. It’s barely thicker than a dress watch, meaning it easily slides under any shirt cuff, and its small case size just works.
It’s very legible and isn’t tiny by any stretch — 36mm is a classic size for a men’s watch, just think of the Rolex Datejust or Explorer — and the watch looks proportionally the same on my wrist as the larger Seamaster does on someone with bigger wrists like, say, James Bond. I’m pretty rough on my top Omega copy watches, too, and I’ve found that my more diminutive Seamaster — while still bearing plenty of battle scars from years of frequent, inconsiderate wear — takes less of a beating from obtrusive obstacles like doorknobs than larger, bulkier watches I’ve worn, simply because it makes for a smaller target.
There’s also the value proposition of it all. When I purchased my Seamaster in 2018, I picked it up from a known dealer on eBay for $1,350. Poke around eBay or the forums today and you’ll find examples still aren’t going for much more than that. Its smaller size is less desirable in the market due to the erroneous belief that it’s a kid’s watch (fine examples can often be found coming out of Japan, where the China super clone Omega watches is almost always labeled as a “boy’s” model), meaning the Seamaster Midsize has been somewhat immune to watch inflation.
The full-size iteration of this neo-vintage classic, meanwhile, has seen prices steadily climb over the years and are pretty much impossible to find under two grand. Hodinkee will sell you a ref. 2531.80 for a whopping $3,500, and there’s a whole lot of competition from more capable modern Swiss made replica Omega watches at that price point.
Anyone who has followed the story of the Bond Seamaster knows that Omega discontinued the classic wave dial in 2011, releasing a new version of the Seamaster Diver 300M with a flat, lacquered dial and a ceramic bezel. Dubbed the SMPC (Seamaster Professional Ceramic) by fans, this version never quite caught on like the classic Bond watch — perhaps due in part because Bond never wore one — but it did continue the tradition of offering both a full-size 41mm version and a midsize 36.25 alternative. But in 2018, Omega updated the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M super clone watches wholesale again, and this is where I believe the brand made a mistake that still isn’t too late to correct.
That year, Omega released what is objectively the best version of the Seamaster yet. The brand brought back the wave dial, this time with larger waves laser-cut on a ceramic dial. The ceramic bezel was carried over and aesthetically improved, the date window was moved to 6 o’clock and color-matched to the dial, the bracelet was streamlined and a new state-of-the-art co-axial METAS-certified Master Chronometer movement was now visible behind a sapphire caseback.
I was a fan of all of these changes, as was most of the watch world. But one aspect of the new Seamaster of which I was not a fan was its size. The Swiss perfect fake Omega watches’ case increased in diameter from 41mm to 42mm. OK, fine, not the end of the world, lots of people like larger watches. But in addition to this upsizing, Omega also axed the Seamaster Midsize from the lineup, leaving people like me without an appropriately sized Omega diver option.
At the time of the revamped Seamaster’s 2018 release, enthusiasts assumed the Midsize would return eventually. While discussing the watch’s larger size in his review of the new Seamaster in March of 2018, Ariel Adams of A Blog to Watch said, “I also fully anticipate Omega producing a smaller version in the future to expand its marketability.” More than five years on, that hasn’t happened yet, and the smallest new Seamaster you can buy today is 42mm.
I’m not really in the market for a new Seamaster, but I probably will be in the future — and I’m sure there are many small-wristed enthusiasts who would buy modern high quality Omega Seamaster super clone watches now if one existed in a smaller version. With midsize divers now coming back into vogue — just look at the buzz created by Tudor’s 37mm Black Bay 54 release at Watches and Wonders earlier this year — it seems like the perfect time for Omega to resurrect the Seamaster Midsize. I’m hoping they will, but until that day comes, there are always the classics on eBay.