Omega's Modern Unit Watch Program - Frogmen, SEALs and the Secret Service

Omega's Modern Unit Watch Program - Frogmen, SEALs and the Secret Service

Omega has a long history of producing watches for the military, most notably the classic Seamaster 300 made for the British Royal Navy.  Today the company is continuing that history with special production “unit watches,” and appears to have standardized its program, offering a unique Seamaster Diver 300M solely to military and law enforcement units.  The options for customization include the unit insignia on the caseback as well as a name/call sign or other identifier associated with the individual.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Danish Frogman Corps
Submission from the W.O.E. community.

Omega and the Military:

While Omega watches are no longer issued to UK military units, we see them regularly on the wrist of operators as private purchases. The connections between Omega and the military, in particular maritime SOF units, are undeniable.  We previously profiled the watch of the British Special Boat Service (SBS), a 2007 commission of the Omega Seamaster GMT 300 Co-Axial with a blue dial. It appears that Omega has revived this practice of creating a unit-specific Seamaster.

Unit Watches:

Unit Watches are at the core of modern day watch culture in the military, intelligence, and law enforcement community. We've seen a significant uptick in unit-specific customization programs by major brands in recent years.  In contrast to other special projects programs, which provide significant customizations to their range of watches for military units, Omega appears more restricted in their offerings, potentially to streamline the process. 

Omega Seamaster Navy SEAL
(Omega marketing document)

To review, a unit watch is a timepiece that is customized by the manufacturer for members of a specific unit or organization.  Customizations can include the unit’s insignia on the dial and/or an engraving on the caseback.  Unit watches are generally private purchases, paid for by the individual operator.  We have profiled several unit watch programs, including Bremont and Tudor.

Omega Unit Watches:

We are aware of at least four confirmed recent configurations of this Seamaster made for units: the Danish Frogman Corps (Frømandskorpset), the US Secret Service, the US Navy SEALS, and a US Special Operations unit (name withheld).  All watches appear to have the same dial and bezel, a matte version not available on the public market and the watches are customized with the organization's insignia engraved on the caseback.

Watches of Espionage Seamaster Diver 300M
(Omega marketing document)

Watch Specifications:

The watch is a no date Seamaster Diver 300M with blackened skeleton hands, beige indices with blue lume on the hour & second hands and green lume on the minute hand.  The movement is the Omega Calibre 8806, Co-Axial Master Chronometer.  The preferred pricing is $5,100 (before taxes), discounted from the MSRP of $5,900 for a standard Seamaster at any AD. 

The Seamaster has a steel bracelet and an extra rubber strap.  The watch comes in a waxed canvas travel pouch from British Millerain (sounds fancy!), and the unit's insignia is embossed on the pouch.

Omega Special Forces Watch
(Omega marketing document)

Danish Frogman Corps (Frømandskorpset):

The Danish Frogman Corps is the premier maritime special operations force of the Danish Armed Forces and is a rough equivalent to the Navy SEALs/SBS and appears to be the first unit to receive this custom version of the Seamaster.

Danish Frogman Corps Frømandskorpset Omega Watch
(Photo: @fkp_froemandskorpset)

Pictured is a Danish Frogman wearing the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M “unit watch” during a training exercise.  It was reportedly available for private purchase by current and former members of Frømandskorpset. After completing their service, the Frogmen can join “Conventus Ranae” (“a gathering of frogs”), which is the Frogmen’s association aimed at strengthening the bond between active and retired Frogmen. The Omega was available to anyone in that association.

Danish Frogman Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
Submission from the W.O.E. community.

This week, then-Danish Crown Prince Frederik X was proclaimed King of Denmark after his mother Queen Margrethe II abdicated the throne.  King Frederik X served in the Frogmen Corps and when he took the throne, he wore his “unit watch” Omega Seamaster Diver 300M . . . on a tan Omega fabric strap.  We always choose our most meaningful watches for big events and to the King, this appears to be his.  Any watch brand would be thrilled to give him any allocation he wants–but instead he chose to wear the watch he served in. It doesn’t get any better. 

Danish Crown Prince Frederik X Omega Watch

Navy SEALs:

We have extensively profiled Tudor’s long time association with the SEAL Teams but watch culture in Naval Special Warfare extends to other brands, including Omega.  The Omega Seamaster (and other references) has long been a favorite of the SEALs, due to its history as a dive tool watch, and of course, Bond, James Bond.  While these were never issued to Naval Special Warfare units, they can be seen on the wrists of Team guys deployed and while at home. (See our previous profile of former Navy SEAL Dave Hall).

Omega Seamaster Chronograph Navy SEAL Rob Huberty
Omega Seamaster Chronograph on the wrist of former Navy SEAL Rob Huberty during BUD/S graduation of class 259 (Photo Credit: Huberty) 

The SEAL version is the same as the Danish Frogman one, except the caseback displays the Navy SEAL Trident, an eagle clutching a U.S. Navy anchor, trident, and flintlock-style pistol, also known as the “Budweiser” given the similarity to the (former) American beer company.

We are told that the SEAL version of the Omega Seamaster is currently in production and has not been delivered.  Current and former members of a Navy SEAL team can submit orders and expected orders are somewhere between 150 and 200 units.  In contrast to Panerai’s commercialization of the “SEAL Trident,” this watch is (reportedly) only available to SEALS . . . the way it should be.

Omeaga Seamaster Navy SEAL
(Omega marketing document)

United States Secret Service:

The Secret Service is the US federal law enforcement agency responsible for conducting criminal investigations surrounding financial systems and protecting U.S. political leaders, most notably the President and Vice President.  We have previously profiled the US Secret Service Counter Assault Team (C.A.T. aka Hawkeye) commissioned Tudor Pelagos LHD and it appears others wanted in on the action.  

Omega Seamaster US Secret Service

In December 2023 USSS Special Agents began taking delivery of the custom Omega Seamaster.  Each watch is similar to the SEAL/Danish versions and the caseback contains the Secret Service star and “Worthy of Trust and Confidence.”  At the bottom of the dial is the Special Agent’s commission book number or something else unique to them.  Approximately 182 were produced, the second batch set to deliver at the end of January 2024.

US Secret Service Omega
W.O.E. community Submission.

A Few Thoughts:

We applaud Omega and The Swatch Group for offering this resource to men and women who answered the call to serve around the globe.  These watches will no doubt remain a talisman of their service to their nation and heirlooms for generations to come.  We expect several other units to adopt the Omega Seamaster as a unit watch over the coming months.  

While other brands appear to offer more customization options, the simple design and limited options for customization (insignia on the caseback) likely make this a more streamlined process which can result in more watches.   Our hope is that this specific design is not released to the broader public as many have called for.  The best things in life are earned, not bought.

*This post is NOT sponsored by Omega, Swatch Group or anyone else.  All views and opinions are solely our own.

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14 comments

I am Navy EOD, how do I go about requesting information on a Unit Watch?

JB

It is interesting that Omega don’t use the sword hands from the original MILSPEC design as the hands would carry more lume.

Bert Furmston

A blackened PVD or DLC coated Seamaster would be impressive on the wrists of the Seals or Secret Service. I wonder if that has ever been prototyped.

Isaac V.

Although most SOG”s members wouldn’t decline a Seamaster, they often are allowed to bring certain personal gear into theatre. A shiny and reflective watch with a traditional bracelet wouldn’t be my first choice. Casio Mudman or an equivalent would likely do the trick. Omega is great for dress, but not combat.

Anonymous

Thank you for this article!
I wear my Seamaster (that I bought 2 weeks ago) with pride and after this article I am even prouder to call it my own and have the privilege of owning it.
Greetings from Germany

Thomas B.

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