Recently I reviewed the Christopher Ward C65 Dartmouth, which was a modern take on the Omega Seamaster 300 Big Triangle. That watch was inspired by the Omega and while it had certain elements that were present on the Omega, it wasn’t what many would call an homage. The Helson Sharkmaster 300 is a different story.
Omega Seamaster 300 Big Triangle homages are not rare. Borealis released one a few years back and the most recent is the MKII Project 300, which is the nicest homage of the Omega I’ve seen to date. The Sharkmaster 300 falls somewhere in the middle of those two watches. If you’re looking to get the Big Triangle looks without the Big Triangle price, the Helson is a great place to start.
On the Wrist
The Helson Sharkmaster 300 has a perfect vintage tool watch feel on the wrist. It doesn’t feel too large in any of its proportions but still packs enough heft to let you know it’s there. The case is modestly sized at 40.5mm, a sweet spot for many wearers. The lug-to-lug distance is 47mm, but because of the shape of the lugs, it feels smaller. They slope down sharply at the ends and combined with the fully polished twist of the lugs, it makes it look smaller than it is.
Those familiar with the Omega Speedmaster or other watches with twisted lyre lugs that hug the wrist will feel right at home wearing this watch. I likened it to feeling like a Speedmaster if that watch were 40mm. The midcase isn’t too thick and the bezel has enough thickness to make it easy to operate.
Aiding the on-wrist comfort of the Sharkmaster 300 is the excellent bracelet design. The female endlinks help cut down on the perceived size and the solid links are all fully articulating (a nice surprise). This all lends itself to being an extremely comfortable bracelet that both looks and feels good on the wrist.
Readability is a non-issue with the Sharkmaster 300. The large sword hands and the high-contrast dial make it easy to read at a glance. When I first examined the watch, I didn’t think this would be the case because of the heavy dome on the crystal. However, I found that the crystal only distorts the very outer portions of the dial.
Helson Sharkmaster 300 In Motion
If you have seen the Omega Seamaster 300 Big Triangle, there will be no surprises with this dial. The Helson Sharkmaster 300’s dial is a direct clone of the Omega. Helson even mirrored the script font used at 6 o’clock for Sharkmaster 300.
The markers, lume plots, and numerals are all the same as the Omega. However, when I was first looking of photos of this watch online, I thought the lume markings had been modified to curve where they met the bezel. Much to my amusement, I found that was simply distortion from the crystal. Once you tilt the watch enough to see past the distortion, you will see this is not the case.
The lume applied to the Sharkmaster 300 is excellent. I found that it charged quickly, was extremely bright, and stayed bright for at least 15 minutes. The lume lasted longer than this but the initial bloom stayed bright for that long. This lume extends to the numeral markings on the bezel, so those of you who love lume will be happy here.
As I mentioned before, the sword handset is extremely easy to read. The hands are the only polished areas on the dial. The rest of the dial is entirely printed; no applied markers here. The wedge-shaped seconds hand is reminiscent of the chronograph hand on the Omega Speedmaster (my favorite hand shape of all time).
The bezel is torqued just right and is easy to turn without too much effort. Helson did a great job on the bezel action; it has chunky clicks with absolutely no backplay. The exaggerated coin edge is also easy to grip, and the mixture of brushing and polishing looks great.
Case and Bracelet
The case finishing on the Sharkmaster 300 is excellent and I feel it punches above its weight class. The polishing on the top of the lugs is flawless and looks beautiful when it catches the light. This excellence in finishing carries over to the brushing on the sides of the case. Drilled lugs are present on the Sharkmaster 300, making strap changes easy.
Inside the case beats an ETA 2824-2, a movement becoming rarer by the day outside of the Swatch Group. Helson took advantage of the opportunity to use this movement and I’m glad they did. It winds smoothly and the crown even decouples when being screwed back in, a nice touch.
I mentioned previously that the bracelet was comfortable and packed a few surprises such as fully articulating links. It tapers comfortably from 20mm to 18mm at the clasp. Helson fitted a diver’s extension clasp that has been popping up on many microbrand watches recently. I’m not the biggest fan of this clasp because of the added thickness and heft it carries with it.
While not uncommon, the double-sided screws drove me a bit mad when sizing the bracelet. You must hold one side of the screw while unscrewing the other side. This task is a bit tricky if you don’t have something stable to hold one side of the bracelet.
I had a hard time finding things I didn’t like about the Helson Sharkmaster 300. Overall, it is a fantastic watch with a lot of nice surprises that Helson doesn’t even bother marketing. The fully articulating links and decoupling crown are things they could easily market to more justify the price.
I know that I will personally never own a Seamaster 300. I’d be too afraid to wear it so the homage space is where I would be living for a watch like this. If you are looking for a great Seamaster 300 Big Triangle homage, you should look no further than the Helson Sharkmaster 300.
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Check out the Helson website
|Lug-to-lug Height||47mm||Lug Width||20mm|
|Water Resistance||300 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova®|