Repair + Service: Omega Seamaster 300 165.024 calibre 552

IMG_5023This is John’s Seamaster 300. A fairly rare and sought-after beast, and it has the calibre 552 automatic movement in it. The crystal is quite scratched, and the dial has seen better days.

Time to see what lurks inside …IMG_5025

This does not bode well. Water has come in, and there is a fair amount of rust.IMG_5026

What’s left of the case back gasket…IMG_5027

I’m glad that John agrees to leave the dial as it is. I wouldn’t have liked to see it restored, as it’s in good enough condition, and, most of all, original.IMG_5028

The bottom plate is quite rusty as well, and we decide that John will look for a replacement movement on eBay.IMG_5024

And he strikes lucky, and finds a pretty good 552 on eBay – not a fleck of rust!IMG_5029

The bottom plate looks great, too, apart from the broken set lever spring.IMG_5038


Huge amounts of flaky dirt in the movement.IMG_5045

All cleans up well, and I’m ready to put the movement back together.IMG_5182

The usual new mainspring.IMG_5185

Back together and ticking. Notice that the regulator screw of the donor movement is broken off, so I will get the remaining bit out, and put the one from the original movement in.IMG_5187

And we have a regulator screw again.IMG_5191

Cased, and with a new case back gasket, we’re ready for a final adjustment.IMG_5194

That looks nice.IMG_5193

Now, aren’t you happy we left the dial?

18 thoughts on “Repair + Service: Omega Seamaster 300 165.024 calibre 552

  1. Hello Christian,
    Excelent job (as always).
    I’m performing restoration on a similar customer watch.
    It has the exact same dial (I think the Omega forum guys call this the ‘Big Triangle’? )
    Apparently it’s somewhat more rare than the other model Seamaster 300’s (ref 165.024) you see more frequently (without the triangle at 12 noon).
    The other difference with my customers watch is the movement. cal 565 (calendar). So the dial has no ‘3’ and instead has the date window is there.
    the other differences are with the hands. My customers watch has (I think they call them) the ‘candle sticks’ ?? but I cannot confirm if these are original to the watch or placed there some time later? the SS hand is the same.
    The 565 is in very good condition, my ‘watch expert’ says 190 deg and -6 sec/day. The customer says he hasn’t had it serviced in at least 20 years (or more). I found a date scratched into the case which show 84. so maybe that was the last time?
    could be with the amplitude being lower than it should be (dirty & old oil).
    Question: on the crystal. did you replace that with an OEM omega? if so, do you have that part number handy. My customers watch crystal is pretty scratched, and I ‘do not’ see the Omega logo in the center. so I’m thinking it was replaced some time back.

  2. Do you know if there is a Citizen’s movement which will work inside the 165.024 Vintage Omega Seamaster 300 issued to me as a Navy diver in 1969? Thanks, if you respond. I must say I, had a new face installed (not OEM) in about 1990, so the value to me is sentimental — which is very important. Still, this watch is mine, has the barnacles to prove it, as I do, so I wouldn’t want to replace it with another person’s watch. Truly, MK-V Bruce.

  3. Hi Christioan,
    Did you fit the original train bridge? Presuming that the rusty movement was Original to the case the serial number would correspond with records back in Bienne.
    It will be Very important if an extract from the records certificate is ever obtained especially if it is a Military issued watch.
    regards – John.. (obsoletewatchparts)
    PS I have recently restored 4 of these (Military Issued examples) all were in similar or worse condition & very very rusty all needed donor movements. I fitted the original train bridges.

    • Hi John,

      Nice to hear from you – I hope all is well! As this is quite a while ago (a year and 3/4), I don’t know which bridge I put in. If it was in decent nick, I would have used the original one, but if it was damaged, I wouldn’t. Good point to make!

      We always return all the old parts etc. to the customer, so he will always have that bridge with the serial number.

      Best regards,


  4. Hi, I love these and just picked up one myself in similar condition to how you started. I would like to clean the dial a little, but noticed you lost some of the M in Omega. Is that a risk you just have to take with these? Or was it already flaking a bit? Thanks

  5. “Now, aren’t you happy we left the dial?”

    Definitely, it looks great.

    I guess that’s what happens when you take one of these down to 301ft.

  6. I love this beauty…. Has everything – military style, vintage, durable and tritium compound – possibly issued by the MOD to the Royal Navy circa 1970… Case 0552/923 7697 and the date issued…

  7. That’s a cracker. The joint decision to leave the dial was a shrewd one. Looks great and you can see why it’s sought after.

    John is this a recent acquisition or have you had it some time?

    • Its great to see it finished, I have had it about 32 years I bought it at auction in a job lot of watches from an MOD depot. At the time I was buying new smiths watches for less than a pound each, those were the days!
      It has had a tough life, but its a rugged watch and now looks great.


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