OMEGA SA is one of the most well-known watch brands in the world. It’s not just because of the first watch on the Moon journey, or the James Bond connection, but goes back much further than that. OMEGA is part of the Swatch group and makes some of the best watches money can buy. Today we are going to talk about some of the best OMEGA watches to buy, where to have them serviced, the different styles of watches OMEGA makes, and much more.
History of OMEGA Watches
In the beginning, OMEGA was a small watch workshop in Switzerland founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1848, Louis formally started operations as La Generale Watch Co. until incorporating “Omega” in 1903. During the first 30 years, OMEGA was growing as a global brand selling watches in multiple countries and helping cement OMEGA as a powerful Swiss watch brand. While Louis passed away in 1879, his children took over the business and kept the legacy strong. In 1885 OMEGA released the “Labrador”, an in-house movement that was technologically advanced and exceptionally accurate. This movement served as the perfect baseline for the 19-ligne Caliber that revolutionized watchmaking less than ten years later.
In 1894 the namesake was born when the 19-ligne was released. They dubbed this achievement “OMEGA”, a name signifying ultimate accomplishment. This movement was accurate and able to be serviced since each component could be individually replaced without modification, and it could be done by any watchmaker in the world. The winding and setting mechanism developed is still being used in modern watches. This successful movement caused unparalleled growth that made OMEGA the largest manufacturer of finished watches in the world prompting the company to change the name to include OMEGA.
It was not always sunshine and rainbows for the brand. As with many of its fellow Swiss mechanical watch manufacturers, OMEGA was purchased by a large conglomerate, in their case, The Swatch Group. Swatch is the largest watch company in the world and employs approximately 36,000 People in 50 countries. Among The Swatch Group’s other brands are ETA, Breguet, Certina, Longines, Tissot, Rado, Hamilton, Blancpain, and a few others.
New Omega Watch Releases
Finding the newest OMEGA watch releases is not as easy as it used to be. We used to have Baselworld every year, and while Watches & Wonders has taken over that space for the most part, many watch brands are not participating and have left the major trade shows over the years.
OMEGA is also famous for not scheduling new watch releases. They will hint about it ahead of time, however there is no specific timeline and OMEGA will release new watches throughout the year. One thing OMEGA does regularly is release watch models on important dates or anniversaries, or with the release of a new James Bond movie. The Olympic Games is another event often linked to an OMEGA release as OMEGA is the official timekeeper of the Olympics.
Timing the New Watch Release
The best way to keep up with OMEGA watch news is to stay in touch with your OMEGA Boutique representative. They will have all of the new releases as many are boutique only and can’t be purchased from OMEGA Authorized Dealers. The OMEGA Instagram is also a quick way to keep tabs on the news regarding releases. The issue here is news spreads like fire in the information age. By the time you hear about the new release, it may be too late to put your name on the boutique waiting list.
How to Reserve Your Copy of the New OMEGA
The only way to get the best release is to contact your OMEGA Boutique through email or phone. They can’t put your name on the list without knowing you’re interested. This is a system however. The boutique is going to be favoring people who spend money with them specifically. It doesn’t matter if you purchased watches from the official website or not, so it’s always best to buy watches directly from them.
The boutique in Hawaii had about 50 people on the waitlist for the 50th anniversary Speedmaster Silver Snoopy award. The allocation favored the highest spender to the lowest, however the OMEGA Corporate offices had the final say if a specific request would be filled. When it comes to less desirable models, the Seamaster 300m for example, when the watch was on backorder, you could put your name on the list and have a high likelihood of receiving your watch in a reasonable timeframe. In contrast to Rolex, you won’t have to wait years to never have any real chance to get the hottest watch.
The Best OMEGA Watch
When it comes to choosing the best OMEGA watch, it’s a very personal journey. Each person is different and each watch will match a different person’s style. There are some OMEGA watches that can meet an end goal outside of simply your best fit. Whether it’s how to build your personal collection, preserve your capital, or some other goal, OMEGA watches can easily fit the bill.
Best OMEGA Watch as an Investment
There are actually OMEGA watches that can be considered a smart investment when buying new. Others will be a smart investment when buying used since the original owner ate the depreciation and there is little chance of it being worth less in the future. The only OMEGA watches that are investment quality pieces are the super limited/high demand pieces. You can spot the models that should fetch a premium by looking at older models in the series. OMEGA watches are generally well connected and past success is a good indicator of future models also being successful.
Best OMEGA Watches for Your Collection
When you are collecting OMEGA watches, there are three major lines that most people should look at. They give you options, they are desirable, and have a wonderful story behind them. The three icons of the OMEGA watch lineup are the Seamaster 300m, The Speedmaster Professional, and the Limited Editions. The most iconic of the group is the Speedmaster Professional. It’s a classic timepiece that is consistently at the top of the must own watch lists. Following the Speedmaster in second position is the Seamaster 300m. This is a historied watch that makes a great everyday wear. While all of OMEGA’s timepieces are quality instruments, these two just have everything a collector could want.
There are some people that just will not consider this route, they love new things too much. While there are OMEGA watches that are good to buy new, the vast majority of models will have a large depreciation curve when purchased second hand. When deciding if you should buy an OMEGA used, you should. You will save a significant amount of money. Depending on the model, you can save as much as 50% on the watch you want. Unlike cars, you have far less work to keep a watch working and looking like new. A solid watchmaker will be able to make even a 60 year old OMEGA look and run like new.
Best Places to Buy Used OMEGA Watches
The great thing about the digital age is the vast resources available to you with the push of a few buttons. The only thing you need to do is find that person or platform you trust before you hand over thousands of dollars. So you can get an idea we’ve compiled a quick list of some resources that will help you in your search:
- Value Your Watch
- Independent Watch Dealers
- Online Watch Stores
The general rule of any major purchase is to know the sellers. Even on the bigger platforms, get in touch with the seller to verify not only the watch, but the seller’s legitimacy.
Used OMEGA Watches Under $1000
While it may not seem like it at first, it’s very possible to get a quality used OMEGA watch for under $1000. You don’t have a large number of options, but they are there and are fantastic watches in their own right.
- OMEGA Geneve Cal 1012 Automatic. There are many options available from Gold Plated to stainless steel in many dial colors.
- OMEGA Seamaster Cal 1020 Automatic. This is another vintage model with a Day and Date Complication
- OMEGA Seamaster Professional 200M. This quartz model is more modern than the previous two and comes in a more modern 36mm size.
A common theme among these older watches is either smaller size, quartz movement, or both.
Is it Possible to Finance an OMEGA Watch?
This sounds ridiculous at first. Why go into debt for a luxury. There is nobody in their right mind that would recommend doing something like this. In the modern age, the more you look into it, the more plausible it becomes. Especially in the age of the 0% interest offers many companies give you. An example is with the 0% for 18 months offer. If you purchase a watch for 6000 using this method, and you monthly payments are $200, at the end of the first year, you will owe $3600. There are chances your watch will be worth the same as you paid for it, or even more if you found the right seller. You can easily pay off the balance, or make money by simply selling the watch.
How to Finance Your OMEGA Watch With 0% Interest
The two most common ways to get 0% interest is either through a no interest credit card offer, or the OMEGA Privilege Card, the latter being the best. The OMEGA Privilege card is a line of credit offered by OMEGA Boutique Stores with a credit limit from $8-10,000. To apply for the card, go to your OMEGA Boutique and talk to your OMEGA representative. They will get the standard information such as income and social security number. The approval happens in seconds.
The OMEGA Privilege card is offered by TD Retail Card Services(TDRCS), a private-label credit card company by TDBank. You can view the company at https://www.myonlineaccount.net/ . These cards are store specific, so you won’t be able to use them to purchase other brands like Cartier. The advantage is the 18 months deferred interest. You only have to pay the minimum balance, however at the end of the 18 months, you will be liable for the deferred interest plus the balance.
OMEGA Watch Prices
To find out what an Omega watch will sell for, just look it up on the website. It will give you the MSRP. Once you have that, it will help you determine the best price for a used model as well. Checking websites like Google, Watch Charts, and Watchrecon can help you find pricing and watches for sale to narrow down the pricing for your desired watch.
OMEGA Watch Repair
OMEGA watches are known for being well-built and dependable so service is rarely an issue. After thirty years of use however, there will be maintenance needed. Most watchmakers are familiar with OMEGA calibers and will be able to manage the maintenance with zero issue. OMEGA also has official service centers if you want more peace of mind and will be the absolute best, however the cost will reflect that. The only pieces you may want to watch out for are the Co-Axial movements since not every watchmaker knows what to do with those escapements. Fortunately, many Co-Axial movements are based on well known calibers and most major watchmakers have learned how to service them as well.
The Different Types of Omega Watches
When it comes to the best OMEGA dive watch, look no further than the classic Seamaster Professional 300M. The 41mm is a very comfortable watch and has a great looking selection of dial and bezel combinations. This is an icon among the watch enthusiasts being released in the mid 90s and starting the connection to James Bond when Brosnan wore one in 1995s GoldenEye. The Seamaster Professional 300M took off from there with the iconic Co-Axial movement joining the party.
Most Affordable Omega Dive Watch
In the same fashion as the best, we can include an almost identical watch, just think older and no Co-Axial escapement. It’s easy to get one of the 36mm Seamaster professionals with a quartz movement for a fraction of what modern models cost, if you’re lucky even picking one up under $1000. The original Bond watch was a quartz model, and if it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for me. If you want to step up your game, the first generation Planet Oceans are wonderful timepieces, all with the Co-Axial escapement and can be had well under $3000. There is no shortage of beautiful, affordable Seamasters.
Special Edition Seamasters
When it comes to the OMEGA Seamaster, the most popular models by far are the James Bond editions. They come in multiple versions, but the best ones are a subjective list so I will give you three that cover the different Seamaster models and we believe are the some of the best. We will start with the original watch attached to Bond, the 41mm Seamaster Professional 300M quartz worn in GoldenEye. The blue dial is stunning and the quartz movement is bulletproof. It is probably the best starter Bond watch you can buy.
The second watch on this list comes from the Seamaster Aqua Terra line, in fact it’s the only Bond Aqua Terra they’ve made so far. When the movie “SPECTRE” came out, OMEGA created a special blue Aqua Terra with Yellow accents. On this model, OMEGA cleverly modified the anti-magnetic rating on the watch face to read 15,007 GAUSS in reference to the famous 007 codename for Bond himself. Being an Aqua Terra makes it less popular, however that is a good thing as it means finding yourself a good watch for a good price.
The final watch on this list is the Quantum of Solace Limited Edition Planet Ocean. For this watch, OMEGA changed out the classic Black/Orange motif with a Black/Red setup. Other Small changes here is the seven index being replaced with 007 and the sapphire crystal being engraved with “Quantum of Solace”. The dial also received special attention with a pattern mimicking the grip surface of the iconic Walther pistol used throughout the Bond series.
If you know anything about OMEGA watches, you’ve probably heard the story of the moonwatch. The Speedmaster Professional is the first watch certified by NASA for use in space. That allowed OMEGA to earn the distinction of being the first watch worn on the Moon. Fortunately OMEGA did not feel the need to change too much with the watch, especially in the style department. It looks very much like the original from 1965 with the vast majority of changes coming with updated movements. It is, like it always has been a 42mm hand wound chronograph. This makes it a great size for the majority of people and you can purchase NATO straps to really achieve that moon landing look.
The Best Racing Watch
The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” is probably the go to racing chronograph from OMEGA. Style, history, and function make this a perfect watch for almost anyone. If you want a Speedmaster, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Most Affordable OMEGA Racing Watch
If you’re looking for that classic OMEGA look without breaking the bank, look no further than the Speedmaster Automatic “Reduced”. This watch is nicknamed the reduced because OMEGA kept the classic black three sub dial design without a date function. It looks remarkably similar to the Moonwatch, but in a smaller case size of 39mm and with an automatic movement. For even more savings you can look at other Speedmaster Automatic models with the date or the day and date functions. These also tend to be more reliable due to the movements being a chronograph built movement instead of an automatic with a chronograph module added to the piece like in the reduced.
Special Edition Speedmasters
The Seamaster isn’t the only OMEGA model with special editions. In 1970, OMEGA was handed the Silver Snoopy Award for its achievements in keeping space explorers safe. This led to the release of so far three different OMEGA Snoopy models. The best of the watches is the 50th Anniversary. The White/Blue design is extremely good looking and the case back is animated like never before. When you activate the chronograph, a small spaceship carrying Snoopy will orbit the moon. This is bold watch but it contains many intricate details.
The next on the list is the 45th Anniversary Apollo XIII Silver Snoopy. This one retains the classic black bezel of the original, but the dial is a stunning white with snoopy Luminated and dreaming “Failure is not an option.”, the famous quote from Gene Franz, the flight director of the mission. The back of the case has a deep blue and black center with a Snoopy, in silver attached. This was to mimic the expanse of space.
The final watch on the list was the original 2003 model. This one was a classic Speedmaster Professional, however it had a blue 9 o’clock sub dial with Snoopy and his suitcase hitching a ride and the words “Eyes on the stars” on the top of the sub dial. It was just enough to show you that this watch is special without distracting from the fact that it is, indeed a moonwatch.
For starters, OMEGA makes a watch for everyone. As you can see, one of the best pieces to buy is the Seamaster Professional, but don’t limit yourself. Any OMEGA you buy is a solid buy. OMEGA also offers an excellent way to finance your new watch as well. Used OMEGA watches make great value since they will never be worth zero and the depreciation has already occurred. You can be sure these watches will be close to the value you paid for them for a long time.
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