For more than a hundred years, Omega has been providing the world with iconic timepieces that boast excellent accuracy and precision. From space missions to Olympic games, Omega watches have been at the forefront of history, living up to its slogan: "Omega — Exact Time for Life".
From conquering the moon to exploring the deepest seas and starring alongside British spy James Bond, Omega watches have been at the forefront of watchmaking history since 1848. The Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” became the first watch to be worn on the moon when Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore his Speedmaster when he walked on the moon in 1969. Meanwhile, James Bond’s favorite watch, the Omega Seamaster, also holds the title as Omega’s best-seller and diving enthusiasts’ most favorite watch.
While Omega watches boast accuracy and precision, they also excel in style. Dress watches for both men and women, such as the Omega De Ville and Omega Constellation collections, emphasize Omega’s elegant design aesthetics. On the other hand, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra and METAS-certified Co-Axial Master Chronometer watches are proof of the brand’s innovative spirit.
How much do Omega watches cost?
Omega Seamaster Diver 300m
300m (985ft) water resistance, Diving bezel
Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
Chronograph, Stopwatch function
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT
600m (1,969ft) water resistance, GMT function
Prices for the Omega Speedmaster: Excellent Chronograph Watches
If there’s one collection that made Omega Watches as famous as it is today, it is the Omega Speedmaster. The Speedmaster was originally introduced in 1957 as a motoring watch with chronograph functions. In fact, its name was derived from its tachymeter scale bezel, which is used in measuring speed.
While it was made for sports, it is most famous for being the first watch to reach the moon. To be specific, the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission wore the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph in 1969. These watches retail for around $6,350 USD and are very similar to the original model with a manual movement and period-correct plexiglass. To boot, the Speedy also comes in special editions like the Anniversary Limited Series Apollo 11 and the Apollo 17 45th Anniversary, with price points of $39,299 USD and $7,189 USD, respectively.
Going back to its motorsport roots, the Omega Speedmaster collection includes the Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Master Chronometers. These men’s watches are smaller than the Moonwatch at 40mm. Besides that, they run on COSC chronometer automatic calibres. One of the cheapest Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Chronographs that you can find in the website costs about $4,700 USD, while the most expensive one has a price point of around $11,700 USD.
For a unique kind of Speedy, the Omega Speedmaster Spacemaster is a combination of digital and quartz. Omega even takes pride in its legibility, thanks to the black LCD screen with red segments. Apart from that, it has excellent durability because of its grade 5 titanium case. Among its features are a second time zone, an alarm, and a perpetual calendar. Surprisingly, this comes cheaper with the price point of $4,449 USD in spite of its features.
Prices for the Omega Seamaster: The Dive Watch of Choice by Diving Professionals
The Omega Seamaster is more than just a “James Bond watch”. In fact, it is one of the most respected dive watches for both men and women in the horology community. One of the features that sets this collection apart is its high water resistance rating.
A popular model in this collection is the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m, which you can get for the price of $5,200 USD for the stainless steel model. As its name suggests, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m is water resistant up to 300 metres (or 985ft). For more bling, the Omega Seamaster 300m in yellow gold can be had for around $6,800 USD. Whichever Seamaster Diver 300m version you choose, this watch is a cult classic as it’s popular for appearing in a few James Bond movies. Furthermore, its ripple pattern on the dial has become iconic in the watch community.
On the other hand, serious divers may opt for the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m, which is water resistant up to 600 metres (or 1,969ft). This model comes at a heftier price of $7,900 USD. But that heavy price tag comes with additional professional features. Among those are the higher water resistance rating of 600m, helium escape valve, and a security pusher on the diving bezel.
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra lineup strays far from the dive watch DNA of the Seamaster. On the outside, it is the dressiest Seamaster albeit still considered a tool watch. It is available in various complications from day-date to GMT. Depending on the features included, each model’s price can range from as low as $5,500 USD to as high as $13,000 USD.
Prices for the Omega Railmaster: Stylish Anti-Magnetic Watches
The last member of the Omega Masters trifecta is the Omega Railmaster. These men’s watches were made in 1957 specifically for people who worked close to strong magnetic fields and electric current. During that time, people needed watches that were resistant to magnetic fields as it’s one of the most common reasons why watches become inaccurate. So by using a Faraday cage, the Omega Railmaster joined the ranks of other anti-magnetic watches in the market.
In the early 1960s, Omega released special editions of the Railmaster for the North American and Canadian Pacific Railways. These models were very similar to the original Railmaster version. The only difference was the design, as the watches had to meet specific requirements for the railroad employees. That being said, these editions of the Railmaster are rare and are considered as collector’s items. In fact, Omega vintage watch lovers go to great lengths to own an original Railmaster.
Unfortunately, the Railmaster did not sell well when it was first launched, and Omega had to cut its life short. But despite being phased out during its first few years, the Railmaster was reintroduced to the public in 2003, which were issued in three sizes — 36mm, 39mm, and 42mm. Sadly, these suffered the same fate as the previous Railmasters and were discontinued by Omega.
Omega wanted to give the Railmaster another chance so, in 2017, they created a carbon copy of the original Omega Railmaster. This time, however, the Railmaster was released as part of the Seamaster series, making its official name the Omega Seamaster Railmaster. With its appealing price that starts at $4,900 USD, it became more successful compared to its successors. Third time’s the charm, I guess?
Prices for the Omega De Ville: Versatile Watches for Every Lifestyle
The brand introduced the Omega De Ville collection as part of the Omega Seamaster series in 1960. Which is why the first issues of this model contain the inscription “Seamaster De Ville” on their dials. It wasn’t until 1967 when the brand started releasing the Omega De Ville as a separate collection, a true Omega vintage watch lovers’ dream. The new breed of De Villes had a sleeker look which made it a best-seller in an instant.
Today, the Omega De Ville collection comes in different complications and designs. These are also available for both men and women. One of the cheapest and most basic versions you can get is the Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial 39.5mm for only $3,750 USD. This watch is meant to be an easy-to-wear dress watch, so it only features a date complication aside from the time. If you’re looking for an Omega De Ville vintage watch, you can get one for the price as low as $400 USD if you’re lucky.
For those with more demanding timing needs, you can opt for the Omega De Ville Chronograph, which retails at $6,599 USD. It has both 12-hour and 60-minute counters at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions, respectively. And in spite of its chronograph function, it hangs onto the classy design that the De Ville is known for.
The De Ville is also available for the ladies with smaller sizes like 24.4mm for the ladies. Along with its small size comes a relatively low price tag of $2,550 USD. All in all, this model is perfect for elegant ladies who need a fancy watch to go with their outfits.
Prices for the Omega Constellation: Elegant Dress Watches for Men and Women
The Omega Constellation is one of the brand’s oldest collections and is a hit for Omega vintage watch collectors. It was born as a chronometer in 1952 and has since gone through various upgrades and makeovers. Interestingly, a distinguishing characteristic of the first Constellation models was the star above 6 o’clock. Likewise, these watches also had a sealed caseback that features the Geneva observatory. The caseback’s design is a nod to Omega’s record-setting feat in chronometry in 1933 and 1936.
Today, the Omega Constellation is available in different flavours. For instance, the Constellation Co-Axial 38mm men’s watch can be had for $5,900 USD. This type of watch is bulky yet elegant. Apart from the silver rectangular bars on the dial, it has Roman numerals engraved on its bezel for added sophistication.
The Constellation Globemaster collection takes pride in its annual calendar complication. On the 12 facets of the pie pan dial, you’ll see the months written in a classy cursive font. Furthermore, an extra hand will point you to the current month. As it has an annual calendar movement, this means you only need to adjust the date once per year, which makes it simpler to use. Lastly, the Constellation Globemaster men’s watches retail at a reasonable price of $8,600 USD.
To add, the collection also includes the Omega Constellation ladies’ watches that cost from $2,800 USD to $13,900 USD. These models have the same elegant design as the other Constellation timepieces. The main difference is the size, which can go as small as 28mm to fit slim wrists.
Omega Watches’ Milestones & Innovations
The First Watch on the Moon
One of Omega’s proudest achievements is creating the first watch to ever reach the moon. Still, a lot of people don’t know what it took for Omega to achieve this feat. To become the official timekeeper of NASA’s space program, the watch had to pass the rigorous NASA watch trials. The trials begin with extreme temperature testing to make sure the watch can endure the intense climate on the moon. Next up is a shock test followed by an acceleration test, high-pressure test, and a decompression test.
Needless to say, the trials were demanding and other watches that went through the trials stopped running. Alongside the Omega Speedmaster were watches from Longines-Wittnauer, Rolex, and Hamilton. Out of the four brands that presented their timepieces to NASA, Omega came on top. After a few revisions that NASA suggested, the Omega Speedmaster was born.
Official Timekeeper of the Olympics
Apart from outer space, Omega has also proven its expertise in sports. As early as 1905, the brand has been a trusted partner in various sporting events both locally and internationally. Their reach widened in 1931 when an Omega chronometer set a record in all six chronometry trials held at the Geneva Observatory. This meant that the watch kept time more accurately than any watch previously produced.
One year after that milestone, Omega took on the responsibility of becoming the official timekeeper of the entire Olympics. Using 30 split-seconds chronographs, Omega timed all the competitions in the 1932 Los Angeles games. Now, they continue to fulfil that role with improved timekeepers.
James Bond Watch
Omega’s recognition doesn’t stop at sports, naval, and space missions. In fact, it is one of the watch brands that regularly appears in films, including James Bond movies. The books specifically indicated that the suave spy wears a Rolex Oyster. But despite that fact, designer Lindy Hemming opted for an Omega Seamaster instead. According to her, the Seamaster’s aesthetic was perfect for a naval man who secretly saves the world. True enough, a lot of people are impressed with the Omega Seamaster’s looks.
Use of Patented Materials
A lot of people don’t know that Omega has patented its own materials. One good example is the Sedna Gold which was introduced in 2013. It is the Swiss watchmaker’s own 18K rose gold alloy that was created by blending gold with palladium and copper. This alloy has a lustre that can last longer and it is reportedly three times stronger than pure gold. A few models that use this material are the Omega Constellation in Sedna Gold and the Omega Speedmaster 38mm.
Likewise, Omega also spent years creating Ceragold, which is used in some Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean men’s watches. This alloy involves the bonding of 18K gold in ceramic. The result of this material is a ceramic bezel that is extremely smooth.
Omega Quartz vs. Omega Mechanical
A lot of people including enthusiasts don’t know this, but Omega also produced a few quartz models. The Seamaster, Aqua Terra, Speedmaster, and De Ville are some of the collections that had their own quartz counterpart. However, these models are not as common as they were during the Quartz Crisis. Some people even treat these editions as collectibles due to their limited availability.
It is difficult to give a straight answer to the question “which Omega movement is better”. Of course, each has its own sets of pros and cons, and it’s up to the lifestyle of the wearer to decide which one is more suitable to them. Hardcore enthusiasts, for instance, are inclined to go for the mechanical movement as it is more traditional. Meanwhile, it would make more sense for people who value convenience to get a quartz watch instead. For those who are first-time watch owners, this topic can be a bit daunting. So how do you tell if your Omega watch runs on a quartz or mechanical movement, and what are the advantages of each? Read on to find out.
Omega Mechanical Watches
A mechanical watch is powered by a mainspring, which must be manually wound by hand or automatically by the wearer’s hand movement. To some people, watchmaking is an art and they value high-quality craftsmanship in a timepiece. These are the same people who are fascinated with how the gears move inside a case. You can say that watches are a great feat in engineering and wearing one on your wrist can give some people a sense of pride.
Another advantage of mechanical watches is that they last longer than battery-powered watches. In fact, they can continue ticking for decades as long as you bring them to the service centre every now and then. That being said, mechanical watches are something you can pass on as an heirloom to future generations.
Despite all the praise that they get, mechanical watches aren’t perfect and they still have a few drawbacks. For one, they are less accurate than quartz watches albeit only by a small margin. Apart from that, mechanicals are also more expensive to acquire and maintain. Like cars, mechanical watches need their periodic maintenance sessions to ensure they stay in tip-top shape. And these services don’t come cheap.
Omega Quartz Watches
Mechanicals are great but don’t write off quartz watches just yet. Quartz watches are powered by an electronic current from a battery that runs through a quartz crystal. This allows the crystal to vibrate at a constant frequency, making the watch tick. They are not as complicated as mechanicals but this can be turned into an advantage. To demonstrate, having fewer moving parts means that they are not as susceptible to shock. In addition, this also means less labour and cheaper costs.
Quartz watches also use batteries and run continuously even if they’re not worn for a while. This saves the wearer from adjusting the time every now and then. However, watch batteries typically last up to a couple of years so you’d have to buy a new one when the current battery stops working. Thankfully, it is significantly cheaper to change batteries of a quartz timepiece compared to servicing a mechanical watch.
One disadvantage of quartz watches is that it lacks the smooth movement of a mechanical calibre. If you would observe, the seconds hand of a mech watch will sweep through the dial. On the other hand, a quartz watch’s hand will jump from one second to the next. This may irk purists but if you’re not too meticulous, you may let it slide as it does not affect the functionality of the watch.
History of Omega Watches
Omega’s story dates back to 1848 when Louis Brandt opened a small workshop in the Swiss village of La Chaux-de-fonds. Back then, he was still making pocket watches from parts that were supplied by local craftsmen, and the brand was still called La Generale Watch Co. The 23-year-old Brandt was determined to develop the most accurate watch and with that passion, his reputation spread across the country. In no time, his market grew to include Italy, England, and Scandinavia.
In 1879, Brandt’s two sons — Louis-Paul and Cesar, took control of the watch company. They moved to a larger headquarter in Bienne, where they launched their first series-produced calibre called the Labrador. During that time, the Labrador was considered ahead of its time due to its technological advances and accurate timing results. It also became the backbone for creating future revolutionary calibres like the 19-ligne.
After a few years, they started using the Omega name and symbol, although they did not officially register it in 1903. The company’s new name is often likened to the perfection of their timepieces, since Omega means “Great End” in Greek.
A Member of the Swatch Group Family
In 1930, the company merged with Tissot to form Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère (SSIH). Omega was responsible for making luxury men’s watches and ladies’ timepieces, while Tissot focused on mid-range models. When the Quartz Crisis happened, Omega had to take drastic measures to ensure that the company stays afloat. That being said, they joined the Swatch Group in 1983, which they have been a part of until today.
Famous Fans of Omega Watches
It is not surprising that a prestigious watchmaker like Omega will attract famous people all over the world. From Hollywood to the sporting world, here are some of the celebrities who are proud to have an Omega timepiece on their wrists.
As mentioned above, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m has become famous for its Bond Watch status. But even before he took on the role of the 007 agent, James Bond actor Daniel Craig was already a fan of the Speedy. In a few instances, fans spotted him wearing a personal automatic Omega Speedmaster. To add, he also has an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT and a Seamaster 300 Spectre watches in his collection.
Another Omega ambassador is Hollywood A-list George Clooney. In fact, he is almost always seen wearing a timepiece from the mighty Swiss brand. The model that gets the most wrist time is his sporty Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. But in more formal events, he wears a classic De Ville Tresor is Segna rose gold. In some instances, his Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT and 18K yellow gold Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch make appearances in public.
It seems that Omega is trusted by the British royal family. The man that’s second in line to the throne has been seen wearing his Omega Seamaster Professional 300m. In truth, he is always seen wearing the same watch in different kinds of situations. From a Brooklyn Nets game to his wedding to Kate Middleton, this timepiece was present on his wrist.
In case you didn’t know, Omega’s longest-serving ambassador is American model Cindy Crawford. The brand chose her for her impeccable taste in fashion. She’s always seen wearing an Omega Constellation watch. She even had the chance to take part in the designing of the Omega Constellation watches.
John F. Kennedy
When John F. Kennedy took the oath of office as POTUS in 1961, he was seen wearing an Omega Ultra Thin Ref. OT3980. Reports say that it was given to him by then-senator Grant Stockdale. Furthermore, it has an engraving at the back that says “President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant”. This watch is now a part of the Omega Museum in Bienne, Switzerland.
Omega Watches: Owning a Piece of History
Owning a watch that has been at the forefront of watchmaking history, like Omega, is in itself a personal milestone even for non-watch collectors. From conquering the moon to exploring the deepest oceans, Omega watches have proven its worth not just in the watchmaking industry but also in space, sports, and even in film.
Swiss watchmaker Omega has been around for over 100 years and they have surely made their mark in the watch world. Not only are they beautiful and durable, but Omega watches like the Speedmaster and Seamaster have been featured on the big screen with the stars. Our Omega picks include those two collections as well as the Aqua Terra and the Constellation collections.