Omega: Precision From Sea to Space
Omega represents reliability and precision, a fact the astronauts from the Apollo missions came to appreciate on their trips to the Moon. Innovations like the co-axial escapement and Master Chronometer have only added to Omega's stellar reputation.
Tradition and Innovation Since 1848
Omega has been around since the mid-19th century and has earned a reputation for making reliable, precise, and functional watches. The manufacturer has a long, rich history of developing new watchmaking technology. One example is the co-axial escapement. This innovation reduces friction within the movement and, thus, improves precision and offers greater protection against impacts.
Omega produces some of the world's most famous watches, including the iconic Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. Back in the late 1960s, NASA put several timepieces through vigorous tests to see which would perform best in space. The Omega emerged victorious and accompanied the first astronauts to walk on the Moon in the summer of 1969. In 2019, Omega delighted the watch community with two special-edition Speedmasters in honor of the Moon landing's 50th anniversary. The two watches, one in platinum and one in stainless steel, feature a remake of the legendary caliber 321 from the original Moonwatch.
Professional and recreational divers alike have been relying on the Seamaster for around 60 years. This watch has also made numerous appearances on the silver screen on the wrist of British secret agent James Bond. Omega announced a new 007-edition Seamaster Diver 300M in 2019. You can find this model on Daniel Craig's wrist in the Bond flick "No Time to Die." The Ploprof is yet another Omega diving watch. This extraordinary-looking timepiece boasts an impressive water resistance of 1,200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft).
In addition to their technically-oriented tool watches, Omega also produces classic, elegant timepieces like the De Ville, Constellation, and Globemaster. These luxurious collections feature models made of precious metals such as rose and yellow gold.
Reasons to Buy an Omega Watch
- World-famous models like the Speedmaster and Seamaster
- Seamaster Ploprof 1200M: water-resistant to 1,200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft)
- Co-axial escapement: highly shock-resistant
- Seamaster Aqua Terra: unaffected by strong magnetic fields
- Limited editions like the "Snoopy" and "Spectre"
Prices at a Glance: Omega Watches
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|De Ville Tourbillon, 518.104.22.168.03.001||108,000 USD||Rose gold case, tourbillon|
|Speedmaster Professional Snoopy, 322.214.171.124.04.003||40,500 USD||White dial, limited run of 1,970 pieces|
|Seamaster Bullhead Chronograph, 126.96.36.199.01.001||7,300 USD||Push-pieces at 11 and 1 o'clock|
|Moonwatch Professional, 310.30.42.50.01.001||6,300 USD (MSRP)||Co-Axial caliber 3861|
|Seamaster Ploprof 1200M, 188.8.131.52.01.001||7,200 USD||Left-handed crown, water-resistant to 1,200 m (3,937 ft), helium escape valve|
|Constellation Globemaster, 184.108.40.206.03.001||6,000 USD||Blue pie-pan dial|
|Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M GMT, 220.127.116.11.03.001||5,900 USD||Second time zone, stainless steel|
|Seamaster 300, 18.104.22.168.01.001||5,200 USD||Retro design, water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft)|
|Speedmaster Professional, 322.214.171.124.01.005||4,800 USD||Moonwatch, Hesalite crystal|
|Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M, 126.96.36.199.01.001||4,800 USD||Water-resistant to 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft), helium escape valve|
How much does an Omega Speedmaster cost?
The Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is one of Omega's flagship models. First introduced in 1957, the manufacturer originally developed this chronograph with motorsport in mind. However, that all changed in the 1960s when NASA began outfitting its astronauts with this timepiece. Today, it is most famous for joining the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission on the lunar surface when they became the first humans to set foot on the Moon in 1969. Since then, Omega has released numerous versions of the Moonwatch. The Speedmaster Professional is the closest thing to the original model. It features a manual movement, historically accurate plexiglass, and a stainless steel case back. You can purchase a new model on a stainless steel bracelet for about 4,600 USD, while pre-owned timepieces sell for around 3,800 USD on Chrono24.
If you prefer the variant with sapphire crystal on both the front and back, be prepared to spend an additional 600 USD. Vintage models, such as the ref. 2998 from the 1960s, require an investment of roughly 18,500 USD.
Limited editions are especially popular among collectors and have the potential to appreciate in value. For example, the "Speedy Tuesday" from 2017 now costs about 11,000 USD new, which is significantly more than its original list price of 6,500 USD. Its successor, the "Speedy Tuesday Ultraman," followed in 2018 and sold out almost immediately. Its price went from 7,100 USD at launch to nearly 10,000 USD by late 2020. Both models were limited to runs of 2,012 pieces.
Omega fertigt die Moonwatch auch komplett aus Gold. Die 2019 vorgestellte „ Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine“ aus 18-karätigem Gold kostet um 35.000 EUR.
Then there's the Speedmaster "Dark Side of the Moon." This watch features a case made of scratch-resistant black ceramic and sells for roughly 9,100 USD.
Prices quickly start to climb when you look at more highly coveted models. For example, the Speedmaster "Snoopy" with a white dial demands between 33,000 and 41,000 USD, depending on its condition. This timepiece gets its name from the beloved Peanuts character.
The Re-Created Caliber 321
Wenn Sie besonderen Wert auf Authentizität legen, dann sollten Sie sich die zwei Speedmaster-Modelle ansehen, die Omega mit dem historischen Handaufzugskaliber 321 ausstattet. Das Gehäuse der pünktlich zum 50-jährigen Jubiläum der Mondlandung lancierten Version besteht aus Platin. Das Zifferblatt ist aus schwarzem Onyx-Schmuckstein gefertigt, für die drei Hilfszifferblätter verwendet Omega Mondgestein. Der Preis für diese exklusive Uhr liegt auf Chrono24 bei etwa 64.000 EUR. Der Listenpreis beträgt hingegen „nur“ 58.200 EUR. Somit bietet das Modell die Möglichkeit einer stabilen Wertanlage.
Ein wenig günstiger wird es, wenn Sie sich für die Variante aus Edelstahl entscheiden. Omega präsentierte dieses Modell im Jahr 2020. Als Reminiszenz an die Referenz 105.003 „Ed White“ kommt diese Uhr mit nur 39,7 mm aus. Auch hier liegt der Handelspreis über der unverbindlichen Preisempfehlung von Omega. Während der Hersteller „lediglich“ 13.800 EUR aufruft, liegt der Marktpreis für ein neuwertiges Modell bei ca. 17.700 EUR.
2021: A New Moonwatch With the Caliber 3861
Omega gab im Januar 2021 bekannt, dass das Unternehmen die bisherige Moonwatch-Referenz (3188.8.131.52.01.005) einstellt und durch die so bezeichnete „New Moon“ ersetzt. Neben kleineren optischen Veränderungen spendierte Omega der neuen Referenz 310.30.42.50.01.001 ein völlig neues Uhrwerk. Das Handaufzugskaliber 3861 verfügt über eine Co-Axial-Hemmung, ist vom Eidgenössischen Institut für Metrologie (METAS) als Master Chronometer zertifiziert und widersteht Magnetfeldern von bis zu 15.000 Gauß.
The 42-mm stainless steel case is identical to that of its predecessor. Other shared features include hesalite crystal and a screw-down stainless steel case back. Omega also offers a version with sapphire crystal on the front and back under the reference number 310.30.42.50.01.002.
These new models are still rare sights on Chrono24. The Moonwatch with hesalite crystal has an official list price of 6,300 USD, while the sapphire crystal model's recommended retail price sits at 7,150 USD. Both versions come with a slightly reworked stainless steel bracelet that tapers from 20 mm at the lugs to 15 mm at the clasp.
The "New Moon" in Rose or White Gold
Omega introduced rose and white gold editions of the new Moonwatch alongside the stainless steel models. The ref. 310.60.42.50.01.001 features a case and bracelet made of Omega's proprietary rose gold alloy, Sedna gold. The manufacturer crafts the watch's hands and indices from the same material. This stunning chronograph sells for a list price of 34,800 USD. The white gold Moonwatch (ref. 310.60.42.50.02.001) is more modest and has a silver-colored dial. You can purchase this timepiece from Omega for 45,300 USD.
Other Speedmaster Models
In addition to the various versions of the Moonwatch, the Speedmaster collection is home to a host of other interesting timepieces. For example, Omega marked the Speedmaster chronograph's 60th anniversary in 2017 by releasing the '57 Speedmaster chronograph. Unlike the Moonwatch with curved lugs, this model has the same straight lugs as the original from 1957. Omega has limited this classic 38.6-mm timepiece to a run of 3,557 pieces. Prices range from 7,600 to 8,700 USD.
If you'd prefer something with a more modern feel, you should consider models likes the Skywalker X-33 and the Spacemaster Z-33. These multi-functional quartz watches offer numerous functions in addition to their analog and digital displays, including a second time zone, chronograph, perpetual calendar, and alarm. Plan to spend anywhere from 4,300 to 5,000 USD for one of these timepieces. There's also the Speedmaster 38, which is mainly geared toward a female audience. You can purchase this 38-mm gold watch with diamonds for about 7,900 USD.
Features of the Omega Speedmaster
- Moonwatch: the first watch on the Moon
- Limited editions with the potential to appreciate
- Dark Side of the Moon with a ceramic case
- Two models with the legendary caliber 321
- Available in a wide variety of materials
Prices for the Seamaster 300
The Seamaster collection is yet another cornerstone of the Swiss manufacturer's catalog. High water resistance characterizes each of the collection's various models. One of the series' most famous watches, the Seamaster 300, is water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft) and available in several materials. The ref. 184.108.40.206.01.001 combines a classic design with the Omega Co-Axial caliber 8400. Its retro case and bracelet are made of stainless steel, while the dial and ceramic bezel are both black. You can call this model your own for about 5,200 USD new and 4,500 USD used.
If you're looking for a gold Seamaster 300, be prepared to spend around 27,500 USD for a never-worn timepiece. At roughly 18,500 USD, you can save a lot by purchasing a pre-owned model instead. Both prices are well below the manufacturer's suggested retail price of 34,800 USD.
Omega released a Seamaster 300 as part of their 1957 Trilogy. All three trilogy models – the Speedmaster, Railmaster, and Seamaster 300 – are limited to runs of 3,557 pieces. The Seamaster is based on the original model from 1957. It has a 39-mm stainless steel case and comes on a stainless steel bracelet. This watch sells for about 7,600 USD in mint condition and 6,100 USD pre-owned.
Diver 300M: Diving Watches With Helium Escape Valves
The Diver 300M collection contains three-hand watches and chronographs in men's and women's sizes. One classic men's model is the ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001. This watch gets its power from the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8800. Other prominent features include a helium escape valve and a black wave-pattern dial. This particular reference comes on a five-piece link stainless steel bracelet with polished components. It changes hands for around 4,600 USD new and 4,100 USD used.
The Diver 300M collection is also home to several two-tone editions. These watches combine stainless steel and your choice of yellow or rose gold. Prices for a never-worn model in steel and yellow gold on a matching bracelet sit between 7,500 and 8,500 USD.
Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond 007 Edition
Omega produced a special-edition Seamaster Diver 300M to go along with the James Bond movie "No Time to Die." Announced in 2019, customers received their pre-ordered timepieces in early 2020. This 42-mm titanium watch features a warm brown dial and bezel made of aluminum. Its power comes from the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8806. Mint-condition versions change hands for about 10,000 USD on Chrono24. Pre-owned pieces are slightly less expensive at approximately 9,100 USD. Omega also offers the 007 Edition on a multicolored NATO strap. Prices for this variant range from 8,400 to 9,200 USD.
Ploprof: A Seamaster for Professionals
The Ploprof 1200M is a practical tool for professional divers who work at great depths. These watches are water-resistant to 1,200 m (3,937 ft) and boast professional features such as a helium escape valve and security pusher for the diving bezel. The Ploprof's angular case measures 55 x 48 mm, so it may not suit smaller wrists.
The standard-edition stainless steel Ploprof 1200M demands around 7,200 USD new and 6,700 USD used. If you prefer the version in titanium and Sedna gold, be prepared to spend roughly 14,000 USD.
Prices for a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
Omega offers the Planet Ocean 600M in numerous sizes, as well as in different color and material combinations. The women's and unisex models are 37.5 or 39.5 mm in diameter, while the larger versions have diameters of 43.5 or 45.5 mm. The 43.5-mm edition is a classic three-hand watch, though some timepieces have an additional GMT function for displaying the time in a second time zone. Planet Ocean chronographs have massive 45.5-mm cases and are best suited to larger wrists.
A classic 43.5-mm three-hand Planet Ocean 600M in stainless steel will set you back about 5,300 USD. You can save around 480 USD by purchasing a used watch instead. The rose gold version with a GMT function comes on a leather strap and demands significantly higher prices of between 16,000 and 22,000 USD.
Those looking for a new Planet Ocean 600M with a chronograph function can expect prices starting around 6,600 USD for a stainless steel model on a leather strap. The same watch demands roughly 5,900 USD pre-owned. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find the rose gold edition on a leather strap selling for between 16,500 and 25,500 USD. Prices for women's and unisex models range from 4,000 USD for a simple stainless steel model to 25,500 USD for a rose gold timepiece with diamonds.
Bullhead, Railmaster, and Aqua Terra
Other exciting Seamaster sub-collections include the Bullhead, the Railmaster, and the Aqua Terra 150M. The Bullhead has a particularly interesting design. Its chronograph push-pieces sit atop the case, resulting in a watch that resembles a bull's head. This timepiece is especially popular among collectors. Current models demand around 7,200 USD. If you'd prefer a vintage watch from 1969, you should be prepared to spend an additional 4,800 USD.
Like the Speedmaster and Seamaster, the Railmaster has been a part of the Omega catalog since 1957. Omega originally developed this timepiece for people with regular exposure to strong magnetic fields. The most recent models can withstand up to 15,000 gauss and sell for around 4,200 USD on a stainless steel bracelet. Prices for models from the 1950s and 60s can quickly rise to more than 18,000 USD.
Those who like the look of the vintage Railmaster but need a reliable everyday watch should take a closer look at the model from the 1957 Trilogy. Omega released this watch in honor of the Railmaster's 60th anniversary. It is nearly identical to the vintage original but boasts modern materials and technology. For example, the Master Chronometer caliber 8806 ticks away inside the case. The manufacturer has limited this timepiece to a run of 3,557 pieces. You can purchase this particular Railmaster for about 6,000 USD new and 5,100 USD pre-owned.
Aqua Terra: Home on Land and at Sea
In the Aqua Terra line, Omega combines the straightforwardness of a tool watch with the elegance of a dress watch. There are various models with gold and diamonds, as well as mother-of-pearl dials and crocodile leather straps. You can choose from cases measuring between 38 and 41 mm in diameter. A simple model in stainless steel demands as little as 4,000 USD in mint condition and 3,600 USD used. Watches with a GMT or chronograph function require an investment of about 6,000 USD. The addition of gold and diamonds causes prices to climb to between 13,000 and 42,500 USD.
In 2019, Omega introduced the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Ultra Light made of so-called "Gamma Titanium." The watch measures 41 mm in diameter but weighs only 55 grams, or less than 2 ounces. Omega teamed up with golfer Rory McIlroy to develop this Aqua Terra. Their goal was to create an especially comfortable watch for athletes. Since keeping the watch's weight low was a priority, Omega even crafted the manual METAS-certified caliber 8928 out of titanium. You can call one of these timepieces your own for roughly 48,000 USD.
Also from 2019, the Aqua Terra 150M Worldtimer will put a much smaller dent in your wallet. As its name implies, this watch comes with a world time function. A prominent disc in the middle of its dial displays the Northern Hemisphere as viewed from the North Pole. This model gets its power from the in-house caliber 8939 and costs about 8,700 USD on a rubber strap. The same watch in rose gold demands around 21,500 USD.
Features of Seamaster Watches
- Water resistances ranging from 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) to 1,200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft)
- Three-hand watches and models with a chronograph or GMT function
- Aqua Terra 150M Ultra Light in "Gamma Titanium"
- Precise in-house calibers, some with high magnetic resistance
- The limited-edition 1957 Trilogy
Constellation and De Ville: Classic Elegance
Omega takes a less technical approach to their Constellation series compared to the Speedmaster and Seamaster collections. The Constellation has undergone numerous changes since its debut in 1952. Early models were simple and elegant wristwatches with three hands. Since the 1980s, many models come with a stationary bezel and Roman numerals. Some Constellation watches have so-called "claws," which are slightly raised parts of the bezel at 3 and 9 o'clock. As designs evolved, high-quality quartz movements were introduced to improve accuracy. Omega has also offered a Constellation series for women since 1967. Certain pieces in this collection feature gold and decorative diamonds.
Prices for the most ornate timepieces fall between 30,000 and 115,000 USD. On the other hand, simpler models in stainless steel change hands for 2,200 to 4,800 USD. You can even find vintage models from the 1960s for well under 1,200 USD.
Omega ergänzte im Jahr 2020 die Constellation-Kollektion um einige neue Modelle. Zur Auswahl stehen seitdem Uhren mit Durchmessern von 39 mm und 41 mm. In letzteren ticken wahlweise die automatischen Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer-Kaliber 8900 oder 8901. Erhältlich sind die Uhren wahlweise in Edelstahl, Gelbgold, Sedna-Gold oder Bicolor. Die Preise liegen hier – je nach Material – zwischen 4.900 EUR und 15.000 EUR für eine ungetragene Uhr.
De Ville: Stylish and Elegant
The De Ville series is a touch more classic than the Constellation. Introduced in the 1960s, it appeals to an audience similar to that of Blancpain or Breguet. The watches feature classic, clean designs with Roman numerals; tourbillon movements; and cases made of white, rose, and yellow gold. Many of the women's models also boast diamond-set bezels or diamond hour markers.
Besonders interessant sind die Herrenuhren der Tourbillon-Reihe. Die Referenz 518.104.22.168.03.001 ist eine Vertreterin aus Sedna-Gold mit einem Durchmesser von 44 mm. In dieser Uhr gibt das Kaliber Omega 2638 den Takt vor. Das automatische Werk besitzt eine Schwungmasse aus Platin und einen Tourbillon-Käfig aus Titan, der sich einmal pro Minute um die eigene Achse dreht. Das Uhrwerk ist auf der Rückseite mit den Initialen des Uhrmachers versehen. So viel Exklusivität hat natürlich ihren Preis, der in diesem Fall laut unverbindlicher Preisempfehlung exakt 145.700 EUR beträgt.
The quartz-powered women's watches in the Trésor collection are relatively affordable. The ref. 422.214.171.124.11.001 has a 36-mm case made of 18-karat gold with diamonds on either side. Its dial and leather strap are both Bordeaux red. The Omega caliber 4061 with a "long life" function powers this timepiece, which sells for around 7,800 USD on Chrono24 in mint condition. Pre-owned pieces are still difficult to find.
The History of Omega
Omega's history stretches back to the 19th century. In 1848, Louis Brandt began manufacturing pocket watches in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Deals made with local suppliers enabled him to sell his products to a wider market, including in Italy, England, and Scandinavia. Later, Brandt's sons moved the company to its current location in Biel. Although the name "Omega" had been in use since 1894, it wasn't officially registered until the third generation took over in 1903.
The name is meant to express the quality of their watches. Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet and is often used as a metaphor for perfection.
In 1930, Omega and their competitor, Tissot, made a joint decision to serve separate markets. Omega was to focus on the luxury watch sector and Tissot on the middle class. When the quartz crisis put the Swiss watch industry in a difficult position, the two brands came together in 1983 under the newly formed Swatch Group. Omega remains part of the group to this day.
Technological Innovations, Olympic Games, and Famous Wearers
Omega has garnered attention over the decades for their technical innovations. In 1892, the manufacturer introduced the first wristwatch with a minute repeater, a particularly intricate complication that uses chimes to relay the time. Omega was responsible for timing all of the events at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and they introduced automatic timers at the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki.
In the 1970s, the manufacturer reached a new level of precision with their quartz chronometers. A high point was the caliber 1525, which powered the marine chronometers used by the French Navy. Omega delivered these custom timekeepers in boxes made of precious wood coated with brass. Over the course of a year, these chronometers deviate from the exact time by less than five seconds.
One of the Swiss manufacturer's latest achievements is the development of watches with high resistance to magnetic fields. In October 2013, the Seamaster Aqua Terra marked the beginning of a new generation of timepieces. These models make use of anti-magnetic silicon, which allows calibers to remain unaffected by up to 15,000 gauss of magnetism. Watches with this feature bear an official Omega quality mark developed in 2015.
Many prominent figures, both real and fictional, have been drawn to the allure of Omega watches. The most famous wearer may very well be secret agent James Bond, who wore a Seamaster in 1995's "GoldenEye." French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau also relied on the Seamaster during many of his dives. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, wore a Seamaster Calendar when he was promoted to sergeant while stationed in West Germany in 1960. Another beloved entertainer, actor Tom Hanks, wears an Omega Speedmaster Professional as a reminder of his role in the movie "Apollo 13."
Omega has also found many fans in the realm of politics. President John F. Kennedy, former Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong, and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev all wore Omegas. Gorbachev sported a gold watch from the Constellation series.