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The Complete Buying Guide to Omega Watches

We break down the catalog of the one of the world’s foremost watchmakers, from the Seamaster to the Speedmaster and more.

omega watches
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Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.

First watch on the Moon. A classic James Bond model. Worn on the wrist of JFK and Mikhail Gorbachev at their respective inaugurations, and on the wrist of Mao Zedong for 31 years. Elvis Presley wore one while cruising in his purple Cadillac, and today George Clooney wears one while cruising on a Vespa. A paradigm-shifting mechanical movement designed by the 20th Century’s greatest watchmaker. The only brand to truly compete with, and sometimes dominate, Rolex. A Babe Ruth-style run as some the most accurate watches in the world, and the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games over and over. This is Omega, one of the greatest Swiss watch companies of all time.

Omega has been around under one name or another since 1848, but today’s lineup draws heavily on its classic mid-20th-century designs. Though not quite as slow to evolve as Rolex, Omega has incrementally developed its watches such that they feel simultaneously historical (though not anachronistic) and modern (though not trendy).

George Daniels was an orphan in London who, during the 1960s and 70s, worked to fix a friction problem with the standard “lever escapement,” which had regulated mechanical watches for close to three centuries. He fixed the friction problem, thus offering the first significant horological contribution in hundreds of years, and he named it the co-axial escapement.

Omega bought the patent in 1999, and has recently built new, high-tech facilities to nurture the co-axial escapement — as well as their Master Chronometer program — into the 21st Century. The co-axial mechanism, Omega argues, reduces service intervals (which lowers the price of ownership), and it helps maintain accuracy. When you buy an Omega with a co-axial movement today, you’re getting an advanced mechanism and an important piece of horological history.

Though the co-axial escapement constitutes a serious innovation, one “trend” Omega has followed, however, is today’s obsessive production of limited editions. While we can’t chase down all the LEs for you here (they’re often gone within minutes of release anyways), we encourage you to follow your curiosity about them, should you have any.

As for the core Omega lineup, we have assembled a quick reference guide that’ll help you get familiar with the Omega landscape and point you to specific watches that epitomize the brand’s best offerings. We have elected not to show every single available model in the interest of clarity and brevity, but this guide should serve as a good starting point.

The Speedmasters

Omega-Speedmaster-Section-gear-patrol

Originally designed for motorsports and often cited as the Porsche 911 of watches, the Speedmaster became The Moonwatch when Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in 1969 wearing his trusted reference ST105.012. Today’s Speedmasters come in many styles and sizes, from historically accurate recreations to solid gold diamond-encrusted shiners, to ultra-light carbon technical wonders. Here are four Speedmasters worth knowing about.

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Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
omegawatches.com
$6,800.00

An essential model, the Moonwatch is a modern take on the original Speedy that adorned Buzz Aldrin’s wrist 50 years ago when he set foot on the moon. Featuring a hand-wound Omega caliber, updated and improved in 2021, it doesn’t get much more iconic or handsome than this. Many purists prefer the versions with Hesalite crystal (rather than sapphire) and solid casebacks (rather than a display window).
Size: 42mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Stainless steel
Movement: Ref. 3861 mechanical

Omega Speedmaster Mark II
omegawatches.com
$6,250.00

The Speedmaster Heritage range is full of modern watches based on the variations the collection has seen over its decades of life, many of which now are often manifested as special/limited/anniversary editions. They're typically packed with history and can take multiple forms, including everything from classic models like the Speedmaster '57 and "The First Omega in Space" to the irresistibly funky Mark II.

Size: 42.4mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Stainless steel
Movement: Ref. 3330 automatic

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon
omegawatches.com
$12,000.00

The modern looks, larger size, ceramic case, and high performance co-axial movement make the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon collection unabashedly of-the-moment. Also see the various iterations of this concept such in other striking colors of ceramic and more edgy designs.
Size: 44.25mm
Case Material: Black ceramic
Bracelet: Coated nylon fabric
Movement: Ref. 9300 co-axial automatic chronograph

Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X‑33 Chronograph
omegawatches.com
$5,900.00

The Speedmaster Instruments range is nothing like anything else the brand makes. A modern upgrade of the X-33 released in the 1998, the Skywalker X-33 is a perfect example. It was designed with astronauts in mind, and to that end, it features a quartz-powered ana-digi display with multiple time zones, three alarms, a chronograph, countdown functions and more. It may not look like a traditional Speedmaster, but it’s a natural evolution of the Space Age original.
Size: 45mm
Case Material: Titanium
Bracelet: Titanium bracelet
Movement: Ref. 5169 electronic chronograph

Note: We’ve chosen to only highlight some of the seemingly limitless number of Speedmasters out there. To see the entire collection, click here.

The Seamasters

Omega-Seamaster-Section-gear-patrol

This is a confusing line within the brand because Omega produced what were essentially splash-proof dress watches under this monicker for decades. At the same time, the Seamaster line has included Omega’s most robust, high-tech dive watches. That confusion isn’t entirely gone today from the lineup, but the waterproofness has been upped significantly across the line. Here are today’s essential Seamasters that you’ll want to know about.

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Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
omegawatches.com
$4,900.00

Made truly famous when Pierce Brosnan’s costume designer decided James Bond should wear what the British Royal Navy was sporting during the 1990s, we saw 007 drop his Rolex Sub in favor of a quartz Seamaster 300. (Daniel Craig strapped on a mechanical 300M more recently.) The Omega Seamaster 300M has maintained its looks and specifications over a slow evolution for a few decades, making it one of Omega’s most consistent models. The threaded helium escape valve at 10-o’clock gives the watch a quirky asymmetry, while the wave dial begs to be viewed under a loupe. There are many variants to choose from, available as a chronograph, in precious metals, and so on.
Size: 42mm
Case Material: Steel
Bracelet: Rubber
Movement: Ref. 8800 co-axial automatic with date

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
omegawatches.com
$6,200.00

Slightly larger than the 300M, twice as water-resistant, and offered in a bevy of variations that include carbon cases, a GMT movement, a chronograph, and more, the Planet Ocean is Omega’s most serious dive watch collection. Orange has been a popular color, but given the multiplicity of options, there are few looks you can’t find within the Planet Ocean lineup.
Size: 43.5mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Nylon NATO
Movement: Ref. 8900 co-axial automatic with date

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M
omegawatches.com
$5,700.00

The Aqua Terra lineup speaks to that aforementioned confusion between dress watch and sport watch that’s inherent to vintage Seamasters, but this duality is also the strength of the modern Aqua Terra. Sporty and rugged, for sure, but elegant and professional enough to pair well with a business suit on the daily. This could be your only watch.
Size: 38mm or 41mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet
Movement: Ref. 8800 (38mm) or 8900 (41mm) co-axial automatic with date

Omega Seamaster 300
omegawatches.com
$6,500.00

Just as in the Speedmaster collection the Seamaster Heritage range is Omega's vintage playground. Not to be confused with the Diver 300M, the Diver 300 harkens back to the early divers from Omega. In 2017, Omega, to much acclaim, released the 1957 Trilogy, which included the Seamaster 300, the Railmaster, and an original-looking Speedmaster. The success of that Trilogy has seen Omega releasing these models individually ever since, and they’re often hard to come by due to their popularity.
Size: 41mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Leather
Movement: Ref. 8806 time-only co-axial automatic

Omega Seamaster Bullhead Chronograph
omegawatches.com
$9,600.00

What is this thing? Well, it’s a tribute to the original Bullhead Chronograph, which was a typically weird-looking 1970s design. Love it or hate it, it took the Seamaster in a new direction, and provides an alternative to the standard round-cased watches.
Size: 43mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Leather
Movement: Ref. 3113 co-axial chronograph

Omega Seamaster Ploprof
omegawatches.com
$9,700.00

It never ceases to amaze us watch fans that the Ploprof is still in production. It’s massive at 55mm, incredibly cumbersome, and, if nothing else, a stellar example of how much less gadgetry is needed to accomplish super-deep waterproofness today. For some, however, this can-opener-esque behemoth is pure beauty. Go nuts and opt for one of the colorful versions.
Size: 55mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Stainless steel mesh
Movement: Ref. 8500 co-axial with date

Note: We’ve chosen to only highlight some of the Seamaster line. To see the entire collection, click here.

The Constellations

Omega-Constellation-Section-gear-patrol

This is where Omega slots in the majority of its dressier watches today, most with a vintage reference to the 1940s and 50s models, like the so-called “pie-pan” that sported an interestingly ruffled dial edge back in the day. You can also find women’s diamond-encrusted models among the Constellations. We’ve selected a few essential models below.

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Omega Constellation Globemaster
omegawatches.com
$7,200.00

Classic 50s styling in a more modern dress watch size, the Globemaster is decidedly not a sport watch; it’s a handsome dress watch that’ll pair perfectly with your hand-stitched brogues. The Globemaster is distinguished by its fluted bezel and its dial recalls the popular "pie-pan" styles of vintage models. It comes in steel, precious metals and even a complicated (for Omega) but very cool Annual Calendar version.
Size: 39mm
Case Material: Steel
Bracelet: Steel
Movement: Ref. 8900 co-axial with date

Omega Constellation
omegawatches.com
$5,850.00

The Constellation collection watches named simply "Constellation" have a quirky style that leaves them mostly overlooked by watch fans and probably appealing more to general consumers wanting a "fancy" watch. They sport a decidedly swanky vibe and come in myriad variations (no fewer than 165 in the mens collection alone at time of writing) with steel and precious metals, quartz and automatic, as well as some different size options.
Size: 41mm
Case Material: Steel
Bracelet: Steel
Movement: Ref. 8900 co-axial with date

Note: To see the entire Constellation collection, click here.

The De Villes

Omega-DeVille-Section-gear-patrol

The name De Ville adorned the dials of many vintage Omegas through the 50s and 60s, suggesting a decidedly American spirit. (After all, Omega’s largest client base was in the USA during this period.) Today’s De Villes are the fanciest and most complicated Omegas available, with many models going beyond the dress watch category into haute horlogerie proper. If you’re into vintage dress style and high prices, this selection should whet your appetite. You can even get an Omega tourbillon, if you want.

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Omega De Ville Hour Vision
omegawatches.com
$7,700.00

The Hour Vision line has an Art-Deco flair and some models (such as this one) have a sapphire case-side that affords a rare lateral view of the co-axial movement. This window was developed early on in Omega’s co-axial program just for that purpose, but remains unique within the line to this day. Also available with an annual calendar co-axial movement.
Size: 44mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Leather
Movement: Ref. 8501 co-axial automatic with date

Omega De Ville Trésor
omegawatches.com
$16,200.00

The Tresor sub-line offers sleeker cases, precious metals, diamonds, and generally constitutes watches best matched to black tie and evening gowns. Worth a look if you’re looking for something to wear while tossing back caviar and Dom Perignon on New Years. This cheery cherry red model celebrates Omega’s 150th Anniversary.
Size: 40mm
Case Material: Yellow gold
Bracelet: Leather
Movement: Ref. 8929 hand-wound co-axial time-only

Note: We’ve chosen to only highlight some of the De Ville line. To see the entire collection, click here.

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