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12/06/2021
 2 minutes

Omega: A Bit of Background

By Thomas Hendricks
01-Omega-v01-Magazin-2-1
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Omega is a Swiss watch brand founded by Louis Brandt in 1848, although the “Omega” name wouldn’t officially appear for another six decades. The Brandt family wanted the company to be the final name in watchmaking, so they chose to name it after the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega.  

The brand has become a favorite among collectors for its purpose-driven watches with in-house movements across an expansive range of designs. They’re also the brand that many people buy for their first “real” mechanical watch.  

The company is now owned by the Swatch Group and is well known around the world. They’re the official timekeeper of the Olympics, and if you’ve watched some of the recent James Bond films, you know 007 is fond of his “Omeeega” watch. 

Omega: Iconic Models 

By far the most famous model is the Omega Speedmaster – a chronograph initially made in 1957 with a design inspired by the dashboard of an Italian sports car. But it is, of course, best known for being the watch worn on the Moon, specifically Buzz Aldrin’s ST105.012 with the now-famous caliber 321. There are now hundreds of Speedmaster variations available. It has long been the most-loved watch from Omega, as evidenced by (among many things) the wildly popular Instagram hashtag #speedytuesday. 

Other notable models include the Omega Seamaster which ranges from dressy or sporty to battle-ready. There’s the classic De Ville line, offering great dress watches on a budget. And for something a little more unique, check out the Omega Flightmaster series or the wonderfully chunky Omega Ploprof

How much does an Omega cost? 

In terms of price, the Swatch Group is very conscious of keeping each of their brands in a specific range to reduce competition between them. Most Omegas fall in the $5,000-$7,000 category, with precious metal models and historical examples like vintage Speedmasters selling for much higher. 

Omega: Brand Perception 

What do people think of Omega? Well, it’s one of the first names you learn in watches, and it’s easy to see why. They’ve been making great timepieces for many decades, and Omega offers something for everybody, with a rich catalog of models for divers, drivers, pilots, soldiers, scientists, and more. But even with its rich history, the brand is not as widely respected as its longtime competitor, Rolex. That said, if you’re looking for a relatively affordable brand with over a century of engineering prowess and design heritage, Omega is tough to beat and has earned the respect of every collector. 

Do Omega watches hold their value?  

Omega watches generally retain their value well. On Chrono24, the average price for an Omega watch has grown by over 16% over the last three years. However, the price development depends a bit on the model: While the prices for an Omega Speedmaster have risen by about 25%, the Omega Seamaster has “only” seen a 9% price increase in the last three years. That’s nothing to sneeze at, though. This is, after all, still much higher than the inflation rate in most developed countries. 

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About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I have been a watch enthusiast from a young age. My obsession began when I took a summer job for the sole purpose of buying my older brother’s Girard-Perregaux chronograph. My tastes have since expanded to include vintage tool watches and modern independent brands.

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