Eight Watches That Show The Strength Of Modern-Day Omega
The most famous Omega watches – such as the Seamaster 300M and Speedmaster Professional – need no introduction. But there’s a lot more to the brand: as part of MR PORTER’s selection of pre-owned watches, we’ve got access to some of the best releases from the past five years, and we’ve put together eight examples here that show the strength and depth on offer. Of course there’s a classic Speedmaster and a couple of top-notch dive watches (including one worn by a certain spy), but you’ll also find all-gold dress watches, eccentric diver chronographs and the out-and-out maximalism of the Planet Ocean GMT.
Speedmaster 38 “Orbis Edition”
The Speedmaster 38 is a lesser-known subsidiary in the wider Speedmaster network, with a smaller case diameter and an automatic chronometer-rated movement. This particular piece is a special edition produced to celebrate the work of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital initiative, which provides critical care and treatment for people in hard-to-reach parts of the world. The pale blue of the chronograph subdials is a nod to Orbis’ branding, as is the teddy bear logo that appears on the case back. Notable for its oval-shaped sub dials, date window at six o’clock and notched tachymeter bezel, this is a Speedmaster with a difference.
Seamaster Diver 300M “007 Edition”
Who’s the most famous wearer of Omega? A few clues: he’s British, kind of an establishment figure, inscrutable, been wearing the brand since the 1990s… no, it’s not Prince William. This is the Seamaster worn by Mr Daniel Craig in his last outing as James Bond, 2021’s No Time To Die, a grade two titanium diver 300m with a distinctly “vintage” beige colour scheme running through it. It’s a blend of contemporary and historic references, with the “broad arrow” insignia on the dial a nod to Bond’s military rank, and the striped fabric strap a subtle reference to the Nato strap worn by Sir Sean Connery (with, whisper it, a Rolex Submariner) in 1964’s Goldfinger.
Omega’s tool watches, particularly the Speedmaster and Seamaster, quite naturally dominate the conversation around the brand. But it is more than capable of making versatile dress watches, too. This Aqua Terra – technically a subdivision of the Seamaster family, but not one intended for rough and ready nautical use – is a perfect example. With a 41.5mm case, 150m water resistance and an antimagnetic movement (like nearly all modern Omega watches), it is more than capable of handling everyday wear, if that’s what you ask of it. But it’s glamorous enough to be your go-to party watch as well.
Seamaster Diver 300M
The Seamaster that not only stands toe-to-toe with the Rolex Submariner, but perhaps even overshadows it. That’s how Omega’s last overhaul of the Seamaster 300M, its flagship dive watch (not its most highly specced, but the purest example of the genre), was hailed in some corners. The specification is, in places (power reserve, magnetic resistance), superior to the Rolex, but the comparison comes down to more intangible features. This felt like the most sorted 300M in years, with fantastic build quality and attention to detail. Should another comparison be needed, it’s worth noting that pre-owned examples like this one are substantially more affordable than the Rolex.
De Ville Prestige
This mid-sized, mid-century-inspired De Ville revives the idea of an everyday watch – something you could feasibly use in almost any scenario. Certainly it’s smart enough for the office, dressy enough for formal wear, yet not so delicate you couldn’t also wear it out and about. If extreme adventure is on your agenda, you might need to mix it up. But that’s OK, there are plenty of heavy-duty watches out there. Measuring 36.5mm across, it’s powered by Omega’s co-axial chronometer calibre 2500 with a 48-hour power reserve.
Speedmaster Professional 2021
If there’s one Omega watch everyone knows, it’s the Speedmaster. Still resolutely hand-wound, in deference to the Nasa-approved specification of the 1960s, it has moved with the times somewhat, upsizing to 42mm and more recently, adopting Master Chronometer status with the introduction of the calibre 3861. But, in essence, it is still the chronograph that went to the Moon. It’s still one of the least-altered, most revered watch designs out there, and still a watch that features in many collectors’ must-have lists.
Omega makes a world-famous dive watch and a world-famous chronograph. But what if you want a watch that does both at once? Then you find yourself in less familiar territory: the Seamaster Chronograph is a watch with all the oddball appeal of taking a less obvious route. The screw-down pushers are a necessity for a water-going chronograph, and the red and white accents atop the blue dial give the watch a suitably nautical feeling. Sold on Omega’s five-link polished bracelet, it has enough presence for the yacht club as well as slumming it on the beach.
Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT
Omega is generally one of the more conservative brands, aesthetically speaking. But it does have a maximalist side, and that side goes by the name Planet Ocean. Oversized cases – this watch is 45.5mm thick – meet bolder colour schemes, as demonstrated as the gold-inlaid gold-and-ceramic bezel. Substantial technical ability follows, as well, with a whopping 600m of water resistance, a helium-release valve and (a Planet Ocean staple) a GMT function. This isn’t the Omega of the 1930s, 1960s or 1990s: it’s the Omega of the 21st century.