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Omega vs Tag Heuer

Omega…the 2nd most recognized Swiss watch brand in the world, with approximately 70% international brand recognition goes head to head in this epic comparison with Tag Heuer; the holy grail watch brand that is known for its mechanical precision and modern super complications. Which is the better luxury watch brand? Easy question, complicated answer.

In the world of luxury watches, brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and of course, Omega have often stayed on the top ranks thanks to their timepieces coming with a skillful blend of bold design and classic elegance. But TAG Heuer…there’s something about this brand. Apart from often being seen as an anomaly, it seems to just be in a league of its own with its collections boldly illustrating the quintessence of Swiss know-how.

Whether you’re a collector or you’re a newbie in the watch market who is wondering “What’s better, an Omega or a TAG Heuer watch?” You have come to the right place as this in-depth comparison of Omega and TAG Heuer watches will provide you with enough data to allow you to determine for yourself if Omega or TAG Heuer is the best brand for you. Let’s begin, shall we?

Which brand is better, Omega or TAG Heuer?

Omega and TAG Heuer use different approaches to watchmaking but some similarities ought to be appreciated between both brands. For instance, both Omega and TAG Heuer produce some of the world’s most famous accurate timepieces and have both been the official timekeepers for the Olympics due to their high-precision timepieces and both watches have been to space.

Though a lot of people know that about Omega’s Speedmaster ref. CK 2998 getting to space when astronaut Walter Schirra wore the watch during the ‘Sigma 7’ mission of the Mercury Programme in 1962, it’s interesting to note that in the same year (1962), TAG Heuer became the first Swiss watchmaker in space when John Glenn wore a Heuer stopwatch as he piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 spacecraft on the first US crewed space flight to orbit the earth.

When it comes to sports, Omega served as the Official Timekeeper at 29 Olympic Games throughout the 20th and 21st centuries while TAG Heuer has been the supplier of chronographs for the Olympic Games and official timekeeper of three games during the 1920s as well as timing motorsports, athletic and sailing events.

From NASA to the Olympics, Omega has been a world leader in advanced watch design for over 150 years with a record of building iconic timepieces for diving, timing, and resisting electromagnetic fields. TAG Heuer has also followed closely and established itself as an industry expert in timing sporting events.

For instance, if we compare Tag Heuer Aquaracer vs Omega Seamaster, both automatic dive watches with similar functions, you’ll find that the only discrepancy is the price, movement/caliber, and the fact that the Seamaster has better accuracy because of its outstanding mechanical features. So both are quality brands with Tag being more affordable and readily available!

Omega vs Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer’s Story

Tag Heuer watch brand

It’s remarkable how closely the histories of the two brands mirror each other. Tag Heuer was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer just twelve years after the establishment of Omega. The name TAG Heuer combines the initials of “Techniques d’Avant Garde” (This is a French term for an art movement that breaks boundaries, innovates on techniques, or challenges the norm with radical ideas) and the founder’s surname.

It began in a workshop where Edouard Heuer used to manufacture silver pocket watches in La Chaux-de-Fonds Switzerland. TAG Heuer started as Heuer Watchmaking Inc. with Edouard Heuer patenting unique mechanisms that are still being used by major watchmakers of mechanical chronographs today. After his first chronograph, the patented oscillating pinion followed in 1887 and five years later Charles and Jules Heuer took over the family business.

With their administration came a new focus on the production of specialty watches so from 1911, Heuer began manufacturing timepieces that could be mounted on the dashboards of automobiles, aircraft, and boats including timing devices for ski and motor racing events.

The watches would show the time of day, as well as the duration of the trip and in 1914, the first wrist-worn chronograph by the brand was launched, followed by the “Semikrograph”, a stopwatch that offered 1/50 of a second timing, as well as a split-second function and the “Mikrograph”, the first stopwatch accurate to 1/100 of a second.

It was a super timer, ideal for measuring the flight time of artillery projectiles with a balance wheel that vibrated at an unbelievable frequency of 360,000 vibrations per hour. During World War II, the brand began producing watches for the Luftwaffe, known as “Flieger” or pilot’s chronographs, and following the success of the Flieger, It expanded Its chronograph offerings to those with multiple sub-dials, triple calendar chronographs that came in stainless steel and karat gold cases.

By the 1960s, Heuer’s timepieces were so thoroughly intertwined with auto racing and aviation that it was hard to find a timepiece linked to racing from that era in which his logo wasn’t visible. His chronographs boomed in popularity from the 1950s to the 1970s and had become popular among automobile racers, both professionals and amateurs with models like the Carrera, Autavia, and Monaco quickly earning followership.

Following the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s, Heuer Watchmaking Inc. was acquired by the TAG Group, Techniques d’Avant Garde, manufacturers of high-tech items such as ceramic turbochargers for Formula One cars adding the name TAG in 1985. Its ownership again changed when it was bought in 1999 by LVMH for a staggering $740 million.

TAG Heuer Milestones;

1860: Edouard Heuer founded the business and named it Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG.
1882: The first Heuer stopwatch ever is introduced.
1887: Heuer invents the oscillating pinion
1911: Heuer receives a patent for the “Time of Trip” dashboard chronograph.
1916: Charles-Auguste Heuer, the son of Edouard introduces the Mikrograph and Semikrograph taking stopwatches from 1/5 second to displays of 1/50 and 1/100 second.
1920: Official timekeeper of the Antwerp
1962: John Glenn flies the Mercury “Friendship 7” mission with a Heuer 2915A stopwatch on his wrist.
1962: Release of the Autavia wristwatch
1963: Release of the Carerra collection after the Carerra Panamericana road race.
1969: Heuer launches the Caliber 11 movement, the first automatic winding chronograph caliber.

Omega’s story

Omega Brand Overview

Omega had been on the scene a decade before Tag Heuer showed up. Known for Its sporty chronographs, professional dive watches, and co-axial movements, the Swiss luxury watchmaker was founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and boasts of many award-winning timepieces.

It started with Louis Brandt assembling key-wound precision pocket watches from parts supplied by local craftsmen and marketing them under La Generale Watch Co. He aimed to create highly accurate timepieces, and this desire passed on to Louis-Paul and César his sons, who picked up from where he left off following his death in 1879.

In 1892, Louis Brandt produced the world’s first-minute repeating wristwatch, followed by the first tourbillon wristwatch caliber in the world. During the First World War, Omega established itself as an innovator in timekeeping and was used by Britain’s Royal Flying Corps for its combat units. Its reputation was solidified after this and in 1918 the U.S. Army followed the actions of the Brits making Omega a go-to brand when high precision in timekeeping was needed.

Just like Tag Heuer, Omega shifted its focus to making wrist and pocket watches in 1940, and in 1947, It created the first tourbillon wristwatch caliber in the world Its prowess in designing and regulating movements was largely a success because it had incorporated new chronometric innovations. Today, OMEGA continues to innovate and develop highly accurate timepieces and has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics since 1932.

OMEGA’s Milestones;

1848: Louis Brandt founded the company and named it La Generale Watch Co.
1892: World’s first-minute repeating wristwatch is produced.
1900: First serial production of wristwatches begins.
1903: Company is renamed Omega, a Greek word depicting ‘finality’ in accuracy and reliability, following the success of the 19-ligne caliber,
movement.
1999: The first wrist chronometer with a co-axial escapement is launched.
1932: Omega begins timing all of the events at the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
1948: 1st place at observatory trial in Neuenburg for 30mm caliber
1950: 1st place for tourbillon Cal. 30I at Geneva Trials.
1965: Omega’s Speedmaster is declared Flight Qualified for all Manned Space Missions.
1969: NASA Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wears the Omega Speedmaster mechanical chronograph to the moon, making it the first watch to land on the moon.
1974: Omega Marine Chronometer certified as the world’s first Marine Chronometer wristwatch that is accurate to 12 seconds per year.
2013: Development of timepieces with high resistance to magnetic fields such as the Seamaster Aqua Terra.

Reputation

Both brands come with a rich legacy across the technological, luxury, and sports industries but when it comes to recognition, Omega is a brand that is recognized worldwide and is coveted for its precision and quality with the largest production of luxury watches in Switzerland (Omega creates over 240,000 luxury watches every year).

While TAG Heuer produces decent, iconic watches like the Carrera and Monaco, they do not invoke the image of luxury like Omega and are not officially recognized as a luxury watch brand. When it comes to ranking, Omega has claimed the top second spot in the watch model ranking just behind Rolex, thanks to the Seamaster and Speedmaster, and has enjoyed massive recognition, status, and respect for over 50 years.

TAG Heuer on the other hand is the 12th most recognized watch brand from Switzerland and currently holds the 34th most popular and valuable Swiss brand in the top 50 according to a report by Morgan Stanley with an estimated brand value of 76 Million CHF.

Accuracy

In the watch world, the COSC certification has been the standard for judging the accuracy of watches. To be COSC Certified, a watch has to be accurate to -4 to +6 seconds a day, in addition to being Swiss-made and manufactured from the highest quality materials. Omega’s watches are COSC certified with its Master Chronometer timepieces having an accuracy of up to -0/+5 seconds per day.

Some TAG Heuer’s mechanical watches also have a COSC certification and are accurate enough to be one of the world’s most accurate timing instruments in motor racing. The Calibre 5 accuracy for instance is +/- 12 seconds per day. Omega also pulled through the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology certification process, which Tag Heuer failed to achieve.

Since magnetic fields have always been known to interfere with a watch’s movement and reduce a watch’s timekeeping accuracy, Omega accomplished a great stride by pioneering the use of non-magnetic silicon in Its Si 14 balance so even with Tag Heuer’s technical advancement, Its best watches cannot resist a magnetic field of 15 000 gauss like OMEGA’s Seamaster Aqua Terra

Style and Craftsmanship

Both brands offer a variety of styles. While Omega offers a luxe gait with classic retro designs, TAG Heuer is very influenced by racing and motorsports and many of its watches come with a sturdy and sporty aesthetic. Omega is a trailblazer when it comes to craftsmanship and materials, as it offers numerous models in its proprietary gold alloys.

The Canopus and Moonshine gold are iconic examples. From stylish and elegant dress watches in the Aqua Terra line to Omega’s most popular flagship model namely the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, Omega is famous for crafting highly shock-resistant timepieces with innovative materials such as Canopus gold and O-Megasteel which do have a timeless style but Omega’s designs are not as ‘eye-catching’ as Tag Heuer’s.

Movements and Complications

OMEGA produces watches with both quartz and mechanical movements and offers timepieces with annual calendars, world time displays, tourbillons, and skeletonized movements. After launching its first watch with the co-axial movement in 1999, the co-axial escapement is being incorporated into almost all of its timepieces. Many of Tag Heuer’s best-selling non-chronograph watches (Aquaracers and Carrera) have Tag Heuer’s Caliber 5 movement which is all based on ETA and Sellita movements.

Depending on the model and price, different movements apply. TAG Heuer Monaco for instance uses a modified Sellita SW300 or ETA 2892 with an added chronograph module while the new Autavia features a modified ETA 2824 movement that TAG Heuer equips with their proprietary Isograph balance made from a special anti-magnetic composite material.

Omega goes further than Tag to beautify its movements with different fittings such as extra jewels, Coaxial escapement, free-sprung balance, etc making Its timepieces more accurate but also more expensive to repair, and a bit problematic.

Popularity and Pricing

TAG Heuer as a brand appeals to various segments of the market and caters for different classes of people. As a result of a huge commercial presence and numerous media endorsements, they are popular but do not share Omega’s popularity as Omega is renowned for maintaining high-quality standards for all the products it creates, and its catalog is home to many of the world’s most famous wristwatches.

When it comes to prices, the Aqua Terra collection is the most affordable entry-point Omega model watch with prices starting from around 4,000 USD. Popular chronographs from the Speedmaster collection can be gotten for 6,000 USD while top Omega models like the rose-gold De Ville Tourbillon command as high as 120,000 USD.

The price range for TAG Heuer timepieces varies greatly by model and year of production, but TAG Heuer is generally more affordable than Omega. Quartz calibers from the late 1980s can be gotten from 250 USD, while prices for a Carrera range from around 1,200 USD to over 71,000 USD for a chronograph with the tourbillon caliber Heuer 02T and a diamond-studded bezel.

Omega vs Tag Heuer Quality

TAG Heuer is especially known for chronographs, and it’s a giant in the watchmaking world but Omega watches are considered to be of higher quality. The quality of an Omega watch is easily demonstrated by the amount of time it takes to create one. The Tourbillon luxury watch for instance is a work of art that takes 500 hours to craft. If you are searching for quality smartwatches, TAG Heuer is your best bet.

From built-in GPS, heart-rate monitor, accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope to TAG Heuer’s golf watch that comes with a custom-built app that tracks each shot and displays distances to greens and hazards, TAG Heuer has stepped boldly into quality tech watches but not Omega. Omega remains the top luxury watch with a timeless classical aesthetic and robust movement that has not ventured into Tech.

Resale Value

Though many variables such as the make and model, condition of the timepiece, rarity, demand, and so on contribute to determining the resale value of a timepiece, high-end luxury watches often tend to hold a high resale value over time. Thus brands like Omega will typically see a higher average resale value than TAG Heuer.

Warranty

Shortly after Omega introduced Co-Axial escapement into its movement, the brand extended its warranty period to 5 years. TAG Heuer still offers a 2 years warranty on all its timepieces as do most watch brands.

Omega Speedmaster vs Tag Heuer Carrera

TAG Heuer is known for three main chronograph models. They are the Carrera, a sleek and compact option, The Autavia, a contraction of AUTomobile and AVIAtion, designed to service passion from both worlds, and the Monaco. An instantly recognizable square chronograph watch famously worn by Steve McQueen in the 1971 film “Le Mans”.

The first watch that comes to mind when mentioning OMEGA is the Speedmaster also known as the Moonwatch or the first omega in space and the only watch approved by NASA for manned space flights after a grueling series of tests. Tag Heuer Carrera and Omega Speedmaster are one of the best models of these respected brands and both come with unique features.

A major difference is that Carrera has timepieces that bring more appeal to the eye with better-looking bezels while Omega Speedmaster sticks to a timeless elegance and design that has not changed for over 60 years. Tag Heuer Carrera was designed by Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of Edouard Heuer in 1963, six years after the Speedmaster was introduced.

Closely associated with the world of racing, the Carrera was named after an extremely dangerous race, “Carrera Panamericana” that ran on public roads in Mexico from 1950 to 1954. Both collections are extraordinarily vast, and so too is their pricing.

The most expensive Carrera is the Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph, which sold for about 375 000 USD, powered by the Nanograph movement, and boasts a dial made completely of polycrystalline, lab-grown diamonds. While the most affordable Speedmaster model is the Date Automatic, which can be gotten for around 2,600 USD.

Tag Heuer Carrera Pros

  • Iconic watches with a cutting-edge legacy. 
  • In-house Heuer 02 or Calibre 1887 chronograph movement powers the watches.
  • Many designs and material options with numerous coveted vintage models that have the potential to appreciate in value.
  • Some of the models are waterproof up to 100 meters.
  • Dials are presented with proper legibility and melded sporty elements
  • Parallel and elongated lugs that feel solid and sturdy on the wrist, allowing for a more compact feel, plus metal crowns for an elegant yet sporty look 
  • 42-hour power reserve ( the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic Chronograph has a stunning power reserve of 80 hours, an in-house caliber and tourbillon Caliber 7 Twin-Time with a GMT function)

Cons

  • When it comes to comfort, the Speedmaster offers more comfort to the wearer. The Carrera is thick and somewhat heavy and isn’t recommended for everyday use.
  • TAG Heuer Carrera watches come with well-beveled lugs that slant downwards, giving them a bulkier look.
  • Extremely sharp clasp.

Omega Speedmaster Pros

  • Legendary chronograph series with a cult status that will never lose its charm.
  • Co-Axial Master Chronometer with magnetic resistance of up to 15,000 gauss.
  • Limited editions with the potential to increase in value.
  • Power Reserve of 48 hours.
  • Better accuracy and build quality than the Carrera.
  • Timeless design. (It is the only sports chronograph that looks exactly like the original model)

Cons

  • No micro-adjust on the bracelet clasp so the watch bracelet cannot be modified to fit your wrist.
  • Lackluster bracelet.
  • Hesalite crystal scratches easily.

FAQ

Is Omega more expensive than TAG Heuer?

Yes. Omega watches tend to be more expensive than TAG Heuer because they are a more luxurious brand. In addition to being a more dominant brand in the luxury timepiece industry, , OMEGA watches are highly popular and come with a respected history.

Are Tag Heuer and Omega overpriced?

Both Tag Heuer and Omega offer value for their timepieces and their watches come with impeccable quality made with some of the most expensive and valuable metals and stones, so you simply get what you pay for.

Cartier vs Omega

You’ve narrowed down your choices. You have decided to purchase either an Omega or a Cartier wristwatch. You just need a little bit more information to push your decision across the finish line. In this article, we will explore the histories of two of the most recognizable watch brands in the world. On the way, we will compare a few models side by side and then answer some often-asked questions regarding the two watch powerhouses.

The Omega Watch Brand

Omega is a Swiss luxury timepiece counted amongst the ten most recognizable brands worldwide. Omega was founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. The watch company did not incorporate the “Omega” name until 1894 and even then it was known as a combination of Brandt and Omega.

In 1885 the “Labrador” caliber movement was created which had superb accuracy and significant technological advancements. This movement would become the basis for the 19-ligne Omega caliber that would revolutionize watchmaking roughly ten years later. Omega created the first-minute repeater for the wrist in 1892, and then the Omega brand was officially birthed with the 19-ligne movement.

The movement was very accurate and groundbreaking in that every component could be replaced without modification by any watchmaker in the world. It also boasted advancements in winding the watch, using a stem and crown.

The early 1900s found Omega making great inroads into the timing for sports events. In 1932, Omega set timekeeping precision records in all six trials at the Geneva Observatory. The Omega watches tested performed more accurately (through various conditions) than any other brand competing. They also prototyped the first automatic movement that used two weights.

Omega and the Olympic Games

In 1932, Omega was the first watchmaker to time an entire Olympic Games. This was done with their chronograph model and times were scored to 1/100th of a second. Another milestone was achieved in 1936 when Omega’s 477 mm. Caliber movement set a world precision record by scoring 97.8 points out of 100 at the Kew Observatory. The movement was 2.2 points away from perfection; this record stands to this day.

The mid-1900s saw Omega developing watches for military applications. These watches require a high level of water resistance, be extremely shockproof, and have to be highly antimagnetic. The company continued to make great strides in all of these areas. In 1947, the first Omega tourbillon was launched to great reception amongst the watchmaking community.

Unlike the conventional tourbillon movements where the cages rotated once every minute, the Omega rotated once every 7.5 minutes. This provided greater accuracy leading to the movement being recognized as the most accurate recorded timepiece in 1949. A great development in the area of sports timing was achieved with the creation of the “Magic Eye.”

This innovation was the use of photoelectric cells to capture the exact moment an athlete crossed the finish line tape. Since the elasticity of the tape was so poor, there were often inaccuracies in the final time recorded for any particular event. This innovation solved this problem.

1948 saw the introduction of the first Seamaster model and over the next ten years the Constellation, Deville, and the Ladymatic automatic women’s wristwatch were all introduced. Omega also created a professional line of watches which included the Speedmaster, the Seamaster 300, and the Railmaster.

The “Moon Watch”

Omega watch movements

Another iconic chapter in Omega’s history was the development of the “Moon” watch. This watch was launched in 1957. In 1962, it became the first watch in space when Wally Schirra wore it for the Mercury Mission on Oct. 3rd of that year.  Nasa subsequently qualified the watch for manned missions in 1965, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore it when he walked on the moon on July 21, 1969. Thus Omega became known as “The First Watch on the Moon.”

In 1999, Omega released the first practical new watch escapement in 250 years. The co-axial escapement was a turning point in mechanical watchmaking. By using smaller contact surfaces the co-axial escapement produces less friction and requires less lubrication making it far more reliable than traditional movements.

2008 Omega created the Si14 balance spring to resist the ever-increasing threat of magnetic forces watch wearers encounter in today’s world. Named after its chemical symbol and the atomic number of silicon, the new spring significantly reduces deviation and improves chronometric stability. In 2013, the co-axial 8508 caliber movement was brought to market with a magnetic resistance of 15,000 gauss.

The creative use of antimagnetic materials in the movement meant that there was no need for a protective inner case paving the way to being able to incorporate additional features such as a date wheel and the watch could have a skeletal back. Rounding out this rich history was the development of an ultradeep wristwatch that is water-resistant to 6000 meters or approximately 20,000 feet.

Trademarked Specialty Alloys and Materials

Omega has garnered a high reputation in the development of trademarked materials incorporated into the parts used in their movements and for use in the manufacture of their cases and bracelets. Besides conventional materials such as 316L stainless steel, aluminum, 18-carat yellow, and white gold, ceramics, the highest quality diamonds, and mother of pearl, Omega has developed the following exclusive materials;

  1. Liquid Metal- Since 2010, ceramics have been bonded with this alloy (composed of titanium, zirconium, and copper). The result is a material that is three times harder than steel and provides superior scratch resistance and stability offering new decoration possibilities.
  2. Grade 2 Titanium- an alloy material that is light, corrosion resistant, biochemically inert, and able to withstand very high temperatures. Its dim gray color is used primarily in brushed finishes and is particularly effective in limiting light reflection.
  3. Red Gold- A combination of 18-carat yellow gold, copper, and silver. The finished product is highly non-corrosive and biochemically inert.
  4. Bronze Gold- a bronze alloy composed of 37.5% 9-carat gold, palladium, and silver. This alloy makes the bronze easy to wear on the skin. It offers corrosion resistance without oxidation and will age very slowly and maintain its natural patina over time.
  5. Sedna Gold- Introduced in 2012 and is a combination of 18-carat yellow gold, copper, and palladium giving it its signature rose color. Highly resistant to fading.
  6. Moonshine Gold- Created in 2019, the 18-carat yellow gold is combined with silver, copper, and palladium and is also highly resistant to fading. The trademarked name is inspired by the shining moonlight in a dark blue sky.
  7. Canopus Gold- Developed in 2015 and comprised of 18-carat white gold, platinum, rhodium, and palladium. It is distinguished by its high brilliance, whiteness, and longevity. It is named after the bright star Canopus which is 71x bigger and 10,000x brighter than the sun. Because of its brilliance and position, it is a vital navigational and positional reference point.
  8. Ceragold- The first product to allow the decoration of ceramic watch parts with 18-carat gold.
  9. Meteorite- The use of lunar meteorites with irregular stone patterns that have been discovered here on earth.

METAS Certification

The major feature that distinguishes Omega watches from other brands is that each is a master chronometer. To achieve this classification, the movements are not just certified chronometers by the COSC (Swiss chronometer testing institute) for accuracy, but they are then put through more precision testing by METAS. METAS is the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology.

The movements are put through eight additional tests and must fall within certain parameters of accuracy. Whereas the COSC accepts results of -4/+6 seconds per day after the METAS tests the range is 0/+5, 0/+6, and 0/+7 seconds per day depending upon the caliber size of the movement.

The Omega watch line offers over 1000 models and has a starting retail price of approximately $2550.00. A basic “Rail Master” is about $4900.00, and a basic divers watch will run you about $5100.00. Women’s watches start at approximately $2550.00. There is great depth to the women’s selections with styles ranging from classic models to models adorned with diamonds and gemstones in solid gold.

There are four distinct subgroups within the collection:  Seamaster, Speedmaster, Constellation, and Deville. These groups are also made up of subgroups of assorted styles with choices that most would find appealing. Omega has many notable inventions and patents which it has acquired during its history. The company created the first Master Chronometer Tourbillon and presently offers four models that range from $137,000.00 to over $700,000.00 retail.

These handcrafted watches come with either manual winding or self-winding movements and range in case size from 38.7 mm. to 44 mm. These models are inspired by the first tourbillon wristwatch caliber Omega created in 1947. Additionally, Omega has been a mainstay on the silver screen with its prominent positioning in the James Bond movies of the last three decades.

Its commitment to the sponsorship of world-class sporting events, commitment to philanthropy, and practicing preservation and environmentally friendly practices have contributed to its reputation and success. Omega offers a five-year warranty on all of its timepieces making it comparable to Rolex in this respect.

Cartier-Yesterday and Today

Beautiful Cartier watch with two rings

In 1847 Louis Francois Cartier took over the workshop from his employer at the time Adolphe Picard. Though France was in the throes of the French revolution, Cartier built his company and, in 1859, opened the first Cartier boutique. While Cartier is a recognized and successful watch company, they are probably better known for jewelry and other high-end fashion designs.

Cartier, unlike Omega, is not just a luxury Swiss watchmaker but a brand that has prospered as a powerful and recognized name, as evidenced in Forbes magazine, ranking Cartier as one of the top 100 brands in the world. The watches, as well as the jewelry collection, have benefited from each other’s design, innovation, and creativity.

In 1847, Louis’s son Alfred took over the business from his dad and moved the Cartier boutique to the prestigious jewelry district in Paris. Alfred’s three sons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, were involved with the family business. While Alfred worked in Paris, his brothers sought to expand the family name to both London and New York.

While in Paris, Louis continued to grow Cartier’s reputation by incorporating revolutionary ideas such as using platinum in jewelry making. It was during this period that Cartier’s “Mystery Clocks” were developed in partnership with watchmaker Maurice Couet featuring transparent dials with hidden mechanisms. Due to Louis’s jewelry creations, King Edward Vll dubbed Cartier “Jeweller of Kings, Kings of Jewellers.”

The Creation of the Santos

In 1904, Louis’s friend Brazilian pioneer aviator Alberto Santos Dumont commissioned him to create a watch he could wear on his wrist when piloting his dirigible. At the time pocket watches were the only choice and Dumont found using a pocket watch while needing to use both his hands to control his dirigible was difficult and near impossible.

From this request, the Santos watch was born. This was Cartier’s first men’s wristwatch and due to Dumont’s celebrity, became a must-have accessory for men. Its flat shape and unique square bezel were instantly recognizable and proved successful for Cartier.

1907 saw Cartier sign an exclusive contract with Edmond Jaeger to supply movements for the Cartier watch line. By 1920, the two entities formed a joint company that had Jaeger continue to provide movements for the collection. In addition, movements from Audemars Pequot, Vacheron Constantin, and Movado were also used.

The Tank Watch is Born

A visit to the western front in 1917 inspired the formulation of what is one of Cartier’s most iconic styles, the Tank. The Tank was introduced in 1918 and entered full production in 1919 when six pieces were built. Its lines and proportions are similar to those of tanks used on First World War battlefields. Its strap is integrated into vertical sidebars giving it the distinctive and most replicated shape.

Louis Cartier died in 1942 but the company continued to flourish under new leadership over the watch and jewelry sides of the business. Cartier continued creating new and timeless jewelry pieces as well as growing the distribution of its watch collection over the next forty years.

The Panther collection was introduced in 1983 with its signature bracelet design, and shortly thereafter the Pasha watch was brought to market. The Pasha was somewhat of a departure from previous case styles and sported a distinctive oversized crown.

The interesting back story whether true or not is that the Pasha got its name because The Pasha of Marrakech commissioned Cartier to create a watch that he could swim with The first Pasha supposedly was the culmination of this request in 1933, but somehow the design fell through the cracks and was forgotten only to be resurrected in 1985. True or not, definitely an interesting story. The Roadster was introduced in 2002 and brought another successful design to the watch market.

Becoming a Swiss Watchmaking Powerhouse

The past twenty years have seen Cartier go through a large-scale transformation. Up until 2000 Cartier’s women’s watch sales exceeded men’s models, particularly in the USA. The women’s timepieces are as much a piece of jewelry as a watch and are gorgeous pieces that any woman would proudly wear. The transformation was the purchase of a facility to be able to design and manufacture every component in every Cartier watch.

A complete vertical integration under one roof. With this came a fresh mandate to produce superb quality mechanical and automatic movements. As one executive has been quoted, “Our main philosophy is to be creative, rather than complex,” with that said Cartier has captured the attention of the watchmaking community with the watches they have created featuring a host of complications, signature materials, and technological innovation. Three such models are the following:

  1. Ballon Bleu de Cartier (2007)
  2. Concept ID Collection- The ID One was introduced in 2009 and the present version, the ID Two in 2012. The watch utilizes a completely air-tight ceramic case made of Cartier’s patented Ceramist. Because the case is airtight there is little friction on any of the moving parts within the movement. The movement is made of titanium and is so precise that it requires no lubricating oils. The watch is also completely antimagnetic due to its fiberglass mainspring and carbon crystal balance.
  3. Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon.

To read an excellent article that goes into great depth about this transformation at Cartier. Since 2018, Cartier quartz models are outfitted with a high-autonomy quartz in-house movement. This movement is highly efficient and has an autonomy of 8 years.

This is twice the length of traditional quartz movements. Cartier resized and reworked the movement to reduce overall energy consumption. The new movement is combined with a new high-performance battery that is more water resistant and boasts a longer life. The new battery has 5% more capacity and discharges at half the rate of previous batteries. 

The Cartier family controlled the company until 1964 when they sold the business. In 1872, a group of investors led by Robert Hocq purchased Cartier Paris and subsequently added Cartier London in 1974, and Cartier New York in 1976. It was during this period that Hocq coined the phrase “Le Must de Cartier.” When translated, becomes “Cartier, it’s a must”.

In other words, if you are a purveyor of luxury and taste then you must own a Cartier. The slogan has stuck and has become synonymous with the brand. Today, Cartier is owned by the vast conglomerate the Richemont Group which acquired it in 2012. One of Cartier’s most respected qualities is its commitment to giving back and its philanthropic endeavors.  It is worth visiting the company website to review the many organizations that they partner with around the world.

Many countries in Africa, South America, and throughout the world have benefitted from Cartier’s generosity and desire to make a difference. Giving career and educational opportunities, and providing life-sustaining services to people who are considered “the least of these,” is the pinnacle of using their great success to give back and improve the human condition. Cartier is a classy brand with a big heart.

Cartier Tank vs. Omega Deville Prestige

The Cartier Tank is one of the most iconic watches in the brand’s treasury of timepieces. As mentioned the first Tank was created in 1919. Today’s model continues to be characterized by the original flat case design and distinctive crown topped with a synthetic or sapphire blue cabochon. The basic model in stainless steel strap is available in three sizes.

The smallest case measures 29.5 mm. X 22 mm. and is 6.6 mm. Thick. This is a women’s size case and comes in either a high autonomy quartz or a photovoltaic solar beat movement. The photovoltaic solar beat movement is a new innovation for Cartier. The movement receives light through the dial, particularly the Roman numerals feeding the photovoltaic cells.

It is estimated that the watch will last sixteen years before recommended servicing. Cartier wanted to introduce an elegant, easy-to-wear version of the Tank that needed minimal service and provided minimal environmental impact. Even the non-animal strap is made of scraps of apples grown for the food industry.
The Tank watch has a beaded crown with a synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel, silver dial, and blued steel hands.

The watch is water resistant to 30 meters and is completed with a black calfskin strap with a steel buckle on the high autonomy choice or a non-animal black, blue, or light green strap on the photovoltaic solar beat version. Each retails for approximately $2790.00. The next largest case selection measures 33.7 mm. X 25.5 mm. and also measures 6.6 mm. In thickness. All of the above attributes carry through as standard to the basic model and it is outfitted with a high autonomy quartz movement with a black leather strap.

The approximate retail price is $2930.00. The third Tank is the Large model and measures 41 mm. X 31 mm. and measures 6.6 mm. in height. This model varies from the others in that it has a mechanical automatic caliber 1847 MC movement and a calendar window at the 6 o’clock position. Approximate retail $4200.00 with a black calfskin strap with steel buckle. All three case sizes are also available with a stainless steel bracelet instead of a strap. The approximate retail prices of each model are as follows:

  1. Tank Small – $3200.00
  2. Tank Medium (referred to large on the website) – $3350.00
  3. Tank Large – $4650.00

There are several other variations of the Cartier Tank available through the company in various dials, materials, and styles but I have limited my choice for comparison to the base model.

The Omega Deville Prestige is part of the Deville collection and numbers over 400 distinct models. There truly is something here for everyone to choose from. The basic Prestige Co-Axial Master Chronometer measures 40 mm. in diameter, 19 mm. between the lugs, and has a thickness of 9.9 mm. The case is made of stainless steel and is water resistant to 30 meters. The watch features a domed PVD dial with sun-brushed finishes. You may choose from five different dial colors:

  1. Pine Green
  2. Blue
  3. Silver
  4. Black with PVD SEDNA gold colored hands with alternating Roman numerals and cabochon indexes
  5. Rhodium Gray with the same gold treatments available with the black dial

In addition, the outer edge of the dial features a railway minute track, enhancing the appearance of the dial, and a date window at the six o’clock position. The front sapphire crystal has been enhanced with anti-reflective treatment. There is a see-through crystal on the back of the case to view the beautiful movement.

At the heart of the watch is a Co-Axial caliber 8800 self-winding automatic movement. The movement features the Omega Co-Axial escapement, free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring, and auto winding capabilities in both directions.

The movement reflects rhodium-plated finishes with Geneve wave decorations. The movement vibrates at a frequency of 3.5 Hz and has a power reserve of 55 hours. The watch is also impervious to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss.

The Deville Prestige will set you back about $4100.00. with an accompanying strap or $4400.00 with a stainless steel bracelet. Omega also offers a collection of women’s Deville Prestige models. They are available in a myriad of sizes. The basic model is available in a stainless steel case with a beautifully integrated steel bracelet. The watch has a diameter of 24.4 mm., a measurement between the lugs of 12 mm., and 6.6 mm. Thick.

It has a striking two-tone dial with Roman numerals at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 positions. A scratch-proof sapphire crystal protects the dial. The watch has an Omega caliber 1376 high precision quartz movement and the watch is water resistant to 30 meters.

The approximate retail price of this model is $2550.00. Along with the various choice in case sizes the women’s timepieces are available in steel and 18-carat gold, and all 18-carat yellow gold or red gold models with and without diamonds and options like mother-of-pearl dials.

Conclusion

In comparing the male models I would opt for the Omega on two counts. The number of features invested into the watch itself and secondly, its sleek and detailed dial and overall appearance. Don’t get me wrong, the Cartier Tank is a beautiful watch and after all,  bears the Cartier name which carries its own special cache and sends a message of sophistication, but it is a simple and somewhat unexciting timepiece. At similar price points, either would make a great choice, but I would give the advantage to the Omega.

Omega Aqua Terra vs Cartier Santos

The Aqua Terra is part of the Omega Seamaster collection. These models are water resistant to 150m. (approximately 500 ft.). Cases are constructed of 316L stainless steel and available in either a 41mm. or a 38mm. case. They house a caliber 8900 self-winding (automatic) movement with a power reserve of 60 hours, a scratch-proof sapphire crystal, and a transparent case back. There is a date window at the six o’clock position.

The mechanical self-winding Omega caliber 8900 movements has a Co-Axial escapement, free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring, two barrels mounted in series, and automatic winding in both directions. It has a time zone function and the rotors and bridges reflect rhodium plating with Geneva wave finishes. 

These watches are highly shock resistant and are tested with results that are equal to 5,000g (1g is equal to the force of gravity at the earth’s surface). Each Aqua Terra also benefits from the best antimagnetic resistant rating among all watches. Omega had set the new standard for this measure in a wristwatch. These watches are antimagnetic to fields reaching 15,000 gausses. A quick overview concerning this feature is as follows.

The International Standard (ISO769) defines basic magnetic resistance for watches as they must resist exposure to direct magnetic fields of 4,800 A/m (Amperes per meter). This is a minimal level and equivalent to about 60 gausses. Gauss is a measure of magnetic resistance that takes into consideration the magnetic permeability of the material being tested.

Technically, this is called magnetic flux density. The Aqua Terra is rated at 15,000 gausses (1.2 million A/m). To put that measure in perspective, it is the magnetic field given off by an MRI scanner.  The Aqua Terra comes in an array of colors. Each is earmarked by a horizontal “teak pattern” fashioned after the decks found on luxury sailboats and yachts. The colors are as follows:

  1. Silver with blackened hands and indexes filled with white Super-Luminova. There is an orange central seconds hand and the Seamaster wording is orange colored as well as the four-quarter markers on the minute track.
  2. Green with a sun-brushed finish and rhodium-plated hands and indexes filled with white Super-Luminova.
  3. Blue with rhodium-plated hands and indexes filled with white Super-Luminova.
  4. Black with rhodium-plated hands and indexes filled with white Super-Luminova.
  5. Gray with blued hands and indexes filled with white Super-Luminova.

The starting retail price for the Aqua Terra is $5400.00 for a strap model or $5700.00 for a model with a stainless steel bracelet. There are also several styles available for women starting at $5700.00.

The Cartier Santos Dumont is available as a base model in three sizes. The small case timepiece measures 38 mm. X 27.5 mm. and has a thickness of 7.3 mm. It is constructed of stainless steel and has a beaded crown set with a blue synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel. The dial is satin brushed silver with a sunray effect and features Roman numerals and blued steel hands.

A sapphire crystal protects the watch from scratches and it is water-resistant to 30 meters. It is powered by Cartier’s high-autonomy quartz movement. This model retails for approximately $3750.00. With a navy blue alligator strap with a steel buckle. The Large size Santos Dumont has a case measurement of 43.5 mm. X 31.4 mm. with a thickness of 7.3 mm.

It has all the same characteristics as the aforementioned, smaller, watch. This incarnation retails for approximately $4000.00. The extra-large Santos increases to a case size of 46.6 mm. X 33.9 mm. The watch is slightly thicker at 7.5 mm.

The one major difference is that this model has a hand-wound mechanical caliber 430 MC movement. All other features remain the same as the above models. The timepiece retails for about $6000.00

The Santos Dumont also comes in a completely stainless steel version. Here there are only two models to choose from. The medium-sized watch has a case width of 35.1 mm. and a height of 8.83 mm. The watch has a mechanical automatic caliber 1847 MC in-house movement and is water resistant to 100 meters. The crown is slightly different from the bracelet model.

The crown is seven-sided and set with a faceted synthetic spinel. The silvered opaline dial is accented with blued steel hands and black Roman numerals. A sapphire crystal protects the dial and the watch is completed with a rugged yet elegant stainless steel bracelet with a smart link adjustment system.

This watch will cost you approximately $6800.00. The large incarnation of this model measures 39.9 mm. overall and has a thickness of 9.38 mm. All technical aspects are the same as the medium-sized watch but will set you back around $7450.00.

Conclusion

I have personally come to a split decision concerning the better of the two models. I would own one of each if possible. Granted, the Santos Dumont in steel with a strap is not as exciting as perhaps one of the latest offerings in some of the rest of the collection, but for the price, there is a level of refinement and sophistication that makes this watch stand out.

It also is not a “sports watch” which would be a more applicable term applied to the Omega Aqua Terra. The Aqua Terra is a timepiece packed with features and ready for a trip to the office or a weekend of sports activities. It is also superior to the Santos in its water resistance. I believe each watch will appeal to a different potential client but both are worth a test drive at your watch store of choice.

FAQ’s

Is Omega better than Cartier?

With the advancements that Cartier has made in the past twenty years, bringing every aspect of the watchmaking process from conception to completion under one roof, I believe Cartier’s reputation as a watchmaker is well on its way to achieving greatness with the who’s who of the Swiss watchmaking community. Both are great brands with great histories of producing high-quality and innovative timepieces.

Do Cartier watches hold their value?

Over time a Cartier watch has the potential of depreciating less than other Swiss luxury brands. The Cartier name is so well regarded that there is always a secondary market for their watches.

Are Cartier watches worth the money?

This is a purely subjective determination you have to make. Given the labor and materials incorporated into many of the specialty or complicated watches, these are priced on par with similar highly sought-after luxury Swiss timepieces. There is much to be said about the craftsmanship and beauty of the Cartier collection coupled with its reputation for high fashion.

Does Omega have a better warranty?

Omega watches are warranted for five years. Cartier timepieces come with a two-year international warranty that may be extended to a total coverage of eight years if you register your purchase with “Cartier Care” and agree to certain caveats. The watch must be registered within the initial two years after the purchase period.

Omega vs Zenith

It’s an urge…every watch enthusiast has felt it, and every aficionado has had a taste of it; the desire to own an elegant timepiece that doesn’t only provide infinitesimally accurate timing but offers a fantastic investment opportunity along with the satisfaction of owning a piece of excellent craftsmanship.

But with a handful of luxury watches coming with different distinctions and qualities, help is often needed to determine the best watch for your satisfaction, especially when it is between two Swiss watches that are highly comparable. 

In this guide, we will reveal everything you need to know when choosing between Omega and Zenith watch brands. Why Omega and Zenith? Well because these brand’s artifacts are iconic among hundreds. Let’s delve in!

Omega’s history

About omega watches

Omega, the one brand that today can go head to head with the popularity of Rolex, was founded by Louis Brandt in 1848. It all began in a small Swiss village called La Chaux-de-Fonds when Louis, then 23 years old, established a workshop that he operated as La Generale Watch Co.

He started by gathering parts from local craftsmen and using them to develop key-wound precision pocket watches which he distributed to his major buyers in Italy and Scandinavia. Louis’s sons picked up where he left off after his death and after small-scale production for 37 years, La Generale Watch Co released its first mass-produced caliber movement, called Labrador. 

Following the success of Labrador, it quickly rose to fame by releasing the first minute-repeating timepiece in 1892 and the 19-line OMEGA Caliber in 1894. By 1903, La Generale Watch Co had become a world success after establishing a reputation for reliability and precision with over 200,000 watches produced annually.

It enlarged its distribution network rapidly – thanks to the global demand for its iconic watches – and spun off Omega Watch Co officially in 1903.

By 1932, Omega was world-renowned for unprecedented precision (The Omega chronometer could tell time more accurately than any other watch in circulation at that time) and became the official timekeeper of the Olympics with a global reach and increased market shares because along with its iconic timepieces, it adopted profound business ideas like premium pricing, tighter control of dealer pricing, and top-notch advertising, establishing its place in the watchmaking industry.

Zenith’s history

Zenith watch

Currently operating under the umbrella of the LVMH Group, Zenith is one of the oldest continuously operating watch brands today. It was first known as “Fabrique des Billodes” and was founded in 1865 by the visionary Georges Favre-Jacot in Le Locle in the canton of Neuchâtel. He began with the production of precision pocket watches and moved further to the production of board chronometers, table clocks, wristwatches, and precision pendulum clocks

Gradually, the production of marine chronometers began and this marked the beginning of the creation of mechanical marvels that challenged the foundations of traditional watchmaking, even leading to a Grand Prix award at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, for its “Zenith ” movement. Subsequently, Georges Favre-Jacot renamed his watch company, (George Farve-Jacot & Co) “Zenith” in 1911 because he believed it represented the apex of precision.

Marking an enormous leap forward, Zenith began work on an automatic chronograph movement, “El Primero” which was launched in 1969 and unlocked the world of hundredth-of-a-second timing with the release of its Defy El Primero 21 ( a high frequency, low amplitude movement that is about ten times more accurate than a standard chronometer) and quickly took its place as one of the most innovative watchmakers in history. Today Zenith has developed over 600 movement variations and has an unrivaled record in the field of precision instruments with over 2, 000 chronometry awards.

What is Omega known for?

Short answer; pushing boundaries. Long answer;  from being the first watch brand to provide excellent resistance to magnetic fields,  (the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra > 15,000 gauss for instance used components that were made of non-ferrous materials, surpassing the standard use of a soft iron inner protection case to resist magnetic fields), to having the first most accurate timepiece produced on the planet (when it set an all-time precision record after undergoing six trials at the Geneva Observatory, making it the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games), Omega is known for its sporty chronographs, co-axial movements, and professional dive watches.

Over the century, It has risen to be one of the most respected luxury Swiss watch brands with a rich horological heritage, that continues to challenge the watch world today by creating some of the most expertly crafted timepieces ever. Recently, its catalog comprises four major collections, namely the Speedmaster ( AKA The Moonwatch), Seamaster, De Ville, and Constellation.

What is Zenith known for?

Short answer; classic designs and highly accurate movements. 

Long answer; outside of the vintage market, Zenith is renowned for providing a range of high-end, heritage-driven luxury watches in addition to the hyper-technical and fashionable modern Defy series. Their technological innovations have made Zenith a leading brand in the manufacture of high-frequency chronograph watches ( talk about its El Primero automatic chronograph) that even Rolex’s new Daytona could be powered by. ( a modified Zenith El Primero movement, “the Calibre 400” was the foundation of the new Rolex 4030 movement).

Zenith watches have rightly been referred to as the “beater watch” because they can endure punishment and maintain impressive accuracy at the same time. Zenith Defy collection for instance which began in 1969 features sporty, rugged watches with distinctive designs. It currently produces 32 different models for a total of five collections, namely; Academy, El Primero, Captain, Pilot, and Heritage.

Style

Style plays a key role when it comes to choosing between two highly comparable timepieces. Fortunately, both brands offer very stylish-yet-practical watches. From the timeless trend of stainless steel to watches with leather straps, the common denominator of both Swiss brands is their uncompromised style and horological excellence.

Omega’s Constellation watches range from hands-down elegant dress watches to robust dive watches while Zenith continues to release elegantly finished timepieces for every watch lover in numerous styles.

Accuracy and Precision

Omega’s historic passion for accuracy and precision began as far back as 1931, at the Geneva Observatory trials where it broke the record for precision in all six categories. It has built its reputation on revolutionary watch movements and kept its spot as one of the world’s most accurate timepieces that subjects both its watch movements and completed timepieces to Master Chronometer testing for at least ten days to get an unsurpassed precision.

Zenith on the other hand is known for its historically significant and high-precision chronograph watch movements. The world has watched it grow from the production of mechanical watches to watches that use a gyroscopic mechanism (the Christophe Colomb for example features a movement escapement in a Cardan suspension-style cage that always points up).

Quality and Craftsmanship

Both brands are committed to using materials that enhance the aesthetic appeal of their watches while also maximizing robustness and performance. Omega makes arguably the most accurate Swiss-made mechanical movements in the world with approximately 70% international brand recognition.

Its timepieces are prestigious and of very high quality such that they can last through many generations. Zenith equally provides technically advanced high-quality watches with top-notch materials and craftsmanship.

Resale and Warranty

ALL Omega timepieces come with a 5-year warranty while Zenith offers a standard warranty duration of two years. In offering a five-year warranty, Omega comes ahead of Zenith establishing itself as a more high-quality and luxurious watch brand. The average resale value of a Zenith is lower than an Omega because Omega’s most popular models (The Speedmaster and Seamaster) are in high demand and often hold their value best on the secondhand market.

Which has a higher ranking?

Following reports published by the Swiss Watch Industry Federation and Morgan Stanley (An American investment company), Omega has a higher ranking than Zenith. From 2017 up until 2020, Omega has ranked number two in the top twenty watch brands with the larger market share. It only dropped to third place in 2021 with a 7.5% market share and an estimated turnover of CHF 2.2 billion, which is an exceptional performance for any Prestige brand.

Zenith did not feature in the top ten Swiss watch brands but turned up at number 18, which is still impressive.  Again, Omega came in third in the most searched watch brands on the internet with 8,076,000 hits based on annualized average monthly search volumes provided by Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

Speedmaster Pro Sapphire vs. Zenith El Primero

Omega has continually claimed the second spot worldwide in the watch model rankings because of its Seamaster and Speedmaster but the El Primero movement is undoubtedly Zenith’s most enduring legacy. Can these two top-class creators of chronometer watches go head-to-head against each other? Let’s take a closer look at two iconic timepieces from each collection.

Speedmaster Pro SapphireZenith El Primero (9004)
•Brand: Omega•Brand: Zenith
•Movement: OMEGAs mechanical caliber 1863•Movement: El Primero
•Power reserve: 48 hours•Power reserve: 50 hours
•Type: Manual-winding ( the famous manual-winding chronograph movement that was used on the Moon)•Central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second.
•Features: Chronograph, Tachymeter, Small seconds•Features: 1/100th of a second Chronograph
•Bracelet material: Steel•Bracelet material: Titanium
•Case material: Steel•Case Material: Brushed Titanium
•Case Diameter: 42 mm, between lugs: 20 mm, and thickness: 13.5 mm•Case Diameter: 44 mm, between lugs: 22 mm, and thickness: 14.5 mm
•Crystal: Domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment inside.•Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides.
•Water resistance: 5 bar (50 meters / 167 feet)•Water resistance: 10 bar (100 meters / 334 feet)
•Product weight (Approx.): 161 g•Product weight (Approx.): 450 g

Speedmaster Pro Sapphire

ProsCons
•Features Sapphire crystal which is harder than hesalite.•More expensive to replace/restore.
•A future classic and modernized version of the Moonwatch.
•A highly collectible item that will never cease to remain valuable.
•A perfect blend of historical significance, timeless design, and luxury spec.
•Can be worn on any occasion

Zenith El Primero

ProsCons
•Steeped in history.•Minimal folding of links means it is not ideal for people with smaller wrists.
•Good quality timepieces.•Prone to scratches.
•Classic design that will stand the test of time.
•Versatile style
•Comes in 42mm to 44mm for all wrist sizes.

Omega Speedmaster 57 vs Zenith El Primero

Omega Speedmaster 57

OMEGA was the only watch brand to pass NASA’s rigorous tests (which involved putting the timepiece through extreme conditions like high temperatures, volatile fluctuations, high-pressure levels. etc) in the 1960s. Omega Speedmaster made its mark in history when it beat Rolex, Longines, and Hamilton watches to become the official robust and reliable timepiece of the Apollo program.

Subsequently,  Astronaut Wally Schirra wore Speedmaster (ref. CK2998) on his Mercury Sigma 7 Mission in 1962, making it the first OMEGA watch to enter space. OMEGA’s famous Speedmaster ’57 is a sub-collection of the Speedmaster family that was first introduced in 2013. While the Speedmaster 57 is sporty and elegant, it retains the traditional Speedmaster design.

The new features are two subdials, a date display, and the inclusion of a new manual-wind chronograph movement called the Omega caliber 9906. Omega further elevated the vintage spirit to a whole new level by packing this up with slimmer styling, extraordinary color, and a Co-Axial Master Chronometer engine – one of the very best automatic movements – certified as a Master Chronometer by METAS, and has twin mainspring barrels mounted in series to provide a 60-hour power reserve, in addition to Omega’s customary Arabesque Côtes de Genève decoration.

The Speedmaster 57 is representative of the original, timeless look of the Speedmaster line. When it comes to prices, Omega Speedmaster watches are more affordable than Zenith El Primero (and therefore more attainable) with the price ranging from $5,000 and going up to $8,000 on the higher-end models.

Zenith El Primero

“El Primero”, literally means  “the first” in Spanish. Zenith’s El Primero has been in production for  50 years now and has long been the most celebrated automatic movement on the market. It was the first automatic chronograph globally with the most precise chronograph in the world and made a name when it shocked the watch world by oscillating at a high-frequency movement that can measure 1/10th of a second (current top models can even time to 1/100th of a second). 

From the Chronomaster to the Defy and Pilot, Zenith’s El Primero collection boasts double tourbillon beats at 36,000 beats per minute, whereas the typical watch movement beats at 28,000, offering more accuracy. El Primero enjoys broad collector popularity and typically sells between $3,700 – $24, 500.

Final thoughts: is Omega better than Zenith?

Both Omega and Zenith excel in the production of high-quality movements in the history of mechanical watches. Depending on your needs, different answers can put this question to rest. If you see a watch primarily as an investment, then Omega is better than Zenith. 

When it comes to accuracy and precision, it can be tricky to put one ahead of another. Zenith is credited with the production of the very first chronograph caliber and is renowned for Its precise chronograph movements (especially the El Primero series that revitalized classical watchmaking and the Swiss watch industry with accuracy and precision that relied upon its column-wheel mechanism).

The El Primero is considered the  ‘raison d’être’ of Zenith and was even used by Rolex for the first version of the Daytona chronograph as did many other brands. Omega on the other hand is known to deliver precise and accurate chronometric watches that are certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.

When it comes to ranking, Omega ranks higher compared to Zenith. Omega ranks at number two of the most recognizable Swiss watch brands while Zenith can be found at number 18. If classic styles, elegance, outstanding design, and high-quality materials are your specs, both brands offer the glamour and luxury appeal of Swiss watches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Zenith watches worth the money?

Yes, Zenith watches offer great value with their highly precise chronographs and are worth every cent of the dollar they cost.

Is Zenith a respected watch brand?

Zenith stands out as one of the best-respected Swiss watch brands. They are renowned for their classic designs and highly accurate movements, the likes of which were regularly used by Rolex until they started making their own in 2000

Which holds value, Zenith, or Omega?

The value of watches depends on different factors like age, scarcity & growing demand, accessories, the material used, and condition. Omega watches have been known to hold their value considerably well in the world of luxury watches, better than Zenith timepieces.

Panerai vs Omega brand comparison

Confused between Panerai and Omega? Then you’ve come to the right place! Panerai is definitely a watch brand worth investing in. The rich history, precision of the movements, and unique design are just a couple of the value props that come with owning a Panerai watch. With a vast amount of models, you can explore their catalog and discover watches with various features that will suit your needs.

From chronographs and GMT’s to power reserve indicators and date windows you’ll find it all. Panerai is also a great entry way into the luxury watch market. With brand new models starting around $5k and even lower if used, one can find an affordable option without sacrificing quality. Generally speaking, the price of a watch will increase with complexity of the movement and quality of the materials.

Like any watch brand with a rich history, there are a handful of Panerai models that have increased in value over time. As a prestigious, historic, and well respected watch brand, Panerai offers a ton of value for those just getting into the watch market, experienced collectors and everyone in between. 

Does Panerai hold their value?

Panerai watch

Panerai watches have an extensive history attributing to their success in the luxury watch market. In 1916 they entered an official partnership with the Royal Italian Navy after successfully supplying them with other high precision instruments. This partnership spurred the development of Radiomir, an illuminating powder derived from Radium that was applied to watch dials to provide more legibility.

This discovery instantly gained traction in the watch community due to its ability to provide high visibility underwater and in other low light environments. The development of Radiomir marked the beginning of an era of innovation for Panerai, leading to plenty more designs that would secure its place as a great investment piece.

Towards the end of WWII Panerai’s partnership with the Royal Italian Navy came to a close. Since they were exclusively producing watches for the Navy, Panerai had to shift their focus to the public market. Having to tap into a whole new market segment was a challenge but Paneria’s brand image was drastically propelled thanks to Slyvester Stallone. 

While filming a movie in Italy Slyvester Stallone purchased a Panerai watch and decided to wear it on set. Impressed with the simplicity of the dial and large size Stallone immediately put Panerai in the limelight of the watch community. He also gifted Panerai’s to a couple other notable actors which resulted in them being featured in films on the wrists of Arnold Swarzenegger, Jason Statham, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

As oversized watches were gaining popularity, Panerai started producing watches for the public and joined the craze. Another reason why Panerai watches retain value is because of the level of enthusiasm the fanbase has for the brand. Panerai enthusiasts known as “Paneristi ” have conventions, meetups, and forums dedicated to the brand’s history, collection, and creative innovation.

By having such a strong community around the brand, Panerai’s are very likely to maintain and increase their value for years to come. Designed in true Italian fashion, Panerai’s are captivating to the eye and powerful on the wrist. Given the large yet simple dial, a Panerai can easily be spotted in a crowd and identified as a statement piece. 

Having a military background gives Panerai a rugged character that isn’t as common amongst other luxury watch brands. By wearing a Panerai one is assimilated into the community of Panerai owners who admire the brand for its durability and bold design.

The most valuable watch brands are those that have extensive history, innovative watchmaking designs, and unique designs that help them become distinguished in a competitive market. Panerai has all of these value props making it a great brand to invest in. 

Is Panerai a top brand?

Brown Panerai watch

Giovani Panerai opened up his first watch shop during the year 1860 in Florence, Italy. As he scaled the business it became Florence’s first horological training center. During WWII Panerai was funded by Mussolini to increase production and innovate more rapidly. Panerai went on to develop the first of many watch features we still see today such as the Perspex Crystal, luminous sandwich dials, integrated lugs with spring bars, lever activated crown locks, and of course their own tritium based lume called Luminor. All of these innovative designs came to fruition between 1936 and 1950. 

Having initially produced watches for various military branches, Panerai didn’t enter the public domain until 1993. Their angle in the market was focused on offering timepieces that were legible, durable, and could withstand rigorous wear under water. These characteristics of Panerai still hold true today, maintaining the high standards that have unwavered since their inception. 

In 1997 Panerai officially entered the luxury watch segment when they were acquired by the Richemont Group and moved production to Switzerland. This move was crucial to the transformation of Panerai into the luxury sports watch brand we are familiar with today. Since then, Panerai has remained a constant force in the watch market holding their value next to brands like Rolex, Omega, and Breitling. 

What is your opinion on Panerai watches?

Panerai’s are known for their large yet simplistic aesthetic that many find attractive. The legibility of the dial and ease of wear make this watch desirable for those who aren’t keen to intricacies and maximalist design. A wide variety of movements sourced both in-house and externally give buyers plenty of options. Another selling point for Panerai’s is their variety of metals and bracelet options.

One interested in a Panerai can also decide on wearing a watch on a metal bracelet, rubber or canvas strap, and be configured of different metals ranging from stainless steel to PVD. Given the vast collection Panerai offers, it may be difficult to navigate and come to a buying decision. An amateur watch enthusiast may be overwhelmed by the amount of options and find difficulty in finding the right watch for them.

Even an experienced collector may find difficulty in deciding which features are most valuable to them. Thankfully there are plenty of Panerai buying guides online which can help steer one’s direction when looking to purchase a Panerai. Overall, Panerai is an exciting watch brand to follow and learn about, making it a great brand to invest in. 

Panerai vs Omega: Who is the lume king?

Omega is known for having extremely powerful lume. There are countless forums and photography accounts on social media that praise the power of Omegas lume. From extensive discussions to macro shots of an Omega dial, it’s no doubt that Omega is an expert when it comes to lume. Although they have the history and expertise to stand out in the market, Panerai is a strong competitor in the lume department. 

Panerai not only uses lume for the hour markers and hands like most watchmakers but also applies lume to show the outlines and staple elements of their watches. In some cases one can even find lume applied to the  stitching of the watch strap. Some would say that the designers at Panerai use lume to outline the watch and bring attention to the iconic details Panerai watches are known for. Afterall, the Panerai Luminor is a nod to the power of lume that Panerai has been producing for decades. 

What drew you to Panerai?

Broken into four collections, Panerai offers over 20 in-house movements as well as a couple of movements sourced from third parties. These movements are found in over 200 individual references made by Panerai and available in steel, bronze, titanium, gold, and other less common materials like carbotech and Panerai Composite.

Many watch enthusiasts would agree that having so many options from such a prestigious brand allows one to truly delve into a horological wonderland of watch collecting. An extensive history and catalog ensures that there will be a value prop for any type of enthusiast, whether it is the riveting history or modern technology used in their watches being produced today.

Panerai 328, Luminor, or Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean?

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean offers a lot of value for a dive watch. For starters, the ceramic bezel with rubber and liquid metal insert is extremely legible and aesthetic. Omega does a great job at balancing functionality with design, making the Planet Ocean attractive to design minded enthusiasts. The Planet Ocean also features a hacking movement which stops the ticking of the watch while adjusting, in the case it needs to be synchronized with another time piece.

Despite the amazing design and functions of the Planet Ocean it is known to be a very thick and heavy watch. The Panerai 328 stands out primarily with its cushion shaped case. Not too round or too square this watch embraces a unique shape that is uncommon in the watch industry. Yielding the iconic Panerai features, the 328 has a 300m water resistance, straight lugs, and a lever set crown lock.

The date window features lume which helps with legibility in dark settings. The camelback of the 328 is transparent allowing the wearer to admire the self winding automatic movement housed in the watch. The Panerai Luminor is unique for a couple different reasons. First, the watch comes in at 42mm which is slightly smaller than most other models coming in at 44mm, 45mm, and a hefty 47mm.

When the Luminor was introduced, many Panerai fans were rejoicing over the more wearable model that deems itself friendly to smaller wrists. For those interested in water resistance, the Luminor is resistant to 100m compared to the traditional 300m depth rating. Is there a clear winner between these 3 watches? We’ll let you decide. 

Omega vs Rolex vs Panerai

Rolex isn’t necessarily at the highest end of the horological spectrum but most likely the most loved and easiest to recognize. They use plenty of precious metals in their designs which come with a very wide variety in price. It seems that any Rolex model with Everose Gold is an instant hit (think of the new two tone GMT Master II “Rootbeer”).

For lovers of jewels, a handful of their models are embedded with diamonds and sapphires. In the sports/tool watch under $10k category, Rolex is usually deemed number one. The Explorer and Submariner models are some of the most popular tool watches in the market. Rolexes also tend to have strong resale value.

They have found a way to build enough exclusivity that some of their models can triple in price in the gray market. From vintage models to brand new designs, Rolex is a value powerhouse that will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. For more high end offerings and a better resale value, they’re definitely a strong proponent. Known to be a universal commodity, Rolex is always a great investment. 

Omega has a great history and consistently comes out with beautiful designs. Since their inception they’ve played an important role in history and pop culture. The Speedmaster Professional was used as the official timekeeper for the Olympic games in 1957 and was adorning the wrist of Buzz Aldrin during the first manned lunar landing in 1969.

The resale market for Omegas is vast, allowing buyers to find a Speedmaster, Seamaster, or Constellation at prices well under the cost of a Rolex or Panerai. Many vintage enthusiasts love to explore the older Seamaster models from the late 1950’s to mid 1960’s due to their quintessential mid century modern designs. 

For lovers of modern sports watches, Omega has a wide variety of Seamaster and Speedmaster that come in a wide variety of metals, colors, and price points. Omega also likes to utilize the skeleton caseback often which is a great method of featuring the beautiful yet powerful movement behind the dial. Omega, having a rich history and large influence in the watch market, is a great proponent for novice watch enthusiasts looking to enter the market at a fair price as well as seasoned collectors looking for rare and highly desired references. 

Panerai, coming from a rich Italian heritage, seems to hold its own unique space in the luxury watch market. With case sizes larger than most Omegas and Rolexes and minimalist designs uncommon in Swiss watchmaking, Panerai offers a unique value prop for a specific design minded enthusiast. They are also a watch brand that has held true to their design and expertise for decades, consistently building their watches to a very high standard. 

Known for their robust size and incredible lume, Panerai has constantly met the expectations of those awaiting to purchase one of their timepieces. The resale market for Panerai’s is fairly consistent but doesn’t promise tremendous growth with age like some Rolex or Omega models. Ingrained in pop culture due to their appearances in movies and on the wrists of celebrities, Panerai has an edge that makes them desirable as fans enjoy wearing watches that are noticeable to others. 

Panerai Luminor vs Omega Planet Ocean

Beginning in the late 1940’s Panerai shifted away from using Radiomir Lume and focused more on the development of tritium based lume known as Luminor. In 1950 the signature Panerai crown lock was introduced. The Luminor models feature the crown lock, integrated lugs, and iconic cushion shaped case that is reminiscent of its past.

The Luminor is easily one of the most recognizable Panerai models today. When it comes to price, this is the most affordable Panerai that delivers its unique and classic look, and still comes with an in-house movement. The Omega Planet Ocean is a very wearable yet capable watch in their Seamaster line. The Planet Ocean comes with a 600m depth resistance which is twice that of the Luminor.

It’s also slightly bigger than the Luminor which may deter some who enjoy the more approachable size compared to their larger models. Both coming in around the $4k-$5k mark, the Luminor and Planet Ocean deliver a great amount of value. If looking for a preowned model, there are plenty of options in the gray market compared to some of the more desired Rolex models that are difficult to source.

Because of this, both options serve as great entry points into the luxury watch market. Panerai and Omega both have significantly rich histories. Panerai coined many patents as they scaled to serve the Italian Navy and Omega partnered with NASA to help land a man on the moon are feats that not many other watch brands can compete with. 

grand seiko vs omega brand comparison

An overview of the Grand Seiko brand

Grand Seiko is a Japanese watch brand that was started in 1960. Both the Seiko and Grand Seiko brands existed under one umbrella until 2017 when the Grand Seiko became an independent brand. A good comparison would be automobile manufacturer Honda Motor Company. Both the Honda and Acura brands are owned by Honda but are two distinct entities.

Just as the Honda brand appeals to the everyday driver, the Acura brand is a higher-priced luxury offering for a more sophisticated consumer. Think of Seiko as Honda, and the Grand Seiko as the Acura. The Seiko watch corporation has accomplished much during its relatively short history. From Seiko’s inception, they were manufacturing highly precise mechanical timepieces.

In the 1960s, Seiko beat out many high-end Swiss brands at Observatory Competitions in Switzerland, often placing in the top five for mechanical accuracy. In 1969, Seiko invented the very first quartz movement. The original model was the Seiko Quartz Astra. The accuracy of these movements was +-5 seconds per month.

Far more accurate than the mechanical wind and automatic movements that were being produced. This level of accuracy in a wristwatch was unprecedented. The other great draw to the brand was its affordability. The quartz introduction would provide a great challenge to the established Swiss watch brands.

The follow-up introduction of the Twin Quartz and the Superior Twin Quartz models would further Seiko’s success in delivering highly accurate movements. The “Twin” refers to the two quartz oscillators that were incorporated into the movement, one compensating for the other during temperature changes. The Twin Quartz introduced in 1978 was accurate to +-10 seconds per year and the Superior Twin Quartz to +-5 seconds per year.

Over the past sixty years, Seiko has improved upon many previous watch manufacturing processes. In 2020, Grand Seiko created the T0 (T-Zero) movement which was the world’s first. Amongst the innovations achieved, a totally different approach was applied to the manufacture of the movement’s gears. Gears are vital in the precision of the movement.

Whereas previously gears were machined, Grand Seiko employed a process known as MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems). This technique is employed for making semiconductors. Metal films are layered like plating to produce perfect gear teeth. Gear teeth precision is measured in microns. This process was also used to manufacture Grand Seiko’s pallet fork and escapement wheels.

The T0 movement features a fully integrated constant force tourbillon on the same axis in the movement. Constant force preserves power in a small spring called a constant force spring which is different from a mainspring. It uses the repulsive power of the small spring to power a pendulum or balance. The constant force mechanism ensures stable torque which increases accuracy.

The Grand Seiko collection is comprised of five sub-collections. These are Masterpiece, Elegance, Evolution 9, Sports, and Heritage. The starting retail price for a Grand Seiko is $2200.00. Every Grand Seiko watch houses one of three types of movements The “9S” is a mechanical movement that offers Grand Seiko Specification Standards of the accuracy of +4/-2 seconds per day.

These standards are achieved over seventeen days of testing in six different positions and at three different temperatures. The “9S5A” movement is the automatic version with an accuracy of +8/-3 seconds per day. The second movement is the “9S”. This movement is based on the unique technology of a spring drive.

This technology combines electronic and mechanical watchmaking methods within one movement. Watches carrying these movements are accurate from a minimum of +-.5 seconds per day to +-15 seconds per month.

Lastly is the “9F” which is a hand-assembled quartz movement. Most quartz movements are machine manufactured, so this is a very unique feature. These watches also boast accuracy readings of +- 10 seconds per year.

3 Grand Seiko Watches

The Omega watch brand

Omega is a Swiss luxury timepiece that is counted amongst the ten most recognizable brands worldwide. Omega was founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. The watch company did not incorporate the “Omega” name until 1903 and even then it was known as a combination of Brandt and Omega. 

The major feature that distinguishes Omega watches from other brands is that each is a master chronometer. To achieve this classification, the movements are not just certified chronometers by the COSC (Swiss chronometer testing institute) for accuracy, but they are then put through more precision testing by METAS. METAS is the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology.

The movements are put through eight additional tests and must fall within certain parameters of accuracy. Whereas the COSC accepts results of -4/+6 seconds per day after the METAS tests the range is 0/+5, 0/+6, and 0/+7 seconds per day depending upon the caliber size of the movement. The Omega watch line offers over 500 models and has a starting retail price of approximately $5000.00.

A basic “Rail Master” is about $4900.00. and a basic divers watch will run you about $5100.00. Women’s watches start at approximately $6000.00. There is great depth to the women’s selections with styles ranging from classic models to models adorned with diamonds and gemstones in solid gold. There are four distinct subgroups within the collection. Seamaster, Speedmaster, Constellation, and Deville.

These groups are also made up of subgroups of assorted styles with choices that most would find appealing. Omega has many notable inventions and patents it has acquired during its history. The company created the first Master Chronometer Tourbillon and presently offers four models that range from $137,000.00 to over $700,000.00 retail.

These handcrafted watches come with either manual winding or self-winding movements and range in case size from 38.7 mm. to 44 mm. These models are inspired by the first tourbillon wristwatch caliber Omega created in 1947. Unlike the conventional tourbillon movements where the cages rotated once every minute, the Omega rotated once every 7.5 minutes. This provided greater accuracy leading to the movement being recognized as the most accurate recorded timepiece in 1949.

Another iconic chapter in Omega’s history was the development of the “Moon” watch. This watch was launched in 1957. In 1962, it was the first watch in space when Wally Schirra wore it for the Mercury Mission on Oct. 3, 1962.

Nasa subsequently qualified the watch for manned missions in 1965, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore it when he walked on the moon on July 21, 1969. Thus Omega became known as “The First Watch on the Moon.” Omega offers a five-year warranty on all of its timepieces making it comparable to Rolex in this respect.

Is the Grand Seiko watch technically better than Omega?

Both brands offer excellence in both watchmaking processes and innovation. Grand Seiko has made significant technological strides in incorporating semiconductor manufacturing practices in the production of its watch components and materials. Also, in the field of combining both mechanical and electronic movement technology, Grand Seiko has achieved world-class results for accuracy.

Grand Seiko is also one of the only watch brands that offer a hand-assembled quartz movement. This coupled with a virtually “Blink of an eye” date change function are significant advancements. In most watches, when the date is going to change at midnight, the numeric function is either gradual or can be viewed in real-time. The Grand Seiko anticipates the coming midnight hour and changes at the precise moment the day turns over quietly and with seamless aplomb.

In the discussion of high-end complications, both companies have made contributions and advancements concerning the incorporation of the tourbillon. Omega with its Master Chronometer Tourbillon and Grand Seiko with its T0 (T Zero) Constant Force Tourbillon. When comparing both brands for technical prowess, you have a long history of Swiss movement development and innovation juxtaposed with a virtual newcomer to the watch world in the Grand Seiko brand.

I believe the Japanese work ethic and ability to approach watchmaking with a new and fresh mindset have contributed to their success in producing watches that have the ability to compete with many Swiss luxury brands based on technical features.

Omega Aqua Terra vs Grand Seiko Sports collection

Omega Aqua Terra vs Grand Seiko Sports

The Aqua Terra is part of the Omega Seamaster collection. These models are water resistant to 150m. (approximately 500 ft.). Cases are constructed of 316L stainless steel and available in either a 41mm. or a 38mm.cCase. They house a caliber 8900 self-winding (automatic) movement with a power reserve of 60 hours with transparent case backs. These watches are highly shock resistant and are tested with results that are equal to 5,000g (1g is equal to the force of gravity at the earth’s surface).

Each Aqua Terra also benefits from the best antimagnetic resistant rating among all watches. Omega had set the new standard for this measure in a wristwatch. These watches are antimagnetic to fields reaching 15,000 gauss. A quick overview concerning this feature is as follows.

The International Standard (ISO769) defines basic magnetic resistance for watches as they must resist exposure to direct magnetic fields of 4,800 A/m (Amperes per meter). This is a minimal level and equivalent to about 60 gauss. Gauss is a measure of magnetic resistance that takes into consideration the magnetic permeability of the material being tested. Technically, this is called magnetic flux density.

The Aqua Terra is rated at 15,000 gauss (1.2 million A/m). To put that measure in perspective, it is the magnetic field given off by an MRI scanner. The starting retail price for the Aqua Terra is $5400.00 for a strap model or $5700.00 for a model with a stainless steel bracelet. There are also several styles available for women starting at $5700.00.

For the Grand Seiko collection, I have chosen to use the SBGE201 model from the Sports styles. Granted, this is a GMT model but I wanted a model with a comparable price point and features. This model boasts 20 bar or approximately 660 ft. of water resistance. The case measures 44mm. and is outfitted with a 30 jewel caliber 9R66 SpringDrive movement (see above for the definition of a spring drive movement) with a power reserve of 72 hours.

It has a sapphire crystal and offers an accuracy of +-15 seconds per month (approximately +-1 second per day). Magnetic resistance comes in at 4800 A/m. A vast difference when compared to the Omega. I believe Omega holds a slight advantage over the Grand Seiko when comparing features. The Omega, as a Swiss luxury watch, has a more prestigious cache attached to its name. The Grand Seiko is a solid quality watch but has less perceived value than the Omega brand.

Difference between Seiko and Grand Seiko

As referenced in this article, Seiko and Grand Seiko have existed together under the same roof, so to speak, until recently when the Grand Seiko brand has become its own distinct entity. Each may share the Seiko name but they are distinctly different. You can purchase a Seiko for as little as $100.00 at retail. Given their massive distribution and easy availability, prices may vary considerably. If you are in the market for an accurate everyday watch that looks good and tells time, then this brand fits the bill.

If you don’t care if your watch is of Swiss or Japanese origin, any Seiko watch is a good choice. Grand Seiko would be your choice if you wanted a more sophisticated timepiece that reflects the highest level of Japanese watchmaking. The finishes and materials, as well as the quality of the movements position these models in the luxury watch market.

Is Grand Seiko a luxury watch?

2 Grand Seiko Watches

I believe Grand Seiko is a luxury watch. Albeit a more fair question would be, what level of luxury? Unfortunately, the luxury watch market is dominated by Swiss brands that have been around for far longer than Grand Seiko, and have built brands and names that are highly sought after and in demand. I will also make the assumption that when wearing a Grand Seiko, anyone noticing the watch might have the immediate observation that they are looking at a much more luxurious Seiko watch.

In the U.S. market and others, the name Seiko would not elicit thoughts of luxury. A consumer needs to be educated that the Grand Seiko, though carrying Seiko in its name, is unlike the Seiko of their father’s generation. No one mistakes the prestige of a Rolex or an Omega, for instance. These brands are easily recognizable and reflect the wearer’s taste and success.

Omega vs. Grand Seiko vs. Rolex

For this answer, I deflect back to the sentences at the end of the last paragraph before this question. Rolex is the most recognizable of the three brands with Omega second. Both of these brands have built solid reputations for producing high-end Swiss luxury timepieces. I believe a consumer seeking a Rolex or Omega will choose to stay on that path and not consider a Grand Seiko as an alternative choice. The Grand Seiko, though an excellent watch, does not offer the allure of a Rolex or Omega.

How does Grand Seiko compare to Tudor?

For those that are unfamiliar with the Tudor brand, Tudor is essentially the sister company of the very successful and popular Rolex brand. Based in Switzerland and founded by Hans Wilsdorf, both continue production today managed by the Wilsdorf Foundation. With this in mind, both collections share many of the same attributes and innovations exclusively developed by Mr. Wilsdorf and his team of artisans.

For many years, Tudor was viewed as a poor man’s Rolex. Tudor, at the time, seemed to be more of a stepchild than the sister company it truly was. There seemed to be somewhat of an identity crisis. Fortunately, with the relaunch of the Tudor brand in the United States approximately ten years ago, the brand has made great strides to present its uniqueness and appeal.

With the addition of exclusive in-house movements manufactured by Tudor and not customized ETA movements, the move towards a more distinct brand identity is well underway. The Tudor brand offers a wide array of choices for both men and women. The entrance price at retail for a gents watch is $2475.00 and $1750.00 for a basic lady’s timepiece.

All of the Tudor watches have self-winding mechanical movements and are COSC Swiss-certified chronometers, with most movements exceeding the COSC standards. There are some very unique pieces within the Tudor collection that have movements that are  Master Chronometer Certified (METAS Certified) just like the Omega collection and as explained earlier in this article. These models are also antimagnetic to 15,000 gausses.

The Grand Seiko collection offers far more sophisticated movements in many of its models. The Tudor models house movements that are manufactured in-house and are high quality in their own right but lack the sophistication of Grand Seiko’s complicated models. The Grand Seiko also looks and feels more luxurious. In this respect, the Grand Seiko has the edge over the Tudor brand.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the Omega and Grand Seiko brands are of very high quality. Omega has a distinct edge because of its long history and the reputation it has built during that time. The Grand Seiko timepieces are great reflections of superior Japanese watchmaking but lack the cache and luxury brand recognition that Omega enjoys.

If you are not pre sold on a particular brand and are open-minded about your next luxury watch purchase, make part of your due diligence a trip to your jeweler or watch shop to try on and learn more about what the Grand Seiko has to offer. You might pleasantly be surprised.

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