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how to identify vintage omega watch

Time has to pass for a vintage to occur and unlike modern timepieces, vintage watches are practical. Each comes with a unique story and looking deep into a new watch is nothing like looking into a vintage timepiece. For the latter, it seems that it stares back at you, capturing your imagination with wonderful memories of the past. 

Collecting one is much more than a hobby. It is a way of paying respect to time because vintage watches offer us an enduring reminder of history. I particularly find a great delight holding in my hands a beautiful thing that was part of the lives of people thirty to forty years back.  

With clocks ticking, hours going by, and the future receding, vintage watches are getting more valuable and a brand like Omega with a roster full of highly collectible timepieces (such as Omegas Speedmaster Moon watches) is a premier choice.

Acclaimed for its rich horological heritage, Omega is a watch brand with an untarnished reputation for producing some of the most accurate and expertly crafted watches on the globe, making the brand’s vintage timepiece a highly collectible item.

Since the first Omega watch was released in 1848, millions of others have followed, making the identification of a vintage Omega watch a daunting process for people who aren’t in the field of Horology. 

What Exactly Is Vintage?

Vintage relates to a distinctive historical item of high quality. The narrative of a vintage watch can differ based on perception. Some people argue that they are watches made between 1935 to 1990, others say it’s any timepiece released before the 1980s or one that is 25 to 30 years old. However, all collectors do agree that a vintage watch comes with a couple of decades; at least two.

Valued for their aesthetic and historical value, vintage timepieces boast designs and machinery different from contemporary watches and are works of art in themselves. Vintage watches from a high-end luxury brand like Omega have proven to be great investments over the years and some models have remained a popular choice among collectors and enthusiasts.

Vintage vs Antique Watches

The words “vintage” and “antique” are sometimes exchangeably used to describe old watches. However, this is incorrect as antique pieces are centennial. This means they include only watches that have lasted for 100 years. The definition of vintage however is more flexible since experts disagree on the precise number of years but any timepiece between 20 and 99 years old would generally pass for a vintage watch.

This doesn’t mean twenty years is the minimum lower cut or official expert consensus in the vintage market for a timepiece to be considered vintage as some antique dealers consider only watches over 40 years old as  ‘true vintage’. In summary, antiques are absolute; at least 100 years old, while the term ‘vintage’ is relative.

The Appeal Of The Vintage Watch Market

There’s a sensation that every collector has felt for old watches. Apart from the euphoria that comes from owning a piece of history that very few people would be wearing alongside you, vintage watches are trophies. The aphorism, ‘time is money’ is often said to remind people to value the passing hours but in the vintage market, time is money.

From the 1953 Patek Philippe Gobbi Milan timepiece selling for $8.97m in 2019 to many other vintage watches fetching jaw-dropping sums, aficionados continue to be willing to pay huge figures for the gratification of owning a timepiece with outstanding provenance. 

It is said that the old has more character than the new and the market of vintage timepieces connects us with past eras, giving us a peek into the lives of our ancestors. From the thrill of the hunt to the exciting rediscovery of rare stunning pieces, the vintage market continues to capture the imaginations of millions of collectors globally. 

The appeal of the vintage market may also be psychological as vintage items carry with them living records of previous generations capable of stirring the hearts of collectors and offering a connection to the outstanding expertise showered into these items by our ancestors.

Consequently, the horological frenzy has led to unprecedented growth in the global merchandise of vintage watches. The hype fueled by the pandemic in 2020 ushered in a fresh wave of enthusiasts and the numbers are not likely to decline anytime soon.

Demands now exceed market supply and vintage markets are on the rise globally with sales projected to hit 29 billion USD in 2025 (an 8 percent increase from 2019) according to a report by McKinsey and The Business of Fashion.

Potential Traps To Be Avoided When Shopping For Vintage Watches

Don’t be fooled. Not all that glitters is gold and the market of vintage watches is complex and intricate with cheap imitations littered everywhere. Is some guy offering a vintage Patek Philippe for $700? Another cool and friendly guy out there offering a vintage Audemars Piguet at a special price of $500 just for you? Hold your horses.

Don’t just buy because of the mouth-watering offers. Set your budget and choose a timepiece that appeals to you. If there’s no impulse, it is pointless purchasing a vintage watch just for the sake of it. Do your research and get all the facts about the watch you intend to purchase. Ask for advice and don’t rely solely on what the seller tells you.

It is difficult navigating through a mind-boggling collection of vintage watches, especially with scammers churning out knock-offs that are cheap imitations, so inspect your desired watch as closely as possible for inconsistencies.

You may want to use a magnifying glass to take a closer look at the dial, strap, movement, crown, case, lugs, and case back to make sure everything is authentic. Buying from the internet is tempting but comes with a lot of risks so be extra careful if you must to avoid being conned.

Keep in mind that even though complete original papers attest to a watch’s authenticity and provenance, not every vintage watch coming with a certificate is genuine. Brands continue to work hard to keep counterfeits out of circulation but fake ones are still out there.

Vintage Omega Watches

Omega remains one of the most respected and recognizable watch brands worldwide. Established in 1848 by Louis Brandt in La Chaux de Fonds, the brand is notable for manufacturing high-precision timepieces and has been the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games 28 times.

From sporty chronographs to professional dive watches, the Omega series are lined with impressive, highly functional, and elegant timepieces. After Astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface with Omega’s Speedmaster Professional in 1969, the brand earned widespread popularity leading to its watches flooding the market in the 1960s and 1970s.

Since the timepieces were of high quality, they have been preserved in excellent condition and can be gotten on the vintage market. Because of the huge demand for pre-owned Omega watches, they have become a favorite of counterfeiters. Scores of fake vintage Omega watches are produced all around the world each year because of Omega’s status as a notable brand and the high demand by collectors and enthusiasts.

From Presidents to Astronauts, Omega watches are famous for adorning the wrists of famous men, making them very desirable. Several Omega watches have been considered state-of-the-art pieces, but here are some of the most popular models from the brand.

1. Omega Speedmaster Professional

Omega Speedmaster Professional

The Omega Speedmaster Professional is one of the most iconic timepieces in the world. Originally designed for motorsports, the manual winding Speedmaster Professional was first introduced in 1957 and enjoys the iconic Moonwatch status having been flight-qualified by NASA in 1965 for all manned space missions. 

The legendary chronograph remains one of the timepieces qualified by NASA for spaceflight and represents Omega’s adventurous and innovative spirit. Even though the brand releases special versions of the Speedmaster Professional every year, the case size, crystal, and even the manual caliber still bear resemblance to the original Moonwatch from 1969. 

2. Omega Seamaster Ploprof

Omega Seamaster Ploprof

Omega Seamaster happens to be the longest-running watch line still in production by the brand. Ploprof is a word contracted from “Plongeur Professionnel” denoting  “professional diver” in French. The Seamaster Ploprof is undoubtedly one of the world’s most eccentric dive watches that stands out due to its distinguishing angular case (made out of a single block of steel), unique bezel-locking mechanism, and massive crown guard.

Following its release, the watch accrued quite a cult following chiefly due to the extraordinary chronometric performance it offered in the depths of the ocean and its flawless design.

The hermetically sealed construction of the case made it suitable for deep-sea diving while the crown positioned on the left side of the case enabled the wearer to utilize Omega’s unique pusher mechanism without taking the watch off. 

All the early Seamaster Ploprof models are water-resistant to a depth of 600 meters (1,969 ft) while the current models are water-resistant to a remarkable depth of 1,200 meters (3,937 ft). The Seamaster Ploprof has remained one of the world’s most idiosyncratic dive watches capable of telling time accurately under the surface of the ocean.

3. Omega Marine

Omega Marine

Introduced in 1932, the Omega Marine was the world’s first true diver’s watch intended for commercial use. It featured a Sapphire crystal, a notable rectangular case, and an adjustable clasp with a divers’ extension making it possible for the wearer to adjust the watch to their wrist even underwater.

The iconic watch did not feature a rotating bezel and had its crown hidden in the case at the 12 o’clock position (as can be seen in the photos). The Omega Marine also came with a double case sealed with a cork to protect the delicate inner elements of the timepiece from water.

It was robust, and sturdy and passed numerous stringent laboratory tests such as surviving a simulated depth of 135 meters to the confoundment of developers. The iconic watch remains highly sought after by antique collectors.

4. Omega Constellation

Omega Constellation

Recognized globally as the symbol of elegance and precision, the Constellation is a historic model beloved for its ultra-precise movements and exquisitely refined case. Launched by Omega in 1952, the collection remains the brand’s first mass-produced chronometer and was loved for its classic look that was unlike anything else.

The watch had a distinctive design with two claws at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions which were purely ornamental but soon became the distinguishing feature of all Constellation models. Though the design has changed significantly over the years, the prominent characteristics of the watch remain.

Typical Constellation features include; Roman numerals marking the dial and bezel, golden stars depicting the timepiece’s accuracy (as can be seen on the lower half of the dial), and a medallion on the case back. The most famous editions are the Constellation Grand Luxe and the Constellation Deluxe, obtainable in gold or platinum and with top models featuring an annual calendar.

How To Identify Vintage Omega Watches

Vintage watches from a brand like Omega are a great investment. They are elegant and incorporate history into any watch collection. For avid watch collectors, finding an authentic vintage timepiece can be exciting and very rewarding. With the demand for vintage Omega watches on the rise, high-quality counterfeit pieces continue to flood the market. Bearing this in mind, here are a few ways to identify a true vintage Omega timepiece.

Serial Number

The serial number on a watch is its unique identifier. The serial number system was constituted to mark the authenticity of individual timepieces and is very helpful in tracing historical and pricing information. It reveals vital information like the model year, servicing information, the particular number of timepieces in the production run, etc. 

Like most Swiss manufacturers, Omega uses chronological serial numbers to identify and track the production of its watches. Each Omega watch has a patented serial number consisting of seven or eight digits. Depending on the production year of the watch, the location of the code varies.

For vintage timepieces, the serial number can be found engraved inside the case, while current models have their serial numbers engraved on the back of the watches or one of the lugs. In a move to make counterfeit models more identifiable, Omega has experimented with various placements of its serial numbers over the years so it is important to assess the serial number’s placement, quality, and contents.

Most counterfeit watch manufacturers duplicate serial numbers in an attempt to make vintage watches appear authentic but these numbers often don’t match genuine Omega codes. Genuine Omega serial numbers are laser etched in tiny digits leaving a smooth and seamless feel which is difficult to duplicate.

Additionally, Omega keeps a database of serial numbers in addition to US-based Watch Certification Services, so be sure to check with any to verify the authenticity of the vintage watch taking into cognizance the year of production, placement of serial number, and quality of the engraving before making the purchase.

The Dial and Hands

Swiss brands are meticulous when it comes to watchmaking and Omega is a brand that is recognized globally for quality craftsmanship and high standards visible in all components of aspects of its watches. Wrong dial and print font? Imperfectly aligned Omega logo? Glue residue peeking out of an hour marker? Spelling or engraving mistakes? Anything that looks out of place in a vintage (even slightly) should be taken into consideration.

While a certain degree of wear and tear can be expected, the thorough quality assurance procedures at Omega would not demean the brand to the use of poor quality materials and negligence. The lume of a vintage watch is often discolored to show signs of aging but looking at how clean the engravings are on the dial is a good way to start. 

Sometimes a dial might be re-lumed and this doesn’t mean the vintage timepiece is fake, it just means it’s not 100% original anymore and calls for further investigation. Check the patina on the dial and hands to make sure they match but don’t confuse patina with fire or water damage. The patina on vintage watches can lead to a remarkable discoloration of dials and even the metal in some cases but both the dials, hour markers, and hands should age naturally.


It costs Omega decades of perfection to gain global recognition. From the NASA flight-certified mechanical movement to the METAS-certified movement, the high-end Swiss timepiece maker is revered for its innovations in the watch world.

In the early days of wristwatch collecting, the target was often on exceptionally complicated movements and this interest can still be observed in many old-school collectors.  Even though the focus has changed dramatically when it comes to collecting vintage timepieces and buyers now crave beautiful-faced vintage timepieces, Omega remains well-known for its first-class movements. 

Whether antique, vintage, or modern, the finishing and constructions are not easy to replicate. A lot of information is out there so you can easily determine the movement by cross-checking the reference numbers of various watches. The vintage Omega database often has this information. 

Aesthetic cues can also help you determine the authenticity as Omega is known for its time-consuming finishing and anything short of impressive is not a characteristic of the Haute Horlogerie brand. Despite counterfeit watchmakers trying to replicate Omega’s watches, the cost of production, finishing, and construction often makes this feat almost impossible and none can be compared to an authentic Omega


Every timepiece from Omega carries an impressive legacy of high-quality craftsmanship. Because of the premium materials used in genuine models, the weight of an authentic vintage watch should have the hallmarks of a standard and robustly constructed watch.

Watch connoisseurs can often tell the weight difference straight away but if you are a novice in the collection realm, experiment by weighing a couple of counterfeit watches with some genuine ones and you’ll notice a remarkable difference between the two.


A sound check is a great way to detect a fake vintage watch. Genuine vintage Omega watches will not create ticking sounds as the second hands sweep across the dial. This is because of the high-quality craftsmanship undertaken to create timepieces from a reputable brand.

The intricate gears are all carefully assembled and the soundless motion cannot easily be reproduced by fake watchmakers. You can easily check this out by holding the watch close to your ear and listening for a moment.


The vintage market is flooded with fake vintage watches and Omega has been targeted because its vintage watches are particularly eye-catching and come with an old-fashioned style. Be alert when buying vintage Omega watches.

If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. A vintage watch with a worn-out case but a perfect dial is a sign that someone is trying to cover up a couple of imperfections. Common sense can help tremendously when doubts arise.

Advise: Buy your vintage watch from a reputable dealer where returning it if you find any issues would not be a problem. Carry out a detailed background check. Collect vital information on the watch from the Omega’s database, run a cross-reference check against it, and if possible get yourself a professional loupe magnifier. Finally, ask fellow collectors or post photos of it in a watch forum online before sealing the deal.

How to check omega watch authenticity

Imagine that you’re a new watch enthusiast. You have fallen in love with that Omega Seamaster 300 you saw strategically posed on Instagram and know that you need to have one. Being new to the game, you probably haven’t quite reached the levels of delusion allowing you to believe that $5000 plus on a watch is a “great value”, so it’s time to start searching everyone’s favorite auction site searching for the deal of a lifetime. 

You’re armed with a little bit of knowledge and a lot of eagerness to be the next one to post a “New Watch Alert” in your favorite Facebook group. After a few weeks, you’ve found it! You’re almost shaking with excitement as you find “the deal of a lifetime” and can’t put your payment information in fast enough.

After a few minutes, the rush of excitement has likely subsided, and you have come off of cloud nine and returned comfortably to reality. Did you really just score a like new Omega Seamaster 300 for 1/3 of the MSRP because the seller “needs to sell ASAP”? 

As reality settles in, you probably start doing what many of us would do in this situation. Frantically researching to see if you genuinely scored a deal or just learned a very expensive lesson.

Although this scenario plays out several times a day amongst several brands in the watch industry, we will specifically take a look at Omega and what to look for to avoid the pings of regret that this hypothetical new enthusiast is feeling right about now.

Why Are There So Many Fake Omega Watches?

About omega watches

With a history dating back to 1848, Omega is one of the most prestigious luxury watch brands in the industry. In terms of iconic models, few watch brands come anywhere near what Omega has been able to accomplish. 

In particular, the Seamaster and Speedmaster lines have become synonymous with luxury watch design and are often victims of homage timepieces taking subtle (or not so subtle) inspiration from their design. There is a point where this flattery crosses the line, and for many people, that happens with the name on the dial. 

If there is money to be made on the name of a product, there is someone illegally using that name to make a profit. There is no shortage of brands assembling watches and placing luxury brand names on the dial. These range from comically poor design and quality, to 1:1 super clones that require a very highly trained eye to determine the real from the replica. 

8 Ways to Check Omega Watch Authenticity

Omega Brand Overview

We are going to focus this list on the super clones. From a picture, or sale listing, they look great, but how can we separate a luxury timepiece from one of the most prestigious brands in the industry from a piece of counterfeit trash? Get your loupe out; we’re taking a deep dive into the details of this one.

Serial Number

Depending on how good your eyes are, you might not need the Loupe just yet. The first thing to look for is a serial number on your Omega watch to verify authenticity. This serial number will be 7 to 8 digits and etched into the backside of your watch’s lug.

If you purchased a watch with the box and papers, these numbers should match. Just because a timepiece has a number etched into the lugs with matching paperwork does not always mean it’s authentic. A great next step will be to perform a simple Google search with the serial number on your watch.

Counterfeiters often produce an entire run of models using the same serial number to save cost, and you will see others listed for sale. These serial numbers are unique to the watch. If you find another one, it is almost certainly, unless you’re the unlucky owner of the original serial number that has been counterfeited, not an authentic watch (this is why you should never post a picture of your serial number).

Dial Printing

One of the most challenging and often overlooked characteristics of a watch is the printing on the dial. Whether it is just the chapter ring, or also the logo and branding or specifications, crisp and straight dial printing are hard to perfect (Just ask Seiko! Only kidding…sort of).

If you take out your jeweler’s loupe and closely inspect the dial, you should see very crisp printing with even spacing and perfectly level placement. If it looks less than perfect, you should be suspicious. Any brand can make a mistake (just look at Rolex with their double 9 Rolex Explorer), but Omega is one of the absolute best regarding these details.

Date Wheel

One of the most often ignored areas, even by the counterfeiters with the highest standards, is closely related to the dial printing. Even the best dial printing counterfeiter seems to haphazardly throw a standard date wheel in their watch 99/100 times.

An authentic Omega watch is going to feature a date wheel that is perfectly aligned and spaced properly over the entire date window. Much like the printing on the dial, the replica will not look anywhere near as crisp as what you should expect to find with a genuine Omega. These details are subtle from a distance, but with the help of your jeweler’s loupe are figuratively and literally magnified.

Solid Construction

If you have ever owned or tried on an authentic Omega watch, one thing that truly stands out is just how solid the construction is. Everything is machined to such a tight tolerance, and there is no doubt that you are wearing a luxury timepiece on your wrist.

Despite having some visual similarities, most replicas really lack that same feeling of heft on the wrist.  Many of them are constructed decently, but it would be like comparing an entry-level Hamilton to an Omega. There are less precise tolerances, and the watch naturally loses some of that heft on the wrist.

There is nothing wrong with the construction of a watch like a Hamilton, but as much as enthusiasts love the brand, there would be more than a few eyebrows raised if they tried to price their timepieces in the same range as Omega, as many replicas are trying to do.

Case Finishing

Another area Omega is known to excel in is that of case finishing. Few brands can match the crisp transitions of brushed to highly polished, like Omega. Compared to an authentic Omega, a replica will have a much softer transition of brushed to polished surfaces. 

When viewed on its own, it may appear well done and crisp, but compared side to side, the differences become much more apparent. The brushed surfaces will generally have a more aggressive brushing having ever so slight brush lines that you can detect with the very scientific fingernail test. The polished surface will likely not be as uniform and reflective as what you find with an authentic example either.

Movement Design

One of the hardest areas to replicate for a counterfeiter is the engine powering the watch. Many replica watches will feature a replica ETA 2824. These movements have a very generic finish that does not match the type of finish you would find on an authentic model. 

Some higher-end counterfeiters will take things up a notch and replace the rotor with a similarly finished one. When looking through an open caseback, the movement will appear to be OK but spin the rotor out of the way, and the movement quickly reveals its secrets. 

Movement Technology

One thing that is incredibly hard, if not impossible, for counterfeiters to replicate is brand-specific movement technology, such as the Co-Axial escapement featured on most of Omega’s modern watches. Unless you are very familiar with watchmaking, I’d leave this next level of identification to a professional watchmaker. 

When opening up the watch and inspecting the movement, a trained watchmaker can quickly tell if the movement utilizes a Co-Axial escapement or just a dressed-up Swiss Lever escapement looking to play the part.

Trusted Seller

Of all of the things to look for on a watch to ensure authenticity, there is only one that is guaranteed to work. Counterfeiters are continuing to get better and better and are actively working to improve on the differences we have already pointed out on this list. 

There is one thing counterfeiters will never be able to do, though, and that is to get their watches into an authorized Omega dealer. If you purchase from a trusted authorized dealer, you are guaranteed to have an authentic timepiece. 

If your budget restricts you from purchasing brand new, take a look at their pre-owned inventory. If a watch shop is an authorized Omega dealer, you can rest assured that their preowned examples are also authentic. 

The further your seller dilutes themselves from the original Omega source, the higher the risk is for you as a buyer. This is not to say that you shouldn’t trust any seller that is not an authorized dealer, just that you need to accept the fact that extra effort is required on your part to verify the piece you are looking to purchase is genuine.


If you are lucky enough to be considering a new or preowned Omega watch, congratulations! You are truly going to love your new timepiece. If you’re still saving and able to delay the gratification of the “New Watch Alert” post for a little while longer, save up until you can buy from a trusted source. 

If you find a watch that seems like a good value and passes the guidelines we have presented here, spend a couple of extra dollars to have the watch authenticated by an authorized Omega dealer, preferably before you separate from your hard-earned cash.

That nominal fee will be worth every penny, whether it gives you peace of mind or prevents you from making a costly mistake. If you are browsing watches and find something that looks too good to be true, it probably is! Regardless of how cheap you are, don’t be tempted by the possibility of being able to score the deal of a lifetime due to someone else’s ignorance or need to sell something ASAP. 

In this day and age, nobody is ignorant enough to list something without first doing a google search or impatient enough to give up thousands of dollars for the sake of selling a few hours sooner (you can price a watch aggressively to sell and not necessarily give it away). 

Sometimes it’s obvious what we should avoid; other times, even seasoned collectors can end up bamboozled. If you do your research and follow these guidelines, you can ensure that you are enjoying an authentic Omega watch and greatly reduce the risk of making a costly mistake.

Happy watch hunting!

Omega Seamaster 120

The Omega Seamaster 120 is a model that’s not discussed very often, but that’s beginning to change (right here, in fact!). While the history of the legendary Seamaster 300 is well documented, the Seamaster 120 requires a little more in-depth (pun intended) research.

Whether you’re looking for an Omega Seamaster 120 review, a chronology of the reference, or just a few photos of this beautiful timepiece, it’s not always easy to find. That’s why we decided to compile this handy buying guide to offer whatever you may be looking for all in one place.

Omega Seamaster 120 History and Defining Characteristics

The Omega Seamaster range was launched by the vaunted brand in 1957. It coincided with the simultaneous releases of the Speedmaster and Railmaster lines and marked the beginning of Omega’s foray into the world of dedicated dive watches.

The original Seamaster 300 had a depth rating of 200 meters. At the time, 200 meters of water resistance was more than enough for the casual diver, let alone the average suburbanite who was more likely to wade in the local swimming pool than the ocean.

In 1966, Omega launched the Seamaster 120, a smaller version of the Seamaster 300, with a depth rating of 60 meters. The idea behind the Seamaster 120 was to offer a more affordable version of the Seamaster to a customer base that was more likely to wear it while driving their Barracuda than diving next to one.

While, in 1966, the Seamaster 300 had a case size of 42mm, the Seamaster 120 came in at a more diminutive 37mm, making it a better fit for the office or a backyard barbecue. There was also a 31mm women-sized case available.

Aside from the case size being different than its forebearer, the Seamaster 120 also had a slightly different case shape. Omega utilized a cushion-styled tonneau-shaped case, which offered a slightly more elegant wear than the tool-styled case of the Seamaster 300.

Overall, the Seamaster 120 was a popular alternative to the Seamaster 300, which is why you can still find several vintage pieces available for sale on the secondary market. The following are the most common references and basic price ranges for the Seamaster 120.

Seamaster 120 References and Pricing

Omega Ref. 135.027

Omega Ref. 135.027
  • Movement – Omega manual wind calibers 601, 611
  • Power reserve – 48 hours
  • Complications – N/A
  • Beat rate – 19,800 VPH
  • Price range – $2200 – $3200
  • Dial – Black

This 17-jewel variant was the first iteration of the Seamaster 120. In comparison with later models, it may seem like a somewhat bare-bones option with a manual wind movement and no date complication. However, this is also a big part of its vintage charm.

Prices for this reference fall between $2200 – $3200

Omega Ref. 136.027

Movement – Omega manual wind caliber 613

  • Power reserve – 48 hours
  • Complications – Date
  • Beat rate – 19,800 VPH
  • Price range – $2000 – $2800
  • Dial – Black

The next Seamaster 120 model for Omega saw little change in form and function, with one exception. This version included an updated movement that came with a date complication, evidenced by the three o’clock date window and white date wheel.

Prices for this reference fall between $2000 – $2800

Omega Ref. 165.027

  • Movement – Omega automatic caliber 554
  • Power reserve – 50 hours
  • Complications – N/A
  • Beat rate – 19,800 VPH
  • Price range – $2200 – $3200
  • Dial – Black

This reference had an upgraded automatic caliber, which also increased the power reserve by two hours to 50 hours. It also had no date function, unlike its predecessor. 

Prices for this reference fall between $3800 – $4700

Omega Ref. 166.027

Omega Ref. 166.027
  • Movement – Omega caliber 565
  • Power reserve – 50 hours
  • Complications – Date
  • Beat rate – 19,800 VPH
  • Price range – $3,000 – 11,000
  • Dial – Black

This model is virtually the same as the 165.027, except that it included a date window at the three o’clock position. 

Prices for this reference fall between $3500 – $4500

Omega Ref. 166.073 ST

Omega Ref. 166.073 ST
  • Movement – Omega caliber 565
  • Power reserve – 50 hours
  • Complications – Date
  • Beat rate – 19,800 VPH
  • Price range – $4300 – $9900
  • Dial – Blue

This reference had the same technical specs as Ref. 166.027, although it had sharp sword hands, a bakelite bezel, and a deep blue dial and bezel color. It also had a major dial “shakeup” with the widening of the white luminescent indices and the addition of short applied stick indices on top of those.

Prices for this reference fall between $4300 – $6500

Considerations When Buying a Seamaster 120

Mechanical Considerations

Buying any vintage watch can be a nerve-wracking experience, and searching for the perfect Seamaster 120 is no different. When shopping for a vintage watch, the mechanical functioning and accuracy are of the utmost importance. Be sure to wind the movement and check that it functions properly. If the watch is mechanically solid, then ensuring it’s authentic is the next factor in making your choice.


Being a vintage watch, any Seamaster 120 will likely show some wear and tear unless it’s a NEW OLD STOCK model. So, make sure that the timepiece looks its age. Beyond that, there are a few things you can check for to make sure it’s authentic.

The case of the Seamaster 120 has a small notch in the case at three and six o’clock when looking at the watch from the side. The case back should also have a Seamaster engraving in the center, which is relatively shallow. The automatic case backs are slightly domed, while the manual wind versions are flat.

Buy the Seller

To avoid purchasing a less-than-authentic Seamaster 120, you should only buy from reputable sellers. Even if you purchase from an individual, asking them for references is perfectly acceptable. Be sure to verify the integrity of the seller’s claims by researching their sales history.

Service and Ownership History

You’ll also want to ask for any service history paperwork the seller may have. While many people dispose of receipts and other records of service, some keep meticulous records, which is a convenient way to verify how well the watch was cared for. Along with the service paperwork, you can also ask for a history of the watch’s ownership.

While the seller may not know the entire history of the watch, they may be able to tell you who they purchased it from and how long that owner had it. Any bit of information you can gather helps you to piece together the history of the watch, giving you a clearer picture of what you’re buying.

Where to Buy a Seamaster 120

You can find well-cared-for models of the Omega Seamaster 120 at a number of different outlets, both online and in person. While buying a vintage watch from an individual is not necessarily bad, it’s best to purchase through an online marketplace or another professional intermediary to ensure your investment is made with a reputable source.

Always do your research before buying any luxury watch. Sites like (that’s us!),, and even all offer a wide selection of watches and some form of guarantee to protect you when you purchase from them.

A Greatly Underappreciated Model

While the Omega Seamaster 300 is rightfully the top dog in the Omega dive watch hierarchy, the vintage Omega Seamaster 120 is a greatly underappreciated model that’s quickly gaining a cult following. So if you’re a lover of classic designs and want to buy a watch with some under-the-radar collectability, then the Seamster 120 might just be the perfect vintage pool to dip your toes into.

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,
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.


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.


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.


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)


  • 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)


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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