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A mean wearing a Sapphire Glass Watch

One misconception about purchasing a sapphire crystal watch is that it has to be expensive to be quality. No matter your budget, we rounded up the 15 best sapphire crystal watches, ranging from around $240 to $60,000.

It includes a classic dress watch, a rugged diver’s watch, and a dress watch with a sporty edge. Countries vary from Japan, Germany, and Switzerland. One has traveled to the end of the Earth, and another has walked across the moon. But, these well-engineered and stylish watches all have one thing in common: a sapphire crystal.

Our favorite

Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko Prospex

Around $1,200.00. The Seiko Prospex SPB143 is a modern interpretation of the 62MAS and is part of the “1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation” series. The 40.5mm curved stainless steel case and solid case back are applied with Seiko’s DiaShield to protect them from most dings and scratches.

The vintage-style sapphire crystal protects a black dial with conventional hands that are half-brushed and half-polished. The hands, applied markers, and coin edge bezel have Lumibrite for legibility. Seikos’ 6R35 automatic movement powers the watch. It beats at 21,600 vph and has a 70-hour power reserve.

The stainless steel strap includes short, drilled lugs, which makes it quick and easy to attach straps. It also has Seiko’s DiaShield for extra protection. It has 200m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watches under $300

Seiko SNE529

Around $240. The 40mm stainless steel case features polished and brushed finishes on the bezel and other case components. Additionally, it has a screwed-on stainless steel case back. It has a sunburst emerald green dial, long sword-shaped hands, and yellow gold hour markings. The hour and minute hands each have bevels that greatly enhance the dial’s contrast.

The dial’s edge is grey/white and has a lighter green tone. At three o’clock, a push-pull crown and a day-and-date window with a black background. This watch has a solar-powered Seiko internal caliber V158 Solar Quartz, with a frequency of 32,768 Hz and a 10-hour power reserve. A brown embossed leather strap and tang buckle complete a clean look. It has 100m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watches under $500

Seiko Presage SARY055

Around $280. A conventional dress watch, the Seiko Presage SARY055 has a flat anti-reflective sapphire crystal that protects the dial in a 41mm case. The display case back is protected by a Hardlex crystal and displays the internal Seiko automatic movement 4R36A. It operates at 21,600 vph and has a 40-hour power reserve. 

The two-step sloping chapter ring on the metallic white dial features blue minutes and sub-minutes markings. It also has sizable blue dauphin hands and polished hour markings adorn the dial. Lastly, the date and day wheels can display Kanji or English.

Three positions exist on the push-in and pull-out crown. The first position manually winds the watch; the second position changes the day and date complications, and the third position changes the time. The bracelet links have solid end links with a pin and collar to bind them together. It has 100m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watches under $1,000

Seiko Prospex SPB077: 1968 automatic diver’s modern re-interpretation

Around $1,050. Seiko’s and Japan’s first dive watch was released in 1965, upgraded to 300m, and had a 10-beat automatic movement in 1968. Seiko’s Prospex collection commemorates the famed dive watch’s 50th anniversary with a modern interpretation of the 1968 design. In many ways, the rugged Prospex SPB077’s design continues to pay tribute to the original.

It has similar six, nine, and twelve-hour markers that feature squared arrows with large circles in front of them. However, its 44mm stainless steel case is thinner and coated with Seiko’s Dia shield that minimizes scratches. Its tooth-edged, rounded, and unidirectional black bezel is narrower and slimmer.

Additionally, there are silver highlights rather than gold. It also features redesigned LumiBrite hour markers, matte black finished hands, and a Prospex logo. It houses the automatic 6R15 caliber with 21,600 vibrations per hour and a 50-hour power reserve.

It sports a three-link steel Dia-Shield bracelet with a 2mm taper from lug to clasp. The main link has flat brushed top surfaces with flat polished bevels, but the side links have conventional rounded edges. It has 200m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $1,500

Seiko Presage SPB205 limited edition watch

Around $1,150. Honoring Seiko’s 140th anniversary, Japanese sunrises inspired the Presage SPB 2015’s design. It sports an angular 39.3mm black case with a design reminiscent of Seiko’s signature “Grammar of Design” from the 1960s. Only 4,000 units are available.

The intricately rich texture of the graduated dial incorporates features of a motif known as asanoha, or “hemp leaf.” Traditionally used for fabrics, this geometric pattern with textured surface shimmers in the light. Since the Heian period (794-1185 AD), it has been a part of Japanese culture, which brought good health and prosperity, especially to the young.

The hands and stick markers have been painted with Lumibrite for legibility and accented with gold. A date aperture can be viewed at 3 o’clock. It has an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and its transparent case back shows Seiko’s caliber 6R35 automatic movement. It beats at 21,600 vph with a 70-hour power reserve.  It has wide lugs and a “super-hard black coating” finish on the bracelet. It has 100m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $4,000

Seiko Marine Master “MM300” Prospex SLA023J1

Around $3,100. The zaratsu polished 44.3mm case includes a monobloc dial (no physically detachable case back). The mirror blade polished by Grand Seiko, the ‘zaratsu’ method, requires three years of training before a watchmaker can polish cases in this manner.

A “Big Wave” emblem and lettering are engraved on the case back. It also has engraving for the reference number, serial number, water resistance, etc. An anti-reflective sapphire glass protects the deep blue sunburst dial. The hands have been painted with Lumibrite for legibility and have a beautiful brushed appearance. Logos, markers, and the central second hand have a gold accent.

The unidirectional rotating bezel also features a luminous triangle and a 5, 10, 15, and 20-minute indicator. Seiko’s Diashield technology protects the bracelet’s polished and brushed metal components against scratches and dings. It also comes with a unique black rubber strap. The self-winding 8L35B caliber beats at 28,880 vph, has 50 hours of power reserve, and comes with 26 jewels. It has 300m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $6,000

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra

Around $5,700. The 41mm stainless steel case houses a dome anti-reflective sapphire crystal and an exhibition case back that displays the in-house Co-Axial 8800 Calibre. The case’s slab sides have a coarse-grain, horizontally brushed finish. The tops of the lyre lugs are polished with a circular brush, and the organic curves frame the case.

Most of the crown is polished and is attached to the case side in a slight recess. The white dial has a “teak” patterned dial with raised indices and horizontal stripes. It has Super-LumiNova coated hands, indices, and a date window. The Co-Axial 8800 Calibre is a “master chronometer” certified timepiece with a power reserve of 55 hours, anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gausses, and a frequency of 25,200 vph.

This certification is a step beyond the typical COSC rating. It has to pass eight tests, including magnetism resistance at different exposure levels, function accuracy during extreme magnetism, chronometric day-to-day precision, and others. The clasp is a sequential folding dual arc with push-button actuators for release. The underside construction of the rocker’s arms is polished and curved. It has 150m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $10,000

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Green Dial

Around $9,900. The 40mm stainless steel and 18kt red gold case has a mixture of brushing on the sides, and the top sides of the lugs and bezel are polished. It also has a signed crown with the double-g logo.  The PanoMaticLunar’s case is polished and brushed and holds an anti-reflective sapphire crystal that protects the gradient deep forest green dial.

The white gold hour hands and seconds dial have Super-LumiNova. Two circular displays occupy the left side; the smaller one is the extra second’s register, while the larger one has attached baton markers and lume-filled alpha-shaped hands. The sapphire crystal exhibition case back displays the highly decorated, automatic, in-house-produced caliber 90-02. It beats at 28,880 vph, has 47 jewels, and has a 42-hour power reserve. 

A brown nubuck leather strap completes the piece with a pin buckle or folding clasp. Additionally, it comes with a bracelet with a machined clasp, a double-button security release, and micro-adjustments on a tiny ratchet system. The links have a brushed-out polished center link. It has 50m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $15,000

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon

Around $12,000. Omega’s Speedmaster Darkside of the Moon is the first Speedmaster made entirely of ceramic. The arduous process of multiple rounds of intense heating followed by meticulous detailing with diamond-tipped tools results in a 44.25mm casing. Then it’s polished by alumnia granules and a diamond pasted wheel.

A highly domed box-type sapphire crystal with an anti-glare treatment guards the dial and extends above the bezel. A zirconium oxide polished dial is contrasted by Superluminova coated 18k white gold indices, hour, minute, and elapsed chronograph seconds. It also has a color-coordinated date window. A matte chromium nitride-coated and laser-engraved tachymeter scale complements the bezel’s polished finish. On the case side, two pushers operate the vertical column-wheel chronograph.

The sapphire crystal exhibition case displays the Omega Co-Axial caliber 9300. The 54-jewel, distinctive double-barrel chronograph with COSC certification beats at 4 Hz and has a 60-hour power reserve. A technical nylon fabric strap with a polished black buckle, leather backing, and red contrast stitching completes the design. It has 50m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $20,000

Omega Olympic Official Timekeeper Limited Edition

Around $16,800. The Omega Olympic Official Timekeeper was designed to commemorate its rich heritage and the Rio 2016 Olympics. Drawing upon a 1932 pocket watch design, it’s a contemporary sports watch with a vintage feel. The 39mm, 18k yellow gold three-body case has gently curved lugs and a flat bezel that are polished and brushed.

Its anti-reflective sapphire crystal covers a lacquered white dial with a vintage red OMEGA symbol, black Arabic numerals, black painted minutes and seconds scale, and blue-steel hands and center sweep. The five iconic rings of the Olympic Games, “Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games,” and the watch’s limited edition number (out of 188) are engraved on the case back.

A limited edition Omega 3203 caliber is housed inside and has a manual-winding chronograph movement with a column wheel mechanism and Co-Axial escapement. It beats at 28,000 vph, has 55 hours of power reserve, and has 33 jewels. It has a brown leather strap, an 18k rose gold tang buckle, and a retro Omega logo. It has 30m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $25,000

Breguet Marine 5527TI/Y1/TW0

Around $24,100. The Breguet Marine 5527TI has a titanium 42.3mm case with straight and sharp lines that contrast with polished and chamfered edges on the pushers and case side. Fluting on the case back and a wave décor surrounds the crown. Anti-reflective sapphire glass protects a blue dial with lume-filled Roman numerals and hands, three ‘raised’ chronographs and a date aperture with a matching color background.

The elegant self-winding Breguet 582QA movement and skeletonized rotor are visible through the sapphire exhibition case. It has an inverted in-line Swiss lever escapement with silicon pallets and balance spring. The 582QA beats at 28,800 vph, has 28 jewels, and 48 hours of power reserve. A titanium bracelet with vertically brushed and polished links complements the watch. It has 100m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $30,000

Arnold & Son DSTB Saintless Steel

Around $30,700. The Arnold & Son DSTB (Dial Side True Beat) 43mm stainless steel canonical-shaped case has a polished and narrow bezel and the Arnold & Son logo on the crown. The wide-screen sapphire crystal accentuates the depth of the dials.

Three open-worked bridges support the ‘true beat mechanism’ (also known as ‘deadbeat seconds’) that are black ADLC treated with sizable circular finishing and screws with beveled and mirror-polished heads. It increases the accuracy because it measures time in completed one-second steps instead of fractions determined by the balance frequency. A large sapphire crystal chapter ring and a slender arrowhead display the seconds.

It also has a silvery-white lacquered dial, blue hands, and open-worked tips that rotate around Roman numerals. The lever, wheels, and three palladium-treated bridges are arranged well for a charming display. Explicitly created for DSTB, a self-winding Arnold A&S6003 movement is seen back in the sapphire exhibition case.

It has a NAC grey-treated, diamond-shaped motif and features Haute Horlogerie finished with hand-chamfered and a satin-finished lever and bridges. The A&S6003 has 32 jewels, 45 hours of power reserve, and beats at 28,800 vphs. It is completed by a hand-stitched black or brown alligator leather strap with a folding deployment clasp. It has 30 meters of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $35,000

Breguet Tradition 7097BR/G1/9WU

Around $32,700. Drawing inspiration from the souscription pocket watch, the Breguet Tradition 7097BR blends original elements with a modern design. A 40mm 18k rose gold case and anti-reflective sapphire crystal display an open-worked skeleton that reveals bridges, wheels, escapement, barrel, and other parts. The silvered gold hobnail guilloche patterned dial has Breguet steel, polished blue minute and hour hands, and roman numerals.

Lastly, it has an arched scale with a blue retrograde seconds hand. Similar to the souscription pocket watch, a mainspring barrel is found at the center of the movement and has a starfish-like five-armed design for the train wheels. Breguet also implemented the spare-shock anti-shock system. A unique serial number can be found on the dial and case back.

The exhibition sapphire case back displays the inverted souscription movement, the 505 SR1 caliber, which uses a silicon balance spring with a free-sprung adjustable mass balance. It has 38 jewels, a 50-hour power reserve, and beats at 21,600 vph. Breguet’s signature straight lugs are welded onto the case and use screw pins to securely hold the alligator bracelet straps. It has 30m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $50,000

Laurent Ferrier Square Micro-Rotor Navy Blue Dial

Around $46,000. The polished and cushion-shaped 41mm stainless steel three-body case with a highly domed sapphire crystal. It has polished scalloped lugs, signature steel winding ball-shaped crown, and a stepped bezel. The satin-brushed navy blue dial has faceted 18k white gold drop-shaped hour markers, Assegai-shaped arrow hands, and indices.

It also has a recessed blue guilloche auxiliary dial with subtle sky-blue markers and an 18k white gold baton-shaped seconds hand. The exhibition sapphire case back displays the FBN229.01 automatic caliber with a double direct-impulse escapement and a small oscillating weight that offers pawl-equipped, unidirectional winding.

Wheel spokes are beveled, screw hands are chamfered and polished, and it has a lubrication-free silicon escapement. It has 35 jewels, beats at 21,600 vph, and 72- hours of power reserve. The timepiece is complete with a blue alligator leather strap with Alcantra lining, matching stitching, and stainless steel tang buckle. It has 30m of water resistance.

Sapphire crystal watch under $60,000

H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Purity White Gold Blue

Around $60,000. The watch features a polished and brushed 18k white gold 42mm case, concave sides on the lugs, a slight domed bezel, and a crown adorned with an ‘M.’ It has a minimalist gradient dial that displays only the essentials.

The midnight fume dial has a sunburst pattern with leaf-shaped hands, indices at 6 and 12 o’clock, a perpetual calendar, a power reserve indicator, running seconds sub-dial. Engraved on the curved case back is the piece’s limited edition number out of 50.

The exhibition case back displays the HMC 800 manual-winding Perpetual Calendar movement, interchangeable Moser escapement, and original Straumann Hairspring with stabilized Breguet over-coil. It beats at 18,000 vph, has 168 hours of power reserve, and has 32 jewels. The black alligator leather strap has a pin buckle, and a red leather lining completes the design. It has 30m of water resistance.

What is Sapphire Crystal?

History of sapphire crystal

In the 1930s, they served as dial guards. By utilizing it on reference 5100 in 1970, Rolex set the standard for other luxury companies. The brand also developed a unique green sapphire as part of its ongoing innovation. During World War I & II, acrylic glass was manufactured for submarines, gun turrets, and other structures.

Is sapphire glass good for a watch?

Watch design, legibility, and aesthetics significantly affect the crystal’s structure. Domed and flat shapes are the most typical shapes for sapphire crystals. A flat crystal is easier to read underwater, while a domed crystal may cause a dial to go blank at specific angles. 

“Box-shaped” crystals are raised a few millimeters above the bezel, protruding the edges. These are often seen in vintage watches and use acrylic crystals. This design can be visually appealing and bestow a retro feel to modern watches.

Dive watches can be affected by a crystal’s shape. Domed crystals cause the dial to go blank, while flat crystals are easier to read underwater. Another issue is that surfaces with flat interiors and domed exteriors might distort vision. For a clear view of a dial, “double-domed” crystals have curved surfaces on the outside and inside. 

Is sapphire glass real sapphire?

This ultra-hard crystal is a superior scratch-resistant glass-like material created in a laboratory at high temperatures. Heat causes it to turn into a pulp, cut into pieces with diamond-coated saws. The watch glasses are then polished and cut. 

What’s the benefit of sapphire crystal?

Of the three most used crystals (acrylic and mineral), it is the most costly, hardest, and legible. The majority of other horology companies add an anti-reflective coating to improve visibility.

Does sapphire watch glass scratch?

It isn’t easy to scratch, but once it is, polishing becomes challenging. A few extreme situations also will cause one to break. It is more prone to cracking or fracturing than acrylic. Sapphire scores 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Pros:

  • The best dial for preventing scratches.
  • Out of the three, it has the best clarity, especially with anti-reflective.
  • Diamonds and moissanite only surpass its hardness.

Cons:

  • The most costly option.
  • Less shatterproof than mineral and acrylic dials
Seiko Spring Drive

Users of mechanical watches know the importance of spring drive technology. Unlike other luxury mechanical watches, the spring drive offers a unique electronic regulator that delivers the best precision.  A spring drive watch can tell time precisely to the last second without making a mistake. Have we talked about the classic designs that offer confidence and prestige?

The mechanism and design make these watches the best for precision and style. If you know anything about spring drive watches, then you know that Seiko is one of the best brands to patronize. However, you may get overwhelmed by the number of options you find when patronizing the brand. Our article will outline the ten cheapest spring drive Seiko watches to consider when looking for the best spring drive watch options. 

How It All Started

The Seiko Spring Drive dream came alive in 1977 when a young, talented engineer with the brand decided to build on his dreams. The young engineer wondered how he could bring “the everlasting watch” dream to fruition. He dreamed of creating a watch with a mainspring that offered a one-second-a-day accuracy. This engineer envisioned the precision only attainable in the best electronic watches.

Yoshikazu took 28 years of setbacks, persistence, and dedication to achieve his dreams. After more than 600 prototypes, he finally arrived at what he wanted – the best everlasting watch. Ultimately, he and his team discovered other inventions in making the spring drive watch. Seiko launched his art in 2005 and the collection has flourished since. 

Why Choose Seiko Spring Drive Watches?

Grand Seiko Spring Drive

Seiko Spring Drive watches have certain features that make them desirable to all watch lovers. Since its inception, the Seiko brand has built on the initial design to foster three significant innovations. The tri-synchro regulatory design is a unique spring drive design created by Seiko to control the mainspring’s mechanical energy.

Additionally, the tri-synchro regulator converts a small part of this mechanical energy into electricity. The converted electricity helps to power the Spring Drive crystal. Interestingly, the regulator also creates a magnetic force that regulates the glide wheel speed. Hence, unlike other Spring Drive watches, those from Seiko tend to offer a more efficient regulatory system for perfect time reading.

The alloy used in Seiko’s Spring Drive watches offers extended power and accuracy. Furthermore, the brand uses a unique Magic Lever winding system that fits directly into the rotor shaft. Hence, the Magic Lever enhances the efficiency of each Seiko spring drive watch and also allows for shorter winding periods.

The lever also increases the power reserve for each spring drive watch you obtain from this brand. Certain features make Seiko’s spring drive watches the perfect luxury chronograph. Such features include its 12 hours duration, vertical clutch, one-second-a-day, and clutch and column wheel. With these features, Seiko spring drive watches read time precisely and not to the nearest fraction. 

If you love jewelry and hand-made designs, you will instantly love these watches. Each spring drive watch from Seiko is uniquely made with 416 parts, 140 oil points, 50 jewels, and five different lubricants. Also, the watch has a constant 72-hour power reserve which does not depend on the chronograph usage.   These features combine to make Seiko spring drive watches the most desirable timepieces anyone could have. That said, here are some of the brand’s brand’s brand’s most affordable spring drive watches.

Ten Cheapest Seiko Spring Drive Watches

  1. Presage SNR037 – $4,500
  2. Prospex SNR017 – $4,700
  3. Prospex SNR025 – $5,000
  4. Prospex SNR027 – $5,000
  5. Prospex SNR033 – $5,000
  6. Prospex SNR035 – $5,500
  7. Prospex SNR049 – $5,500
  8. Prospex SNR029 – $6,000
  9. Prospex SNR031 – $6,000
  10. Prospex SNR045 – $6,000

1. Presage SNR037 – $4,500

The Presage SNR037 is one of the watches outside Seiko’s Prospex LX line with a spring drive movement. This watch has an excellent dial accompanied by a classic design that reflects the philosophy of modern Japanese design.

Features

  • Case Design: This watch has a stainless steel case with a width of 40mm and a 13.1mm thickness, less than the Prospex LX watches. The case back features an exhibition chamber that offers a hands-on user experience.
  • Dial Color: The watch has sapphire crystals like all other watches on our list. In addition, you will find a white enamel dial color and black hands. The dial markers are inscribed in Arabic Numerals.
  • Water Resistance: The Presage SNR037 has a caliber 5R65 movement with a water resistance of 100m.
  • Bracelet Style: An exciting feature of this design is the bracelet strap. This model uses a Cordovan strap and a three-fold clasp, offering maximum comfort. You also get a two-year warranty when you purchase this watch.
  • Functions: The watch has the hours, seconds, minutes, date, and power reserve functions. Unlike the Prospex LX watches, this model does not have the GMT feature.

2. Prospex SNR017 – $4,700

This model stands out because it is the only one with a Spring Drive and moonphase pairing. Other Spring Drive watches from Seiko have been paired with chronographs, GMTs, minute repeaters, and Chronograph GMT. This 200-watch limited edition has a touch of class.

Features

  • Moonphase and Power Indicator Pairing: Unlike other models on our list, this model pairs the moonphase and power reserve indicator on the watch’s dial. The gloss black dial changes to a frosted texture between the 5:30 and 8:00 indices. Between these indices, you will see a chapter ring power reserve indicator. The power reserve indicator displays the 72-hour gas tank status at any given time.
  • Exclusive Case Design: Everything about this watch seems complete. The watch has a stainless-steel design with an exciting “three body” case. In addition, the watch, 42mm in diameter, has an interesting pseudo-stepped case form. The watch is quite thick and houses a 6mm thick caliber 5R67 which you can see under an exhibition case back.
  • Cote de Sole Pattern: While you may compare this watch to the Grand Seiko 9R65, it does not use Tokyo Stripes. Instead, it goes for the Cote de Sole pattern, and this pattern adds more rarity to the watch.

3. Prospex SNR025 – $5000

This model is a GMT version and belongs to the land variation of the Prospex LX line. Moreover, the model is an attractive and sturdy sports watch that won the best sports watch award of the year. The watch gets its design from the classic Professional Diver model from 1968. Besides its sports features, the watch suits individuals who love adventure.

Features

  • Basic Features: This watch has a broad and flat titanium case, making it lightweight. The watch case measures 44.8m and has a thickness of 14.7mm. In addition, the model uses Zaratsu Polishing on the surface, making the coating super-hard.
  • Water Resistance: The Prospex SNR025 has a water resistance of 200m. Since it is a land variation, this resistance is quite good. Additionally, you will find a titanium-made bi-directional compass bezel with a smooth movement on this watch.
  • GMT Hand: Another good feature is the GMT or second-hour hand, which tells the time difference from your home zone. The second hour hand has a nicely-finished yellow color corresponding to the 24-hour clock markers.
  • Elegant Dial Design: This brand used metal trims on this model to elegantly frame the hour markers and the power reserve indicator at 08:00. The watch has a sunburst grey to a black pattern that aligns well with the mustard yellow color on the GMT hand. Seiko also uses a satin-finished frame with a typical date font on the date window. Also, you will see a Seiko logo on the dial and markers.
  • Titanium-made Bracelet: The SNR025 has a titanium-made bracelet like the case. One good thing about this feature is that you can easily adjust the length of the bracelet. It also uses 30 jewels and sapphire crystals in its designs. Unlike our previous pick, this model features a super-clear coating.

4. Prospex SNR027 – $5,000

This model follows the Seiko Landmaster legacy, which you can use for outdoor navigation. The watch is one among the black-coated collections released by Seiko a few years ago. Although this watch has similar features to other models from the Prospex LX line, some things make the SnR027 stand out. Like other names on our list, you can use this watch for diving and sports. However, you cannot enjoy deep diving because the watch only supports a limited dive depth.

Features

  • 3 Days Power Reserve: You can enjoy a three-day power reserve when using this watch. The 3-day power reserve offers long-lasting precision as you go out for your adventures.
  • Bi-directional Navigational Compass Bezel: This watch has a dual direction compass bezel and a GMT hand inspired by a compass needle. Additionally, the color of the Lumibrite material used in the design gives this watch a classic feel. While other versions of this LX design have a white color, this design features a green-colored luminant material to ensure it stands out.
  • Scratch-resistant Black Coating: Seiko combines a scratch-resistant coating with a lightweight titanium case to offer a better wearing experience. Also, Seiko uses a band material made of calfskin for this watch.
  • Large But Lightweight Casing: Although the cases are not small, you will not feel the weight due to the titanium, which makes it lightweight. The Seiko SNR027 measures 44.8mm in width and 14.7mm in thickness. Additionally, it has a 50.9mm lug-to-lug distance. With a 106g weight, you can quickly wear this watch without feeling uncomfortable.
  • Water Resistant: Although this watch best suits land usage, you can use it for light diving that does not exceed 200m. This resistance outclasses other LX GMT watches that typically have 100m of water resistance.
  • Independent Power Reserve Dial: The SNR027 has a Seiko caliber 5R66 auto Spring Drive GMT movement. The movement indicates the date and time. In addition, you will find an independently controlled GMT hand inside the watch.

5. Prospex SNR033 – $5,500

The SNR033 is another model belonging to the LX line of watches. Most people believe this watch is the successor of the Grand Seiko SBGE001. However, this model’s styling and case materials suggest a superior taste.

All the materials used on this model point towards longevity and durability. One other impressive thing about this model is the exquisite color palettes used. The bold proportions are very enticing, along with its classical-looking GMT designs.

Features

  • Extremely Light Design: Although you will find that the watch has a diameter of 44.8mm and 14.7mm thickness, the titanium used to make the watch offers a lightweight outlook. Hence, you can wear this watch without feeling uncomfortable.
  • Super-hard Bracelet Coating: Seiko uses a super-hard bracelet coating to ensure the watch doesn’t scratch easily. You can also find this coating on the watch case, which makes the watch long-lasting and suitable for everyday use.
  • 24-hour Bezel: Seiko introduces a 24-hour bezel on this model. Regardless of the light conditions, you will enjoy excellent legibility. The blue and black color palettes blend correctly to give the watch a classic and relaxed feel. Seiko uses aluminum in its bezel design to make it shiny. Also, the brand uses a sapphire cover and 30 jewels in the design.
  • Comfortable Bracelet: Like all its other spring drive LX options, SNR033 has a titanium-made bracelet. The case also has this titanium design and spots excellent angles. However, the difference between this model and others is that it has slightly wider angles, and the surface has a nicer polishing which gets more light. The bracelet also houses a three-fold clasp with a push button. These features make the watch secure on the wrist.

6. Prospex SNR035 – $5,500

This model is a member of the three black-coated watches that look much like the titanium models. Besides its black coating, this model differs from the others because the bracelet strap has a different material.

The model resembles the others within the LX line because it contains a GMT hand for travelers. Another difference you will observe is that this model has a lower water resistance compared to the other options we have presented on our list.

Features

  • Excellent Case Design: Prospex LX SNR035 has a beautiful case back and screw-down crown. It is no longer news to hear that the watch has sapphire crystals on its dial. Additionally, the model has a solid titanium-infused case with large dimensions. The case measures 50.9mm in length and 44.8mm in width, with a thickness of 14.7mm. This watch is relatively heavier than the SNR027 but still lightweight enough.
  • Blackout Bezel: The SNR035 uses a blackout bezel for its GMT function. In addition, the watch has a self-winding caliber with a 4800 A/m magnetic resistance and a power reserve indicator. You can find the power reserve indicator between the seven and eight o’clock hands.
  • Leather-Strapped Bracelets: This model spots a glorious black color that matches the silver-framed luminite hands of the bracelets. Furthermore, the brand uses luminite to fill up the bracelets. Unlike other designs on our list, Seiko uses a black crocodile leather strap containing a three-fold clasp. The leather design used gives the watch a classic and elegant touch.
  • Water Resistant: The Prospex LX SNR035 has a lower water resistance than the other options on our list. This model has a water resistance of 100m. However, considering this watch is not for diving, the resistance is enough.

7. Prospex SNR049 – $5,500

This titanium watch has a limited number of 400 watches. The watch has a faceted form that looks much like Grand Seiko due to its Zaratsu polishing. You can use this watch if you fancy deep diving activities.

Features

  • Compact Design: Although this watch has intimidating dimensions, you will be surprised that it is closer than you can imagine. Moreso, the watch is light and comfortable to carry despite having a diameter of 44.8mm and a thickness of 14.7mm. Also, this model has a lug-to-lug of 50.9mm. Surprisingly, the watch wears like a 42mm watch.
  • Unique Sapphire Bezel: One unique thing you will notice about this GMT model is the black and blue sapphire bezel that matches its black to blue-gradient dial. The colors blend naturally and provide pleasing aesthetics.
  • Time Adjustment Function: This reference piece has a time-reference, calendar-linked adjustment function that heightens your GMT experience. The Zaratsu-polished titanium case also helps to improve the model’s functionality.
  • Water Resistant: This model only has a 100m water resistance. Hence, you can use this watch for shallow diving activities, and the design mainly favors sporting and adventure activities.

8. Prospex SNR029 – $6000

The Prospex LX Spring Drive Diver SNR029 is a refined classic tool watch. This typical Seiko dive watch has a surprising degree of refinements that brings back memories of the 1968 Hi-Beat diver design. A good thing about this watch is that it has mid-range pricing.

This watch also scores highly in fit, functionality, and finish. The watch has excellent legibility and keeps perfect time. Additionally, the watch has a quality dial and case design with a good-enough bracelet.

Features

  • Excellent Precision: The Seiko SNR029 has a ±1 second per day precision that ensures the watch tells the time accurately.
  • 30-Jewel Design: The 30-jewel design adds more glamor to the design and improves its aesthetics. In addition, the watch uses Saphhire crystals with anti-reflective coatings on the inner surface.
  • Functions: This watch has a 72-hour power reserve with a power reserve indicator and a date display. With this model, you can find a “stop second hand” feature that allows you to pause the second hand’s movement.
  • Titanium Casing: The titanium casing used in this model offers a super-hard coating that protects the watch. Also, the watch has a 15.7mm thickness with a diameter of 44.8mm and a lug-to-lug of 50.9mm. You will also find a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and push release button alongside a solid slide adjuster.
  • Water Resistant: The SNR029 allows users to dive as deep as 300m or 1000ft for saturation diving. The air-tight design prevents water from seeping into the watch.

9. Prospex SNR031 – $6,000

The SNR031 is a modern version of Seiko’s SBDX001 Mrinemaster. One feature that distinguishes this watch from other diver watches is the different bracelet design. Also, this watch does not have the Seiko brand impressed on the dial like other options.

Features

  • Excellent Dial Design; Seiko’s Prospex LX SNR031 comes in a brooding black shade with contrasting hands and indexes. The design has large hands with circular indexes except for the rectangular indexes at 3, 6, and 9 O’clock. The index hands have a luminescent design that allows for proper lighting and time reading in dim conditions.
  • 300m Water Resistance: The luminiscent design and water resistance say everything about this watch. Seiko’s SNR031 best suits deep diving activities.
  • Outstanding Case: This model has a smooth, curved profile with a single continuous edge that runs from the bottom lug to the top. The case has angular sections that reflect light even with the black super-hard coating.
  • Rotating Bezel: Seiko’s SNR031 has a unidirectional rotating bezel fitted in the case. Furthermore, you will find a screw-down crown positioned at the 4 O’clock index.

10. Prospex SNR045 – $6,000

This model has almost similar features to that of SNR049. However, the distinguishing factor is that it does not have the GMT complication; instead, it has an added water resistance compared to the SNR049. This model also has additional features that elevate the user experience.

Features

  • Water Resistant: The most outstanding feature of this watch is the 300m water resistance feature. The feature gives more depth to divers who want to enjoy a quality watch without ruining its design.
  • Exquisite Bezel Design: Another thing you will notice at first glance is the green textured dial and green bezel. The color adds more glamor to an already splendid design.
  • Zaratsu Hand-Finished Case: Seiko uses Zaratsu hand finishing on the watch case. Together with the Spring Drive caliber 5R65, this watch stands stall among other green watches on the market.
  • Lightweight: Although this watch looks big on paper, the titanium used in its design makes it lightweight and easy to wear. Hence, you will not feel uncomfortable using this Spring Drive Seiko watch.

Conclusion

We have reviewed the ten cheapest Spring Drive Seiko watches you can patronize. You may have noticed that these watches are not that cheap. However, considering the design and materials put into their production, you will say these Seiko watches are worth the price. We have included several designs with varying prices to help you make a more preferred choice. Hence, you can pick from any of these watches to experience elegance with a touch of class and efficiency.

Seiko vs Citizen

When we talk of luxurious watch brands, Europe and, in particular, Switzerland immediately comes to mind as the nerve centers of luxury and exquisite timepieces. Did you know that Asia also produces luxurious and stylish watches?

In the 1970s, Asia started making waves in the watch industry due to Switzerland’s quartz crisis. The increase of battery-powered quartz watches in the 170s, and 1980s dramatically changed the watchmaking industry.

The situation kicked off with Astron, the first-ever quartz watch by Seiko, in December 1969. The trick was to replace the watch’s mechanical movements with quartz movements and replace the analog display with a digital one. Quartz is more accurate and more affordable.

The quartz watches became popular and more widely accepted. In the next two decades, two Japanese watch brands gained a more significant chunk of the watch market, namely Seiko and Citizen. Most consider these two brands twins as it’s difficult to tell their differences.

The two brands have numerous similarities beyond their country of origin, homology, structure, brand prestige, recognition, and resale value. We shall discuss some of these differences in this article. If you find it hard to choose between the two, this article will make it easier for you.

Seiko vs. Citizen: Brief History of Seiko

This distinctive brand’s history dates back to humble beginnings in 1881 21-year old Kintori Hattori opened a jewelry store called K. Hattori, located in Ginza Neighborhood, Tokyo. After eleven years’ experience in buying, selling, and repairing clocks and pocket watches, Hattori started thinking of becoming a watch manufacturer.

In 1892, he opened a factory that produced elegant and outstanding luxury wall clocks under the brand name, Seikosha, a Japanese word meaning house of exquisite artistry. This endeavor made by Hattori played a significant role in defining the future of the Seikosha watch brand. In 1895, the Seikosha brand built its first pocket watch, the Seikosha timekeeper.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the brand saw a rise in the demand for wristwatches. It took the bold step of coming up with an elegant wristwatch with a 29.6 mm silver case and a porcelain enamel dial known as the Seikosha Laurel.

In 1923, the Kanto earthquake hit Japan and devastated many buildings, including Seikosha’s factory and the timepieces in stock. Seikosha put their operations on hold, but Hattori quickly rebuilt the factory.

A year later, they came up with a new wristwatch, the first to feature the name Seiko on its dial and the first watch that marked the beginning of the Seiko Brand. Kintore Hattori passed away in 1934, leaving behind his eldest son Ginza to take over the company and run its operation.

After the ups and downs of World War II, Seiko started becoming a globally recognized brand as it produces over 3 million watches each year, which the company traded to many far places in the world, like the United States of America.

In 1954, the company hit another milestone after creating the Seiko Marvel, which features the brand’s first movement designed and produced in-house. The company launched the Seiko Automatic, Japan’s first automatic wristwatch. In 1960, the brand created its first luxury line named Grand Seiko, which competes with high-end Swiss watches.

The brand continued to prosper, and in 1964, they became suppliers of the Tokyo Olympics, where they provided 1,278 stopwatches. The brand has already produced many quartz wall clocks, but they’ve yet to replicate the model into a wristwatch.

Seiko kept pushing to become the first watch brand to create a quartz wristwatch, which they did in 1969 when they made the Seiko Astron. Their quartz wristwatches changed the watchmaking industry and pushed the brand’s success throughout the 1970s.

The 1980s weren’t easy for Japanese companies, and Seiko was no exception. However, the brand continued to put more effort into perfecting the watchmaking industry. Seiko has become a great company that manufactures watches, printers, and optics though their watches are the brand’s driving force. Over the past year, the brand has become a household name across Europe, North America, and Asia.

Seiko leans more towards the sporting world and is better known for its diving watches. The Seiko sports watches are renowned and acclaimed as the lead sponsors for top athletes like tennis star Novak Djokovic. Seiko’s performance is unprecedented, holding accuracy to within five seconds per month.

Brief History of Citizen Watches

The history of Citizen Watches is shorter and less impressive than that of the Seiko. Its history dates back to 1918, when a Tokyo jewelry seller, Kamekichi Yakamazi, established the Shokosha Watch Brand Institute and started producing pocket watches.

Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid registered the brand in Switzerland for watches sold in Japan. In 1924, their first commercial model, the Caliber 16, was sold under Citizen. The company continued to expand until the Second World War halted its success. The brand was famous but had little success globally.

However, a new era began for Citizen Watches after the war as a new president, Elichi Yamada, took power. Yamada, an experienced man, quickly discovered that the brand’s future was in the foreign hands of the Swiss.

He created the Citizen Trading Company, which marketed the brand globally. Elichi Yamada also improved the Citizen watches’ technology by producing many outstanding mechanical timepieces, a breakthrough in the Japanese watch industry.

The Japanese brand saw the quartz revolutionary as an opportunity to use the first era of electronic watches to make most of its outstanding models. One of their hottest models then was the Citizen X-8, their first-ever titanium watch. 

From 1975 to 1981, the Citizen Watch brand unveiled the first-class watch each year. Perhaps their best accomplishment yet in their history was introducing Eco-Drive technology. This technology enabled the user to recharge quartz batteries via a solar panel under the watch’s face.

This recharge meant that the battery would retain power when you placed your watch under the sun for some time every day. Today, Citizen is a world-renowned luxury watch brand and owns Bulova, an American watchmaker.

Which is the Better Brand?

Comparing the two Japanese luxury brands is not an easy task because both brands have attained numerous achievements. The watch brands have many similarities, and both brands have produced many exquisite watch models.

We shall compare the two brands regarding technology and movement, recognition, resale value, and other qualities to see which luxury brand is better.

Recognition

The best luxury brands are the most recognized in the world. While some watch brands are known only by watch enthusiasts, some are known by the average person. Between Seiko and Citizen, Seiko is more recognized than Citizen by the year of establishment.

While Seiko started in 1881, Citizen Watch Co was in 1918. By the time the Citizen watch brand started, Seiko had already established itself in the watch industry. 

Technology and Movement

Both companies are prestigious, and they deliver high-quality watches. However, Citizen watches lean more toward quartz watches. It’s hard to find a mechanical watch in Citizen’s brand. Despite being the quartz revolution’s driving force, Seiko still produces some mechanical watches.

When it comes to style, Seiko’s style is more modern. Being the older company, Seiko is still establishing more prestige and reputation by connecting their watches’ style with the past. In contrast, Citizen embraced technology.

A good example is how Citizen embraces eco-drive technology, which focuses on solar-powered watches. Though Seiko has embraced the technology, Citizen solar-powered watches are much stronger than Seiko’s. If you want a stylish mechanical look, go for the Seiko brand.

Highest Resale Value

Some people prefer to buy a luxury watch with high resale value. When comparing this on Seiko vs. Citizen, we have to first look at each company’s sales saturation.

While Seiko has better models than Citizen, the latter still makes more sales than the former, though the difference isn’t huge. With Seiko being more recognized, you’ll likely get more when reselling a Seiko watch than a Citizen watch.

Style and Design

Seiko and Citizen have differences in watch styles. Seiko creates more classic and traditional style watches. For instance, their dress or dive watches will be just that and have no extra features. 

However, this sticking to tradition allowed them to specialize in some specific watches. Some of the top watches come from many decades of designing the same design over and over, making mistakes and rectifying them.

Citizen uses modern technology to build more accurate watches creating market disruption with their timepieces.

 The latter also uses quartz technology, but the brand has added various types of technology to help them innovate more and sell more. If you need a classic timepiece, such as a beater or dress watch, choose Seiko. Check out Citizen’s models if you want to experiment and see what is available in the market.

Watch Crystal

Many Citizen Models have mineral crystals, and their more expensive and rarer watches contain sapphire, which also applies to Seiko. Seiko has its crystal technology known as Hardlex, found on their best brands and whose durability is almost the same as a mineral.

Best Seiko Watches

Here are some of Seiko’s best watches:

Seiko SKX007

This Seiko dive watch uses automatic movement, accurate up to 20 seconds per day. The movement is adjustable to get better accuracy. The lens contains Hardlex crystals, and the watch uses Seiko’s Lumibrite to keep the watch bright in dark places.

Seiko 5 SNK809

This Seiko watch is one of the most affordable watches. For around a hundred dollars, you buy an automatic movement watch that contains a day-date window, a durable stainless steel case, a look, a mineral crystal, and water resistance.

The Seiko 5 SNK809is a beater watch, and you can fit the bill for camping, the sea, and your workplace. This watch is affordable, and most watches contain some special features for that price. The Seiko SNK809 has five features, making it the best option if you’re on a budget.

Best Citizen Watches

Citizen has some of the best watches, including:

Citizen Eco-Drive Nighthawk

The most striking part about this watch is its intricate design. The Pilot’s chronograph boasts an extensive collection of Arabic Arabian markings and numbers and a sliding scale that calculates fuel consumption, air speed, etc. Its best feature is the GMT function, which has a sweeping arc red or white GMT index ranging from 6 to 12.

The pointer hovering over a colored arm tells the GMT and allows the watch to have a double function. The watch also has a stainless steel casing, decorated dial, and resistance to water up to 200 feet.

Citizen Eco-Drive AO9020-84E Dress Watch

Citizen has a well-designed dress watch with a stainless steel casing, a chronograph design that displays date and day, and a black dial.

Most dress watches use leather straps, but the Citizen Eco-Drive AO9020-84E Dress watch comes with a stainless steel bracelet. You can wear the dress watch to the dinner table or ballroom, making it an excellent timepiece for different occasions.

Conclusion

Seiko leans towards the more conventional watch, building mechanical, automatic movement, and quartz watches. Citizen specializes more in quartz movement due to its Eco-Drive technology, which allows for more innovative designs.

For exciting new models, check out what Citizen offers, like a watch that tracks GMT and the fuel consumption for a pilot. If you want a watchmaker who has honed their skill with tried and tested methods, you might want to try out Seiko. They have come from far and their fair share of innovations.

Some of Seiko’s best-known watches gained their fame from the fact that Seiko knew their trade and honed it over the past more than one century.

Look for a watch between the two that fits your way of life and style. The best watch serves your needs, not going with the trend for the sake of trending. If you are a diver, choose a diver’s watch and research before you embark on the watch buying process. May the best watch win!

Omega Watches

From the wrist of Buzz Aldrin as he took his slightly less famous first steps on the moon, to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench on a Deep Submergence Vehicle, no watch brand has covered as much geographical ground as Omega.

Their timepieces have come to represent some of the most important explorations and achievements in not just horology but history as well. 

The historic powerhouse from the Swatch group holds a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts everywhere (except for maybe a few Rolex Fanboys), but do Omega Watches hold their value, and are they good investments?

Are Omega Watches a Good Investment?

Todays “Hype” culture has certainly turned the watch industry on its head. In the last few years, the value of a watch seems to be defined more by the resale value than the actual craftsmanship and quality of the timepiece. 

You can’t look at a forum or a Facebook post, without someone asking if X brand is a good investment or will X brand go up in value. Before we dive into Omega and how they play into the whole value and investment game, let’s define what a good investment is.

Traditionally, an investment is an opportunity for you to profit off of the ownership of an item as it appreciates over time. Owning Apple stock in the 1980s? Good Investment! Owning Bitcoin during its infancy? Good Investment! Buying a Beanie baby at the peak of their craze? Lord help you! 

Now that we have this covered, let me just state that “investing” in watches is not a great use of your financial resources. With the exception of a few models, they will rarely outpace a more traditional method of investing. Just because it may not be the “best’ use of your investment portfolio, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and lucrative. At least, that’s what I tell myself! 

What if we broaden the scope of what “investment” and “value” mean? There is inherent value to these watches. There is value in the way they make us feel when we put them on or find another crazy watch enthusiast in the wild and “have a moment”. 

In this article, we are going to look at both the monetary aspects of investment for how certain models retain value, as well as the intangible value, the investment in yourself and in a hobby that brings you happiness.

With a brand as diverse as Omega the answer to does Omega hold its value can’t be simple. Let’s stick to the classics and take a look at 2 core models, both new and pre owned, as well as some vintage offerings to gain a better understanding.

Is the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch a good investment?

There are few, if any, watches that are as iconic as the Omega Speedmaster Professional. As mentioned earlier, the thing has been to the moon! How can you beat that? The recently enhanced Speedmaster Professional, Reference – 310.30.42.50.01.002, has the classic Speedmaster look that NASA and watch enthusiast alike swoon over.

It also features some nods to the past, like a dot over 90 bezel (if you know, you know) and a vintage logo on the clasp. Inside of this beautiful package you get a Caliber 3861 Co-Axial Master Chronometer that delivers excellent timekeeping and anti magnetism properties.

This watch is priced at about $6900 dollars and although I can’t believe I’m saying this about an item that cost 3X my first car, is an absolute value. The prestigious history, quality fit and finish, and modern movement make this watch shine, especially when compared to the competition.

Is it an investment though? Not by the standard definition. At the time of this article they are trading at roughly a couple of hundred dollars below their MSRP. The fact that this doesn’t exponentially grow the second you leave the Authorized Dealer might have you feel as though this is not a good buy.

I can assure you, this is an exceptional watch to purchase! Unlike some other prestigious Swiss watch manufactures,  Omega is not shy about producing watches that their customers want to buy in high volume.

Even with this production they are difficult to obtain at some Authorized Dealers and sell for virtually the same as what you paid for it pre owned.

An often overlooked aspect of the value of a watch is the ease of which you will be able to part with it if you decide it’s time to go your separate ways.

There will always be buyers for a preowned Omega Speedmaster Professional.  They are as close to liquid as any watch that that doesn’t rhyme with Boflex can get.

When you purchase a new Omega Speedmaster Professional, you are getting a watch that will generally keep its monetary value, has a very broad resale audience, and most importantly can hold its own against any other luxury watch in its price range!

The Standard Omega Speedmaster may not be a  great investment in the sense that it will earn you money in the long run, but your money will be safe, and your enjoyment will be off the charts!

Are Pre-Owned Omega Speedmasters a good value?

One of the benefits of a watch that has changed its design very little in the last 50+ years is that only the most experienced of Omega aficionados will be able to discern a pre owned example from the latest and greatest.  The value of a pre owned Speedmaster Professional tends to follow the shape of an inverted bell curve.

When the watch is the newest reference, the resale value is quite high, almost flat with MSRP. As the model ages, it tends to lose value, sometimes to as much as 40% of the original MSRP, depending on condition.

This is what we could the floor and represents both the absolute best time to buy and worst time to sell, as these two are inversely related. Once you hit this floor value, the price tends to creep up. Especially as it crosses into neo vintage and the true vintage category. What was once seen as outdated features become nostalgic and before you know it you have a true classic!

What modern Omega Speedmaster Models are good investments?

Not all Omega Speedmasters are the same! One of the greatest benefits, or downside depending on your perspective, with Omega is that they produce several varieties of their watches.

There really is a Speedmaster flavor for every customer. Because of this there are some models that are quite rare and have become incredible investments for those lucky enough to purchase from an Authorized Dealer.

The first of these watches is the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Snoopy” Limited Edition, reference number 3578.51.00, of 5441 pieces. This watch features the standard Speedmaster case, bracelet, and movement from a 2003 Speedmaster Professional, but with one not so minor addition.

Everyone’s favorite cartoon dog, Snoopy, graces both the caseback and 9 o’clock sub dial of the watch as a nod to the Snoopy Award given to Omega for their pivotal role in the safe return of the Apollo 13 mission. This watch originally retailed for a slight premium over the $5k Omega Speedmaster Professional of its day, but has now sky rocketed to a $25k-$35K investment grade classic.

A more recent example of this exponential growth from a Speedmaster comes from the 50th anniversary to this Apollo 13 mission in the form of the Speedmaster Moonwatch “Silver Snoopy Award”, reference number 310.32.42.50.02.01, of 2020.

This watch again predictably features our cartoon friend on the 9 o’clock sub dial and case back. Despite not being technically a limited edition, this model is a limited production and much like its 2003 predecessor has become virtually unobtainable.

Despite carrying a slightly higher MSRP of roughly $9,600, this watch now features a resale value of roughly $26k- 33k. Although these watches do not add much more from the standard Speedmaster Professionals, despite some aesthetic changes, there is no doubt that for those lucky enough to acquire at retail, they fall well within the category of investment grade watches

Does the Omega Seamaster Hold its Value?

How about the other iconic model in Omegas lineup? Does the Omega Seamaster Professional 300m hold value? The current model Seamaster 300m, reference number 210.30.42.20.01.001 is a 42mm capable dive watch with a 120 click ceramic bezel, helium release valve, and iconic wave motif dial and skeleton hands.

From the outside the model has not changed much aesthetically from the much loved Bond Seamaster from the 1990’s that helped revitalize the brand.

The inside, however, has been completely updated with Omegas signature Caliber 8800 featuring a co axial escapement and exceptional anti magnetism. This movement has passed METAS certification promising 0-+3 seconds of accuracy per day.

Considering what you get with this watch, the roughly $5400 is more than a fair price. This is especially true when you compare this to the obvious competition of a Rolex Submariner.

Either of these watches would make a great everyday sports watch, but only one of these is readily available at Authorized Dealers. Despite the fact that the Rolex Submariner already has a significantly higher MSRP at roughly $10,100, they are generally only available for a premium through the gray market.

How about this Omega Seamaster 300m? Does the Seamaster sell for several thousand more than MSRP like the Submariner. Thankfully no! You could argue that this fact hurts the investment potential, and you’d be right, but it makes it a tremendously valuable option in the eyes of your average watch enthusiast.

Much like the Speedmaster Pro, your money is going to be fairly safe and liquid with a Seamaster 300m. If you purchase new and decide to sell it a few months or years down the line, you can expect to lose roughly 25%. In the days of watches selling used over MSRP this may seem crazy, but for a luxury watch this is actually quite well.

Are Pre owned Omega Seamasters a good value?

The slight decrease in value for a preowned Seamaster 300m does have a very beneficial consequence for us thrifty shoppers out there. You can pick up a lightly used model for roughly 20-25% off of MSRP. When you start to compare this lower priced Seamaster to its competition at Rolex pre owned, you know have a value prop that is too good to pass up.

This is where the true value of this model lies, an honest dive watch, made by a prestigious Swiss watchmaker, with a luxury fit and finish all for about 1/3 the price of its closest rival.

Can Omega Seamasters be a good investment?

Much like the Speedmaster, there are some models within the Seamaster 3OOm line that have crossed the threshold of investment grade. Much like the Snoopy collaboration, this watch finds its increased value from a famous partnership, this time in the form of Bond, James Bond.

The Omega Seamaster 300m James Bond Limited Edition, reference number 210.22.42.20.01.004, sports the same specs as the standard Seamaster 300m, all while trading in the wave motif for a signature design mimicking the barrel of hand gun.

These few changes, along with the limitation of “only” 7007 pieces, are enough to completely flip the script on the value vs investment argument. This watch originally retailed for a slight premium at $6500. It has long sold out, leaving the only option for those on the hunt to find refuge in a preowned example.

This model is currently listed for between $8500 and $10500, giving this example a percentage gain of roughly 30 to 60 percent increase. That puts this model much more in line with the type of trajectory you expect with their rival Rolex. 

Are Vintage Omega Watches a Good Value?

Now that we have explored the modern and pre owned side of Omega, let’s take a look at some examples with a little more patina on the dial. For many enthusiasts vintage Omega watches represent not only a great entry point into the brand, but a confidence inspiring doorway to the world of vintage watches in general.

Before we proceed any further with discussing vintage watches I must make a disclaimer. Vintage watches, whether they are Omega, Hamilton or even Rolex are incredibly risky. There are more land mines than a WW2 battlefield and you need to be informed before moving forward! PROCEED WITH CAUTION and DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!

Now that you’ve done some research, let’s review some of the vintage Omega watches that represent tremendous value. First, is the Omega Seamaster Deville. These watches were dual labelled as Seamasters and Devilles up until the mid 60’s and have beautiful and simple 34mm cases and feature some of Omegas most reliable hand wind movements in the Omega 6XX series.

These were well built and have plentiful serviceable parts when compared to other manufactured movements. If you can purchase an example in good shape (condition is everything in vintage!) For under $1k, you’ll have a competent dress watch that will have more character than anything you could buy modern in that price range.

These watches are steadily increasing in value and when in excellent condition with a jewelers marked dial, such as Turler, can even be considered potential investment pieces. Just don’t expect retirement investment, think more like the profits could yield you a nice long weekend getaway investment.

The other model we will discuss are the often overlooked original Omega Seamaster “fat lug” watches featuring Omegas 4XX bumper movements. Nothing will make you aware of wearing a vintage watch like the bounce from a bumper movement.

It’s very distinctive and reminds me of the tactile feedback on everyone’s favorite smartwatch. The watch features “fat lugs” and have a more substantial feel on the wrist despite their 34.5mm size. The 4XX movements were very plentiful and sourcing parts will be relatively easy, like the Deville we discussed earlier.

If you can find a good example of this watch in the sub $1k area your money will again be pretty safe. These watches have continued to appreciate especially in the watch community with the increase in popularity of vintage watches and smaller sizes in general.

If I had a crystal ball, I would predict that the examples from 1948, the very first year of production, have potential to become an investment grade watch. It has all of the hallmarks we would expect to see in a watch poised for growth, an early production model of an iconic model, a prestigious manufacturer, and even a modern recreation in the form of The Omega Seamaster 1948.

When you put all of these factors together, that’s a bet I would feel safe making, especially when I’m confident I wouldn’t lose, possibly just not gain as much as I had hoped for.

Is investing in Omega Watches a Good Idea?

Omega is a very large brand with a dynamic history, producing some of the most iconic wrist watches in existence. When deciding whether you should invest in an Omega watch I think you need to decide what “investing” means to you.

Do you want to invest your money in a watch that you will be able to flip for a sizable profit? If that’s what you’re after, you might not find what you’re looking for with Omega, outside of a select number of limited edition and limited production watches.

If your idea of investing involves spending your hard earned cash on a timepiece that offers exceptional quality and engineering, especially at the price point and your not concerned with selling for a profit, than Omega is for you.

Whether you purchase new, pre owned, or try your luck with vintage, if you stick to the classics, your money is pretty safe. The investment will be in yourself and the enjoyment you get out of your new watch!

Rolex Yachtmaster vs Submariner

The Rolex Submariner and Yacht-Master are two of the brand’s most well-known sports watches that are intimately linked to the company’s seafaring endeavors. One takes the adventure to the depths of the ocean while the other sails above.

We know that is difficult choosing between the two. This post has comprehensive information about the two collections including materials, functions, history and more. Let’s see how they stack up against one another in comparison.

History of Yacht-Master

The Yacht-Master is a representation of the privileged connections between Rolex and the sailing industry that traces its origins back to 1950s. One of the newest pieces of the Rolex catalogue, it was the first new design since the Sea-Dweller in 1967, 25 years before.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t release its first high-end sports watch intended for maritime operations until 1992. 

Released with a white or yellow gold case and white dial, the reference 16682 was a trendy and ultra-luxury sport watch is created with several sturdy attributes like waterproofness, accuracy, and dependability, among others.

Since then, it has become one of their most diversified watch families, with two independent models and numerous of dial, bezel, and bracelet configurations from which to choose.

The Yacht-Master is a popular choice amongst celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.

Our Choices

Rolex Yacht-Master 16622

A bidirectional platinum bezel with refined edges, gleaming platinum dial, and complementing red seconds hand give this watch a sophisticated and dashing presence on your wrist.

It has an automatic in-house movement with Nivarox hairspring and KIF anti-shock system. It beats 28,000 vibrations per hour and has a 48 hour power reserve.

History of Submariner

A timepiece that has stood the test of time, highly sought-after, and become an icon in the watch world. Precise and simple and timeless design. The superlative chronometer. 

Engineered specifically for underwater diving and exploration, the Rolex Submariner has come a far way since 1953. Waterproofing, durability, and overall performance.

It was tailored to the needs of diving and underwater exploration, but since then it has become a versatile and all-round watch. Great for everyday wear or as business attire, it can be worn out of water for various hobbies and sports. 

Although it wasn’t the first official dive watch, the Submariner was the first to enable divers to descend up to 100 meters. Dubbed the “reference among divers’ watches” by Rolex, the Submariner established a clear criterion for others with its rotating bezel, water proof crown, flip lock clasp, extension link, etc.

The Institute for Deep-Sea Research in Cannes tested it for five months. The submariner also made use of the cutting-edge technologies required to produce Rolex Deep Sea.

“In the early 1950s, Rolex developed professional watches that served as tools and whose functions went far beyond simply telling the time.

These watches were intended for professional activities, such as deep-sea diving, aviation, mountain climbing and scientific exploration. The watches generated lasting enthusiasm and became known as the watches of achievers.” – Official statement from Rolex

In the late 1960s, Rolex debuted Submariner models with date windows, expanding the collection. In addition, Rolex eventually extended its collection to also include two-tone and full gold variants.

Unsurprisingly, Rolex upgraded the Submariner’s water resistance over the course of history to 300 meters.

The Submariner has been seen in movies on the wrist of Sean Connery in Dr. No and Goldfinger. Other wearers include Che Guevara, Steve McQueen, Russell Wilson, and Tom Hardy.

Our Choices

Rolex Submariner Date 2022 126610LN

  • New 41mm case
  • Larger bracelet, narrower crown guards
  • Slimmer lugs
  • Updated movement – either in-house Rolex caliber 3230 (no date), Caliber 3235 (with the date)

Rolex Submariner Date Ceramic “Kermit” 126610LV

  • New 41mm case
  • Slimmer lugs
  • Matte black dial to match ceramic green bezel
  • Updated movement – Caliber 3235

Rolex Submariner Date 16610

The brand’s iconic dive watch, the Rolex Submarine 16610 is a favorite among collectors. This date version features the classic features found in the production years 1987-2010.

The Bezels

Submariner Bezels

The unidirectional diving bezel is also black and features Rolex’s Cerachrom ceramic inlay as opposed to the traditional aluminum. Cerachrom is a particularly scratch-resistant material that will not fade in sunlight, which was the case with earlier models.

The numbers and markings on the 60-minute scale are engraved in the bezel and coated with a platinum PVD layer. These graduations help the wearer to monitor their time underwater. The original models featured a bi-direction, but since then are now using unidirectional

Available in green, blue and black, these bezels match their respective dial colors.

Yacht-Master Bezels

Bi-directional bezel graduated to 60 minutes has raised numerals and available in. Depends on metal or alloy used for case, but available in Matte Cerachrom, 18k Gold, and 950 Platinum

The Cases

Both models feature Oyster casing. Developed by Rolex in 1926, it was the first waterproof wristwatch case to be made. The case is made from 904L steel known as “Oystersteel”, which is highly resistant to a number of different forms of corrosion.

It is produced in-house and is comprised of a low-carbon stainless steel that has nickel, chromium, copper, and molybdenum. Also, it has higher corrosion resistance vs 316L steel, which is the standard go-to material for the majority of the watch cases.

It consists of screwing down the winding crown, bezel, and case back. It also has a Rolex designed triplock waterproof system, which means it has three sealed zones for superlative water protection up to 300 meters. It also is shock-resistant and protects it from dust and pressure.

Today’s Rolex Oyster case comes in a variety of metals, including stainless steel, steel and yellow gold (Rolesor), 18k yellow gold, and 18k white gold.

Submarine Case

  • Sizes include: 37mm (discontinued), 40mm, 41mm
  • 400 meters of water resistance
  • On the top of the watch has an anti-reflect sapphire crystal.
  • There is a coast of AR on the bottom side of the sapphire crystal so it doesn’t lose its luster. There is a satin brushed finish on the lugs and polished sides of the case.
  • There is a Rolex Laser Etched Crystal, which is basically a minute laser-engraved Rolex hologram at the 6 o’clock position.

Yatch-Master Case

  • Sizes include: 29mm (discontinued), 35mm (discontinued), 37mm, 40mm, 42mm
  • 100 meters of water resistance
  • Sapphire crystal with a Cyclops lens for ostensible reading of the date.
  • Rolesium, special metal combination only featured on the Rolex Yacht Master

The Bracelets

Submariner Bracelet

Submariners come with an Oyster bracelet (comes in 18k yellow gold or white gold) that has a Oysterlock safety clasp and Glidelock extension.

Yatch-Master Bracelet

Depending on the model, wearers can choose between an Oyster bracelet or Oysterflex bracelet. The Oysterflex bracelet is a rubber bracelet that has an internal flexible metal blade. A wearer can secure the watch around the wrist with an Oysterlock safety clasp and Glidelock extension.

The Movements

Both feature certified Swiss chronometers tested movements and have power reserves from 48 hours to 72. This means they have passed several tests under extreme conditions.

Submarine Calibers

  • 3130 – Automatic in-house movement with Parachrom hairspring and KIF anti-shock system to support the wheel. It beats 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a 48 hour power reserve.
  • 3135 – Automatic in-house movement with Nivarox hairspring and KIF anti-shock system. It beats 28,800 vibrations per hour and has 48 hour power reserve.

Yacht-Master Calibers

  • Caliber 2236 – Automatic in-house movement with Syloxi (silicon) hairspring and Paraflex anti-shock system. It beats 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a 55 hour power reserve.
  • 3135 – Automatic in-house movement with Nivarox hairpsring and KIF anti-shock system. It beats 28,000 vibrations per hour and has a 48 hour power reserve.
  • 3235 – Automatic in-house movement with Parachrom Blue hairspring and Paraflex anti-shock system. It beats 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a 70 hour power reserve. It contains technology protected by 14 patents and one example is the Paramagnetic Oscillator that has a new balance staff for enhanced resistance to magnetism. Rolex considers this to be a “Superlative Chronometer” and two times as precise than officially certified chronometers.

The Dials

The Gilt Dial

Produced from 1950s to 1967.

The initial edition of Submariners were manufactured with glossy gilt dials, which have gold text and detailing against a glossy black background.

Unlike the majority of other manufacturers that painted over inscription and dial indicators, Rolex employed the highly technical galvanization technique to paint over the dial’s lettering and markings. These dials reflected light in a way that is unique and unmatched by paint or ink cans.

Luminous markers that were coated in an illuminating radioactive chemical (like tritium or radium) have since grown old and developed a golden hue.

Due to it’s limited and short production, these vintage dials are the most valuable and sought after.

The Matte Dial

Produced in the 1960s

With adorned tritium markers and white writing on a flat, grayish-black surface, Rolex’s new matte dial was shown. These plots are displayed against a flat, somewhat textured (non-glossy) background.

Although vintage, they have a more modern and functional look. Furthermore, they are more valuable, accessible, and affordable in the secondhand market.

The Gloss Dial

Produced in the 1980s

Rolex Submariners with gloss dials that accentuated a glossy black surface with white text and hour markings were the first “modern” Submariners.

It featured a white gold border around their stunning plots. A more opulent and modern aesthetic was produced by the glossy finish and applied 18k white gold markings.

Gloss dials dominate the secondary market.

The Maxi Dial

Produced in 1992 to present.

The most recent Maxi has a traditional appearance with larger, easier-to-read hands and more prominent hour markings. The “Super Case,” which has thicker lugs and a broader bezel for a bulkier appearance, is coupled with a new bracelet.

It first appeared with the unveiling of the 50th anniversary edition reference number 16610LV “Kermit.” It is still being made for all current Rolex Submariner timepieces.

Yacht-Master Dials

The Yacht-Master’s dials have been available in various of colors and materials over the years, including the stunning blue dial on the ref. 116622 and the opulent platinum dial on the now-discontinued version.

The Yacht-Master was the first model to use Rolex’s Maxi dial and was the final component that appeared with this watch.

There’s no doubting that the face is more legible thanks to the wider indexes and fatter hands, which have generated just as much controversy as the Super Case. There are two dial choices available for the ref. 126622: dark rhodium and sunburst blue.

The rhodium dial provides a monochrome look, broken up only by the vibrant turquoise on the seconds hand and a single line of text because the platinum and steel used to construct the watch are both white metals.

As an alternative, the blue is becoming popular because of its sparingly applied vibrant red accent on the seconds hand and the “Yacht-Master” writing.

Sunray Dials

The sunray dial is produced usually using a base coat of silver plating followed by the addition of extra color to achieve the desirable effect. Pure metallic colors like ruthenium, champagne, and silver can be manufactured with this method.

The dial’s rays travel out from its center in ultra-thin lines, creating a delicate texture and shift in light. It is primarily made up of metal filaments and is applied with a brush. The platinum bezel and blue dial form a striking combination.

Yacht-master has sunray dials available in silver, blue, champagne, rose gold, and rhodium.

Mother of Pearl

Mother of pearl is appreciated for the gorgeous iridescence it generates, which gives it a sophisticated look. When viewed from various angles, these dials appear to change color.  Every dial is different and special since it is made from natural materials.

The origin of the pearl, the environment in which the mollusk lived, and the portion of the shell from which it was removed all affect color and intensity variations.

In Yacht-master models, the two most prevalent colors are the iridescent white mother of pearl and the black mother of pearl, which changes from pink to gray and even green.

Rolesium Dials

The Yacht-Master is made of the Rolex-developed material called rolesium, which is an alloy of platinum and 904L stainless steel. It is not available on other models. The bezel is constructed entirely of 950 platinum and rotates in both directions.

It has a notched ring with 120 gradations. Except for the polished raised numbers and indexes, it has a smooth, sandblasted surface. Because of its silvery whiteness, platinum shines brightly and vibrantly, conveying a sense of elegance and opulence.

‘Inverted dials’

Black baton and dot hour markers are highlighted in gold and placed on top of a crisp white dial. The dial’s white background stands out against the stark contrast.

Rolex added tiny, inward-pointing bright triangles to the inside of the black-filled hour markers, which they paired with the lume-coated hands to create instead of glowing hour markers. However, they are hardly recognizable against the white dial during the day.

Serti Dials

Yacht-Master has serti dials, which are set with priceless stones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. The word “sertissage” is a French term that meaning “gem-setting.”

Typically, these dials have markers constructed entirely of rubies and combine diamonds and sapphires. The Mother of pearl dial is frequently used to give an opulent and sophisticated look.

Conclusion

A casual glance might suggest that both items are similar. Their dial designs, Mercedes handsets, case shapes, and 60-minute time bezels are identical.

Yatch-Master Differences

  • In contrast, the bezel numerals on the Yatch-Master are raised rather than etched, and bezel inserts are offered in matte black Cerachrom, Everose gold, or platinum.
  • A bidirectional rotating bezel with distinguishable indicators.
  • Some models house “Superlative Chronometer”, the 3235.
  • Owners have the option to wear the sportier Oysterflex bracelet.
  • Exclusive Rolesium dial design.
  • The case back is flatter and smaller, but it only boasts 100 meters of water resistance.

Submariner Differences

  • The Submariner is more suited for scuba diving. It has a unidirectional rotating bezel that makes it possible to monitor your dive time.
  • It has 300 meters of water resistance and shorter power reserve.

Overall

  • The YachtMaster is a more sporty aesthetic and is sleek and showy. It’s slimmer lines with polished lugs make it a great dress option.
  • While the Submariner is a low key choice and its brushed surfaces aren’t overly loud, but will still be noticed.

You can’t go wrong with either one and both are great watches!

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