When it comes to great brand stories Omega really corners the market. It’s been worn by Bond, went to the Moon, timed Olympic records and even travelled to the deepest recesses of the Mariana Trench.
Omega is also a master watchmaker: it pioneered the tourbillon in a wristwatch, took George Daniels’ co-axial escapement – one of the most significant horological advances of the 20th century – and mass-produced it, and even found a way to make a watch resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss.
From deep-sea divers to vintage dress watches, we’ve chosen the 10 Omegas that, when taken together, provide a snapshot of the horological heights this incredible brand is capable of scaling.
Seamaster 300 Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41mm
Blue patinated sandwich dial, subtle pale tan calf leather strap, vintage SuperLuminova – this update of the classic Speedmaster ticks all the sartorial boxes. Despite being in the Omega catalogue since 1957, the Seamaster hasn’t lost its appeal thanks to its iconic retro stylings.
The façade may be classic, but its insides have been given a revamp. This model is now powered by the 8912 complete with co-axial escapement, silicon balance spring and METAS certification, which means its anti-magnetic to 15,00 gauss so you won’t have to take it off if you need an MRI.
The lesser-known of the ‘Professional Trilogy’ of tool watches that launched in 1957 – the other two were the Speedmaster and Seamaster – the Railmaster was originally designed for railroad employees, scientists, electricians and technicians who worked close to electric currents. It had a double case that meant the movement could withstand 1,000 gauss.
Now, it’s a handsome-looking timepiece, with a vertically brushed dial and, if you opt for the ‘blue jeans’ version, a denim and leather strap, which exudes off-duty cool. Perfect for when you’re riding the rails. Or hopping on the Central Line.
Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph Calibre 321
For many enthusiasts, Omega sold out when it replaced the 321, the calibre that went to the Moon, with the 861 in 1969, ditching the original column-wheel chronograph in favour of a cam-actuated one, which is easier to make and maintain. It seemed as though the 321 and the Speedmaster were destined never to be reunited. Then, in 2019, Omega gave the fans what they wanted.
By using tomography scans – x-ray images in cross-section – of the last watch that went to the Moon, Omega were able to recreate the lost movement. The initial launch pricing was prohibitive for most but in 2020 the 321 was rendered in more affordable steel. Which stopped the fanatics from moaning. For now.
Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m
Unless you’re on a mission to track down the extremely rare black seadevil fish, chances are you are never going to need a watch that could survive at 600m underwater. But it’s nice to have that reassurance.
First launched in 2005, the Planet Ocean is a tool watch that manages to tread a fine line between sporty and civilised. The chronometer version on steel is ideal if you want an everyday wearer that goes with everything in your wardrobe (bar a dinner suit), whereas the chronograph on a Nato is your ultimate weekender. Even if you’re not fishing for seadevils.
Seamaster Ploprof Co-Axial
If you think a watch with a water resistance of 600m is excessive, meet the Ploprof – good to 1200m. Confusingly the original 1960s Ploprof (the name comes from plongeur professional, or ‘professional diver’ in French) was actually the Seamaster 600m. It had the distinctive case, with the oversized crown guard, and the ‘woven’ metal bracelet.
It was retired in 1979, but Omega revamped it in 2009, gave it a helium escape valve and a new depth of 1200m. It is still very much a tool watch and an acquired taste at that, thanks to its sizeable 55 x 48mm case dimensions. But if you want a watch that can take anything the sea can throw at it, then this is for you.
Silver Snoopy 50th anniversary
This watch is pure unadulterated fun. The sight of the space-suited beagle on the dial, paying homage to the Snoopy award presented to Omega by NASA in 1970 after the notorious Apollo 13 mission, is enough to make you smile but turn the watch over and it’s even more entertaining. On the back is a close-up of the moon with the earth rotating, in sync with the small seconds hand, behind it.
Once you start the chronograph seconds hand, it works in conjunction with a mechanism on the movement side of the watch to send Snoopy shooting across the night sky to the dark side of the Moon. Now that’s a complication worth boring people at dinner parties over.
De Ville Tresor Power Reserve
With all the fuss over all-time classic watches like Seamasters and Speedmasters, the DeVille Tresor collection tends to be overlooked. This rich burgundy dialled version should change that – it is pure dress watch perfection.
Everything is perfectly proportioned, from the slim indices to the elegantly tapered hands, all in Omega’s proprietary rose gold, Sedna. Installing it with a manual-wind movement ups the vintage vibes, while the dial colour brings to mind heavy oak-panelled rooms and the smell of single malt and cigars.
The design isn’t ground-breaking, but who wants revolution when you can have refinement instead?
Master Chronometer Tourbillon
You might not know it, but Omega had a massive influence on the tourbillon wristwatch. In 1947, it was the first Swiss brand to take this complication out of the pocket watch and put it on the wrist. It was only a prototype, but it paved the way for the likes of Franck Muller and Audemars Piguet to commercialise this complex complication. Which makes this futuristic piece of horology not the anomaly it first seems.
Based on a design from 1994, when Omega pioneered the central cage position, this is now one of the most advanced tourbillons around. Powered by a brand-new in-house movement, the hand-wound 2640, it is METAS certified and, being a Master Chronometer, has superior durability to shocks.
It also comes with an impressive five-year warranty and, as you can see from the picture, looks fabulous too.
The overall aesthetic of the Constellation is probably best described as a dress watch for people who don’t wear suits. The claws that hook over the bezel and central connection to the strap subvert the more restrained lines of the case giving it a brashness that feels a bit 1980s.
That’s not to say this isn’t a good-looking watch. It’s bold, at 41mm not insubstantial on the wrist and, fun fact, the shape of the indices is inspired by New York’s Freedom Tower. It’s not as easy to wear as a Speedy but definitely rewards the person willing to add something a little different to their watch collection.
Seamaster Diver 300m 007 edition
This is the watch that’s set to accompany 007’s latest outing in No Time To Die. And, to our mind, it’s the best of the Bond tie-ins. Daniel Craig was dubbed ‘the brute in the suit’ and this watch has that same quality. It has a muscular 42mm case, while the sand-coloured lume feels military, an effect emphasised when the watch is put on a Nato strap.
The arrow on the dial is a nod to the insignia used to mark British government property and the closed caseback is engraved with numbers in the same format as military-issued timepieces with the 62 a nod to the year Dr No was released.
It has just that right mix of rough military and refined spy. Rather like Bond himself.