Many luxury watch brands produce a broad variety of models. Their aim is to be able to furnish their customers with a timepiece for every occasion, encouraging them to stay loyal to the brand and preventing them from having to go off hunting among the other manufacturers for a specific type of watch. The big names in the industry create everything from dive watches to dress models, chronographs to GMTs, and the very simple to the ultra-complicated. Right up among the very best for offering an all-encompassing selection is Omega, whose current portfolio is simply vast. Spread across five separate collections, there is a piece in there somewhere for anyone and any taste. However, if you’re new to Omega watches, where do you start?
In our latest video buying guide below, we have picked out three top Omega models that cover all the bases, from underwater excursions to black tie events, and everywhere in between.
Ask any enthusiast to name the first luxury mechanical chronograph that springs to mind and you’re going to hear one of two answers; the Rolex Daytona or the Omega Speedmaster. Easily among the most famous and recognizable Omega watches ever produced, the Speedmaster has been around, in one form or another, since 1957. The first watch to move the tachymeter scale to the bezel rather than around the edge of the dial, it can legitimately be thought of as the granddaddy of the modern chronograph wristwatch.
While it may have been designed initially to tackle the world of motorsports, the Speedmaster is better known these days for its achievements far beyond our planet. In 1965 it was the only watch to survive the battery of tests dreamt up by NASA and became the agency’s first flight-qualified model. There has been a Speedy on every space mission ever since, including the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 – with Buzz Aldrin exploring the lunar surface with his trusty ref. 105.012 strapped to his wrist.
Today, the Speedmaster name is used for a diverse assortment of different chronograph watches in the Omega catalog; everything from faithful reimaginings of that 1957 originator, to hybrid analog/digital models for a new breed of astronaut – and that’s not even including the endless procession of limited editions that join the rest of the standard-production Omega watches. However, our pick would be the classic Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, which adheres closely to the design of the original models that went to the moon, complete with a Hesilite crystal and manually-wound movement.
The longest-running collection of Omega watches, the Seamaster was initially launched as a water-resistant dress watch in 1948, the year of the brand’s centenary. However, an altogether more focused version appeared in 1957 (alongside the first Speedmaster and Railmaster models, which together made up the brand’s Professional Collection). Designed to appeal to those taking up the new sport of recreational scuba diving, the Seamaster 300 went into direct competition against the Rolex Submariner, and the pair of industry-leading dive watches have locked horns ever since.
For a brief time in the 1970s, the Omega Seamaster took over the Submariner’s role as the official timepiece for the British Royal Navy. More recently, a major coup for Omega occurred when James Bond adopted its dive model, starting with Goldeneye in 1995, and Agent 007 has worn some form of Omega Seamaster in every movie since.
The Seamaster collection is a wide-ranging and often puzzling one. The modern Railmaster, for instance, once dreamt up to be a scientist’s watch, now flies under the Seamaster banner, as does the versatile Aqua Terra series and the bizarre-looking Bullhead chronograph. With that in mind, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M would be our pick, as it offers all of the necessary features of a professional dive watch, such as 300 meters of water resistance, a unidirectional timing bezel, and a helium escape valve, yet it still manages to retain a refined design that allows it to be worn in a variety of different situations, both on land and in the sea.
Omega De Ville
While the other two Omega watches on our list cover enough aesthetic ground to be considered tool watches that could also be worn in more formal situations, the Omega De Ville series is comprised of the brand’s out-and-out dress models. Launched in 1960, the De Ville was originally part of the Seamaster collection, before becoming a separate entity from 1967 onwards.
The Omega De Ville range now consists of several sub-collections, including the Prestige, Hour Vision, and the Trésor, along with the Ladymatic women’s models and the numbered edition Tourbillon. Over the years, it is the De Ville which has seen Omega at its most experimental and you will find vintage pieces in a number of striking styles, many of which have won design awards for the brand. Additionally, the De Ville is often the series chosen to showcase the brand’s new technologies. For instance, it was an Omega De Ville watch that debuted the first Co-Axial movement back in 1999.
The contemporary roster has a huge number of different models available, all exemplified by a classic, elegant aesthetic. Perhaps more than the other two on our list, personal tastes come heavily into play here. There is enough diversity in the De Ville collection to appeal to just about anyone, but a favorite of ours is the classically-styled Omega De Ville Co-Axial Chronometer fitted with the brand’s in-house Cal. 8500 movement. Offering an understated and timeless appearance, yet still packing all of the brand’s latest and greatest technologies, this version of the De Ville is the perfect timepiece for more formal occasions and makes the perfect addition to our list of top Omega watches.
Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.
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