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ROLEX BLOG

Does Omega Produce Quartz Watches?

February 26, 2021

BY Paul Altieri

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It’s no secret that watch enthusiasts often regard quartz watches as less desirable than mechanical ones. Since quartz watches are less expensive and faster to produce than their mechanical counterparts, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon that decries them as not worthy of any meaningful attention.

However, what’s often lost in this narrative is that when quartz movements made their debut as a viable option in the late-1960s, they were seen as ultra-high-tech, desirable, and downright revolutionary. It’s hard to imagine now, but early quartz offerings like the inaugural Seiko Aston (the world’s first quartz wristwatch) and the Hamilton Pulsar (the world’s first digital watch) were fashioned from solid gold and cost a small fortune. High-end Swiss watchmakers such as Omega had to follow suit to keep up and began offering luxurious watches powered by quartz too.

Quartz Omega Watches

In a clever move, Omega embraced the arrival of quartz and offered many battery-powered models during the so-called Quartz Crisis. As a result, Omega came out on the other side – which is more than can be said for plenty of other Swiss watch brands during that period.

Nowadays, the cost to own a quartz watch may start as low as the same price as a cup of coffee but it can also skyrocket to the equivalent of a down payment to buy a new house. To say that quartz watches are cheap is simply not true. Plus, quartz movements offer a host of advantages over mechanical movements including better accuracy, slimmer profiles, greater durability, and more practicality. Omega continues to produce a diverse range of quartz watches today. Omega watches with quartz movements come in many forms with varying degrees of functionality – and here are some of our favorites.

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on Omega Watches.

Omega Watches

Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M Quartz “James Bond”

Quartz Movement Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M James Bond

In 1993, Omega debuted the Seamaster Professional Diver (now better known as the Seamaster Diver 300M,) positioned as a refined and luxurious dive watch for the modern era. Two years later, the watch gained worldwide acclaim when Pierce Brosnan wore it while playing James Bond in the film GoldenEye. This was Omega’s first appearance as James Bond’s official watch – a partnership that remains today.

Agent 007’s first Omega watch was the Seamaster Professional ref. 2541.80.00, a quartz model. The watch features a 41mm stainless steel case with the signature scalloped bezel and a manually-operated helium escape valve at 9 o’clock.

James Bond Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M Quartz Movement

The blue dial design is especially striking thanks to its now-iconic wave pattern, oversized and skeletonized sword hands, and luminous rectangular and round indexes. Completing the look of this dressy Omega diver is the “James Bond” style Seamaster five-link bracelet in steel, featuring a mix of brushed and polished finishes.

Inside the GoldenEye Seamaster is the Omega Caliber 1538 quartz movement with a battery life of 42 months and an End of Life (EOL) indicator. When the second’s hand jumps in five-second increments, the watch is telling you that it needs a new battery.

Omega Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Quartz

 Quartz Movement Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Diamond DIal

Omega released the Aqua Terra in 2002 as a collection of elegant sports watches, designed for daily wear and water-resistant to 150 meters. In less than two decades, the Aqua Terra has grown to become Omega’s most diverse collection with a vast assortment of sizes, materials, colors, and functions available. Plus, Omega has produced both automatic and quartz Aqua Terra models alongside each other.

With its 38.5mm steel case and matching steel bracelet, the Aqua Terra ref. 231.10.39.60.06.001 is a solid choice for a daily watch. To emphasize the nautical concept of the Aqua Terra, the watch houses a “teak concept” dial where the vertical stripes mimic the wooden decks found on yachts. At the center of the dial are the customary broad-arrow hands, which point to luminous tapered hour markers. At the 3 o’clock position is a discreet date window and there’s also a minute track running the periphery of the dial, complete with numerals at each 5-minute interval. Powering this quartz Aqua Terra is the Caliber 4564 with 25-month battery life.

Quartz Movement Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M

For a similarly styled but smaller option, there’s the Aqua Terra ref. 231.10.30.61.56.001. The watch includes a petite 30mm steel case, also topped with a smooth steel bezel and fitted with a matching steel bracelet. As a whole, its overall case design is very similar to its larger counterpart but scaled down to suit a smaller wrist.

Its gray striped dial benefits from the addition of 11 diamonds that serve as hour markers – leaving room at 3 o’clock for the asymmetric date window. This gem-set quartz Omega Aqua Terra runs on the Caliber 1424 that offers users a respectable 32-month battery life.

Omega Aqua Terra

Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 “Solar Impulse Limited Edition”

Quartz Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition

In 1998, Omega introduced the Speedmaster X-33 multifunction quartz watch with both digital and analog displays. Flight-tested by American and European space agencies, the Speedmaster X-33 was developed to carry on the Speedy’s space exploration legacy that began in the 1960s.

The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition (1,924 examples) is a relatively new iteration, having been released in 2015. This particular version, ref. 318.92.45.79.03.001, was made in honor of the Solar Impulse Project – a venture dedicated to making long-range solar-powered aircraft.

Sporting a 45mm titanium case and plenty of colorful details, the Omega Skywalker X-33 makes a bold statement on the wrist. The dial, which is protected by a sapphire crystal, includes analog hands pointing to traditional 12-hour markers at the foreground and LCD windows in the background for the digital displays. The vibrant colorway continues with a blue bezel and a blue and green NATO-style strap.

Inside the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 is the highly precise thermo-compensated multifunctional Omega Caliber 5619 quartz movement. Some notable digital features of the SkyWalker X-33 include three time zones, three alarms, a perpetual calendar, a chronograph, a timer, and both Mission Elapsed Time (MET), and Phase Elapsed Time (PET).

Omega Speedmaster

Quartz Omega Watches

The combination of iconic wristwatch designs paired with ultra-precise Swiss-made quartz calibers is a practice that Omega has been perfecting for five decades. Not only does the brand still produce luxury watches powered by quartz movements, but quartz Omega watches are the go-to timepieces for today’s astronauts.

They may not receive as much attention as their mechanical counterparts, but quartz Omega watches are definitely worth a second look. When it comes to luxurious yet practical watches, Omega quartz timepieces are some of the best ever made.

Omega Watches with Quartz Movements Seamaster Diver Aqua Terra

WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

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8 Responses to “Does Omega Produce Quartz Watches?”

  1. Stefan Robert says:

    This is true. I also agree that quartz watches are less expensive and faster to produce than their mechanical counterparts.

  2. Frank Turner says:

    I’ve own a Seamaster Quarts and a Rolex Date Just. Only one of them is reliable to the second weeks at a time. I love both of them, but I only trust the Seamaster when punctuality and accuracy are important.

  3. James Smith says:

    Where does the Grand Seiko spring dive watch fit in? It is a mechanical watch that uses quartz to regulate its movement. There is no battery. The watch has a generator that produces electricity.

    • Paul Altieri says:

      The Grand Seiko Spring Drive is very much its own thing – It has more in common with a mechanical movement than quartz, but still uses quartz technology to regulate its escapement. It will be far more accurate than a traditional mechanical watch, but many of the same principles and ownership practices will be the same.

  4. Jan says:

    Greeting Mr Bob:
    I’m just happen to be an fashioned person. Who definitely totally depends upon reliability, dependability, very long lasting duration, expertise, as well as some sort of common sensed and logical reasoned understanding about any mechanized equipment at all. Yes regarding any mechanical verses any other electronics instead. Hence one is actually quite able to visualize just how all the components do acceptably work within any mechanical. While on the other hand, as with all those quarts watches and such, that’s not quite as possible. Besides one is able to accurately further identify regarding any other mechanical malfunctions too! Yea one needs to go to some sort of school in order to further identify any malfunctions within any of those other electrical watches~~ as those quartz watches. And even then it’s more or less still yet guess work! As well what good is it to me if I just can’t understand how it acceptably does ever finely work! Yea hasn’t one ever heard of that work kiss? Hasn’t one? K for keep. I for it. S for simple, and the other S stands for~~ and Stupid

  5. David McKenna says:

    Omega no longer produces men’s quartz watches except for the X-33 and Z-33. The sea master quartz and aqua terra quartz are no longer made… sadly.

    • Paul Altieri says:

      Omega no longer makes quartz Seamaster Aqua Terra models in the men’s sizes but (at least at this point in time) still produces quartz versions of the ladies Aqua Terra (he 28 mm versions use the quartz Cal. 4061 movement).

      • David McKenna says:

        Yeah and it sucks!
        Aqua Terra quartz, I love it but alas the only high end quartz is grand Seiko, citizen or Longines in third. Not a lot of selection.

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