Omega Watches: Price List, History & Sought-After Styles

Omega "Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Apollo XI,1969-1994", Movement No. 4/50, Case No. 4/50, Ref. 30963000, 42 mm, 244 g, circa 1994. Sold for €31,000 via Auktionen Dr. Crott (May 2016).

By: Tom Mulraney

Omega watches rank as one of the most historically significant brands on the market and are arguably the most consistent competitor for Rolex. Omega, a prominent Swiss luxury watch manufacturer now in its 170th year, has played a decisive role in shaping what have become staple genres of watches over the past several decades. These include the classic dress watch, diver’s watch, and chronograph watch.

A reputation for accuracy, reliability and quality has taken Omega to the Olympics, to the moon, and to the wrists of the world’s stylish elite. It’s no coincidence that Omega has been the watch of choice for the world’s greatest spy of literature and film, James Bond, since 1995. Four, long-standing collections reflect a sense of continuity tied to the brand’s illustrious past.

The Origins of Omega Watches

The story of Omega watches starts with Louis Brandt, a young entrepreneur who, in 1848, founded his “Comptoir d’établissage,” in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He assembled key-wound pocket watches and traveled across Europe to establish his brand’s reputation. He was succeeded by his sons Louis-Paul and César who eventually moved the company’s operations to Bienne. There they built a mechanized factory and expanded their markets (including America), and by 1889, they had become the largest manufacturer of finished watches in Switzerland: producing 100,000 per year. Research and development produced many firsts, including the first minute repeater wristwatch in 1892.

In 1894, a new pocket watch movement was developed, named “Omega,” which incorporated an improved winding and hand setting mechanism. The quality of the movement led to global success, and as a result, the company was renamed Louis Brandt & Frére – OMEGA Watch Co. in 1903. Precision of manufacture allowed the brand to dominate accuracy competitions. At the world’s observatories, Omega watches set and broke records repeatedly, and still to this day hold many titles for the most accurate mechanical watches ever tested. The reputation of the Omega watch led to the company’s appointment as official timekeeper for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympiad. Since then, Omega has performed the service more times than any other brand.

Demand for Vintage Omega Watches

Throughout the 20th century, Omega watches continued to make a name for themselves, be it in outer space or plumbing the depths of the oceans. The Omega mechanical movements from this period are respected as some of the best ever made. Never content to rest on its laurels, however, the brand has always been forward-thinking. This was particularly evident in its response to the quartz crisis of the 1970s, which sparked a prolific rate of creativity.

For collectors of vintage Omega watches, however, it is arguably that golden period, from the early 1940s through the late 1960s, where the real magic is found. Although, as you will soon see, Omega has done a wonderful job of carrying on these legacies well into the 21st century. Here we profile four collections of Omega watches that have made the brand what it is today.

1. Omega Seamaster

The Omega Seamaster is the longest-running line in the current catalogue. It first appeared in 1948 (Omega’s centennial year) and boasts one of the most diverse range of watches housed within a single collection of any brand. The Omega Seamaster started out as a dress watch for activewear. However, it soon evolved into a serious diver’s watch with the release of the Seamaster 300, reference CK 2913, in 1957. Along with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Rolex Submariner, the Seamaster 300 led the development of the modern dive watch. At the same time, the collection continued to diversify, introducing models such as the Bullhead, Soccer, Chronostop Regatta, and Memomatic.

A New Generation of Omega Seamaster

Omega unveiled several editions of the Seamaster 300 before finally discontinuing it in 1969. Reference 165.024, starting from 1964, is considered the second generation of the line. Its larger, asymmetrical case with wider bezel ultimately led to official issue for the Royal Navy. The collaboration influenced the production of civilian-issue Seamasters and completed the definitive DNA by adding an oversized triangular index at the 12 o’clock position. Following the Seamaster 300, Omega released the Seamaster 200, Seamaster 120, Seamaster 600 and Seamaster 1000. The latter two are known as PloProfs, which are designed for deep dives.

In the 1990s, the Omega Seamaster experienced a renaissance as a luxury sports watch, and much of that momentum can be attributed to the Seamaster becoming the wristwatch of 007. Early James Bond Seamasters featured midnight blue dials and bezels. For the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye featured the Seamaster 300m Quartz Professional, reference 2541.80, followed by a Seamaster 300m Professional Chronometer, reference 2531.80.00, for the next three films. Bond has also sported the Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial, Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m and Seamaster Aqua Terra models in other films from the franchise. Most recently, a special edition Seamaster 300 Master Chronometer was created for 2015 film, Spectre. In 2017, the Seamaster 300’s 60th anniversary was also marked by a limited edition.

Omega Seamaster Price

Given the incredible breadth of Omega watches available, pricing varies widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars up to tens of thousands for rare editions. As a general rule of thumb, a budget of $4,000 – $5,000 should be sufficient to acquire a quality Omega Seamaster in good condition.

omega watches

Image 1: Omega “Seamaster”, Movement No. 15996467, Case No. 11481007, Ref. OT 2884, Cal. 321, 35 mm, circa 1958
Auktionen Dr. Crott, Frankfurt, Germany (May 2013)
Estimate: €3,000 – €4,000
Price Realized: €3,200

Image 2: Omega Seamaster Chronograph (Anakin Skywalker)
Phillips, New York, New York (April 2008)
Estimate: $2,500 – $3,500
Price Realized: $2,000

Image 3: A stainless steel bracelet watch, Omega, Seamaster Professional
Freeman’s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (February 2017)
Estimate: $700 – $900
Price Realized: $1,105

Image 4: An Omega Seamaster bracelet watch
Fellows, Birmingham, United Kingdom (January 2011)

Estimate: £700 – £1,000
Price Realized: £800

Image 5: A Vintage Omega Seamaster Wristwatch
Leonard Joel, Melbourne, Australia (June 2017)
Estimate: AUD300 – AUD 400
Price Realized: AUD420

Image 6: A gentleman’s ‘Seamaster’ wristwatch, by Omega
Bonhams, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (December 2014)
Estimate: Unavailable
Price Realized: £375

2. Omega Constellation

The Omega Constellation is the brand’s second oldest collection, having emerged in 1952. In the United States the collection was originally known by the name “Globemaster.” This collection serves as the ultimate in luxury. The observatory cupola logo of the collection makes reference to Omega’s many precision records. The line developed into a series of watches finished to different degrees: Standard, Deluxe and Grand Luxe. Early Omega Constellation models made from 1956 onwards offer great value for their price tag. They use Omega-made automatic movements, such as the calibre 505, which replaced the quirky “bumper” movements.

In 1964, the “C-case” changed the form of the Omega Constellation. The first ladies’ versions were introduced in 1967 and from there, the collection diversified to include square cases and many pavé diamond models. Of special note is the Integral line launched in 1969, with integrated, hand-finished bracelets and cases. During the 1970s, quartz Constellations were among the most accurate wristwatches ever produced. The Marine Chronometer remains to this day the most accurate autonomous watch. And the only one to be certified as a marine chronometer.

In 1982, Omega launched the Constellation “Manhattan.” Two pairs of “griffes” or claws were introduced at 3 and 9 o’clock (originally they served to hold the sapphire in place and ensure waterproofness), and today they are part of the standard design. Many are lavishly set with gems for both sexes. Other features established by the Manhattan include the indexes inscribed on the bezel, and the integrated hinged bracelet. Modern models from 2007 onwards employ Omega Co-Axial movements, such as the calibre 8501, which are COSC-certified chronometers. 2012 marked the Omega Constellation’s 60th anniversary.

Omega Constellation Price

Popular among both men and women alike, the Omega Constellation series is slightly more accessible line of Omega watches. A budget of between $2,000 – $3,000 will allow for a fairly wide selection, although you can expect to pay more for gold cases or precious stones.

omega watches
Image 1: Omega White Gold Automatic Centre Seconds Bracelet Watch with Date Ref BC 368.003 Constellation, circa 1967
Sotheby’s, London, United Kingdom (April 2018)

Estimate: £4,000 – £6,000
Price Realized: £5,500

Image 2: Omega Yellow Gold Rectangular Automatic Bracelet Watch, Ref 8310, case 012 Constellation, circa 1968
Sotheby’s, New York, New York (May 2018)
Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000
Price Realized: $5,000

Image 3: A Rare Gold Sweet Seconds Wristwatch with Date and Heavy Bracelet, Omega, “Constellation,” circa 1970
Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, Netherlands (December 2004)

Estimate: €2,000 – €3,000
Price Realized: €2,891

Image 4: Omega “Constellation Chronometer Automatic”, Movement No. 80305810, Case No. 11043500, Ref. 3681213, Cal. 1120, 35 mm, circa 2002
Auktionen Dr. Crott, Frankfurt, Germany (November 2016)
Estimate: €2,300 – €3,500
Price Realized: €2,000

Image 5: Omega Constellation, ref. CK2852, n° 15763062, 1958
Artcurial, Monte-Carlo, Monaco (July 2018)

Estimate: €1,000 – €1,500
Price Realized: €1,690

Image 6: Omega “Automatic Chronometer officially certified, Constellation”, Movement No. 24498812, Ref. 168.009, Cal. 561, 34 x 40 mm, circa 1967
Auktionen Dr. Crott, Frankfurt, Germany (November 2016)

Estimate: €1,500 – €2,000
Price Realized: €1,400

3. Omega Speedmaster

As arguably the world’s best-known Omega watch, the Speedmaster is considered the father of the modern chronograph. It was also the first wristwatch to be worn on the moon. Despite its outer space adventures, however, the original Omega Speedmaster was actually targeted primarily at motor sports. It was the first watch to employ the now standard three-counter layout with the timing scale on the bezel. The original Omega Speedmaster, reference CK 2915, debuted in 1957. It has come to be known as the “Broad Arrow” (due to its distinctive arrow-tipped hour hand). The design of the late-1950s to early-1960s models noticeably differs from that of the contemporary Speedmaster. Their smaller cases are less bulky, and do not feature the familiar crown and pusher protection.

The “Omega Moon Watch”

The second Omega Speedmaster, reference CK 2998, accidentally became the first Omega watch in space. Astronaut Walter Schirra wore his personal Speedy during the 1962 Project Mercury ‘Sigma 7’ mission. In 1965, the Speedmaster proved itself as the only wristwatch to pass all 11 of NASA’s tests for space travel. Official involvement in the Apollo program led Omega to develop the Speedmaster Professional. Hallmarks of these Omega watches include an asymmetric, more robust case, crown and pusher protection, and a contrasting black dial. Buzz Aldrin wore the first Omega Speedmaster on the moon on July 21, 1969, as part of Apollo 11 (a reference 105.012). As a result, the Speedmaster is often referred to as the “Omega moon watch.”

1969 also saw the introduction of the all-gold Professional Deluxe and the Mark II. The Mark II signifies the Speedmaster split from the Seamaster collection to become a separate line in its own right. In total, five Mark series Speedmasters were produced (the last, Mark V, in 1984). Each brought a new style of case and the addition of more complicated models. In 1973, Omega celebrated its 125th anniversary with the Speedmaster 125. The first series-produced, self-winding chronograph to be chronometer-certified. During the 1970s, the electric Speedsonic was added. As well as the Speedmaster Quartz and Speedmaster Professional Quartz. The latter two are both multi-function digital watches.

The 1980s and 1990s saw more diversification. The introduction of highly complicated models, as well as skeletonized and diamond-set versions, and several limited editions to commemorate Omega’s history in space. The digital-analog Speedmaster X-33 was produced in 1998 with the involvement of astronauts and pilots, and ladies’ models followed in the new millennium. No variant has proven as popular or long-lasting as the standard Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moon watch.” The evolution of the Speedmaster also saw a continual upgrade of movements until the cam-style calibre 861 was reached in 1968. Most subsequent Speedmasters employ variants of this movement, including the rhodium-plated calibre 1861.

Omega Speedmaster Price

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon Watch is easily the most sought-after model by vintage Omega watch collectors. Models from the late 1950s into the 1960s are particularly popular, and a budget of $10,000 – $20,000 will yield a good quality example from this era. If you like the style and the story but aren’t as concerned with obtaining a significant reference, more common examples of the Omega Moon Watch can be acquired for between $3,000 – $6,000.

omega watches

Image 1: Omega Speedmaster, Ref 105012-66, 1966
Artcurial, Paris, France (April 2016)
Estimate: €4,000 – €6,000
Price Realized: €8,840

Image 2: Omega Speedmaster Limited Edition Chronograph Apollo 17
Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Paris, France (November 2016)

Estimate: €2,500 – €3,000
Price Realized: €3,220

Image 3: Omega “Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI, the first watch worn on the moon”, Movement No. 48305561, Case No. 8305561, Cal. 863, 42 mm, circa 1986
Auktionen Dr. Crott, Frankfurt, Germany (November 2016)
Estimate: €2,700 – €4,000
Price Realized: €3,200

Image 4: Omega “Speedmaster Professional, the first watch worn on the moon”, Movement No. 48238272, Ref. ST 145.022, Cal. 861, 42 mm, circa 1986
Auktionen Dr. Crott, Frankfurt, Germany (November 2015)
Estimate: €1,500 – €2,500
Price Realized: €2,600

Image 5: A stainless steel automatic gentleman’s Omega Speedmaster Moon to Mars bracelet watch
Fellows, Birmingham, United Kingdom (August 2012)

Estimate: £900 – £1,200
Price Realized: £2,100

Image 6: Omega Speedmaster Chronograph, Mark II (Racing), 1969
Phillips, New York, New York (April 2008)
Estimate: $1,500 – $2,000
Price Realized: $1,750

4. Omega De Ville

The Omega De Ville started out as part of the classic dress watch range housed in the Seamaster collection, making its debut in 1960. The inscription ‘Seamaster De Ville’ appeared on the dial starting in 1963. Omega launched the De Ville as a separate collection in 1967 (manufactured at Omega’s Geneva base). Since then, the term ‘De Ville’ has been used to identify the brand’s elegant dress watches, in contrast to the sporty Seamaster and Speedmaster. Chronometer-certification has become one of the characteristics of the De Ville series.

During the 1970s, the De Ville won numerous design awards for Omega watches, including six Baden-Baden Golden Roses and the coveted Grand Prix Triomphe de L’Excellence Européenne. The collection includes rectangular models employing the ultra-slim, hand-wound calibre 620, and ladies’ models, such as the Ladymatic, which actually predates the De Ville.

Advances in Mechanical Horology

In 1999, Omega chose the De Ville to initially present the innovative Co-Axial calibre 2500. It was the first mass-produced wristwatch incorporating the technology, which was invented by English watchmaker George Daniels. The co-axial escapement is considered one of the more significant advances in mechanical horology since the invention of the lever escapement. Through employing radial instead of sliding friction, the co-axial escapement significantly decreases friction. Virtually no lubricant is required and the need for services is greatly reduced. In 2007, Omega unveiled the new 8500 series of Co-Axial movements. (Giving birth to the De Ville Hour Vision, a Master Chronometer).

With a broad range of options available for him and her, collectors can find a quality Omega De Ville for a range of $2,000 – $4,000.

omega watches

Image 1: Omega De Ville, n° 511/8339/209, 1970
Estimate: €3,500 – €4,500
Price Realized: €7,150
Artcurial, Monte-Carlo, Monaco (July 2014)

Image 2: Gentleman’s Gold ‘De Ville’ Wristwatch, Omega
Estimate: $1,500 – $2,000
Price Realized: $2,125
Doyle New York, New York (June 2014)

Image 3: A lady’s 18k gold ‘De ville’ wristwatch, Omega
Estimate: $800 – $1,200
Price Realized: $1,625
Bonhams, Los Angeles, California (November 2017)

Image 4: Omega De Ville, ref. 1031, n° 32392202 / 7117217
Estimate: €400 – €600
Price Realized: €1,014
Artcurial, Paris, France (November 2017)

Image 5: Omega, A gentleman’s 9ct gold De Ville Wristwatch
Estimate: £700 – £1,000
Price Realized: £875
Lyon & Turnbull, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (March 2018)

Image 6: Omega, A lady’s 18ct gold De Ville wristwatch
Estimate: Unavailable
Price Realized: £750
Bonhams, Kidlington, United Kingdom (December 2014)

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About Tom Mulraney
Tom Mulraney is the Founder and Editor of The Watch Lounge, a popular online luxury watch publication dedicated to enthusiasts and collectors alike.