Omega is a premium Swiss watchmaker that makes high-quality watches. Furthermore, they also have a great deal of history and experience in watchmaking. However, if you’ve never heard of the brand before it’s natural to wonder if Omega watches are any good?
Are Omega watches good? Yes, Omega watches are very good watches. Omega uses premium materials such as high-quality stainless steel, platinum, titanium and sapphire to make their watches. Also, Omega develops and makes their own movements.
Now that you’ve gotten your quick answer it’s time to dive into a bit more detail. Let’s first look at how good the materials and the movements actuall are. After that we’ll see if Omega’s are worth their money and if they’re better than Rolex.
First of all, Omega watches use a very high-grade of stainless steel. This great quality stainless steel is called 316L and the main advantage of this material is that it has a high grade of hardness. Cheaper brands will use a form of stainless steel that is softer and therefore easier to break. Furthermore, 316L is also very resistant to corrosion.
Besides high-quality stainless steel Omega also uses other materials for their cases and bracelets. Examples of this are genuine leather, platinum or titanium. Platinum is one of the densest and rarest metals on this earth. Therefore, Omega watches that use this material are also the priciest.
Now, let’s talk about the crystal that Omega uses to protect the dials of their watches. These days, all luxury watch brands use sapphire crystal for this purpose. After diamond, sapphire is the hardest crystal. Therefore the material is very scratch-resistant.
However, there’s one model that uses Hesalite crystal and that’s the original Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch”. Also known as the watch that went to the moon. Hesalite crystal is less scratch resistant than sapphire so why does Omega use this crystal for one of their premium watches?
The reason for that is that sapphire, though very scratch-resistant, can be shattered. Therefore, that would mean the watch wouldn’t be safe for spaceflights. For this reason Omega has decided to keep the Hesalite crystal on the original Omega Speedmaster Professional. However, there’s also a version available with sapphire crystal.
One of the markers of an excellent watchmaker is if they make their own movements or not. Luckily for Omega, they do. Throughout the years, Omega has produced several movements that are considered to be of very good quality.
Take for example their 8500 caliber. Nowadays, this movement can be considered to be one of the most technologically advanced movements that’s on the market. For example, Omega has used non-magnetic materials which make the movement immune to magnetic fields.
Furthermore, the movement is not affected by amplitude. This means that the watch can be held horizontal or vertical but it will still stay accurate. Also, the watch has a 60 hour power reserve which is more than the standard 40 hour reserve. Overall the 8500 is just an example of the craftsmanship of Omega and the movements that they make.
Are Omega Watches Worth The Money?
If Omega watches are worth the money is up for debate in the watch community. The reason for this is the fact that Omega wasn’t always a high-end brand and Swatch (the company that owns Omega) actively re-positioned Omega to compete with Rolex. Let me explain that a bit more.
In the 90’s Omega was considered to be a mid-range brand. They made good quality watches with good materials (such as titanium). However, they weren’t up to par with the luxury brands such as Rolex. For example, Longines and Omega used the same ETA-movements and the same materials in their watches.
That was until Nicolas G. Hayek senior, the CEO at the time, was convinced by his shareholders to re-position Omega to compete with Rolex. For this reason the company decided to start making its own movements and to start developing its own mechanical parts.
By using more expensive materials and more advanced technology Omega justified their increase in price. Furthermore the company also spends a lot of money on marketing their watches as ”premium”. Of course these cost also increase the price of an Omega watch.
These days, some watch collectors consider Omega to be a good brand with a lot of history. Others still think your better off buying a Longines watch at a quarter of the price of a new Omega.
Do Omega Watches Hold Their Value?
As a general rule of thumb, watches aren’t a good investment and they certainly don’t hold their value well. Most new watches will lose between 10-20% of their value in the first three years after their purchase.
The same goes for Omega watches. Expect to lose about 50-60% of your money if you buy the watch new. Some of this loss will be recuperated after a decade or so but this will depend on the model, if it’s a limited or special edition and on its popularity.
If you’re concerned with resale value then it’s a good idea to buy a used Omega watch. These watches have already experienced the majority of their depreciation and therefore you’ll be able to keep this money in your pocket.
Is Omega Better Than Rolex?
Comparing Omega and Rolex is a logical thing to do. I mean, both companies produce luxury watches, have a long history and they’re Swiss. For this reason, both companies are very similar. However, they differ on two different aspects: technological development and brand recognition.
When we look at technological development it becomes clear that Omega has a slight advantage over Rolex. As we already discussed Omega has introduced it’s 8500 caliber movement which certainly is a great step forward in watchmaking.
On the other hand, Rolex watches haven’t changed much since the day they were first produced. For many Rolex series this means they’re similar to the ones that were produced in the 60’s. This is not to say that Rolex doesn’t come up with new features for it’s watch. However, Omega has done slightly more innovating in the past decade.
Then there’s one aspect on which Rolex blows Omega out of the water and that’s brand recognition. Rolex is by far the most recognized watchmaker on this planet. This also means that Rolex watches are very wanted and therefore have great resale value which is a plus for a lot of people.
How about Omega? Well, they’re the second most well-known Swiss watch maker but they don’t come close to Rolex. Therefore their watches aren’t as wanted as Rolex watches. As a result, they lose more of their value when they’re bought new.
So, which one is better? In terms of technological development I would have to say Rolex. In terms of brand recognition and resale value Rolex takes the crown without a doubt.