From Fratello Watches

For Vintage Watch Fans: 5 Iconic Omega Watches


From the “Fratello Friday” archives, we present this post focusing on five iconic Omega watches. Of course, many models from this brand could be considered iconic, but for the purposes of this list, I narrowed it down to five Omega watches that I consider most important to the brand or to the world of watches in general.

1. Omega Speedmaster Professional

I can’t think of an Omega watch that better fits the definition of an icon than the so-called “Moonwatch.” There are so many variations of it that we cover it weekly on Fratellowatches.com with our “Speedy Tuesday” posts. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which Speedmaster Professional you own, have on your wish list or are about to purchase: they are all great, classical timepieces, starting with the very first one in 1957 to the modern models; a piece of history on the wrist, so to speak. If you want to learn more about this model and its variations, I urge you to pay Fratellowatches.com a visit.

Omega Speedmaster Professional "Moonwatch"

2. Omega Constellation Grand Luxe

Once the flagship of the Omega brand, the Omega Constellation is a much-praised and beloved watch among collectors of vintage Omega watches. Even though the Constellation was already considered to be a luxury timepiece, the Grand Luxe editions were considered to be the most high-end model in the collection. The brick-like designed bracelet of the Constellation Grand Luxe inspired the bracelets later used on the De Ville Co-Axial models. These models were available in gold and platinum. In the 1970s, the Constellation models started to “drift” a bit in the area of design, and the collection was re-designed and reintroduced in 1982 as the Constellation “Manhattan,” with the famous “claws” that pressed on the sapphire crystal. Aesthetically, these models have little in common with those very first 1950s and 1960s Constellation watches.

Omega Constellation Grand Luxe
(Photo by Antiquorum)

3. Omega Seamaster Ploprof

The Seamaster Plongeur Professional, better known by the abbreviation “PloProf,” was developed by Omega in the late 1960s in close cooperation with the COMEX company and the famous ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. Designed and developed solely for professional use, this watch was introduced on the market in 1971. Water-resistant to 600 meters and with a monobloc case construction, this watch was (and still is) huge. It featured a large, red button that was used as a safety lock for the bezel. The crown system was also an interesting part of the watch, using a crown-locking nut. In 2009, Omega introduced a re-edition of this famous model with a water resistance of 1,200 meters and featuring its in-house-developed Caliber 8500 movement (I wrote a review on it here). Like the very first Seamaster PloProf in 1971, this isn’t a watch that sells as well as other Omega watches do, but this has mainly to do with its unconventional dimensions.

Omega Seamaster PloProf
(Photo by Antiquorum)

4. Omega Marine

This is the first Omega watch designed for divers, debuting in 1932. A clever, rectangular case construction made it possible to use this watch under water during diving and swimming activities. The crown was located at 12 o’clock and was hidden in the case, as you can see in the picture. A little flip lock made sure the case pieces were tightly pressed towards each other. There have been some variations on the Marine model. In the 1970s, Omega used the “Marine” name for a marine chronometer timepiece with a so-called MegaQuartz (2.4 MegaHertz) movement. Besides the rectangular case and “Marine” name, these two models have little in common, however.

Omega Marine watch
(Photo by Antiquorum)

5. Omega Seamaster Professional 300M

The most modern watch on this list, this one was introduced in 1993. How is this watch an icon? As I see it, this is the watch that put Omega on the horological map again for a younger audience after Omega made it the choice of James Bond, starting in the 1995 film, Goldeneye. (The watch was replaced, however, by the Seamaster Planet Ocean in last year’s Skyfall). This 1993 Seamaster Professional 300M was the watch that inspired men to walk into Omega boutiques and ask for “the James Bond watch.” Also, except for the now slightly outdated bracelet design, it is a watch that probably will become an Omega classic. With its helium-release valve at 10 o’clock, screw-down crown, blue wave-patterned dial and blue bezel, it is a very recognizable Omega for many. This model still comes in various sizes (lady, mid-size and large size), variations (stainless steel, titanium, gold) and with various complications (GMT, chronograph). Recently, Omega started releasing limited editions of this model to coincide with the corresponding James Bond movies it was used in. Pictured here is the actual Seamaster Professional 300M worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.

Omega Seamaster Professional 300M
(Photo by Antiquorum)

Other Omega watches that are very interesting but didn’t quite make the cut for this list, just barely, include the vintage Seamaster 300M, the first De Ville Co-Axial from 1999, the Omega Centenary (predecessor of the Constellation) and the aforementioned Omega Constellation “Manhattan.”

What are your favorite Omega models of all time? Please share them with us in the comments below.

And if you want more Omega, check out my previous Fratello Friday posts covering vintage Omega watches you can find for under $1,000 as well as my choice for the most exciting Omega watch ever.

 This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.

 

16 Responses to “For Vintage Watch Fans: 5 Iconic Omega Watches”

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  1. Roi I.

    The new Seamaster 300 (2016) looks timeless and I believe it is going to be one of the most collectible models over time. On the other hand, many late 300M models appear dull and unimaginative to my eyes – hard to tell them apart from dozens of cheaper brands and models available. There’s an exception though. My personal favorite among 300M models is the 2454.50, which still has a wavepattern on dial and square shaped marking on dial as opposed to rounded ones found in so many models by some many brands. It also has the simplier/cleaner appearing bracelet, which I prefer. Really considering buying one, but I’m a bit concerned with the quality of early co-axial movements (which to my understanding this model has) after reading they are more tedious to service succesfully.

    Reply
  2. GREGORY BUDZENSKI

    I purchased my SMD 300m co-axial Si14 Chronograph partially BECAUSE of the wonderfully old-new bracelet design… not despite. Because it is classic looking, Omega seems to have a excellent handle on what will become iconic.

    Reply
  3. Acrowot

    I new Constellation in 1955. It was the worst watch I have ever had. It went back to Omega and was never fixed properly. Almost gave it away in the 1970/80’s and still have the box and some of papers. This was supposed to be a Certified Chronometer and was absolutely hopeless. Will these comment ever be show again?

    Reply
  4. Marc Weuker

    Hi Mr. Jan-Broer,

    I am considering the purchase of an Omega Double Eagle Quartz Black Dial SS. I have not owned a quartz watch for many years, having 2 automatics and 2 self-winds.
    Tp the best of my knowledge this model is discontinued, 2010? My ideal choice would be the Planet Ocewan 600M Co-Axial or the GMT SS, but since I have a small wrist and both are over 16mm thick and expensive, I am opting for what I believe is a good second choice.
    I would appreciate your professional opinion as well as an approximate purchase value for the watch being advertized as “like New” with original papers.

    Thanks,
    Marc

    Reply
  5. William Damons

    Hi Robert
    I received an Omega Seamaster Cosmic ( Tool 105 ) from my father when I was 21. The watch has a closed back with no date and is gold plated. I will never part with the watch as my father has since passed away.

    Reply
  6. Steven Butler

    I love my Omega Railmaster which is no longer made. It has a black face, no date, 42mm S/S case and S/S bracelet.

    Reply
  7. This Omega Seamaster is an old model. My baby 2014 looks much modern and beautiful.

    Reply
  8. Neil Kirby

    I bought one of the limited edition Omega Co-Axial watches (Yellow Gold) when it was introduced.
    I never really warmed to its looks and moved it on; it will be interesting to see if it appreciates in value over time.

    Reply
  9. BigMomma

    The article incorrectly says that the Seamaster 300M was replaced by the Planet Ocean beginning in the Skyfall movie. This is wrong. The Planet Ocean debuted in Casino Royale (2006), and was worn along with the Seamaster Professional in different scenes of that film. By the next film, Quantum of Solace, the Seamaster was gone and Planet Ocean had completely replaced it.

    Reply
  10. cassim saloojee

    Dear Robert
    I inherited a OMEGA CONSTELATION FROM MY LATE DAD. CAN YOU ADVISE IF IT IS OF ANY VALUE.HE BOUGHT IT IN 1971/72.

    Regards .
    CASSIM

    Reply
    • Wow. Same.
      My grandad gave my dad a 1960s Gold Constelation as well.
      Apparently it is quite valuable!

      Beautiful watch!!

      Reply
  11. BIG CHRONO

    Another reason the “PloProf” doesn’t fly out of display cases is due to its outlandish $10K price for this new iteration.

    Reply
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