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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.