Watch Comparison: OMEGA Seamaster vs. Rolex Submariner
The Omega Seamaster and Rolex Submariner have been in competition for over half a century. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, sports watches were rapidly increasing in popularity. Omega and Rolex were, and still are, two of the top brands in the industry. So, it comes as no surprise that they would each develop their own best iteration of the dive watch.
The Initial Debuts
Omega debuted the Seamaster in 1948 in celebration of the brand’s 100th anniversary. The initial design drew inspiration from the brand’s existing dive watch models, like the Marine. However, with the Seamaster, Omega wanted to create something a bit different. They wanted to make a sports watch that was not only utilitarian and functional but also stylish enough for everyday use.
Just five years later, in 1953, Rolex was set on the same mission. They wanted to develop a tool watch that was both practical and fashionable. The result was the Submariner, a dive watch with a slightly less sporty design that could seamlessly transition from a dive to the dinner table.
Once the Submariner came on the market, Omega immediately recognized their competition. Although the design element was certainly important, this was still a battle of dive watch versus dive watch. Omega knew they needed to set the Seamaster apart. So, they began focusing their attention on its capabilities, namely its water resistance. This ultimately spurred them to divide the Seamaster into two subcategories: the sportier Seamaster Professional collection and the dressier Seamaster Aqua Terra collection.
As Time Went On
Meanwhile, Rolex stood firm in its development of the Submariner. Part of its charm and allure is that it has remained largely unchanged since its inception. However, Rolex upped the ante by giving the Submariner some pop culture exposure. The Submariner was the personal watch of choice of beloved actor, racer, and avid watch collector, Steve McQueen. And, although the Seamaster has since become the official watch of 007, it was actually a Submariner that appeared on the wrist of the special agent in the original 1962 James Bond film, Dr. No.
Yes, several decades later, when Pierce Brosnan took on the role of 007 in the 1990’s, the Seamaster became Bond’s signature watch. Since then, every major Bond film has featured the Seamaster and its forever secured a place in pop culture. Omega has even gone on to release special edition versions of the Seamaster to commemorate milestones in the film franchise.
Over the years, Omega and Rolex have remained neck and neck in the never-ending battle to produce the supreme sport watch. Both have focused on developing their respective timepieces as well as carving a place for each of their models in pop culture. So, which model is the ultimate dive watch? It’s up to you to decide!