If you have even a remote interest in watches, the first name you hear after Rolex, is OMEGA. The brand has brought fan favorites such as the Speedmaster (which went to space), Seamaster (which went to the bottom of the ocean), and dozens of other icons to the world of watches. OMEGA has a model line that’s perfect for just about any guy (or girl). Plus, the value for the money with OMEGA is huge. While not wanting to compare apples to oranges, their watches come in at often half the price of another large Swiss brand (considered the king) for comparable technical functions. So, which is the right OMEGA for you?
The Seamaster 300
Similar to Rolex’s Submariner, the Seamaster 300 is the model for the person who wants a watch that can do it all. Out of the three watches in this list, it’s often the least expensive, ranging from $2,500-4,500. For cinephiles, the Seamaster is a familiar and beloved model. It first found its way to the big screen in 1995 in GoldenEye. Strapped to the wrist of 007 himself, the watch rocketed to fame. This ultimately spurred a longstanding partnership between the Bond franchise and OMEGA, which continues to this very day.
The Seamaster 300 is a true sport watch. With a water resistance of 300 meters, there isn’t much you can’t do while wearing it. The model comes standard on a beautiful bracelet from OMEGA. A downside to older models is that they don’t come with a micro-adjustable clasp. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means. However, if you’re someone whose wrist fluctuates in size throughout the seasons, be sure to pick one from after 2018. In addition, the world of after-market NATO and rubber straps make the Seamaster 300 the ideal choice for the beach. Personally, I love throwing mine on a rubber strap during the summer months before hitting the pool. On the other hand, the elegantly finished case and bracelet make it equally suitable for the office. It pairs well with either business casual or formal attire.
The 41/42mm case (depending on the year) makes the Seamaster 300 well balanced on the wrist. Later versions of this watch come equipped with OMEGA’s Co-Axial Calibre 88. This self-winding mechanical movement contains 35 jewels and has an approximate 55-hour power reserve.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra
Next up in the OMEGA line is the Seamaster Aqua Terra. This version of the Seamaster is a slightly dressier take on the collection while still preserving a sport element. Generally speaking, the models have around 150 meters of water resistance and come on either a rubber strap or metal bracelet. There are many variations of this watch, but the main style differences include a more high-polish bracelet and no-dive bezel.
Out of this list, the Seamaster Aqua Terra is by far the most office-appropriate. Coming in at either 39mm or 42mm, the lack of a marked bezel makes it seem like more of a dress watch. Through wearing one for a month, I really came to understand its place in OMEGA’s catalog. I could see it paired with either a Seamaster 300 or Speedmaster for a great two-watch collection. I think this model offers a tremendous value for the money. This is particularly true when it comes to the technical specs of the newer iterations. The Aqua Terra uses OMEGA’s Co-Axial 8500 self-winding mechanical movement with an approximate power reserve of 60 hours. For fans of the Bond franchise, it’s also worth noting that it’s the only non-sport watch to be on the wrist of 007. You can find Daniel Craig showing off the Aqua Terra throughout the film SPECTRE.
Having read this far into the article means you’re probably no stranger to the Speedmaster. This model gained eternal watch-nerd infamy as the Moonwatch in 1969. Arguably one of the most significant watches in history, the Speedmaster is a staple in OMEGA’s line.
OMEGA has produced many versions of the Speedmaster over the years, but I want to focus on the Speedmaster Professional. While it looks great on any strap, I’d strongly encourage anyone purchasing a Speedmaster to choose one on a bracelet. It’s not as comfortable as the Oyster bracelet from Rolex (in my humble opinion), yet it really makes the watch. Plus, for business causal settings, I always prefer the look of a bracelet.
There’s one downside to the Speedmaster for those with smaller wrists. Even though all three watches are 42mm (depending on the model), the Speedmaster wears the largest. This is because the lugs of the Speedmaster have a flatter design compared to the other watches on the list. However, this also means the watch sits more flush to the wrist. This gives the illusion of a thinner watch, particularly the manually wound version.
At the end of the day, OMEGA offers a huge value when looking at the current market. It’s a name that’s stood the test of time and offers entry into the world of luxury watches for a reasonable price. OMEGA has something in the sub-$5,000 range pre-owned to meet just about any need you may have. Any of these watches are sure to make a fantastic, lifelong investment. An OMEGA watch will bring you joy for years to come, every time you look down at your wrist.