Omega watches have always brought excitement to the wearer. Whether that be in terms of technological developments, supreme accuracy, watchmaking heritage, or the rich history that accompanies the brand – Omega is indeed a leader in the horological field. The brand is by no means affordable, as the last time I checked, the average monthly salary in the US, UK, EU, etc, was equal to the most affordable Omega, or two monthly wages, depending on what your occupation is. Funny when you think about it! But we aren’t going to discuss that, but the brand’s achievements in the horological field, their most affordable watches, and good reasons that every watch collector should have at least one Omega watch on their collection.
Omega’s Achievements in the Watchmaking Field
The Official Olympics Timekeeper
Omega was the first watchmaker to time a full Olympic Games, kicking off a sports timekeeping tradition that is still going on today. The Swiss watchmaker was at that time tasked to time all the Olympics disciplines in Los Angeles that year, using a single watchmaker and 30 chronographs.
Omega has progressed from humble beginnings to become the Official Timekeeper at nearly all Olympic Games. At these events, Omega watches have introduced important technological advancements, improving sports timing from 1/10th of a second in 1932 to 1/1000th of a second today.
The First Watch to Go to the Moon
Buzz Aldrin (at age of 90 years old) wearing the Omega Speedmaster
Omega Speedmaster became the world’s first watch on the Moon. It was worn by the US astronauts Buzz Aldrin (piloting the lunar module) and Neil Armstrong (spaceship Commander) in 1969, when they became the first humans to step on the lunar surface. Buzz Aldrin was in fact wearing his Speedmaster, as Neil Armstrong later claimed that he left his inside the lunar module as a backup.
Omega was way earlier a participant in space exploration. On Oct. 3, 1962, astronaut Walter Schirra and his Sigma 7 Mercury spacecraft orbited the Earth six times in a journey that lasted 9 hours and 15 minutes. He was wearing his Omega Speedmaster. During the Gemini 4 mission in 1965, Edward White wore his Speedmaster during America’s first spacewalk. During the Apollo 13 mission in 1970, in the absence of modern gadgets, astronauts utilized their Speedmaster chronograph to time vital engine burns that contributed to their safe return.
Co-Axial Caliber – A Revolutionary New Escapement
Omega’s co-axial calibers are unlike any other mechanical watch mechanism in the industry. George Daniels, who is regarded as one of the most influential watchmakers since Abraham Louis Breguet, designed the co-axial caliber in 1974. What is the significance of this? Mr. Daniels’ innovation (the Co-Axial Escapement, which Omega acquired in 1999) was the first practical new mechanical watch escapement manufactured in approximately 250 years. The mechanism improves the precision of the watch by minimizing friction in the movement. So you can comfortably say that your Omega is the most accurate mechanical watch on the planet.
Largest Watch Supplier of Allies During World War 2
With the current developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war, even picking a side can be dangerous, especially for small countries. This is exactly what Switzerland did, when they decided to keep their main industry, (watchmaking) running, during both World Wars. Even though Switzerland’s commerce was blocked by both the Allies and the Axis, watchmakers continued to do what they were excellent at.
During both World Wars, Omega was a significant supplier of timepieces to the British Ministry of Defence and some of its allies, owing to two key factors: the precision of their watches and the production capabilities to supply huge quantities of these accurate wristwatches and pocket watches for combat.
Over 110,000 Omega field watches were supplied to the pilots, navigators, and soldiers of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD). The most famous models include the Omega UK/CK2292 and the Omega CK2444. Take a quick look at how a watch’s chronograph and telemeter are still used in the war zone by soldiers.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M Master Chronometer
When looking at the technical specs of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, it is clear what going the extra mile means in the watchmaking industry. Omega created this model as a marketing piece as well as a demonstration of their watchmaking skills.
The brand designed a watch that could tolerate 600 meters of depth while maintaining its traditional approach! The Planet Ocean is not the most affordable Omega watch, but still a must-have for every collector out there. It has evolved over the years to become one of the most complete packages for all professional divers. These timepieces not only established Omega as a reliable brand, but they also raised the bar for the whole industry. Yep! Rolex has to make a run for their money because of this bad boy!
If you’re looking to add an “affordable Omega” dive watch to your collection, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is the way to go. The watch is functionally designed, provides exact timekeeping on land and underwater, and has an out-of-this-world aesthetic. And if you look at its average resale value, the Planet Ocean is holding tight, much like the Speedmaster in the pre-owned market.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
On our quest for affordable Omega watches, we can’t leave without mentioning the legendary watch that to this day, the Swiss watchmaker likes to brag about. They do this a lot! Buzz Aldrin famously wore his Speedmaster to the moon, adding to the countless space missions where an Omega Speedmaster was involved. For more than a half-decade, the Speedmaster’s tried-and-true design remained almost untouched. The case is 42mm in diameter, allowing this watch to fit a wide variety of wrists.
Combining the fixed black bezel with a tachymeter scale, the matte black display, and the three subdials is classic and instantly recognized. Close inspection of the face and hands reveals a fine grain texture that absorbs reflection.
The contrasting hands continue all the way to the dial’s edge, and the subdials are recessed for dimension and contrast. Omega Speedmaster (Moonwatch) is NASA-approved, which means it can handle spaceflight and interstellar activities outside of the spacecraft. So if you too have booked a space flight this weekend, I would suggest taking your Speedy with you!
Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Analog-Digital Chronograph
Even if you overlook the obvious Star Wars reference, Omega’s Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 chronograph watch is one of the most appealing affordable watches from Omega. While the brand’s reputation is surely enough to place this watch among the greatest, it receives a significant lift from the fact that it features a quartz movement created and tested by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Among the noticeable features, we can mention its tough titanium case and bracelet, an LCD display, and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass. To add to the watch’s functionality purpose, it comes with a bi-directional timer bezel and a built-in perpetual calendar. Don’t forget to bring this watch with you if you have a desire of visiting space at least once in your life. It was created just for that domain.
Omega Seamaster Railmaster Watch
In 1957, Omega released the first Railmaster watch. This purpose-built watch was developed for railway personnel (hence the name) and anyone whose work involved magnetic fields. In this manner, the wearer would benefit from anti-magnetic housing in order to precisely keep track of time. The modern version pays homage to the original Omega Railmaster while receiving some notable enhancements.
First, it comes with a “blue jean” colored dial and a matching actual denim and top-grain leather NATO strap (a tribute to the robust working man’s material commonly worn in railway environments). It also has SuperLuminova luminous indices and hands in light gray.
The brand’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer is the star of the show. Thanks to this impressive mechanical movement (Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806), your Omega watch can endure magnetic forces of up to 15,000 gauss, which is a lot more than the magnetic waves released by radios, ovens, microwaves, door catches, TVs, or all of them combined.
Omega De Ville
For sure the most affordable Omega watch comes from the De Ville line. As a dress watch, it is a symbol of simplicity and minimalism. It is made to adorn your wrist on your ceremonial occasions, though it can be a good choice for other, less formal events. This time-honored offering by Omega is distinguished by pure, classic design and a luxury look that is always in style. The De Ville collection is made of five models, each with its distinguishing aesthetic. Ladymatic, an Omega watch made for women only, is also part of this collection. This time we opted for the De Ville Prestige, as it houses some of the most visually appealing dials I’ve ever seen on a dress watch. And if you’re asking for the price, Swiss luxury has never been so much accessible before.