I recently read a newsletter that Bob’s watches sent out on “The only 3 OMEGA Watches you need”. The problem with that is that they only specified the model, not any specific reference number. This is understandable as they’re a pre-owned dealer and actually need to sell more than one reference type. I am going to elaborate on part of their list by providing the OMEGA watches you should consider buying and some that you shouldn’t.
First on their list is the classic Speedmaster. This is considered to be the “strap king” as it almost looks good in every single strap.
There’s only one Speedmaster that most hard core enthusiast would buy and that’s the hesalite version. If you’re looking for a modern copy, it’s the ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.005. However, a casual user may prefer the sapphire version with ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.006 as it’s more scratch resistance and also offers a see through case back. The reason why people don’t like the sapphire crystal is because it forms a milky ring around on the edges when viewing from different angles which is unappealing. The best of both worlds that some enthusiast would settle for would be in past with ref. 3572.50 (luminova) and ref. 3592.50 (tritium) which offers a hesalite crystal with a sapphire see-through caseback.
Another runner up to consider is the First Omega in Space. This is a good alternative if your wrist is small as this is 39mm with the same movement as above. The problem with the FOIS is that it doesn’t come with the bracelet by default. Buying the bracelet will be expensive and can cost more than a standard big box speedmaster. However, if you prefer the smaller size or the alpha hands, this is the best option.
For the vintage afficionados, I can only recommend vintage Speedmasters if you know what you’re doing. Collecting them now is slightly easier due to the vast information and resources available for them. if you’re considering this, I highly recommend the book “Moonwatch Only” as it will contain plenty of information from dials to hands to movements.
Eventually one will come across the speedmaster “reduced” ref. 3539.50 which I don’t recommend. One might consider this as it’s cheaper and it’s an automatic movement, but it’s not all that great. In addition, it’s easy to dismiss this as it’s not a “true” speedmaster. The Omega Caliber 3220 is basically an ETA 2892-A2 slapped with a Dubois-Depraz chrono module similar to the modern Tag Heuer Monaco Calibre 11. One noticeable effect of this is that the crown will not be aligned with the chronograph pushers and will sit lower on the watch.
The future of the speedmaster is very bright with the newly updated 3861 movement appearing in the limited edition speedmaster. We’re expecting it to be standard across the speedmaster range towards late 2020 onwards. However, the price is still currently unknown and seeing the pricing of the 50th speedmaster, it might get expensive.
Next would be the all-time classic seamaster. More known for being James Bond’s watch, the seamaster goes beyond the diver and has seen some considerable movement improvements overtime. From a simple manual movement from the 50s to the new ceramic model, there’s an abundance for the seamaster.
The best Seamaster to buy now is the co-axial master chronometer. There’s plenty of dial colours to choose from, but the link to the black one is ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001. I would also recommend getting it in a bracelet as it’s the most expensive to buy separately. For the price, this is one of the best bang for the buck you can get at any brand. Of course with the recent, price increases, it’s getting harder to consider this one, but in my opinion it’s still good value.
How about the other models?
Just because they’re not on this list doesn’t mean they’re not good. The Railmaster and Planet Ocean for example are both still exceptional watches. Some of the DeVille are very solid watches as well. However, for a no frills and considering resale value, these are an easy choice.