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Omega is usually the second fine Swiss watch brand that immediately springs to mind (after Rolex) for most serious watch collectors. But the company actually got its start 57 years before Rolex, in 1848—and the history and legacy of Omega watches is second to none. JFK wore an Omega tank watch at his inauguration, and the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon. This is why, not coincidentally, the modern version is our pick for the best Omega: the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional. More recently, Omega watches have been on Daniel Craig’s wrist in all of his Bond films. Here's everything else you need to know before splurging on an Omega watch.
What Should You Look for in an Omega Watch?
Part of the Swatch Group portfolio and made in Switzerland, Omega offers a large range of watches within four product lines: Constellation, Seamaster, Speedmaster, and De Ville—each of which has a number of sub-categories. The best-known Omega watches are from the Speedmaster and Seamaster branches of the Omega family tree.
Seamasters, despite the name, are not all dive watches, and range from Aqua Terra watches (without a hint of nauticality) to heritage models (inspired by vintage dive and field watches) to some of the most modern and technical deep sea dive watches in the world.
The Speedmaster line includes the recent smash-hit MoonSwatch, an extensive list of heritage-inspired racing chronographs, and some unapologetically modern watches, such as the Quartz-powered Skywalker, or the Spacemaster, which looks like something Captain Kirk would wear.
Constellation watches are primarily dress watches, and De Ville includes Omega’s most high-end or “haute horologie” watches. While there was historically an original Speedmaster and Seamaster, and there are still modern Omega watches commonly referred to by collectors as the Speedmaster and the Seamaster, it’s important to note that these names actually refer to extensive and diverse categories.
Another aspect of Omega worth mentioning is that if you like the look of vintage watches, you’ll find that Omega has many that are inspired by their mid-century models.
As you can see, Omega makes a lot of different watches, from timeless racing models to modern ultra-deep diving watches, to elegant dress timepieces, to six-figure diamond-studded Tourbillons. So, to help narrow the field, these are some of the best Omega watches you can buy for everyday adventures, diving, pairing with a suit, and globetrotting.
Why You Should Trust Me
I have been covering gear and style from a home base in Los Angeles and now Charleston since 2006, for outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Maxim, Gear Patrol, Playboy, Fatherly, and Men’s Journal. I first started writing about watches because I was intimidated by them. So, I used watch writing as a way to learn about the world of watchmaking and collecting.
Over the years, the articles I’ve written have given me an excuse to interview the best vintage watch dealers in the world, the founders of watch magazines steeped in the world of collecting, and the designers and entrepreneurs behind many watch brands themselves, from the smallest micro brands to Swiss conglomerates. My biggest takeaway from these different voices of the watch world is that anyone can be a watch collector. No matter your budget, the most important thing is knowing what you like and what makes you happy.
Best Overall Omega Watch: Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
The most collectible Omega is also the one you can wear with anything, whether dressing up or down. Owning one of these is in itself a pinnacle of watch collecting. Not only is it the most iconic Swiss chronograph besides the Rolex Daytona, but the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn to the moon. If there’s anything that could rival Paul Newman, it’s a trip to space.
This particular model is the direct heir to that voyage and is modeled after the 4th generation watch worn by the Apollo 11 astronauts. When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, the Speedmaster Professional was on their wrists. True to the original, it is a manual-wind watch, so you’ll need to wind it every two days. If you’re thinking of this as an investment, there’s no safer bet in Omega watches than the Moonwatch Professional.
CASE: Stainless steel
MOVEMENT: Omega 3861 manual-wind
STRAP: Stainless-steel bracelet
Best Omega Watch for All Occasions: Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M
As instantly recognizable as the Moonwatch is, some may find the dial a tad busy with all its white hands, subdial hands, and Tachymeter bezel. For those who prefer simplicity for the sake of style or legibility, the black dial Aqua Terra could be more of a do-everything watch with its own unmistakable look. The dial's horizontal lines emulate the decks of ships, while numerals for seconds circle the outer edge beneath a domed sapphire crystal.
The hands and indices glow in the dark with white Super-LumiNova, and there’s a date window at six o’clock. The mix of brushed and polished steel on the bracelet lends itself to the dressing up or down versatility. The 41mm case will look well balanced on most wrists while also being very legible.
CASE: Stainless steel with see-through sapphire caseback
MOVEMENT: Omega 8900 self-winding
DIAL: Black with “teak” pattern
STRAP: Stainless-steel bracelet
Best James Bond Omega Watch: Seamaster 007 Edition
Omega is to Daniel Craig’s Bond what Rolex was to Connery’s, and this Seamaster diver is identical to the watch worn by Craig when he made his Bond debut in No Time to Die. It has a 42mm titanium case and is paired with a titanium mesh bracelet. The brown tropical bezel and dial, and the vintage-hued numerals, hands, and markers tip their hat to James Bonds of the past while still remaining firmly planted in the future with features like a helium escape valve. It uses Omega’s self-winding certified Master Chronometer 8806 movement with a 55-hour power reserve, and has a cool 007 logo laser-etched on the caseback.
CASE: Titanium with aluminum bezel
MOVEMENT: Omega 8806 self-winding
STRAP: Titanium mesh bracelet
Best Omega Dive Watch: Seamaster Planet Ocean 6000M Ultra-Deep
This is Omega’s most serious and capable dive watch ever. As part of the 2019 Five Deeps Expedition, the Seamaster Ultra Deep was strapped to the outside of a submersible when it reached the deepest place on earth, the Mariana Trench. It’s a big and bold 45.5mm wide, and the numerals look like instrument readings. Numerals also stand out clearly on the ceramic bezel, and the arrow tips of the hour and minute hands are emphatic. The most subtle aspect is the brown gradient dial which keeps it from feeling exclusively utilitarian. It’s made of a special steel that Omega calls MEGASTEEL (all caps are theirs) and while it’s rated water resistant to 6,000 meters, on its journey to the bottom of the trench, it went to 10,935 meters deep.
CASE: 45.5 O-MEGASTEEL with ceramic bezel and titanium medallion caseback
MOVEMENT: Omega 8912 self-winding
DIAL: Lacquered gradient dial with 18k hands and hour markers
STRAP: O-MEGASTEEL bracelet
Best Omega Dress Watch: Constellation Globemaster
The Constellation was introduced five years before the Speedmaster, in 1952, so it has a longer lineage than its famous racing watch sibling—but here's a dress watch doesn’t aspire to being among the stars (other than in Hollywood). This particular reference has a vibrant green “pie pan” dial similar to the original 1952 model, and an annual calendar function with one dedicated hand sweeping slowly through the months of the year, and the date at 6 o’clock.
The Globemaster became the world’s first Master Chronometer watch, in 2015, after passing rigid tests by METAS (the Swiss Federal Office of Metrology). At 41mm, it’s large enough to peak out of a dress shirt cuff to show off its fluted tungsten carbide bezel. Other fine details include a 18k gold Constellation star and 18k gold faceted hands and lumed indices. It comes on an elegant green leather strap and has a see-through caseback if you want to watch the movement at work.
CASE: Stainless steel with tungsten-carbide bezel and see-through sapphire caseback
MOVEMENT: Omega 8922 self-winding
DIAL: Brushed green
Best Omega GMT Watch: Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT
There’s something very cool about the impression that the black and white bezel of this Planet Ocean GMT makes. We’ve all seen Coke and Pepsi GMT color schemes, but this black and white version feels both classic and fresh at the same time. The black and white dial is bold and legible, and all the hands—hour, minute, seconds, GMT—are sharply pointed. The overall look is masculine, and at 43.5mm, it would suit larger wrists well. The fact that it has a see-through caseback lets us know that it’s not entirely about function, however, inviting its wearer to appreciate the Master Chronometer movement.
Beyond its GMT function, this is also a very serious dive watch: 600 meters of water resistance and a helium escape valve—a highly specialized function for commercial saturation diving, where divers live for extended periods in a pressurized diving bell. In other words, underwater welders on oil rigs could wear this thing.
CASE: Stainless steel with bi-ceramic bezel and see-through caseback
MOVEMENT: Omega 8906 self-winding
DIAL: Black ceramic
STRAP: Stainless-steel bracelet