The most famous Omega is more than one watch
A good watch has always been important to sailors. Accurate timekeeping used to be essential for navigation – there was no other way to judge your speed and therefore know how far you had travelled.
Until high-precision chronometers were developed, long-distance sea voyages were hit-and-miss affairs, with position estimates out by hundreds of miles and destination ports (especially if they were on small islands) missed altogether.
The first Omega Seamaster was made in 1948, developed from an earlier waterproof Omega, the Marine. The new model retained a stainless case and luminescent hands and hour markers, the better to be seen at depth.
The model has been highly developed since its introduction and there have been many different versions. There’s even a Seamaster – the Aqua Terra – that doesn’t look like a sporting watch at all and won’t let you dive quite as deep as the others.
As most people know, James Bond has worn an Omega Seamaster since 1995, when he swapped from the Rolex Submariner he favoured until then.
Why the change? Well, to be honest, it was more about marketing than performance. It’s said that Omega contributed to the movie budget as well as supplying the watches! The film-makers also felt the Omega brand had a somewhat younger appeal.
Furthermore, it would not have been possible for Bond to have all his underwater adventures with a Seamaster until then – they weren’t water resistant to much more than 100 metres until 1993. This performance improvement widened their appeal greatly and since then, the Omega Seamaster has been the watch of choice for many America’s Cup teams. It was also the Royal Navy’s official divers’ watch for a few years.
Today’s range includes three models: Seamaster 300 (the James Bond watch); Seamaster Aqua Terra; and Seamaster Planet Ocean. The Planet Ocean styling harks back to the first Seamaster 300 of 1962, with its broad arrow hands and the shape of the case.
You can have any of these three in quartz or automatic, and there’s also a choice of stainless, titanium and gold for the cases.
But should you? Should you splash out on a new Seamaster – or would the better bet be a pre-owned watch from our range at Albemarle & Bond?
Well, whether you’re after a ladies or a gents version, we’d argue that pre-owned is the way to go. Here’s why:
Historic watches have a history
Omega Seamasters have sailed the seas, above and below the surface, since 1948. They have accompanied some of the world’s boldest, bravest people into danger and adventure. They have seen military service and are considered an essential tool by ocean racers and professional divers alike. Buy a pre-owned Seamaster, and you could be wearing a veteran of events and endeavours such as these. Buy a new one and you couldn’t.
The understatement in a patina
There will, inevitably, be tiny signs of age in a pre-owned watch. The luminosity may have faded just a tad. The bracelet will feel more ‘broken-in’. The case (though refurbished and thoroughly cleaned by us) will have a subtly different sheen to the brash glitter of a brand new watch. A pre-loved watch has less of the bling about it.
Living with a character
Automatic mechanical watches aren’t as accurate as modern quartz watches, though they are uncannily good when you think that a tightly-packed collection of wheels, springs, weights and levers runs at something like 99.99% efficiency. Even so, you may find yourself correcting your watch against the radio time signal once a week. Or noticing that it runs a little differently when it’s hot, or very cold. Or when the earth’s magnetic field fluctuates, as it does surprisingly often. People who love classic mechanical watches also love the fact that each one is an individual, with its own foibles.
Old money v new
Wearing an older Seamaster implies that you’ve been able to afford one for years, even if this is your first prestige watch. They’re potential heirlooms, after all and will, with care, outlast the people who wear them. So it’s perfectly feasible that you could have had your classic Seamaster since new.
Less money v more
And then there are the savings, of course. A pre-owned Omega Seamaster from Albemarle & Bond will cost much less than a new one. Why? Because you’re not paying an enormous jeweller’s mark-up. You still get a 12-month guarantee, however.
Also, you may find that you can wear one for free. Many people who keep their pre-owned Seamaster for a few years find that its value hasn’t dropped and may even have increased. In effect, they still have the cash they spent on the watch, because the watch is still worth what they paid.
So why not browse the Albemarle & Bond Omega collection now? Whether or not your marine adventure is imminent, there’s an Omega Seamaster that’s ready when you are!