Steel sports watches have been in high demand over the past couple years. Popular models from well-known and sought-after brands such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe are almost impossible to get in the dealerships. As a consequence, secondary market prices have skyrocketed. For those of you looking for more affordable alternatives, we have 3 OMEGA vintage steel sports watches worth looking out for!
Seamaster Professional 200
Let’s start with OMEGA’s Seamaster line. In 1988, they introduced the Seamaster Professional 200. The watch demonstrated its deep-sea qualities during the IFREMER Faré mission. A submarine dived 4,400 meters (a new record) below sea level in the Atlantic to install scientific equipment there. On board was also the aforementioned timepiece.
While the Seamaster Professional 200 was not that popular within the watch community after its launch, it became more sought-after once Pierce Brosnan’s 007 wore his first Seamaster in the iconic film GoldenEye. The Professional 200 was eventually discontinued in 1995, after its replacement in 1993 by the “Bond” Seamaster 300.
Since it was the predecessor of James Bond’s watch, it is now dubbed Seamaster 200 “PRE-BOND” with OMEGA even referencing to it in this way on their website.
On the technical side, the watch offers 200 meters water resistance, has a screw down crown & case back and the integrated OMEGA 1455 bracelet. It is either powered by the quartz Cal. 1438 or 1441, which are housed in a well-sized 38.5mm steel case. The Seamaster 200 was initially produced with a characteristic “Mercedes” hand set (see image), which was eventually replaced with the OMEGA sword hands. If you want to read more about James Bond’s watches, then click here.
In order to increase its visibility within the motorsport community, OMEGA launched in 1957 its Speedmaster line. In 1965, the Speedmaster was chosen by NASA as its official chronometer in space. Four years later, the “Moonwatch” was famously the first watch to be worn on the Moon, making the timepiece an instant classic.
While the OMEGA Speedmaster is synonymous with the moon landing today, not all of its models are “Moonwatches”. One example is the Speedmaster Reduced. Although is may look like a “Moonwatch”, it is a different watch altogether. Officially named Omega Speedmaster Automatic Ref. 3510.50, this timepiece is often referred to as “Reduced” because of its smaller than usual 39mm case. Even on the OMEGA website.
Released in 1988, the Omega Speedmaster Reduced is powered by an automatic movement based on the ETA 2890-A2 (without date), also known as the Omega Cal. 3220. On the base movement of the ETA sits the Chronograph Module 2020 from specialized manufacturer Dubois-Dépraz.
OMEGA initially promised the Speedmaster Reduced to be a smaller and less expensive version of its more famous Speedy Professional brother. In our opinion, it is exactly that. One might even argue that it is a more practical version thanks to its automatic movement.
Since OMEGA stopped producing the model in 2009, people have started to appreciate smaller dials again and prices of Speedmaster Reduced watches have been rising continuously since. Still, this timepiece offers an iconic look, practical features, is limited due to its discontinuation and is still way more affordable than an actual “Moonwatch”. Hence, definitely a watch to look out for!
OMEGA’s Genève line was created as early as 1953 to pay tribute to the brand’s workshops in Geneva. There, the best regulators were working at the time. The line used to be so popular, that it made up 60% of the brand’s production by 1970. Due to new legal regulations by the Canton of Geneva, the line needed to be discontinued in 1979.
Different calibres have been used in the Genève models. One was the Cal. 561. It features 24 jewels and offers a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. While beautifully looking, it is also a practical bi-directional automatic winding movement. In most models, the calibre is housed inside a 35mm steel case and protected by a hesalite crystal.
Today, there are many vintage OMEGA Genève models around on the secondary market. The most desirable pieces have integrated bracelets and a magnifying glass above the date display. We frequently have some models available on our webshop. Have a look here!
If you want to learn more about vintage steel sports watches and regular ones, then read this blogpost here.