Icons inspire. Icons endure. Icons sell.
The Omega Speedmaster is almost a brand in its own right. I know that in this very column I’ve frequently waxed lyrical about how much a brand’s investment potential hinges on having a particular model that instigates a frenzied stampede of interest, year-long waiting lists, and months of sleepless nights before it even hits the shelves, but when investigating the investment value of Omega watches. it’s seriously true on several fronts.
Omega enjoys extreme popularity thanks to the multiple icons adorning the pages of their catalogue, but even though the Seamaster range, and DeVille and Constellation models have huge followings, it’s the Speedmaster that really does it for me.
But with so many new references, and so many pre-loved watches to choose from, where do we start investigating the investment value of Omega watches?
Shoot for the Moon
It’s no surprise that Omega continues to bang on about being the first watch on the moon. I mean, no brand that fought off such stiff competition to win the contract from NASA could ever be expected to shut up about it.
What’s really cute about the old school Speedmasters is their use of hesalite instead of sapphire crystals. A lot of vintage lovers adore the warmth and curvature of a nice hesalite ‘crystal’, but rarely can you make an argument for it being a more functional alternative to sapphire. In the case of the Speedmaster, though, it was absolutely essential in the unique environment of Space.
Cosmic dust batters everything beyond our atmosphere. Omega relied on hesalite’s ability to ‘bend not break’ (like any good football defence), and put their faith if a fundamentally inferior material, because sapphire could, when subjected to the same level of super-fast battery, shatter.
Omega has gone on to release many, many celebratory models referencing the moon landings and other Apollo missions. This sub-range makes an awesome collection, and is rooted in history to boot. Giving yourself parameters, and the chance to ‘complete’ a collection is a cool task, and one that if achieved could reap major dividends further down the line.
Oh, Charlie Brown!
My personal favourite Speedmaster, however, is the relatively recently released Snoopy model, commemorating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 13. Not only is this piece great to look at, it has some of the most deliciously rich lume I’ve ever seen Omega apply. The dial is a true light show at night, with even a prone Snoopy that decorates the 9-o’clock sub-dial glowing. These aesthetic quirks coupled with truly excellent manufacturing standards make it a piece for the ages. The only drawback – which may in fact be part of its allure – is the fact it was pretty much sold out before its release.
It may seem like a tall order to get your hands on one of these limited models, but if humanity can put a man on the moon, anything’s possible.
About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.