From journeying to the surface of the moon on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist, to becoming the watch brand of choice for James Bond, Omega watches have an impressive history that has helped to build up the brand image. This is an image accompanied by a set of noteworthy horological achievements made by Omega in the 20th century, including creating a watch that can withstand the conditions of space travel. In spite of Omega’s success, can a timepiece from the watch brand prove to be a wise choice of investment?
Watches no longer serve as great a purpose as they once did, but there has always been more to a watch than simply being an instrument on your wrist that can tell you the time. Watches are fashion and the watch is and has always been, an item of status that can showcase wealth, as well as style. Whether you’re thinking about investing into a luxury watch like a Rolex or a Tag Heuer, something that suits you, despite the chances that it will appreciate over time, is most likely going to take preference. Although wouldn’t it be nice if that watch you finally come to decide on also held its value and appreciated over time?
What makes a Watch Appreciate?
This is something which is difficult to pin down as certain watches appreciate for different reasons, such as whether the mechanical model was a significant technological step forward in the watch making world or if it was the James Bond Omega watch model worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2013). However, there are some factors which have been previously outlined by WatchAdvisor that can help a watch maintain its worth. These include the materials used in the construction of the watch, the exclusivity and individuality of the watch and something that spearheads the sales of Omega, the brand name itself.
Omega is a luxury watch brand to originate from Switzerland, now currently owned by Swatch. In the early 20th century they battled against Rolex for King of the Swiss watch brands, however, when the threat from the Chinese company Seiko in 1969 emerged with their quartz development, the priorities of both companies switched to keeping pace with modern horological advancements. Since then Omega has focused its attention on the branding of their watches.
Omega’s success has previously been attributed to the marketing strategies of the brand, which has helped to cement an image of desirability through strategic product placement, adorning the wrists of noteworthy individuals such as Elvis Presley, George Clooney and John F Kennedy. Omega watches have appeared in James Bond films since 1995, taking over from Rolex and have frequently held the title for official timekeeper of the Olympics, most recently in at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Overall, the current success of the brand is currently driven by its strong marketing campaign, as opposed to other brands like Patek Philippe, which rely on the quality, reputation and complications of their watches to draw attention.
Out of all the vintage Omega watches that have sealed themselves in the history of the wristwatch, the Omega Speedmaster Professional is arguably the most iconic. It was the only model of watch to survive the United States Space Agency’s testing and so, as a result of its technological success, it became the first wristwatch to journey to the surface of the moon (fun fact: you can fit all the planets in the solar system in the distance between the Earth and the Moon). The watch gained the title ‘The Moonwatch’ after its space voyage and has set itself down as potentially the most iconic Chronograph. With such a grand achievement under its dial the Omega Speedmaster Professional Calibre .321 model has a lot of appreciation and as a result, is a popular and sort after watch.
Although the Moon watch is one of Omega’s most famous watches, Omega SA has seen better growth in market sales with their other models. In a Time and Tide interview with Omega President Stephen Urquhart, a World Watch Report made by the Digital Luxury Group in 2013 states that the Omega constellation and De Ville are the two of the most successful models of that year.
An Omega watch as an Investment
Omega is a watch brand that promises quality and style in all of its timepieces, however, to buy one from a retailer is not a financially sound investment as the resale value of the watch will disintegrate from the moment you set foot out of the shop or click the ‘Order’ button. The location you source one of these vintage Omega watches or any luxury watch from is paramount if you are looking to buy a watch as an investment. Buying pre-owned watches is most definitely the smartest method of purchase due to a watch’s value depreciating upon purchase from a retail store. Auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonham’s all come highly recommended for sourcing a classic timepiece for an appropriate price. While considering the question “is an Omega watch a good investment?”, it is worth your time to also consider that the possibility that true enjoyment from owning a fine Omega wristwatch will most likely be gained in the wearing of it, rather than the potential money you can make from it in the future.