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1970's vintage Omega is the best value in the watch world today
A few days back I was looking at some vintage watches in a local jewellers and my wife spotted the watch above.
She is not like me, she likes watches and has a few vintage men's timepieces from Tudor, Roamer and other brands, but when she saw this she was smitten.
The thought of a vintage gold Omega has been going through her mind for a couple of years and she has a very specific look in mind. This was it; the size, the linen dial, case shape and consistency of case etc stood out to her in an instant.
It literally took 5 minutes for her to whip her card out and it was hers. I checked the crown, the movement etc, but it was always going to be hers. The fact that it was underpriced (in my opinion) by approximately £300 and that it came with a 12 month guarantee from a decent dealer made it a hard one to leave behind and so she finally had her dream watch.
The cost of this watch was roughly 15% the cost of a Rolex Datejust from the same year and there is evidence that it is a better made watch.
A couple of years ago I bought the Omega Geneve below for £320. It runs perfectly and keeps exceptional time, and there is a sense of superb build quality throughout. The same appears to be true of my wife's new (old) Geneve which is exactly the same age.
Between these two watches they total 98 years old and both will be half a century old next year, but they work beautifully and have survived that time with ease. It is hard to say the same for many Rolexes from that period.
We have reached the bizarre stage where Patina (damage to anyone else) on a dial or bezel adds value to a vintage watch, and there are numerous examples of Rolex watches suffering this damage. The more worn a watch is, the higher the value can be for some models. As Americans would say, go figure…
Omega watches from the 60's and early 70's still retail for well below £1,000 and many watchmakers will praise their movements and case construction as some of the best of the era. Some will also state that a Rolex watch from the same period is of adequate quality, hence the difference in how they age.
Rolex and Omega today are completely different. They are both exceptionally well made, but again Omega movements are arguably better and in some case much better. The value of their respective watches, however, does not reflect this and just like the vintage models the Omega option is almost always much better value.
The problem is that the watch world is weird and the Rolex name alone is enough for people to spend double the amount of money on a watch that is half as good. I believe my wife definitely made the right call with her Omega.