There are many collectors (and dealers) in the vintage watch world who will tell you no collection is complete without an Omega Speedmaster. Sure, the Speedmaster Professional is one of the most iconic wristwatches ever produced,
but that collection requirement might be going too far. If it is an exaggeration; after all, gatekeeping what is and isn’t a collection is one of the worst parts of being interested in watches. In any case, we strongly suggest owning an Omega for at least some time during your watch journey. Rolex Replications
Sure, even that statement is self-serving but allow us to explain. Omega, from vintage to modern, offers a watch for just about anything you could ever imagine. A Seamaster “Soccer Timer” chronograph is aimed specifically at fútbol referees or fans while a brand new Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m takes a very compelling swing at a do-anything-wear-everyday piece. If you can find use for a wristwatch, there’s an Omega for you.
Beyond model variety from Seamasters to Constellations, Omega has made a lot of watches from a pure quantity perspective. Finding a nice Omega from any decade is not as difficult as, say, a great Cartier, for example. Luckily, for collectors today Omega produced enough watches for us to dig into. Here are three different approaches to the sports watch courtesy of vintage Omega – all produced within about six years of each other and all offer something a bit different.
1973 Omega Seamaster Cosmic 2000 Ref. 166.137
You may be asking yourself right at this moment, “what even is a Seamaster Cosmic 2000?” and that is completely fair. Don’t beat yourself up for not having seen one of these before as they don’t come up for sale or get flexed on Instagram often. Does that mean it is a rare or uncommon vintage Omega? Those are relative terms we like to stay away from. What we can say for sure is that this Seamaster Cosmic 2000 impresses in the metal and intrigues even the most seasoned Omega heads around the HODINKEE office.
The “newest” of the three Omegas we are highlighting here, this Cosmic was produced in 1973 and, knowing the context of the 1970s,
that date really does come through in the metal and on the wrist. The integrated bracelet recalls a decade that saw the introduction of AP’s Royal Oak (1972) and Patek’s Nautilus (1976),
along with a number of other integrated case designs as watches moved from tool to jewelry and design. Beyond that, the design keeps things simple with a deep matte black dial and a non-obtrusive handset – both with just enough tritium lume to hold over the vintage crowd. We are particularly drawn to the applied metal Omega logo,
similar to “Pre-Moon” Speedies, and the numeral font used on the external bezel.
Compared to the two following Omegas and within the catalog in 1973, the Cosmic 2000 is not an expensive watch and it was never meant to be. This is a watch you can do just about anything in with enough design chops to keep you interested – that’s it, that’s all. Get all the details right here in the H Shop.
1971 Omega Speedmaster Professional ‘No NASA’ Ref. 145.022-71 ST
Of course, we couldn’t create a vintage Omega theme without including a Speedmaster. There’s a reason gate-keeping watch collectors demand we all own one;
the Speedy really is one of the best sport chronographs ever created and there is just so much to dig into when it comes to references and variants. We have the luxury of handling many of these slightly different iterations of the same core concept here on the H Vintage desk and actually pass on purchasing the vast majority of Speedmasters we come across. Only the best make it to the Shop and this one is worth a serious look.
The reference 145.022-71ST is the first full reference to hit the Omega catalog following Apollo 11’s moon landing, an event that changed the course of human history (to many) and undoubtably changed the course of Omega’s brand history. In order to celebrate the Speedmaster’s involvement in NASA’s Apollo program and eventual landing, Omega redesigned the Speedy’s caseback. So the story goes,
while Omega awaited approval to state “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” around a Hippocampus medallion on
the new caseback, examples of the ref. 145.022-71ST left the factory with no outer engraving. The “No NASA” variant was born.
This example is in really great shape, with an excellent vintage Speedmaster look. We especially love finding early Speedies with these “flat-link” bracelets as they add to the charm with a certain “jangle” that works on the wrist so well. With an Extract from the Archives of Omega as well,
this Speedmaster is more complete than most; check it out right here.
1967 Omega Seamaster 300 Ref. 164.024
We wrap up the Omega-themed collection with a watch that is seemingly overlooked in the vintage collecting world. Even among the famed Omega ’57 trilogy, referring to the 1957 introduction of the Speedmaster,
Railmaster, and Seamaster 300, the Seamaster 300 is arguably met with the least amount of fanfare. The Railmaster is heralded for being stripped down, simple, and hard-to-find, and the Speedmaster is,
well, undeniable but the classic dive watch that peeked its head in the catalog the same year is a bit forgotten at times. Maybe collectors don’t typically look at Omega for a true dive watch (they’d be wrong to do so). Or maybe the Speedmaster really does cast that long a shadow in this period
(this we could understand a bit more). Regardless, the Seamaster 300 remains among the ideal vintage dive watches to be had at a somewhat-obtainable mark.
Here, in the late 1960s,
you get a lot of what makes Omega great in the Seamaster 300 with a nice matte-black dial, stark white printing,
and that same “flat-link” bracelet as the Speedy. This example is great for the non-patina-obsessed collector with stark white luminous material and an
overall “newer” look than most vintage watches you will come across. After 55 years,
each vintage watch you come across is going to have a different look and that’s what makes them so special. This Seamaster 300 isn’t forgotten about, it’s available in the H Shop now.
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