Omega WatchesSwiss watch maker Omega prides itself on innovation and quality. Its brand enjoys a high profile due to its association with the James Bond film franchise and its appearance at many Olympic Games as the official timekeeper.
The business was started by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1848. The firm operated as La Generale Watch Co until incorporating the name Omega in 1903, becoming Louis Brandt et Frère - Omega Watch & Co.
The company officially changed its name to Omega in 1982 and through a series of mergers eventually became part of what is now known as the Swatch Group, which also owns other watch brands such as Breguet.
Its brand received a boost when an Omega Speedmaster watch became the first watch on the moon when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the lunar surface in July 1969.
By that time an Omega had already been used in space by the first American to do a spacewalk, Ed White, in 1965.
The Omega brand stands for quality and precision – all parts of an Omega watch are made in Switzerland and the company includes the 'Swiss Made' mark on all its watches.
And glamour - who doesn't want to own a 'moonwatch' or the watch James Bond wears?
Buying at auction
Many auction houses hold regular specialist watch sales or watches and jewellery sales while others include a selection of watches within a bigger auction, making it easy to find plenty of Omegas to choose from at any time of year.
With so many examples on offer you will always find plenty to suit your budget.
Condition, age and rarity determine the prices that second-hand Omegas will sell for at auction.
The entry-level price for a good Omega at auction is typically around mid-three figures.
Rare Omegas can fetch much more with the most special examples selling for amazing sums. In 2018 an Omega watch given to singer Elvis Presley by his record company sold at auction in Geneva for a hammer price of more than Swfr1.5 million (£1.1m).
What to look out for
Check the auction house’s lot description. It will typically state whether the Omega you considering bidding on is in working order or needs repair. Some Omegas may have been repaired in the past in which case the hands, for example, may not be the originals. That would make it less desirable for a specialist collector and thus more affordable for you.
The lot description will also usually detail condition issues such as any scratches. These may often be typical wear and tear for a watch that was worn every day by its previous owner or they may be more severe.
You can request a condition report from the auctioneer if it is not already in the lot description. Attending a viewing in person will also enable you to try on the Omega you are considering bidding for and inspect it for yourself close up.
Auction houses with a watches department will employ a specialist you can contact to discuss your requirements and answer your questions.
Look out also for Omegas that come with special paperwork. If the watch is older than 30 years the owner can apply to Omega for a certificate of authenticity, which provides a high level of reassurance about the watch and its manufacture.
For watches older than 10 years, Omega can provide what it calls an 'Extract of the Archives' which contains detailed information about the watch and how it left Omega's facilities in Biel, as well as the exact production date of the watch.
What to do next
Decide how much you’d like to spend and use the search facility on thesaleroom.com to find Omega watches coming up for sale.
You can filter your search by, among other things, price and by location of the auction house to narrow down your selection.
To research recent prices at auction to see how much different silver items sold for you can also try out the Price Guide.
If you are new to bidding check out our guides to buying at auction – it’s easy once you know how.