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Which one would you go for?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have been thinking more and more about purchasing a Vintage Omega - to me that's an incredible opportunity for a newbie like myself to obtain a timepiece by a legendary brand at an affordable price, and as a bonus I love history & antiques, so I get to own a piece originating from a different era.

After some doing some research, considering my budget constraints my preferences I came to conclusion I'd like to purchase an quartz Omega - it's a cheaper movement to buy & maintain, more suitable for every-day use which I intent to use the watch for. I know Quartz movements are not really considered valuable or impressive, and to be honest I do not have a problem with that. Hopefully, my next Omega is something more sophisticated :)

I shortlisted a few watches, and wanted to hear your thoughts on which one I should get. All of the listed are with comparable prices (around $500). Photos are below:
  1. Constellation F300Hz (1970, Quartz) - probably my first choice at the moment. It just looks great, has the "Constellation" brand, and proper Constellation-level gold plating
  2. Seamaster De Ville (1980, Quartz) - really liking the design of this piece. It just looks more modern, yet elegant.
  3. Geneve (1970, square, Manual winding) - I'm typically not a fan of square-shaped watches, but this one really looks timeless
Which one would you go with and why? Is any of the above considered more durable? More valuable from a potential collector point of view? Historical significance or remarkable mechanism?

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Thank you!
 

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None of the above.

I would not be spending my $500 on any of those. I have been seeing some fantastic and collectible Swiss watches selling for under $500 recently.
 

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Well, If I had to choose between these three, I would go with the Constellation F300Hz (1970, Quartz)
I'm no Omega expert, but I've always liked the Classic 1950s Seamaster with the reverse pie pan dial and hand wind movement. I also like the Omega Constellation, probably over $500 now days?? Good luck, let us know what you decide.
 

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To be honest. None have any major collector potential. Collectors prefer round over other shapes (although a nice T17 rectangular is nice). No date, date and then day/date

Maybe look for a no date Seamaster De Ville model in gold fill

Case - Gold, Stainless steel, gold cap, gold filled. Plated is the last, but not as popular.

Also two tone (gold bezel, lugs and crown

For something nice. $500 for an Omega is not going to go far today. People paying crazy prices that even I won't pay.

Alternate choice. Longines also put out some nice models. One of my favorites was the Longines 30L or caliber 302

DON
 

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I'd definitely go with the DeVille.

FYI, the F300Hz isn't really a quartz. It's a tuning fork movement that will be fairly expensive to have serviced or repaired.

The DeVille, although newer, has a great classic look to it. In fact, I might have to keep my eye out for one!
 

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I'd look for any 5xx series movement Seamaster. They can be had in that range.
 

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If it were for a watch that you wore every now and then, any of these might be a nice pickup. But for every day use I can't honestly recommend most vintage watches.
Things to watch out for, in my opinion and in my experience:
  • Due to the vintage craze prices for vintage watches by big brands have gotten unreasonable. In case of Omega specifically, older references have increased in prices similar to the aggressive price increases of new models. Though in the new models there is a push for an improved product to move more upmarket. That does not translate to the old models. Only the price.
  • Most Quartz movements have a finite lifespan. Electromigration and deteriorating circuitry makes it so that after 3 or 4 decades you are basically waiting for it to fail at some point. We don't talk about it much, because quartz became popular in the 80's and they are only now beginning to crap out. Be prepared to source and replace the movement when the time comes. But it might be more hassle than it is worth.
  • Depending on your lifestyle a 50 year old watch might not stand up to the rigors of every day life. Where I live, part of life for an every day watch is that there are moments where I get absolutely soaked when unprepared for sudden rain. It would only be a matter of time before that would become a problem.
I think the recommendation above for a caliber 50X Seamaster is a good one if you insist on something vintage. I would get a modern watch to complement it though.
 

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On this vintage thread, yes by the ‘vintage definition’ usually of 30 years plus, the 2 quartz 70s/80 Omegas ‘fit’ the definition.....but for most vintage collectors, the focus is on ‘collectable’ value as already mentioned, which these don’t really have, or non-quartz mechanical V watches...that’s why it’s called the ‘quartz crisis’ ...so good luck with whatever you choose ... S


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If it were for a watch that you wore every now and then, any of these might be a nice pickup. But for every day use I can't honestly recommend most vintage watches.
Things to watch out for, in my opinion and in my experience:
  • Due to the vintage craze prices for vintage watches by big brands have gotten unreasonable. In case of Omega specifically, older references have increased in prices similar to the aggressive price increases of new models. Though in the new models there is a push for an improved product to move more upmarket. That does not translate to the old models. Only the price.
  • Most Quartz movements have a finite lifespan. Electromigration and deteriorating circuitry makes it so that after 3 or 4 decades you are basically waiting for it to fail at some point. We don't talk about it much, because quartz became popular in the 80's and they are only now beginning to crap out. Be prepared to source and replace the movement when the time comes. But it might be more hassle than it is worth.
  • Depending on your lifestyle a 50 year old watch might not stand up to the rigors of every day life. Where I live, part of life for an every day watch is that there are moments where I get absolutely soaked when unprepared for sudden rain. It would only be a matter of time before that would become a problem.
I think the recommendation above for a caliber 50X Seamaster is a good one if you insist on something vintage. I would get a modern watch to complement it though.
That's news to me. I'm very new to the watch scenery and was actually left with the impression that Quartz is cheap, but very durable as opposed to other movements that require expensive servicing every 2-3 years. And for a watch that costs ~$500 to buy, spending $200-300 every 2 years for servicing didn't make sense to me... Then again replacing the whole movement when the time comes is not a great idea either...
 

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That's news to me. I'm very new to the watch scenery and was actually left with the impression that Quartz is cheap, but very durable as opposed to other movements that require expensive servicing every 2-3 years. And for a watch that costs ~$500 to buy, spending $200-300 every 2 years for servicing didn't make sense to me... Then again replacing the whole movement when the time comes is not a great idea either...
@OmegaNoobie.. a quick comment on servicing vintage watches after collecting over 50 over the last 8 years... IMHVO your estimates for servicing frequency are too often, it’s probably more than 2X your 2-3 estimate in my experience ... some work fine 7-8 years after servicing and if you find a reputable watchmaker not focused on top brands, your cost estimates may be too high also, but these costs vary tons across countries, watchmakers, etc. ... S

PS for many of the V collectors on here, we have a fair amount more than 1-2 vintage watches, hence I/we wear vintage everyday, it’s just not the same watch so the rotation doesn’t create problems with over use, a concern expressed for ‘everyday’ wear...


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@OmegaNoobie.. a quick comment on servicing vintage watches after collecting over 50 over the last 8 years... IMHVO your estimates for servicing frequency are too often, it’s probably more than 2X your 2-3 estimate in my experience ... some work fine 7-8 years after servicing and if you find a reputable watchmaker not focused on top brands, your cost estimates may be too high also, but these costs vary tons across countries, watchmakers, etc. ... S


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Ok, that's a bit more reassuring. I'll get back to my research, and probably start with Omega 5xx series movements
 
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