It’s the great debate among timepiece collectors:
Which diving watch is better, the Omega Seamaster or the Rolex Submariner?
On the surface (no pun intended), both watches are extremely high quality and impressive pieces of engineering. Both the Omega Seamaster and Rolex Submariner are rated for waterproof activity up to 1,000 feet, and are built to be extremely durable. Both watches also have an extremely clean look with a simple, elegant design. While the Seamaster and Submariner have many similarities, they have some key differences that may be the determining factor for which watch you choose to wear.
Seamaster vs. Submariner
Face and Bezel:
This is probably the area that separates the look of the two watches the most, but it’s all in the details. The Seamaster’s face features an iconic wave pattern that is clearly visible from all angles, and until recently, the bezel was made from steel instead of Omega’s new liquid metal or ceramic bezel (which is much stronger).The Rolex Submariner has a much plainer face than the Seamaster, but also has much more detail around it’s raised hour markings. Older Rolex Submariner models also featured a steel insert bezel, but they were eventually replaced by a scratch resistant ceramic bezel in more recent models. The Rolex Submariner’s bezel is also slightly easier to turn than the Omega’s, and is much easier to replace if damaged.
It should also be noted that both watches have luminescent material on the face and bezel, but the Seamaster’s is larger and generally regarded as brighter, especially in pre-2000 models.
While the movements in each watch operate with similar efficiency and durability, there is quite a difference in the origin of both calibers. Seamaster’s, both pre and post year 2000, use fairly common out-of-house ETA movements (the 2892-A2 or 2892 co-axial), while the Rolex Submariner uses either their in-house caliber 3135 or 3035 depending on the model. The Seamaster’s movements are generally regarded as very good, but the in-house Rolex movements are thought to be slightly better and higher-quality by watch aficionados.
Both watches have become important horology icons and are steeped in movie culture, exploration, and politics. Here are a few famous wearers that have added to the Seamaster vs. Submariner debate over the years:
– James Bond (Sean Connery)
– Chuck Yeager
– Jacques-Yves Cousteau
– Lloyd Bridges
– Steve McQueen
– James Bond (Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig)
– Prince William
– Joe Biden
– Adam Savage
– Jeremy Clarkson
The price point for both watches is dramatically different. When you buy a Rolex, you pay for the incredible quality AND the name. A new retail Rolex Submariner’s price can range anywhere from $7,500 – $40,250, with dramatic price increases when white or yellow gold is substituted for steel. Used Submariners will cost slightly less (but are still fairly expensive).The great thing about Submariners is that they hold their value extremely well and can be viewed more as a financial investment than the Omega Seamaster.
The Seamaster is much more affordable, which makes it a great watch for the price point. A new Seamaster can fetch anywhere from $3,000 – $10,000, while a used Seamaster could run as low as $1,200. If you want a watch with similar quality and features as a Rolex for a great price, the Seamaster is definitely the way to go.
Still having trouble deciding? Make an appointment today and take a look at each watch for yourself. We can help you settle the Seamaster vs. Submariner debate on your own. We sell both Rolex and Omega watches, and carry several other fine brands in our large watch inventory.
Want to keep track of a collector’s real life watch adventures? Check out our very own Sergio Nuncio’s Instagram account here!