Why buy a Vintage Omega Seamaster?

Why Buy A Vintage Omega Seamaster? 

The wide variety of vintage Omega Seamaster models on the market today means there is always something new to discover. In this article, we shed light on the fascinating world of vintage Omega Seamasters and explain why buying vintage is not only financially rewarding but offers the buyer a piece of unique history. 

The History of the Seamaster 

Released in 1948, the revolutionary Seamaster took inspiration from old watch designs originally intended for World War II airmen and applied them to a civilian dress watch for the post-war consumer. The Seamaster was Omega’s gift to the world on its 100th anniversary, and what a gift it was. 

The Seamaster is as tough as nails. It’s a watch that can dive to the depths of the ocean, climb the highest mountains, and still look good at a black-tie event. When the Seamaster was released, Omega had already provided over 100,000 watches to the Ministry of Defence, meaning the technology had been thoroughly war-tested. It’s easy to see why the Seamaster is one of the most reliable vintage watches out there today. 

The Seamaster was at the forefront of Omega’s technological advancements and featured anti-magnetism, waterproofing, and shock proofing capabilities, making it, still to this day, an outstanding and robust watch. However, it took until 1957 for the Seamaster 300 to be released and for the diving legend to be born.  

The Omega Seamaster 300 included a unidirectional rotating bezel and a black dial with luminous markers. The first Seamaster introduced the o-ring gasket to the commercial market, a small rubber ring that tightly sealed the case back. Replacing previously used lead, rubber offered exceptional water resistance at a wider range of temperatures. All these features made it ideal for diving.  

Through the years, the Seamaster has been put to the test many times and never failed. Some of its impressive feats include: 

  • In 1995, Jean McLean took a Seamaster freediving to 63.2 metres, a world record at the time.
  • In 1956, the Omega Seamaster was fixed to the exterior of Canadian Pacific Flight 302 as it flew from Canada to Amsterdam via the North Pole. For over 9 hours, the Seamaster was exposed to some of the harshest weather conditions as well as passing the epitome of magnetic flux. Its accuracy never failed. 
  • In 1962, the world famous underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau wore and field-tested a specially-equipped Seamaster 300 during his team’s Precontinent II experiments. These tests gave early insights into how the Seamaster performed under the extreme conditions of saturation scuba diving. 

 The Seamaster has been the choice of the British Navy, James Bond, record-breaking divers and path-finding pilots for decades. The opportunity to own a piece of these record-breaking stories in a vintage Seamaster can be more than a pipedream. A 1950s Seamaster in good condition will cost you around £3,000, while new models start from around £5,000. 

Why Buy A Vintage Omega Seamaster? 

If owning a slice of history at a lower price than a new Omega Seamaster isn’t enough to persuade you, here are some other advantages to owning a vintage Seamaster over a new model: 


The ‘50s and ‘60s saw some particularly beautiful watch designs and are seen by many as the golden era of watchmaking. With multiple model variations released each year, we can find vintage Seamasters in a wide range of forms and dial arrangements, ensuring there’s a model to suit every individual’s unique style. In a world of clones, it feels good to set yourself apart from the crowd. 


The Seamaster has decades of milestone achievements, world firsts and genuine World War ancestry. Besides, a 60-year-old timepiece bearing a name that goes hand in hand with James Bond makes an excellent conversation starter. Owning a vintage watch is owning a piece of history, each watch comes with its own unique story to tell, on top of the already epic Seamaster model history. 


Wearing a vintage Omega Seamaster is excellent value for money but also a great investment. For those who don’t mind a few dings (and probably plan to add a few more), the entry price for a vintage Seamaster can be around £500. Although you should expect to pay more for pieces in better condition, desirable references, complications and warranties, for example.  

New Omega Seamasters start just shy of £5,000, and this figure is expected to rise as Omega intensifies its competition with Rolex. When you buy a new luxury watch, it will experience a drop in value for approximately 10 – 15 years before it starts to rise again. This is known as the depreciation curve and can knock off around 20% of a new watch’s value. In comparison, for a more unique product, vintage provides undeniably good value. And for the Seamaster specifically, you can expect your investment to hold value, and probably gain. 


Over time, watches acquire patina and subtle changes that give them a unique charm that can’t be replicated in a new piece. This can result in some stunning tropical dials, which are unique to each watch and tell an endearing story of the watch’s past. Collectors value this ageing as it offers a window into the watch’s storied past and adds to its unique character. 

Patina, and other signs of ageing, make your vintage watch even more uniquely yours. You can be certain that there is no other watch in existence with the same unique patina that yours possesses because no other watch has lived the same life that yours has. Just as our own unique lives have shaped who we are today, the same is true for vintage watches, and that is true character. 


Today we find many luxury watch brands looking to their past designs for their new models. In fact, Omega released a £5,000 Seamaster 1948 heritage duo just 2 years ago. Also, their ‘Heritage’ line harks back to the shapes of the mid-20th century that simply can’t be beaten. For those seeking the classic designs of the ‘50s and ‘60s, nothing beats the real deal at a competitive price.  

If you’re in the market for a vintage Omega Seamaster, be sure to deal with a trustworthy and reputable dealer. Before buying, always check guarantees, warranties and after-sales service. A good vintage watch dealer will have solid guarantees, like the Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee that we offer at Vintage Gold Watches. 


If you’re considering future resale value, vintage Seamasters are a great choice. The Seamaster is a flagship Omega watch that has been respected for decades. Although a boom is unlikely, you can rest assured that these watches will not lose value and if properly maintained can continue giving accurate time for decades to come. On the other hand, a brand-new Seamaster will depreciate the moment it’s purchased and tend to be much more expensive up-front, adding further weight to the decision to buy vintage.  

As interest in vintage watches continues to grow, the prices of Omega Seamasters have experienced a modest but definite increase. However, they remain on the more affordable side of vintage offerings from esteemed Swiss brands, making it the perfect time to invest. 

The many faces of the Seamaster 

The fact that so many vintage Seamasters remain in the market today has kept prices stable and the wide variety means there’s something for everyone. The ’50s and ’60s were the goldilocks time for design ethos, delicately balancing antique and modern watch aesthetics, making vintage Seamasters from this period hugely appealing. 

Omega Seamaster wristwatch from 1955

A classic ‘beefy lugs’ 34mm 3, 6, 9, 12 dial Omega Seamaster (above), in true homage to the first Seamaster. The squared-off shoulders on a 34mm case give it considerable wrist presence meaning it’s unlikely to disappoint the larger tastes of today. 

Omega Seamaster Automatic in 18ct GoldAnother classic case design emerged soon after the Seamasters’ initial release. These more curved lugs follow the curved profile of the case across the wrist, leaning into the Seamasters’ more dressy side, although still no doubt of its hardy capabilities. 

A lesser seen Seamaster Cosmic Day-Date (above), featuring the Omega calibre 752 with a very early quickset day-date automatic function, showcasing Omega’s innovative spirit. The high-resolution seconds track demonstrates the brand’s confidence in the accuracy of its movements. This tonneau case shape, popularised by the Seamaster, became a defining feature of 1970s watch design. 

Omega Seamaster Gold Bracelet 1966An exceptionally rare feature of this vintage Seamaster is the solid gold integrated bracelet (above). The case design is reminiscent of another vintage Seamaster line, the De Ville, which is characterised by its elegant and refined straight, thin lugs, giving it a dressy appearance. The integration of a precious metal bracelet is a bold and fitting complement to the model. 

Vintage Gold Omega Seamaster Chronograph 321Chronographs! Yes absolutely, the Seamaster provided elapsed timing at sea as early as 1957. The obvious option for a dive timer was the Seamaster 300 sports watch released in the same year, it featured a rotating dive bezel for hands-on divers. But for those unwilling to give up style and prestige when sailing, this Omega Seamaster dress chronograph featured the legendary calibre 321 movement, the very same movement running the Apollo 11 crew’s moon watches. 

Omega Seamaster – In Summary 

For those looking for something stylish and unique on their wrist, the vintage Omega Seamasters scream value, quality and sophistication. They are incredibly well-built watches with lots of life still left in them and are perfectly adept for being worn every day. 

On a final note, some helpful ownership advice for vintage watches; We recommend a routine service every 3-5 years. Fortunately for vintage Omega owners, the brand’s extensive production history ensures a plentiful supply of readily available spare parts, negating the need for an expensive trip to an Omega dealership for maintenance. Another good reason to buy vintage. 

If you’re looking to buy a vintage Omega Seamaster, service a pre-owned watch or want to sell a vintage watch that you own, Vintage Gold Watches can help. Get in touch to discuss your needs, we are always happy to help. 

Alan Wood is a trusted vintage watch dealer with over 35 years of private collecting experience. After founding Vintage Gold Watches in 2011, his deep knowledge and infectious passion for mechanical timepieces earned him a highly respected reputation in the industry. Vintage Gold Watches has become a renowned dealer thanks to Alan’s expertise and skilled team of restorers. Alan’s love for vintage watches started as a young Mechanical Entrepreneur and grew into an obsession. He believes the finest watches were made in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, and he is thrilled to share them with others.