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OMEGA De Ville Co-Axial Chronograph, Rome 1960 Ref. 4841.20.32, introduced as part of the 2004 Olympic Collection
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Tell Me About My OMEGA

How to find out specific information on an OMEGA you own, just inherited, or are considering buying

  1. Identifying a watch--"I've got a ..."
  2. How do I find out more about my current or vintage OMEGA?
  3. How much is my OMEGA watch worth?
  4. Why isn't MY OMEGA specifically covered in the articles here?
  5. Can I get the C.O.S.C. certificate for my OMEGA Chronometer?

Identifying a watch--"I've got a ..."

An extremely common question is someone wanting to know specifics about a watch they have or have seen. Often, the person will try to identify what they have by describing what it looks like. But unfortunately, the most common answer to these question is that the description is so vague or ambigious that it is useless in identifying the watch enough to tell them any more than they already know.

While we understand that people are trying their best, realize that virtually all watches have nearly the same external features. So a novice trying to describe the visible features will seldom mention anything that is sufficiently unique to tell one watch from another. These attempts come off sounding about as bad as trying to describe an exact car model by saying "I have a red Ford from the mid 1970's with a round steering wheel and black tires." Such vague descriptions usually match so many different models and styles that they accomplish nothing.

To get better results from trying to describe your watch to anyone, here are some tips:

  1. The best identifier of a watch is its serial number. Recent OMEGA watches usually carry their serial number somewhere on the back--but they will be in extremely small laser-etched digits requiring a magnifier to read. Older OMEGA watches (and new ones bought from certain illegitimate sources) may only have the serial number on the inside of the watch, requiring a jeweler to open it for you. The serial number itself only means something to OMEGA. See below for more information on having OMEGA look up the details of your watch by its serial number.
  2. The second best identifier of a watch is a photo. An expert seeing a photo of the watch can quickly see which are the unique identifying features of your watch. A photo can often be sufficient to tell if a recent model-style OMEGA is a counterfeit. See the Chronocentric Rogues Gallery for more details.
  3. The third best identifier of a watch is a model number. OMEGA model numbers are not stamped on the watch, but may appear on the box or warranty card. You might think that knowing the model number would be better than having a photograph. But outside of OMEGA, hardly anyone has the ability to look up model numbers older than about 10 years. And since models numbers do not appear on the watches themselves, collectors and vintage watch dealers may not even know the model numbers of watches they have. So like with a serial number, you would need OMEGA to convert many older model numbers into useful information.
  4. Focus on what is truly unique. Virtually all watches have hands, a crown, a logo, a bracelet. Mentioning these is completely pointless unless there is some particularly unique characteristic of them that really stands out different from other watches and that you can clearly describe.
  5. The information printed on the dial is not sufficient for identifying a watch. Except for a few Limited Edition models, the printing on the dial at best identifies the brand and sometimes a broad model line. While this is helpful information, it is far from enough to clearly identify a specific watch.
  6. Model names usually refer to an entire collection, not a single watch design. Even more detailed names like "Seamaster Cosmic 2000," "Constellation Manhattan," "DeVille Symbol," and "OMEGA Geneve" still refer to dozens of related model styles. Only in rare cases was a single style marketed under a particular name--like the "X-33," "Seamaster Ploprof" or one of OMEGA's various Limited Edition series.
  7. Knowing the year the watch was manufactured can be a big help. Styles of watches change over time. So in describing a particular model, it helps greatly to know the year it was made to clarify which of the variations over time you have.

How do I find out more about my current or vintage OMEGA?

OMEGA keeps excellent records on all the watches they have made. As of March 2004, OMEGA has added an outstanding feature on their official website. Their new OMEGA Vintage Information Database allows you to, after a brief registration, look up a lot of details on vintage models. While the initial release of the database is still being filled in with details, the listings are not totally comprehensive. But this is a tremendous leap in customer service which OMEGA deserves high commendation for!

The most readily available piece of inforamtion to identify your watch is its serial number. On most current and recent OMEGA watches, the serial number is on the outside of the watch. Often it is on either the back of the watch or on the back of the lug (the protrusions used to attach a strap or bracelet) closest to the 7 o'clock position. Also, recent models include the serial number on a sticker on the outside of the white pasteboard 'presentation box.' But be sure to double check it--occasionally the white outer box lids get accidentally swapped at the store before you buy the watch.

On older OMEGA watches, you may need a jeweler to open the watch to read the serial number off of either the movement or the inside of the back of the case. Either way, make sure the number you record is 8-digits long, otherwise you may have recorded something besides the serial number.

Any numbers or identification marks on the bracelet of the watch are not part of the model or serial number of the watch. Such markings on the bracelet only identify the bracelet. Watch serial numbers must be on more permanent parts of the watch--such as the case, the case back. or the movement inside the watch.

OMEGA does not stamp model numbers on their watches. Model numbers are subject to change, can be different in different countries, and vary based on dealer swappable parts such as bracelets and straps. So a model number is not a permanent identifier of a watch. But any serial number can be looked up to see what model number the completed watch left the factory as.

Once you have the serial number, go to the official OMEGA website at www.omegawatches.com and select their CUSTOMER SERVICE section. From there select the "VALUE A WATCH" feature and follow the instructions.


How much is my OMEGA watch worth?

There is no simple answer to the value of used and older models. The used watch market varies over time and across countries. Even more critical is the condition of the watch you have.

In general, even the most basic used OMEGA watches in good, clean, and fully operable condition sell in the USA for US $150 to $350 on a strap. Gold models are slightly higher--though not much unless the watch is solid gold. Prices go higher for watches on an original OMEGA bracelet. Most models from the 1980's on will likely sell for a minimum of US $500--up to about 50% of their original retail price. Collectible models (usually based on the watch movement or being a rare or unusual edition) are harder to estimate.

The best places to get an idea of the value of your watch would be to search completed auctions and used watch dealer sites to see what matching or similar models have sold for recently.


Why isn't MY OMEGA specifically covered in the articles here?

Chronocentric would love to provide coverage of every OMEGA model made since they were first introduced in 1848. But the practical reality is that we have neither the time nor the access to resources to research, write articles or obtain photographs of even a small percentage of them. So our primary focus is to cover as much as we can about general OMEGA information and details of recent and current models.

Also, many OMEGA models are actually the same watch with only cosmetic differences -- dial color, bracelet style, different hands and so on. So much of the information here may apply to your watch equally, despite your exact version not being explicity mentioned or shown.

For details of models not covered here, try the Vintage Information section of the official OMEGA website.


Can I get the C.O.S.C. certificate for my OMEGA Chronometer?

Yes. You can request it from OMEGA. But the big question is, why? The certificate itself is fairly meaningless.

  • It really is nothing more than a piece of paper saying the movement in your watch passed quality control. Just like the piece of paper that says 'Inspected by No. 12' that you found in your new pair of underwear.
  • All OMEGA chronometers passed the test. So having a piece of paper saying yours did does not make your watch any different or better than any other chronometer (OMEGA or otherwise).
  • The movement was tested before it was assembled into your watch, so the measurements on the accuracy may no longer be valid.
  • Settling in, normal wear and knocks, and handling in assembly can all change the characteristics of the watch since it was tested.
So do not expect anything staggering or poignant from paying for this certificate. But if it still intrigues you, you can request a copy of the certificate through OMEGA Customer Service in Switzerland.

[Updated: March 2004] To obtain the certificate, OMEGA requests that you send them a copy of your OMEGA international warranty card, which must be dated, fully and correctly completed and stamped by an official OMEGA dealer. You can send your request by fax to +41 32 / 343 98 55 or by postal mail to:

OMEGA Ltd
Customer Service
Rue Staempfli 96
2500 Bienne 4
Switzerland

Like any business, OMEGA cannot read your mind or respond to vague or unstated requests. So be sure to include a letter indicating specifically that you are wanting a copy of the C.O.S.C. Certificate for the specified watch.

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