Omega and Tudor are among the world’s most popular watch brands, but what’s the difference between these two luxury watch manufacturers? Who has the more diverse and exciting watch collection? Who’s got the edge in terms of quality and design? How do their prices differ? And which of the two watch brands is a better investment? Find out in our Omega vs. Tudor comparison!
The History of Omega and Tudor
Omega are one of the world’s oldest watch brands. The luxury watch manufacturer’s history dates back to 1848, when the then 23-year-old Louis Brandt opened a shop to produce watch parts. The name “Omega” first appeared a while later in 1894, when the company introduced a new pocket watch with a movement they called “Omega.” The name was chosen to emphasize the exceptional quality of the movement: Ω is the last letter in the Greek alphabet and stands for perfection. It wasn’t until 1904 that Omega became the company’s official brand name. The Biel-based watchmaker went on to create some of the most iconic watches of all time. Timepieces like the Omega Seamaster and Omega Constellation have been around for more than 70 years now, and are still part of the Omega catalog today. The brand’s most successful watch is the Omega Speedmaster Professional. Introduced in 1957, the Speedmaster became part of NASA’s standard equipment for astronauts in 1965, and has since accompanied countless missions into space. And what’s more: the Speedmaster is still the only watch to have been worn on the Moon, and was instrumental in the rescue of Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert during the failed Apollo 13 mission in 1970.
From the very beginning, Tudor saw their creations as watches for the humble, hard-working man, and can still only dream of the kind of fame Omega enjoy. The Tudor brand came to be in 1926, and got the attention of Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, who wanted to establish Tudor as a new, more affordable line of Rolex watches and so acquired 100% of the brand’s trademark rights in 1936. Timepieces like the Tudor Submariner not only shared a name and design with its Rolex counterpart, but also many of the same parts, some of which even carried the Rolex logo. However, thanks to the use of off-the-shelf ETA movements, Tudor brand watches could be offered at much lower prices than their Rolex kin. After maintaining a low profile for a while, Tudor made a brilliant comeback in 2012 with the release of the idiosyncratic, vintage-inspired Black Bay. The new watch represented a fresh focus for the company and is now one of the most popular diving watches on the market.
Omega vs. Tudor: Style and Design
The design language of the two brands could hardly be more different. While most Omega watches are modern continuations of the brand’s iconic designs, Tudor watches are primarily reinterpretations of or homages to vintage models from Tudor and Rolex’s back catalogs. But for a few exceptions, Omega watches generally have a more modern look, while Tudor timepieces give off thoroughly vintage vibes. This is also evident in the manufacturer’s overall color palettes: Omega tend to offer cool and occasionally loud dial and bezel colors, while Tudor prefer warmer and muted tones. Even very modern watches like the Tudor Pelagos incorporate subtle references or nods to past models. When it comes to case and bracelet design, the differences between Omega and Tudor become even more pronounced.
Even if Tudor are now more distinct a brand than ever before, there is no denying their Rolex DNA. The cases, bracelets, and redesigned clasp of Tudor’s current line of diving watches bear a strong resemblance to those of the brand with the crown. Not so, of course, with Omega, whose cases and bracelets have a completely unique design that guarantees them a high level of brand recognition.
Omega vs. Tudor: Models and Collections
Omega have a large and varied collection that offers something for everyone. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is easily one of the most exciting diving watches of our time, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is the perfect everyday wearer, and the Omega De Ville Prestige is an insider’s tip if you’re looking for an elegant dress watch made in Switzerland. Of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention watches like the Omega Constellation and Planet Ocean, but the real highlight of the Omega collection is certainly the legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional. The watch’s epic backstory and timeless design have made it one of the most popular and best-loved timepieces of all time.
It’s not surprising that the competition can’t keep up in terms of variety, since their catalog is chiefly dedicated to diving watches. While the Tudor Royal and Tudor 1926 are notable for their agility as daily wearers, the most important models in Tudor’s corral are the Tudor Black Bay introduced in 2012, the extremely popular Tudor Black Bay 58, and the recently released Tudor Black Bay 54. Another popular diver, the Tudor Pelagos, proves that Tudor have much to offer beyond the Black Bay collection. This titanium timepiece is designed for functionality and boasts innovations like a patented clasp that automatically adjusts to fit your wrist.
My colleague Pascal is impressed by Tudor’s tempo and inventiveness. Check out his article: Tudor Black Bay 58 vs. Tudor Black Bay 54.
Omega vs. Tudor: Quality and Technology
As for quality, both brands know how to win over enthusiasts by offering everything you’d expect from a luxury watch, including a great finish and excellent haptics. You’ll want to wear your timepiece all the time, because it looks and feels luxurious. It goes without saying that a big-name brand like Omega uses its own in-house movements, but they’re also especially committed to magnetic resistance. Omega’s in-house Co-Axial caliber is METAS-certified, promises precision timekeeping with only 0 to +/-5 seconds of deviation per day, and can withstand magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss. Tudor still equips a few of their models with Sellita movements, but most of their watches are powered by a COSC-certified, in-house caliber that can hold its own against those produced by larger brands. Tudor also offer a METAS-certified movement, which can be found inside both the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic and the brand-new Black Bay standard model. Should we take this as a sign that Tudor are trying to close the gap with Omega?
Omega vs. Tudor: Pricing and Value Retention
It’s hardly surprising that Tudor are incredibly popular with novices and seasoned watch collectors alike. While the two brands are surprisingly similar in terms of quality and technology, Tudor and Omega are very different when it comes to price. Despite their similarities, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M currently has a list price of $6,900, while the newest Tudor Black Bay demands a markedly smaller investment of just $4,600. Even if Omega have the edge in terms of prestige, Tudor are unbeatable when it comes to value for money.
In terms of value retention, the two rivals are again neck and neck. Popular models from both brands perform extremely well, dropping very little in value (if at all) and quickly finding buyers on the secondary market.
Have Tudor surpassed Omega?
There’s no doubt about it: Tudor are on the fast track. And with the expansion of the Black Bay collection, an increasing reliance on in-house calibers, and the new METAS-certified movement, Tudor have clearly set their sights on the success of industry heavyweights like Breitling and Omega. The company operates independently of Rolex, to create inspired and inspiring, high-quality timepieces with vintage designs and fair prices. Nevertheless, I think Omega still have the upper hand. For one, the luxury watchmaker has a much more varied collection than Tudor, and watches like the Speedmaster Professional and Seamaster Diver have long enjoyed legendary status among fans. That said, I’m confident that Tudor will continue to generate excitement within the watch industry, owing to their innovative concepts and timeless appeal.