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With the holidays coming up, you may be in the mood to gift something exquisite. For a present that is sure to evoke a reaction, a luxury watch is a timeless symbol of function and style all rolled into one fantastic gift. In the watchmaking world, you will likely run into two major brands, Omega and Rolex, which may lead you to ask yourself, “When it comes to Omega vs Rolex, which one is the right one for my special someone?” Find out a little bit more about each brand, their collections, and what watch will fit best for the person on your mind.
Founded by Louis Brandt in 1848 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Omega has since grown to become one of the most well-known watch brands in the world. Omega has been featured in popular films including a part of the James Bond series, Skyfall starring Daniel Craig and Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks. Other past and current A-list celebrities who have donned the Omega brand include Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Prince William, and George Clooney.
What’s the most expensive Omega watch ever made? That would be the Omega watch named The Constellation Baguette. The Constellation Baguette features a total of 30 carats of diamonds, 459 Wesselton diamonds, 146 baguette and trapeze cut diamonds, with a structure made of 18-carat white gold set on a mother of pearl background. The Rolex Constellation Baguette is priced at over $700,000.
Omega is an incredible watch brand that offers four main categories of watches available: Constellation, Seamaster, Speedmaster, and De Ville. Materials and metals featured on their watches range from gold, white gold, rose gold, red gold, steel, silver, platinum, and others.
Constellation: The Constellation line features watches with a simple bezel and bracelet rung tied together with the signature Constellation star towards the bottom of the face. Some watches from this line offer an annual calendar, while others have a date window available. Watches from this collection are made available from 25mm (smaller wrist size) to 41mm (larger wrist size). A wonderful choice for those who crave simple design.
Seamaster: Watches within the Seamaster collection offer a bolder look with thicker lines and options of a co-axial, day-date, chronometer, or chronograph face style. These watches favor a larger face and offer sizes of 28mm up to 55 x 48mm. The Seamaster would be great for that special someone who likes to stand out.
Speedmaster: The Speedmaster line of watches is most famously known for being the first watch on the moon in 1969 when astronaut Buzz Aldrin chose to wear the Speedmaster, eventually nicknamed The Moonwatch. Watches in this collection offer a strong presence and come equipped with co-axial chronograph, chronograph, and moonphase chronograph models available. Sizes offered range between 38mm and up to 43 x 53mm. For the science-obsessed, you can’t go wrong with any one of the Speedmaster selections.
De Ville: The De Ville collection features Omega watches that lean on the feminine side and showcase intricate designs and delicate features. The watches within the De Ville line are made of exquisite materials such as diamonds, scratch‑resistant sapphire crystal, and mother-of-pearl. Sizes within the De Ville collection run on the smaller side and range between 24.4mm and 44mm. For those who like to be the center of attention, any watch from the De Ville collection should be your go-to.
Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in 1905 in London. Rolex launched their line of watches beginning with the Oyster model in 1926. At the time, pocket watches were more in style, but Wilsdorf wanted to revolutionize the watch-making world by offering an alternative, a watch that could be worn on the wrist as both a fashionable statement that had functionality. Now headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Rolex is known around the world for its beautiful watches. Rolex has also donned the wrists of celebrities such as “Cry Me A River” star Justin Timberlake, Ellen DeGeneres, and the Kardashian clan.
The most expensive Rolex ever sold to-date is Paul Newman's Rolex Cosmograph Daytona given to him by his wife and actress, Joanne Woodward. The watch has waterproof capabilities, an art deco face, and has a tachymetric scale on the bezel for accurately measuring average speed. Paul Newman's Rolex Cosmograph Daytona sold for $17.8 million in 2017.
Rolex is known for its signature crown placed on the windup screw portion of each watch. The crown screw ensures its waterproof capabilities by sealing the watch when it is properly in place. Rolex offers a whopping 15 models, each with their own unique qualities.
Datejust: The Datejust takes on a classic look and comes in several styles and sizes. You can even choose a gem setting to go with the classic demeanor of this collection.
Day-Date: The Day-Date line of watches by Rolex is perfect for the poised professional. Available only in 18-carat gold or platinum, Day-Date watches show the day of the week and date along with the time.
Cellini: Inspired by classicism, the Cellini opts for a more contemporary style, combining function with artistic flair all in one amazing timepiece. A great choice for those who would love something a bit different.
Lady-Datejust: Melded to fit just about any fashion of choice, the Lady-Datejust collection goes with any outfit for the fashionista in your life.
Pearlmaster: On the more extravagant side, Pearlmaster watches showcase tons of diamonds and offer a truly unique sparkle within a feminine setting.
Oyster Perpetual: A classic choice, the Oyster Perpetual is simple and features a Rolex signature material, Oystersteel. Simple and elegant for anyone on your list.
Sky-Dweller: For those who are always on the go, the Sky-Dweller offers a date window and can be set to two different time zones.
Yacht-Master: Favored by those who love the ocean air, the signature Yacht-Master has a unique design that features a regatta chronograph built for yachting competitions.
Cosmograph Daytona: Made for professional racing drivers, the Cosmograph Daytona line offers highly reliable chronograph and bezel with tachymetric scale, allowing drivers to accurately measure speed as needed.
Submariner: Another simple design that favors a bold face, the Rolex Submariner would make an amazing gift for someone who sees the beauty in an icon.
Sea-Dweller: Made to survive extreme deep sea exploration, the Sea-Dweller would make an ideal gift for someone who likes to live their life on the edge.
Explorer: For the one who dreams of adventure, the Explorer has a date display, 24-hour hand and fixed bezel with 24-hour graduations, and is made for night excursions.
GMT-Master II: Recognized for its red and blue ceramic setting, the GMT-Master II is another option for the traveler in your life. Available in other precious metals, you can’t go wrong with this line.
Air-King: An ode to aviation, the Air-King has a black dial and large numeral markings, fitting for those who just want the basics.
Milgauss: Optimal for scientists who work in magnetic fields, the Milgauss can withstand magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. Even if you are shopping for someone who is not a scientist, the clean lines and black or electric blue dial make it a fine choice.
Rolex and Omega are both astonishing brands with their own one-of-a-kind craftsmanship and history. With the holiday season in full swing, it is the perfect time to show that standout person in your life that you care. Doing so with a Rolex or Omega timepiece sets the bar for the the festive season of giving and will surely be a gift they can cherish for generations to come. If you are still unsure in your debate between Omega vs Rolex, come see these gorgeous collections in person at our Karat 22 Jewelers location off of Hillcroft Avenue. We will help guide you to the watch that is sure to wow this holiday season!