THE ROLEX SUBMARINER VERSUS THE OMEGA SEAMASTER
To be clear, both Rolex and Omega are highly respected luxury watch brands. Both have their aficionados who will say one brand is better than the other – everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, after all. And yet, when you drill a little deeper and look at particular models of watch, then the differences between the two come into a slightly sharper focus compared to their undoubted similarities.
A good case in point is the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster. Both are designed as high-end sports watches, for example. Both are specifically aimed at divers. Both have been in constant production – with various variations to their designs – for decades. Indeed, both have similar-looking designs, superficially at least, and function well as dress watches for most occasions. So, which is better, the Submariner or the Seamaster?
The Bezel and Feel
Although you won't necessarily want to adjust the bezel of your diving watch unless you are actually diving, it is fair to say that one of the things that mark the Submariner out from the Seamaster most is the way this outer bezel rim moves. Simply put, most Submariner models have a more free-flowing, ceramic movement when the bezel is adjusted. Somehow the Omega feels a little clunkier. Of course, this may be of benefit if you are adjusting it underwater or through gloves. However, most owners agree that the bezel adjustment of the Submariner feels more sophisticated when compared to the Seamaster.
Style Options and Price
When it comes to the number of different styles, looks, finishes and other design features, the Seamaster wins hands down. Of course, both are considered to be classic designs – the Seamaster has been in production since 1948, after all. That said, Omega has made more adjustments than Rolex to its diving watch, notably with the Professional Diver 300M Quartz model that featured in the James Bond movie, Goldeneye. According to Bonds of Brentwood, an established dealer of luxury wristwatches, this means buyers see more of what might suit them on the second-hand market if they shop for a Seamaster compared to a Submariner. Given that Submariners typically cost a good deal more than Seamasters even on the used market, this is certainly worth taking into consideration when comparing the two.
Anti-Reflection and Power
Other than the sheer brand recognition that – to many, at least – makes all Rolex watches more desirable than other brands, the Submariner stands out from the Seamaster on another technical note. This is the anti-reflection material that both watches make use of. On the Omega Seamaster, the anti-reflection material is used on the outside of the watch. Although it functions perfectly well, it can become worn over time. Since Rolex puts this material inside the crystal, not on it, it tends to not suffer the same fate.
Finally, it is also worth noting that the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master has a slightly longer power reserve of 55 hours. This compares with 48 hours for an Oyster Perpetual Submariner by Rolex. That’s not a big difference, of course, but it gives the Seamaster a slight edge.