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Rolex vs Omega (2020): Which Luxury Watch Brand Is The Better Investment?

When it comes to luxury watches, the first two names that usually come to mind are Rolex and Omega. These two Swiss watch brands are constantly being pitted against each other because they’re both pretty iconic, having made impressive contributions in terms of innovation, technology, design, and quality. Because they’re both legendary in their own right, this makes it quite difficult to choose between the two, especially if you’re a beginner to the world of luxury watches. To help make sure that you end up making the right purchase, here’s an in-depth comparison of Rolex and Omega, taking prestige, quality, secondhand value, and availability into consideration.ย 

Rolex vs Omega Comparison Chart

ModelRolexOmega
 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 116613Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42mm Men's Watch 311.30.42.30.01.005
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
HeadquartersSwitzerlandSwitzerland
Warranty5 years5 years
CertificationsCOSC, tested in Rolex’s own labsCOSC, METAS
Most Popular ModelsSubmariner, Daytona, GMT-MasterSpeedmaster, Seamaster

Prestige

Omega can’t compete with Rolex when it comes to prestige.

Rolex is always associated with success.

When it comes to history, both Rolex and Omega have a lot to brag about. Omega can say that it’s the official watch of NASA and that it’s the first to have ever gone as far as the moon. As for Rolex, it can counter that by saying that it was the first to have ever reached the peak of Mt. Everest, the one to have invented the waterproof wristwatch, and the one often spotted on the wrists of the world’s most iconic individuals.

While both brands have accomplished some pretty impressive feats, Rolex has to win this round. Rolex is the single most recognized luxury watch brand in the world and its prestige is just something that Omega can’t compete with. Everyone knows what Rolex is and it’s always associated with success. Sporting a Rolex on your wrist gives out an “I’ve made it” vibe. 

Quality Control and Accuracy

Rolex has better quality control but is tied with Omega when it comes to accuracy. 

It’s more common to find small imperfections on Omega watches than Rolex watches.

As a rule of thumb, the more expensive a luxury watch brand is, the better its quality control. This can definitely be observed when comparing Rolex and Omega, with the former being more expensive than the latter. While both brands are sticklers for quality and excellence, it’s more common to see small imperfections such as scratches, dust on the dial, and paint splatters on Omega watches as compared to Rolex watches. This is the trade-off you get for shelling out less money if you choose to go with Omega. 

While Rolex’s quality control is slightly more reliable than that of Omega’s, these two brands are tied when it comes to accuracy. Omega watches are first certified by COSC (the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) and once they pass this test, they’re then certified by METAS (the Federal Institute of Metrology). This means that they’re certified twice and are made to go through 8 different tests that measure their accuracy, durability, and quality. As for Rolex watches, they’re also certified by COSC, after which they’re tested in Rolex’s very own labs. Rolex’s standards surpass those of other watchmaker’s and so you can be sure that its watches are accurate and reliable. 

Secondhand Value

Rolex watches are able to hold their value better than Omega watches.

Rolex watches are able to hold their value well while Omega watches lose 20% to 40% of their value within the first year.

Rolex watches have proven to be great investments, with the vast majority of the models able to hold their value pretty well. Vintage Rolex watches, in particular, have skyrocketed in price, some by a hundred or even a thousand percent. So why are Rolex watches able to retain their worth? Well, the demand for them is always there, they’re seen as classic and iconic pieces, they’re able to withstand the test of time, and they’re considered the best among the rest. Of course, it’s hard to predict the market and some Rolex models that people have been expecting to shoot up in value don’t end up doing so. But in general, the value of Rolex watches tend to remain stable.

As for Omega watches, they decrease in value right away after buying them at full retail price, losing about 20% to 40% within the first year. The depreciation depends on the demand for the model regardless of whether it’s new or worn. So if you’re concerned about secondhand value, it would be best to go for Omega’s most popular models such as the Speedmaster or the Seamaster. Both are able to retain their value in the secondhand market quite well because the demand for them is generally always high. These models come with a bunch of variations but it seems like the standard versions are the ones that are able to keep their value up.

Availability

Omega wins against Rolex when it comes to availability.

You don’t have to put yourself down on a waiting list if you’re buying an Omega watch.

If availability is one of the most important considerations for you when choosing a luxury watch, you’re not going to get that with Rolex. It prides itself on exclusivity and so you can’t just walk into a Rolex store and expect to come out with a Submariner on your wrist. If you want to get your hands on one of Rolex’s steel Professional models, you’re going to have to get yourself on the waiting list and it could take several years before it’s your turn. While the lack of availability does give off a sense of rarity, it can be a turn off for some people who have gotten tired of waiting.

Omega is the clear winner when it comes to availability. If it has been your dream to own a Seamaster, you can easily make that come true by visiting an official Omega retailer and getting yourself one. No waiting lists, just instant gratification. So if you don’t have the time or patience for a Rolex, you can always turn to Omega for your luxury watch needs. Of course, if it’s a limited edition timepiece that you’re eyeing (aka the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M “James Bond” Limited Edition 2020), then you should probably hurry because Omega only makes a number of those.

Verdict

Choose Rolex if you want prestige and quality but pick Omega if you want availability.

Many out there dream of one day owning a Rolex and it’s no mystery why. There’s so much prestige attached to these watches and so having one wrapped around your wrist will definitely make you feel like a million bucks. There’s also the fact that imperfections are hard to come by on Rolex watches, thanks to the company’s excellent quality control. To boot, Rolex watches are able to hold their value very well in the secondhand market, making them great investment pieces. That said, you do have to be prepared to shell out quite a hefty sum of money if you want to sport a Rolex. You also have to be extremely patient because there are waiting lists involved if you’re going for its Professional models.

As for Omega, it’s slightly cheaper than Rolex, making it the better choice for you if you don’t want to give your wallet the shock of its life. Another great thing about Omega is that its models are readily available, saving you from the hassle of having to wait years before you can wear and enjoy your new luxury watch. But because Omega is the more affordable option, that also means that its quality control isn’t comparable to Rolex’s and so you might find a few small imperfections here and there. There’s also the fact that Omega watches tend to lose quite a bit of their value the moment you buy them at full retail price.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which brand holds more prestige, Rolex or Omega?

While both brands are able to boast of impressive feats, Rolex wins this one. It’s the single most recognized luxury watch brand in the world and its prestige is just something that Omega can’t compete with. Everyone knows what Rolex is and it’s always associated with success.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which brand has better quality control, Rolex or Omega?

Rolex has better quality control than Omega. While both brands are sticklers for quality and excellence, it’s more common to see small imperfections such as scratches, dust on the dial, and paint splatters on Omega watches as compared to Rolex watches.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which brand has better secondhand value, Rolex or Omega?

Rolex watches have proven to be great investments, with the vast majority of the models able to hold their value pretty well. As for Omega, its watches tend to lose 20% to 40% of their value within the first year.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which brand has better availability, Rolex or Omega?

Omega wins when it comes to availability. While you have to wait in line for Rolex’s professional models, you can simply walk into an official Omega retailer and buy the model you want.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose
Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.