Originally Posted by Lucky Strike
Overrated or not, Antiquorum's "Omegamania" auction probably did a lot to hype the brand. But yes, Omegas command a premium over say, Longines, which is not necessarily justified. Depends on the model. Oh, and ebay is, of course, a minefield when it comes to watches.
I suppose not everyone has a hold of old catalogues. If they do, they may be surprised how cheap mid-tier Omegas went for "back in the days" compared to prestige models from brands like Longines, Bulova, Hamilton, Angelus, UG, or Gubelin. One of the reasons Omega is so prevalent among middle class families has to do with clever advertising and the availability of spare parts. Their crystals and crowns were stocked by every watchmaker in the country. The downside to this, as my uncle a watchmaker and jeweler has shared with me, is the level of franken-surgery performed on vintage Omegas. You'll see mismatched screws that hold down the rotor, mismatched crowns, wrong caseback, etc. Older omega crystals have the tiny logo in the mid center and you'll see ebay auctions advertised an old Omega with original crystal when it's clear that crystal has been replaced by a more generic version. In short, if you go vintage, avoid Omega unless you know better. I collect watches with vintage Valjoux 89 and 90. These movements were built like a tank and served as base caliber for many Pateks. If you can get a hold of any watch with this movement, go for it. They often go for less than $500.