Rolex and Omega go head to head as C’Q the Watch Guy breaks down the similarities and differences between the two brands. Tune in to The Classroom to learn more about the nuances.
There’s no secret that Rolex and Omega are two of the biggest if not the biggest, brands in the watch industry. Although their products differ, they’re constantly fighting for the same piece of the pie. A big separation between the brands happened during the quartz crisis, however, that separation lessened over time.
Before the 1970s, Omega was known for producing mid- to high-tier dressy or tool watches, while Rolex was already making waterproof cases, Oyster watches, and developing systems to make a true automatic rotor vs. the bumper system they had before. Both brands were coming up with cool watches and unique patents that really helped establish them as watches for the everyday person.
The Quartz Crisis (0:58)
At the time, Rolex was owned by The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation meaning they could work for themselves. While the quartz crisis raged, many other brands were making battery-operated watches and digital watches as Rolex stayed their course making mechanical watches, not having to cater to any board of directors or investors. On the other hand, Omega went down a different path, trying to go head-to-head with brands like Seiko who were producing quartz movements which did not pan out well, leading them to nearly close their doors.
Omega’s Comeback (2:37)
Omega was bought out by a group that really helped them keep moving forward as a brand after the Quartz Crisis. Soon afterward, they came up with the co-axial escapement which cemented their stakes in the game. Despite their downfalls, Omega can be applauded for their experimental spirit with the Speedmaster series in particular.
See who takes the crown when you watch the full episode of The Classroom.