- Historical Seamaster with a 60s design
- Round dial with a slightly oval case
- Diving watch design on the Cosmic 2000, reference number ST166.137
- Earlier versions with a Unicoc case
- Cosmic 2000: One case housed in another case
Exemplifying Omega's Quality
has offered the Seamaster series since 1948. This Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has no other current collection with such a long history. The Cosmic models, first introduced in 1966
, were an important episode in the Seamaster's history: They confirmed the Seamaster series featured more than just pure diving watches. Some Cosmic models look just like sporty dress watches
, especially those with gold cases. Others have designs that resemble a real diving watch.
The Seamaster Cosmic comes in a wide variety of versions. If you are looking for a common feature, however, look to their baton hands and stick indices. These features give every watch a simple, neutral look.
Although the Cosmic timepieces have a round dial, each is paired with a tonneau-shaped case. In the first years of production, the case was made of one piece and nicknamed "Unicoc." Its size reflects the taste of the time. While modern men's watches with a diameter of less than 40 mm are the exception, they're the rule for the Seamaster Cosmic. Some models from the 1960s have a diameter of only 33 mm, which is now a standard size for a women's watch. Versions with 34-mm and 35-mm diameters were also produced.
Naming a watch from the Seamaster series Cosmic may seem a bit strange and ill-fitting today, but at the time, space flight was at its pinnacle. The Soviet Union sent a human into space for the first time in 1961. When the Seamaster Cosmic was introduced in 1966, the USA was in the midst of their Apollo program with the goal of landing on the Moon. The public closely followed these technological advances with excitement. From a marketing standpoint, it was a logical move to name a new model after this exciting time in space exploration.
The Seamaster Cosmic 2000
Omega introduced another watch to the Seamaster Cosmic series in 1972: the Cosmic 2000. It had a larger case (38 mm) and still appears quite massive today. The 2000 is considered quite robust. When in good working condition, it is waterproof to 60 m (6 bar).
The Cosmic watches are often powered by the caliber 1012, an automatic movement with a date display, 23 jewel bearings, and a frequency of 28,800 alternations per hour (4 Hz). It has a diameter of 27.9 mm and is relatively thin, with a thickness of only 4.25 mm. Another frequently used movement is the 1022, which has a day of the week display in addition to a date display. Like the Cosmic 2000 itself, these calibers are proof of Omega's excellent quality standards. The movements used in the Cosmic 2000 were first introduced in 1972.
The Cosmic 2000's movement is set in an extra case, called the container. The container is then affixed to an outer case (jaquette) with the help of a gasket. The glass and case back are press-fitted onto the watch. You don't notice this unusual construction until you've taken the watch apart. In order to disassemble the watch, you push the container forwards out of the outer case. The watch should only be opened by a professional or someone with extensive experience, especially seeing as the first step involves pulling out and removing the crown.
There are also 39-mm versions
of the Cosmic 2000 which are designed as more classic diving watches. They have a rotatable bezel
, a necessary and typical feature of underwater watches. The bezel allows you to read how much time you've spent underwater. The zero marker on the bezel is matched up with the minute hand and the scale on the bezel allows you to time how long you've been underwater. However, looks aside, this version of the Cosmic 2000 with reference number ST166.137 is just as waterproof as the other watches in the 2000 series: 60 m (6 bar). Usually, diving watches are waterproof to 200 m.
Notable is the watch's use of mineral glass
to cover its dial. Up until the 1960s, synthetic glass was the standard. It was used on the famous Omega Speedmaster Professional
which flew to the Moon. Plexiglas doesn't split, which is a safety advantage. However, it's not very resistant to scratches or pressure. Thus, the use of mineral glass on the Cosmic 2000 was considered an improvement.
Automatic movements dominated the scene in the 1970s, but older versions of the Cosmic have manual calibers. It's often the Omega 601 caliber that powers these manual watches. It vibrates at 19,800 A/h, has a 48-hour power reserve, and was produced from 1962 to 1970.
Which Omega Seamaster Cosmic should I buy?
If you're a fan of vintage watches, then the Omega Seamaster Cosmic is a good choice. The watch is over 40 years old and has a good reputation. You can tell it's a bit older by its design, although it doesn't come off as old-fashioned or antiquated. Rather, it has a refined, stylish look and fits well in the modern world. It is better suited for smaller wrists.
The watch's price is also quite attractive; you can purchase this watch for a relatively small amount. A Cosmic or Cosmic 2000 only costs around 500 euros. Watches in particularly good condition with a stainless steel case cost around 1,000 euros. If you'd prefer a Seamaster Cosmic with an 18-karat yellow gold case, then you should set aside around 2,000 euros.
If you want to use your Seamaster Cosmic as a diving watch, you should proceed with caution. Completely new, the Cosmic 2000 was waterproof to 60 meters. However, decades later, it's risky to simply wear the watch while swimming or diving without having it checked. If you want to take it underwater, you should have its gaskets changed and its waterproofness tested by a watchmaker.
A current Omega watch that is quite similar to the Seamaster Cosmic is the Globemaster
, a dress watch with retro design elements.
The Seamaster series was never as closely associated with the term diving watch as Rolex's Submariner
series is. The Cosmic is proof of that, as most versions aren't very waterproof and don't have a rotatable bezel.
When the Seamaster
was first introduced in 1948, it was an everyday watch. It only evolved into a diving watch with the Seamaster 300 in 1957 (reference number CK2913); the same watch that would later inspire the Cosmic 2000 with a rotating bezel. Omega continued to produce Seamaster models that didn't fit neatly into the category of diving watch, such as the De Ville. Today, the De Ville
has its own dress watch collection.
The Seamaster Cosmic was produced until 1980. Towards the end of its production, it suffered due to the Quartz Crisis. At the time, mechanical watches didn't seem to have a future. However, this version has made a comeback on the vintage market in recent years.