Omega Seamaster Cosmic: Truly Vintage
The Seamaster Cosmic is a vintage watch that Omega produced from 1966 to 1980. With their simple designs and moderate prices, they are a fantastic entry point into the world of Omega.
Affordable Vintage Omega Watches
Omega has been producing the Seamaster series since 1948. None of the Swiss brand's other current collections can claim such a long history. First introduced in 1966, the Cosmic models played an important role in the Seamaster's history. They proved that the Seamaster could be more than just a pure diving watch. Some Cosmic models look like sporty dress watches, especially those with gold cases. Others have designs that resemble "true" diving watches.
The Seamaster Cosmic collection is diverse. One feature that all Cosmic models share is a simple dial design with line indices and thin baton hands. These dials sit within cases that range from oval to barrel-shaped. There are versions available in stainless steel, solid yellow gold, or with gold plating.
Omega initially crafted the Seamaster Cosmic with "unishell" cases, which have fixed backs. This meant the watch could only be serviced from the front and had a maximum water resistance of 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft). The Cosmic 2000 line saw the introduction of a two-piece case. The movement of these models sits inside an extra case affixed to the outer case using an o-ring. In turn, the crystal and case back are fitted into the case. This construction not only makes repairs easier, but also increases the water resistance to 60 m (6 bar, 197 ft).
As a vintage watch from the 1960s and 70s, it's no surprise that the Seamaster Cosmic feels small by modern standards. Some models are only 33 mm in diameter, though most measure 35 mm across. The Cosmic 2000 "Jumbo" from the mid-70s is a bit larger at 38 mm. Each watch gets its power from a manual or automatic caliber, some with a date or day-date function.
Reasons to Buy a Seamaster Cosmic
- Affordable vintage watches from the 1960s and 70s
- Manual and automatic calibers
- Stainless steel or gold cases
- Early models with "unishell" cases
- Cosmic 2000: A case within a case
Prices at a Glance: Omega Cosmic Watches
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Case type, features|
|166.036||710 USD||Unishell, date and day displays|
|135.017||1,000 USD||Unishell, three-hand watch|
|166.026||990 USD||Unishell, date|
|166.132||1,000 USD||Two-piece, date|
|166.137||2,500 USD||Two-piece, date, diving bezel|
|2471||3,600 USD||Two-piece, triple calendar, moon phase|
|2473||7,100 USD||Two-piece, rose gold, triple calendar, moon phase|
How much does a Seamaster Cosmic cost?
If you're a fan of vintage watches, the Omega Seamaster Cosmic is a good choice for you. This 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. Instead, it has a refined, stylish look that still fits well in the modern world. However, it is best suited to smaller wrists.
Most of the early models come with one of two manual calibers: the 601 or the 613. Omega introduced automatic movements to later generations, including the calibers 552, 562, 565, and 752. Watches with manual calibers are particularly affordable. You can purchase a well-maintained stainless steel model without a date for as little as 600 USD. An automatic timepiece with a date and gold-plated case comes in at an equally moderate 710 USD. You'll have to dig a bit deeper in your pockets for the Cosmic with an 18-karat yellow gold case. Plan to spend between 1,100 and 1,500 USD for one of these watches.
Improved Water Resistance: The Seamaster Cosmic 2000
Omega introduced another watch to the Seamaster Cosmic series in 1972: the Cosmic 2000. It has a larger case (38 mm), which conforms more with modern standards. The 2000 is quite robust; when in good working condition, it is water resistant to 60 m (6 bar, 197 ft).
Most Comic 2000 watches feature the caliber 1012. This automatic movement comes with a date display, 23 jewels, and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (vph). Another common movement is the 1022, which has a day display in addition to a date display. Expect to pay around 1,100 EUR for a stainless steel Cosmic 2000 in good condition. Gold-plated models cost roughly 200 USD more.
There are also 39-mm versions of the Cosmic 2000 available. These models more closely resemble classic diving watches. They have a rotatable bezel, a necessary and classic safety feature on this type of watch. The bezel enables you to track how much time you've spent underwater. However, despite its looks, this version of the Cosmic 2000 has the same water resistance as the other watches in the 2000 series: 60 m (6 bar, 197 ft). The edition with a date demands around 2,500 USD in good condition. Watches with a day display in addition to the date come in at about 2,600 USD.
The Origin of the Seamaster Cosmic's Name
Naming a watch from the Seamaster series "Cosmic" may seem a bit strange and ill-fitting today, but at the time, the Space Race was in full swing. The Soviet Union sent a human into space for the first time in 1961. When the Seamaster Cosmic debuted in 1966, the USA was in the midst of their Apollo program, which had the goal of sending astronauts to the Moon. The public closely followed these technological advances with excitement. From a marketing perspective, it was a logical move to name a new model in honor of this exciting era.
Omega produced the Seamaster Cosmic from 1966 to 1980. The manufacturer ultimately decided to retire the model as a result of struggles caused by the quartz crisis.