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Thread: Buying a secondhand Omega Seamaster

  1. #1

    Buying a secondhand Omega Seamaster

    I have recently been looking at Seamaster's, more specifically, 41mm Seamaster's, with a view to a possible purchase some time in the future. Budget wise would be around £2k & there seems to be quite a few options....

    Firstly do you go the classic blue? Which tbh is the way I am leaning at the moment........I think.

    Quartz or Auto? Now for around £2k it appears you can get a very good condition quartz (a newer watch ie Seamaster logo in red, 2010 onwards I believe, but stand to be corrected) or a lot older & maybe not so mint condition Automatic.

    For slightly below £2k there are other polished steel Seamaster's or black Seamaster variants, the black with wave dial is still very appealing....

    For my £2k'ish budget I am leaning towards the newer (red Seamaster logo) Quartz in the classic blue bezel, blue wave dial format. Is there anything to watch out for specifically when looking at second hand variants apart from the usual buyer beware etc?

    Would I be making a big mistake going down the quartz route? I'm thinking value, desirability etc? I've also been on the Omega website & as far as I can see they don't make a quartz Seamaster anymore. Does anyone know if that is indeed the case? They don't seem to come up that often on SC either that often, which I guess is a good sign.

  2. #2
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Depends what takes your fancy.

    I am a big fan of the older Seamasters and have a quartz and auto version in black and blue.

    IMO the black version with sword hands is the pick of the bunch.

    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  3. #3
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    The quartz Omegas using the 1538 movement have utility benefits* and do seem to have gone up in value a lot in the past year (along with most other Veblen assets) but there is a slight snobbiness about them so if and when a downturn ever comes, they may show the price falls the most. Your post suggests you think the classic blue Bond is the most expensive model, in fact that isnt so. The black dial 2254/64 versions command a higher price, as do the GMTs and maybe a couple of other flavours too. You should still be able to get a nice Auto Bond SMP at or slightly less than £2K. I would want to pay less for a quartz one personally.

    Note that when the Bond design changed in 2008 and gained the red SM text, while the auto had the dubious upgrade to the 2500 coax movement, the quartz continued to use the same 1538 ETA movement so there all the changes are cosmetic, mostly just in new applied metal logo, red SM text and raised lume plot surrounds, rather like the earlier non-AC model had in fact (red text excluded).

    *They are great for grab and go and the quickset hour hand feature is brilliant for travel.
    Last edited by Padders; 6th January 2022 at 18:21.

  4. #4
    Master Tetlee's Avatar
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    I don't think you can go wrong with quartz or auto, just go for which suits your lifestyle better as there isn't much difference between them price wise these days.

    Seeing as you seem to like red details and with your budget, an average condition 2538.20 should be achievable if you like the style. Thought worth a shout as gives another option.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    Depends what takes your fancy.

    I am a big fan of the older Seamasters and have a quartz and auto version in black and blue.

    IMO the black version with sword hands is the pick of the bunch.

    Interesting you have both the quartz & the auto yet you say 'IMO the black version with sword hands is the pick of the bunch'. As far as I can see that would be the Quartz over the Auto.

    I do like the GMT but the only complication I am after is a date, not really a fan of the chrono (looks a bit too fussy to me) losing the classic Seamaster face.

    Looking again at the dials I notice it seems to be only the blue dial with the dots & battens as markers also I like the skeleton hands on the blue, they are a bit different to the norm. Many years ago I nearly bought the Americas Cup Ltd edition & I've looked again at them as there never seems to be much, if any, difference in price for many of Omegas' limited editions, but still find myself preferring the blue.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 97BlackC5 View Post
    Interesting you have both the quartz & the auto yet you say 'IMO the black version with sword hands is the pick of the bunch'. As far as I can see that would be the Quartz over the Auto.

    I do like the GMT but the only complication I am after is a date, not really a fan of the chrono (looks a bit too fussy to me) losing the classic Seamaster face.

    Looking again at the dials I notice it seems to be only the blue dial with the dots & battens as markers also I like the skeleton hands on the blue, they are a bit different to the norm. Many years ago I nearly bought the Americas Cup Ltd edition & I've looked again at them as there never seems to be much, if any, difference in price for many of Omegas' limited editions, but still find myself preferring the blue.
    The sword hands version with the block indices is available as both black 2254/64 (Auto/Quartz) and also several other variants including the electric blue dial with polished bezel 2255/65 etc. As you say that style also includes the America's Cup and the so called 'Non - America's Cup' variants, those both have white gold bezel inserts.

    The skeleton hands (AKA Bond) model was actually available from 2008 onwards with a black dial and the red text, that model is called the 212.30.41.20.01.002, memorable I am sure you will agree. I have one, the skeleton hands may look distinctive but they are a bit useless at time telling in the dark as the lume area is much smaller than the swords hands which are full of lume. This is a major failing with the Bond style while the swords hands style has some of the brightest lume of any watch out there.

    This may be worth a look for an idea of the variety of models:

    http://www.smpwatches.com/database/seamaster-300/
    Last edited by Padders; 7th January 2022 at 09:50.

  7. #7
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    I have a 2230.50 with a PO bezel. It's one of my favorite watches. I say get one with sword hands. The 41mm Seamasters are just the right size for me.



    There's more detail in the dial that's not visible in my picture - but there are plenty of other pictures that show that.

  8. #8
    Master Kaffe's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=chrysogonus;5908529]




    That's an interesting mod. I like that very much.

  9. #9
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    I love my full sized quartz - a great grab and go- got lucky on eBay quite a few years ago with this - it was in excellent condition
    This (I think) is the earlier version, the red text variant came after - the Brosnan quartz - my mate has the black dialled version
    Good luck
    Untitled by biglewie, on Flickr

  10. #10
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    The Seamaster GMT is another option, but they have also gone up in price recently. Watch out for any with cracked lume on the 12 triangle. This is mine (sans cracking, luckily).

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaffe View Post

    That's an interesting mod. I like that very much.
    Thanks. I always wanted to try it with the black bond bezel to see what that looked like but I missed my chance to buy one before omega started restricted parts. Although maybe I could order one directly from omega - haven't tried that yet.

  12. #12
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    OP: You may want to check how the bracelet feels, as the original SMP has no quick change mechanism- relying on 1/2 links for fit. If you can get 2 1/2, links they add up to slightly less than 1 link so help with a good fit.
    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly soĒ. HHGTTG

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    OP: You may want to check how the bracelet feels, as the original SMP has no quick change mechanism- relying on 1/2 links for fit. If you can get 2 1/2, links they add up to slightly less than 1 link so help with a good fit.
    That is good to know, I have a Longines Hydroconquest, lovely watch but the bracelet has the same issue, when adjusting for fit its either too tight or just a fraction too lose The bracelet on the Seamaster is all part of the appeal for me, as its only on the Seamaster & no other models (as far as I can tell). I may have to take a trip to an Omega outlet to try a few on.......

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 97BlackC5 View Post
    That is good to know, I have a Longines Hydroconquest, lovely watch but the bracelet has the same issue, when adjusting for fit its either too tight or just a fraction too lose The bracelet on the Seamaster is all part of the appeal for me, as its only on the Seamaster & no other models (as far as I can tell). I may have to take a trip to an Omega outlet to try a few on.......
    I think the braclet is comfy but as has been said 2 x 1/2 links and slightly bigger than 1 single link
    Also I believe the a latter (SMP ?) adjustable clasp can be retro fitted to give that perfect fit Iím sure the part number is 0117STZ001154 but you may need some further end links depending on which SMP you go for

  15. #15
    Master Incredible Sulk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewie View Post
    I think the braclet is comfy but as has been said 2 x 1/2 links and slightly bigger than 1 single link
    Also I believe the a latter (SMP ?) adjustable clasp can be retro fitted to give that perfect fit Iím sure the part number is 0117STZ001154 but you may need some further end links depending on which SMP you go for
    I had three or maybe four older SMPs and ended up moving them on because I could never get a good fit on the bracelet, no matter how many half links I put in. I then got hold of one of the adjustable clasps - that made all the difference.

    I'm sitting here typing this wearing a current model SMP (a 210.30.42.20.06.001 FWIW). My wrists vary in size quite a lot during the day, so I'm varying the size of the bracelet by anything up to three notches during the day for a perfect fit. I'm probably in a minority, but I woudn't wear a watch with an unadjustable bracelet ever again.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padders View Post
    The quartz Omegas using the 1538 movement have utility benefits* and do seem to have gone up in value a lot in the past year (along with most other Veblen assets) but there is a slight snobbiness about them so if and when a downturn ever comes, they may show the price falls the most. Your post suggests you think the classic blue Bond is the most expensive model, in fact that isnt so. The black dial 2254/64 versions command a higher price, as do the GMTs and maybe a couple of other flavours too. You should still be able to get a nice Auto Bond SMP at or slightly less than £2K. I would want to pay less for a quartz one personally.

    Note that when the Bond design changed in 2008 and gained the red SM text, while the auto had the dubious upgrade to the 2500 coax movement, the quartz continued to use the same 1538 ETA movement so there all the changes are cosmetic, mostly just in new applied metal logo, red SM text and raised lume plot surrounds, rather like the earlier non-AC model had in fact (red text excluded).

    *They are great for grab and go and the quickset hour hand feature is brilliant for travel.
    I have a 2012 quartz SMP 300 which I really like and wear a lot more than I wear my Submariner.

    As said above the quickset hour hand is really good for travel.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    OP: You may want to check how the bracelet feels, as the original SMP has no quick change mechanism- relying on 1/2 links for fit.
    Agree, vital advice this. I could never get the bracelet on my SMP to fit well so after having it on various natos, Isofrane etc I have it on a Forstner 1450 (which has clasp micro adjustment and three stretch links), with which I'm very pleased.

  18. #18
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    I really like my 2254, very comfortable on either a bracelet or rubber, amazing lume with wave dial, a very well made and finished watch.

    While Iím very fond of Rolex the 2254 sometimes feels like it gives me more freedom, there is no stigma attached to it, not so much money on the wrist in yet it still feels like an equivalent watch in every other way.

    The 2254s have not been made for a long time now with many being refinished to poor standards, get yourself a good one and it will be a pleasure to own..



  19. #19
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    Sent you 2 pms with regards to a 2264 I may let go,not sure if you read your messages!,if not maybe have a look.

    Paul


  20. #20
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    I love my 2254, my first proper watch. I bought it from Watchfinder in 2008. It was a 2007 model, box, papers & a year left on the Omega warranty. Cost me £895 so I reckon I did alright, seeing what they are fetching now.
    It's a great watch, as good as the Submariner but attracts no attention & you don't see them every day like you do Submariners.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy2254 View Post
    I love my 2254, my first proper watch. I bought it from Watchfinder in 2008. It was a 2007 model, box, papers & a year left on the Omega warranty. Cost me £895 so I reckon I did alright, seeing what they are fetching now.
    It's a great watch, as good as the Submariner but attracts no attention & you don't see them every day like you do Submariners.
    You cant just make a flippant remark saying its as good as a Submariner!!.

    You need to open a discussion in watch talk asking which is better.......err joking.

    Which Sub...


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    You cant just make a flippant remark saying its as good as a Submariner!!.

    You need to open a discussion in watch talk asking which is better.......err joking.

    Which Sub...
    It is COSC certified & 300m w/r. As far as styling goes I think the Submariner is an undisputed classic but the 2254 reminds me of the Seamasters used by the RN in the 60s & 70s so that's a big plus for me.
    I also have a James Cameron so I think I get the best of both brands.

  23. #23
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    For me, the older ĎBondí style (no surround, painted hour markers) is the classic version, in the same way a matt dial 5513 is the classic Submariner. After all, who would prefer a later Sub with the raised indices?
    However, I have a slight preference for the black/sword hands Seamaster (2254.50) which seems to be equally or more desirable - itís certainly more rare. I have excellent examples of both of these Seamasters and they are firm keepers.

  24. #24
    Craftsman kinyik's Avatar
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    Buying a secondhand Omega Seamaster

    [QUOTE=kinyik;5910795]I have a SMPc,the first of the ceramic seamasters, and much prefer the 2254 being recommended by posters above. The sword hands and the matte dial just look the part. In the end I found a planet ocean (ones with the 2500 calibre) and couldnít be happier. Have you had a look at the planet oceans? Could be had for a little more than a full set 2254.
    Last edited by kinyik; 9th January 2022 at 23:17.

  25. #25
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    [QUOTE=kinyik;5910795]
    Quote Originally Posted by kinyik View Post
    I have a SMPc,the first of the ceramic seamasters, and much prefer the 2254 being recommended by posters above. The sword hands and the matte dial just look the part. In the end I found a planet ocean (ones with the 2500 calibre) and couldnít be happier. Have you had a look at the planet oceans? Could be had for a little more than a full set 2254.
    The PO is a nice watch too but itís chunkier in all aspects.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrysogonus View Post
    I have a 2230.50 with a PO bezel. It's one of my favorite watches. I say get one with sword hands. The 41mm Seamasters are just the right size for me.



    There's more detail in the dial that's not visible in my picture - but there are plenty of other pictures that show that.
    Did you replace just the bezel, or also the crystal?

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy2254 View Post
    I love my 2254, my first proper watch. I bought it from Watchfinder in 2008. It was a 2007 model, box, papers & a year left on the Omega warranty. Cost me £895 so I reckon I did alright, seeing what they are fetching now.
    It's a great watch, as good as the Submariner but attracts no attention & you don't see them every day like you do Submariners.
    My first watch too. Got £100 discount AND a decent trade-in for an Oris from Arthur Kay in Manchester from a brand-spanker in 2004. Very proud of that watch I was and the sickening thing about it is I had it for 4 years before moving it on, the longest I've kept a watch whilst immersed in this wonderful, frustrating hobby for flip's sake !

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darklel View Post
    Did you replace just the bezel, or also the crystal?

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
    Iím fairly sure the crystal needs to be swapped too, otherwise it would sit significantly lower than the bezel. The secs hand is also from the PO.
    Last edited by TomGW; 11th January 2022 at 00:44.

  29. #29
    I bought my 2254 new in 2008 I think when I heard they were going to be discontinued, it was my first watch that was a step up from what I had been buying. Absolutely love it. I used to look at Rolex submariners and sea dwellers when you could walk in and buy one, but the omega for the money felt so good but the Rolex did not really represent a jump up to pay double (yes they were that cheap then ).

    Kept my 2254 although a 2 liner pelegos joined it and that gets more trips out.

    Do not keep a eye on what they sell for now but noticed that the blue skeleton hand ones of the same era are selling for good money.

  30. #30
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    I've had several SMPs over the years; 2254, 2264, 2531, 2541, the later quartz with the applied logo etc. The only one that has stuck is the 2254.

    However, if you like the classic blue wave dial, then I would opt for a 2531.

    It's a classic. I also think it would be worth paying more for a really good one, these have gone up slowly over time and I don't see that changing as nice condition ones get more scarce.

  31. #31
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    I too had several SMís. Currently i still have the titanium electric blue. One of the most comfortable watches ever. Love the special dial colour with wave patern.

  32. #32
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    I own a 2255.80 - love the blue dial, but not so keen on the polished bezel.
    Opted to fit a 2254 bezel on the watch so now have best of both worlds!

    I also have recently sold a GMT Great White which is very nice being a totally brushed finish, also a.bit thicker than the other SMP's of the same era.


  33. #33
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    I really like the electric blue version

  34. #34
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    [QUOTE=pastrana72;5911569]I used to look at Rolex submariners and sea dwellers when you could walk in and buy one, but the omega for the money felt so good but the Rolex did not really represent a jump up to pay double (yes they were that cheap then ).
    /QUOTE]

    That's exactly what I meant, the Sub, GMT etc were available readily then. I had £3.5K from an inheritance & my initial options were the Sub at £3.3K (or thereabouts, which would have cleaned me out), the GMT was a bit more or a Speedmaster at £1.6K.
    I tried the Submariner & GMT but they both felt insubstantial when I tried them on, the bracelets felt flimsy to me, not like a watch of that price ought to be in my inexperienced view.
    I tried the Speedmaster but, again due to inexperience, I was put off by the hesalite crystal & the manual winding, so I decided to wait a bit to make my mind up.
    This was when Watchfinder was a new thing & I saw an advert for the 2254. I rang & was asked if I'd like to view it at the showroom. On asking where it was, I was told it was in Maidstone, which was great as I live there. On viewing the 2254 I really liked the look & quality & it met the specs of the Submariner but only cost £895!
    I think I got a really good deal on it, seeing what they fetch now.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darklel View Post
    Did you replace just the bezel, or also the crystal?

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
    I bought it used with the dial and second hand already swapped, and added the PO bezel myself. The crystal is original, although I think some people have swapped in a PO crystal on the watch. There's a tiny lip you can feel in the transition between the crystal and bezel on mine, but that never bothered me.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENES View Post
    I own a 2255.80 - love the blue dial, but not so keen on the polished bezel.
    Opted to fit a 2254 bezel on the watch so now have best of both worlds!
    I have a titanium electric blue incoming and am not a huge fan of the bezel. I might have to try this, although I'd really like to see the electric blue with a blue bond bezel. I'll have to see if I can order one someplace.

    Quote Originally Posted by ENES View Post
    I also have recently sold a GMT Great White which is very nice being a totally brushed finish, also a.bit thicker than the other SMP's of the same era.
    I've considered getting a GMT Great White but was concerned it would be too thick. I love how thin the 2254.50 and others feel relatively thin.

  37. #37
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    Wore my electric blue quartz today. I forgot how comfortable it is. Itís currently timing a pizza in the oven :)




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by ENES View Post
    I own a 2255.80 - love the blue dial, but not so keen on the polished bezel.
    Opted to fit a 2254 bezel on the watch so now have best of both worlds!

    I also have recently sold a GMT Great White which is very nice being a totally brushed finish, also a.bit thicker than the other SMP's of the same era.

    I'm liking that a lot, the black bezel gives just the right amount of contrast, a blue bezel may have been a tad too much. There is a lot of food for thought already on this thread.......

  39. #39
    Craftsman Ascalon's Avatar
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    @Aimforthebushes: I like the contrast of the metal bezel with the blue dial, that really works.

    Not mad about a polished bezel, but the natural dulling, without buffing, works very nicely there.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascalon View Post
    @Aimforthebushes: I like the contrast of the metal bezel with the blue dial, that really works.

    Not mad about a polished bezel, but the natural dulling, without buffing, works very nicely there.
    Thanks, this one happens to be quite a nice example so the outer bezel is nice and sharp but as to be expected from a 20 year old watch the insert has some hairlines. Iíve been tempted on a few occasions to get it polished as then the watch would be immaculate


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  41. #41
    Thought I'd update my thread, I have now purchased a Seamaster SMP 2531.80.00 & am very pleased with it. I received it yesterday from SC. Thanks to everyone who messaged me with offers of watches but as you can see I decided to go auto instead of my initial thoughts re a quartz.


  42. #42
    lovely watch wear in good health and what an amazing strap .


    Sent from my iPad using TZ-UK mobile app

  43. #43
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    Excellent choice. IMO, as time goes on, this early version will be increasingly seen as the classic Bond Seamaster. Enjoy it.

  44. #44
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    Great watch. I briefly had a mid sized, the 36mm. I love big watches but the 36 seemed stealthy.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    OP: You may want to check how the bracelet feels, as the original SMP has no quick change mechanism- relying on 1/2 links for fit. If you can get 2 1/2, links they add up to slightly less than 1 link so help with a good fit.
    Thatís true for the 2254.50 style bracelet 1610/930, which was only supplied from new with 1 half-link, adding a second Ďhalf linkí (more like a 65% link!) does allow finer adjustment so it wouldíve made sense to supply 2 from new. The bond bracelet was always supplied with 2 half- links but fitting 2 in place if a full link doesnít alter the bracelet length, I tried it and took measurements, in this case the shorter link does equate to a half- link. The logic behind all this is questionable, the version that benefits from two half- links didnít get them whilst one that didnít had 2..............go figure!

    Best steel SMP combination is the 2254.50 head with the bond bracelet fitted in place of the 1610/930, or the rare bimetal versions.

    Beware of very tired examples with scruffy bezels that gave lost their sharpness through poor refinishing, with worn- out bracelets. The non- removable bracelet pins can wear quite badly and a new bracelet is the only answer.

    A poor example bought at a bargain price can end up being a money- pit, Iíve worked on plenty in the past and seen some superb examples but Iíve seen a few howlers too. I rarely touch them thesedays because I canít get the case parts and my stock has all but dwindled away. My enthusiasm for refinishing them has all but evaporated, the Bond bracelets in particular are tricky to refinish correctly and take too much time, I lack the patience thesedays.

    Personally I donít think they're worth the prices currently being asked , especially if the condition isnít great, but the market us what it is and getting a minter auto for 2 grand is a bit optimistic. The pre- coaxial cal 1120 (ETA 2892) versions are easier to service but theyíre getting on a bit nowadays and many have had a hard life. Frustratingly some of the auto- winding parts are Omega- specific and with the restriction on parts supply this makes it difficult to fully overhaul a poor example.

  46. #46
    Grand Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    Posts
    20,745
    Quote Originally Posted by LondonNeil View Post
    Great watch. I briefly had a mid sized, the 36mm. I love big watches but the 36 seemed stealthy.
    Iím generally a fan of smaller watches but I never got on with the 36mm SMP, Iíve worked on a few and always felt the watch feels small, thatís due to the wide bezel and relatively small dial. I find the full- size 41mm a tad larger than I like but the slim profile helps it wear nicely. 39-40mm would be ideal, like the pre- Bond SMP!

  47. #47
    My watch is a 2006 model & I bought it as per the picture, head only with nato strap. I was thinking about buying an original bracelet but after finding out Omega want £600 for a new one & reading the possible fit issues the nato it came on is growing on me. My bracelet option is now a Forstner flat link pre 2018 Seamaster bracelet for 1/5 of the price of the Omega original, as well as an original Omega nato that I have had my eye on. Does anyone have any experience with Forstner bracelets? From what I have read they seem to get great reviews.

  48. #48
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    2,602
    I have a Forstner flat link on a Speedmaster and think itís great. Another good and cost effective option is a mesh bracelet, ideally the type without Ďendsí, similar to the original Omega style. Also a twin ridge blue leather, or better still, sharkskin strap, again very similar to the OEM option. Try the Hirsch Professional twin ridge.

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