Omega Genève: A Vintage Dresswatch From the 1960s
Omega launched the Genève as an affordable, high-quality dress watch back in the 1960s. Today, there are many models available, and this timepiece serves as a perfect entry point into the vintage world of this Swiss luxury watch brand.
Affordable Vintage Watches
Omega originally applied the term "Genève" to particularly high-quality watches with at least 50% of their construction completed in Geneva. As models like the Speedmaster and Seamaster grew in popularity in the 1960s, the Swiss company decided to turn the Genève into an independent collection of entry-level watches.
The Genève was in production until the early 1980s. Omega released many different models over the collection's lifespan, some of which were truly unique. There are watches with oval, rectangular, and barrel-shaped cases in gold or stainless steel. Each timepiece features a manual, automatic, or quartz movement, with or without a date display. Though their average diameter of 35 mm is rather small by modern standards, it was more than sufficient back then.
Simple, three-hand designs unite this collection of perfect dress watches. Thin line indices keep the dials looking tidy. Many models also feature sunburst dial patterns. However, you should be careful when wearing this timepiece to the beach or pool: It is only water-resistant to 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft) and, therefore, needs to be protected against moisture. Perhaps most importantly, these timepieces exude a certain vintage charm unique to Omega.
Reasons to Buy an Omega Genève
- Vintage watches at interesting prices
- Large variety of models
- Automatic, quartz, and manual calibers
- Stainless steel or gold cases
- Men's and women's sizes
Prices at a Glance: Omega Genève
|Model||Price (approx.)||Caliber, feature|
|145.009||1,400 USD||865 (manual), chronograph|
|161.009||1,200 USD||552 (automatic), yellow gold case|
|166.079||830 USD||752 (automatic), day-date display|
|166.0190||770 USD||1012 (automatic), date, stainless steel case|
|136.041||590 USD||613 (manual), gold-plated case|
|135.041||590 USD||601 (manual), silver dial|
|198.020||480 USD||1260 (quartz), gold-plated case|
|511.0427||360 USD||620 (manual), stainless steel case|
How much does an Omega Genève cost?
The Genève collection offers a vast selection of models. Prices depend on the watch's material, features, and size. You can purchase a 20-mm women's model in stainless steel with a manual caliber and no date for as little as 300 USD. At around 410 USD, gold-plated models with a date and diameter of 22.5 mm are only slightly more expensive.
Prices for men's Genève models begin around 590 USD. That will get you a manual, 33-mm watch in stainless steel without a date display. If you'd prefer a date, your options include both manual and automatic watches. Most of these watches have larger diameters of 34 to 36 mm and prices ranging from 710 to 900 USD.
Top models in this series are made of yellow, rose, or white gold. A 33-mm Genève with an automatic caliber and a date display costs around 1,200 USD. Models with a day-date display and a solid gold bracelet can easily cost double that. Especially rare timepieces in excellent condition and with their original accessories regularly demand upwards of 6,000 USD. As vintage watches without any recommended retail price from the manufacturer, their prices are dictated by what buyers are willing to pay for them. These are collector's prices in every sense of the word.
The Quartz Genève
In the early 1970s, Omega began outfitting the Genève with quartz movements. These models are easy to recognize thanks to the "Electronic" or "Megaquartz" inscription on their dials and the Omega logo against a red background at 12 o'clock. These watches measure almost 39 mm in diameter, feature a date or day-date display, and demand prices ranging from 590 to 840 USD.
The Genève Dynamic and Chronostop
The Genève Dynamic and Chronostop look very different than fellow Genève models. The Dynamic, in particular, catches the eye with its shape: The oval stainless steel case is much wider than it is tall. The band, available in stainless steel or leather, tapers toward the clasp, underscoring the overall sporty yet elegant design. The dials also feel sporty, especially on the multicolored models. You can purchase a 29-mm women's Dynamic for as little as 420 USD, regardless of the movement type. You'll need another 120 USD on hand for a well-maintained model with a date display.
At 41 mm, the men's version of the Dynamic is much more conspicuous. Its price also sits well above that of the women's editions, coming in at between 710 and 1,800 USD. That amount will get you an automatic watch with a day-date display.
The Chronostop has an even sportier appearance. It is the series' only chronograph. However, Omega remained true to the collection's three-hand design, completely forgoing any subdials. The stopwatch function is operated using a push-piece at 2 o'clock. The crown, in turn, has slid down to the 4 o'clock position. This 35-mm watch is powered by one of two manual calibers: either the 920 (date) or the 865 (no date). Plan to spend anywhere from 950 to 2,000 USD on one of these collector's items.