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08/05/2022
 5 minutes

Can these three watches hold a candle to the Omega Seamaster?

By Donato Andrioli
Omega-Seamaster-2-1
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The Omega Seamaster collection offers a range of high-quality, iconic classics. It’s not that surprising that this maritime line from Omega is often referred to as the perfect Rolex alternative. Watches like the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M or the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra are more affordable than their Rolex counterparts and even outperform them in some respects. But are there any suitable alternatives for the Omega Seamaster itself? Are there watches that are both cheaper and better than this icon? Read on to learn more about three timepieces that at least rival, if not outshine, members of the Seamaster collection. 

Are there any cheaper alternatives to the Omega Seamaster?
Are there any cheaper alternatives to the Omega Seamaster?

An Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Alternative for Less Than $1,000: The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 

Are you a fan of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra? Well, then the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 might pique your interest too. Unlike the Aqua Terra, the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 has nothing to do with water or diving. Nevertheless, it was the first watch that came to mind as a great alternative to the Omega diver. Why is that? Well, the Omega’s maritime roots aside, it is an excellent all-around watch that you can don every day and for any occasion. While the Tissot may not match the engineering or prestige of the Omega, it certainly is a timepiece that won’t let you down and looks good anytime, anywhere. The biggest difference? The Omega diver will set you back some $5,000, while the Tissot costs less than $1,000. What you get for a fifth of the price is certainly something to be proud of. 

The Tissot PRX is vaguely reminiscent of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, but it still has its own unique story. The dial is high-quality with a great waffle texture, the logos and indices are sharp, and the date window at 3 o’clock even has a stainless steel border. The latter is anything but standard for watches in this price range, and only underscores the model’s great attention to detail. The integrated bracelet is also good quality and on par with the rest of the case. The automatic movement could be called in-house to some degree; it was developed exclusively for Tissot in tandem with ETA, both of which are part of the Swatch Group. The caliber is accurate, reliable, easy to service, and offers an 80-hour power reserve. The overall package is rounded off with a water resistance of 100 m (328 ft). To be fair, the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 has a completely different style than the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, and as an entry-level watch, it doesn’t quite bat in the same league in terms of quality, but it definitely makes an excellent everyday watch that is perfect for any occasion – just like the Omega. 

Possibly the best watch under $1,000: The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
Possibly the best watch under $1,000: The Tissot PRX Powermatic 80

Better than the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M? The Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 

It’s not easy to find a modern diving watch that rivals the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. Independent and with noteworthy technology, the Omega icon is undoubtedly one of the most exciting divers on the market today. While the Tudor Black Bay is a serious contender, I’ll opt for a Breitling this time, largely due to the model’s appealing vintage look. The brand is certainly better known for its pilot’s watches, but the Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 is a really great, modern diving watch. It has a somewhat more traditional design than the Omega diver and is ever so slightly reminiscent of the Rolex Submariner in terms of case shape. Similar to the Omega, I prefer the Breitling with a white dial. The dark bezel gives the 42-mm timepiece a fresh, summery look that is really hard to resist. Unfortunately, the Breitling can’t match Omega’s gorgeous ceramic dial, and you do have to make a few compromises when it comes to the movement. 

The Breitling Superocean is powered by a reliable automatic caliber with a 48-hour power reserve. That being said, it is really nothing other than a refined ETA movement. Nevertheless, the Breitling does have a few pluses over the Omega: For starters, the Breitling Superocean has a beautiful steel bracelet that is easily more aesthetically pleasing than Omega’s. Moreover, my biggest criticism of the Omega is its bezel, which leaves a lot to be desired in terms of looks and haptics. The Breitling bezel, on the other hand, is both easier to use and even looks slightly higher in quality. The bezel inlay is made of a robust rubber – a very unconventional choice. Not only does the bezel perfectly suit the diving theme visually, it feels great too. The Breitling also outperforms Omega when it comes to water resistance. While the Superocean is rated to 500 m (1,640 ft), the Omega is “only” water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft). To be honest, I still consider the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M the better watch overall, but the Breitling Superocean does outperform it in certain respects, and it is more affordable. New models currently cost less than $3,500. If you like this model, however, don’t drag your feet. It was recently discontinued and replaced with a new reference that isn’t nearly as fresh or sporty. 

The recently discontinued Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 with a white dial and blue bezel boasts a fresh and sporty look.
The recently discontinued Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 with a white dial and blue bezel boasts a fresh and sporty look.

The Best Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Alternative: The Tudor Pelagos  

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is the professional diver in the Seamaster collection, putting it in the same league as the Rolex Sea-Dweller. When it comes to functionality and professional suitability, this variant is really hard to beat. However, there is a watch that is slightly cheaper than the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean and can hold its own in the Omega’s presence: the Tudor Pelagos. While this model lives in the shadows of the successful Tudor Black Bay, it is an excellent diving watch that has a lot to offer. Despite the requisite vintage nod or two, the Pelagos has a thoroughly modern design in contrast to many of the brand’s other models. The dial is based on historic Tudor watches and has a slightly less refined look, but it is still high quality. The titanium watch is water-resistant to 500 m (1,640 ft), making it the perfect diving companion. 

Unlike the Omega, the Tudor Pelagos doesn’t have an antimagnetic, METAS-certified movement, but it does boast a COSC-certified, in-house movement with a solid 80-hour power reserve (a touch over Omega). I’d give Tudor the win in terms of overall wearability as well. At 42 mm, the Pelagos definitely isn’t petite, but it’s nowhere near as bulky as the 43.5-mm Omega. Another highlight is the highly functional and patented Tudor clasp, which offers more than just the typical diving extension. Depending on the temperature, it automatically adapts to your wrist, ensuring maximum comfort. Diving watch fans are particularly fond of this feature. If I’m honest, the clasp isn’t a feast for the eyes, but it perfectly underscores the functional nature of the watch. And at less than $4,000, the Tudor Pelagos offers great value for money. Plus, you get a matching rubber strap for free! This is no longer standard with a lot of luxury watches, but it’s a nice extra that you can use to give the watch an even sportier look. 

The Tudor Pelagos is a functional diver with an innovative clasp and offers great value for money.
The Tudor Pelagos is a functional diver with an innovative clasp and offers great value for money.

About the Author

Donato Andrioli

With the purchase of my Tudor Black Bay 41, I discovered a passion for mechanical watches. I am particularly drawn to iconic watches with long and exciting histories.

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