Top 10 Omega Calibres: Innovation meets Beauty

By Montredo in Watch 101
May 13, 2019
Top 10 Omega Calibres: Innovation meets Beauty

Omega has in recent times proven itself to be one of the most innovative brands that exist in the market today. The brand lays an undeniable focus on technical solutions that offer substantial benefit for daily use. From 15,000 gauss magnetic resistance to the co-axial escapement, from pure in-house movements and those, which are developed in a partnership with others – here are some brief mentions of the most important watch mechanisms belonging to the current collection.

1. Omega 2500 Co-Axial – First Omega Co-Axial Movement

The Omega 2500 automatic caliber was introduced in 1999 and is the first Omega movement that reverts back to George Daniel’s invention of the Co-Axial Escapement. The method of combining both traditional escapement designs, the chronometer escapement and the lever escapement, allowed a combination of longer maintenance cycles and a high level of precision. One could argue that there was too much optimism surrounding the mechanism in the beginning, when many assumed that the watch would work completely maintenance free. In fact, in the initial stages the maintenance could barely be extended. However, after several technical improvements and with the aid of a special lubricant, today’s Omega 2500 is very reliable and requires an exceptionally low level of maintenance.

Used for: Omega Seamaster Diver 300M, Omega De Ville Préstige

2. Omega 8500 Master-Co-Axial – The Industry’s High-Tech-Reference

If the Rolex 3135 was deemed „State of the Art“ in the 80s and 90s, then the same assumption can be made today for the Omega 8500. In the newer era of watchmaking, the Omega 8500 is revered as industry benchmark for its robustness, preciseness and low-maintenance. 

Lately, the Omega 8500 has become even more techy than it already was: With the help of un-magnetic materials, the Omega 8500 Master Co-Axial withstands magnetic fields of over 15,000 gauss. Not only for its newest improvement, many regard the Omega 8500 the most modern and most sophisticated calibre available. The position of the movement hardly influences its amplitude, or in more simple terms: whether the watch is in a horizontal or vertical position, it doesn’t impact its accuracy. The two mainspring barrels enable a power reserve of 60 hours, however it is important to emphasize that the watch hardly loses any precision even towards the end of the reserve, when the tension of the spring is lower. These are two distinctions that are very much relevant for the everyday making it particularly precise in terms of its actual everyday service. 

Unlike the standard 8500 version, the Omega 8501 entails a rotor and balance-wheel bridge constructed of sold gold. The calibre 8603 shown on the picture provides a Rolex Day-Date style weekday function in addition to the date.

 Used for: Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, Omega Seamaster Ploprof

3. Omega 8400 Master-Co-Axial – The slimmed-down 8500

The Omega 8500 is basically the same caliber as the 8500 but without a date function. Needless to say, it also features a Master Co-Axial Escapement and a magnetic resitance of more than 15,000 Gauss. Given that the 8500 represents not only a certain caliber variant, but also an entire caliber series, the use of the notation 8500 is often used synonymously with the entire 8XXX collection, including the 8400. The same is true for many other members of this caliber family, such as for the version 8501, 8508, 8520, 8605, and others 

Used for: Omega Seamaster Diver 300, Omega Seamaster Spectre L.E.

4. Omega 8511 Master-Co-Axial – Perfect Unison of Modernity and Aesthetics

The Omega 8511 hand-winding movement combines the technical nature of the 8500 with the aesthetics of a finely finished movement in the tradition of Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin. This caliber is used for the premium dress watch line De Ville Trésor. Thanks to the transparent sapphire crystal caseback this calibre is visible in the model. What undeniably catches the eye is the gold balance-wheel bridge, which we also know from the automatic 8501 movement. Like all members of the 8XXX caliber family, it has a quick-adjustment feature of the hour hand to a middle position, which is useful above all for switching time zones

Used for: Omega De Ville Trésor

5. Omega 1861 – The Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” calibre

The movements used for the legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” were subject of significant alterations throughout its long history. The most significant change might refer to how the chronograph function is controlled. While the Omega 321 is a tradition column wheel chronograph, the 1861 is cam switched. At the same time, many of the principles of the caliber 321 dating back to the pre-moon era, can be found in today’s calibre 1861 as well. The Omega 1861 is found in the classic plexi-glass version of the Omega Speedmaster Professional line.

Used for: Omega Speedmaster Professional (Version with hesalite or plexiglass)

6. Omega 9300 Master-Co-Axial – The High-Tech Chronograph

If the Omega 8500 represents the calibre flagship of the current score of Omega movements, then the 9300 can most definitely be considered the Omega chronograph of today. It combines the key features of the co-axial escapement and magnet protection of over 15,000 gauss with a column wheel chronograph. Given the wealth of technology of the 8500 combined with a chronograph module, it is understandable that the watch is on the larger side of the spectrum. It is therefore generally implemented in models with size of 43.5 millimetres and more. What is interesting about chronographs that employ the 9300 is that both the stopped minute and hour are displayed on the right totalizer. 

The variant shown here is the caliber 9605 with an additional second time zone feature, used in GMT models, like the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Chronograph.

Used for: Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph, Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronograph, Omega Speedmaster Professional Co-Axial

7. Omega 1863 – 1861 Premium Version

The Omega 1863 hand-winding movement is the premium variant of calibre 1861. Identical as far as construction is concerned, it showcases a rhodanised finish and is fitted with more high-grade components. The Omega 1863 is used for the sapphire crystal version of the Speedmaster, which is, next to the sapphire crystal itself, the reason for the significant price difference compared to the standard version with plexiglass.

Used for: Omega Speedmaster Professional (Version with sapphire glass)

8. Omega 8900, 890X Master Co-Axial – First METAS Certified Omega

The calibre 8900 is the first movement to receive approved certification from METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. Although the COSC may test the precision of the watch in different temporal conditions, the simulation of natural wearing of the watch is never carried out. METAS advocates exactly these test methods by simulating daily wear and tear including test of waterproofness and magnetic resistance. For now only part of the Omega Globemaster line, it is only a matter of time until these more thorough test methods are realized in more Omega models. 

Used for: Omega Constellation Globemaster

9. Omega 3330 Co-Axial – Omega’s three-register Chronograph


While the 9300 is produced in-house, the 3330 is vaguely based on the ETA/Valjoux 7750 but has undergone some significant changes like the addition of a column wheel and a co-axial escapement. Even if the movement is not labelled with <15,000 Gauss, it features a silicon hairspring.

Used for: Speedmaster Mark II, Speedmaster Racing

10. Omega 8520/8521 Master Co-Axial – High-Tech Calibre for Ladies’ Watches

When you consider the immense expenditure involved in the development of the Omega 8500, it should come as no surprise that the 85XX caliber family has also tapped into the ladies watch market. Despite the smaller size the 8520 offers impressive accuracy and reliability. There is also a ladies version where solid gold parts are used. Like the Omega 8501, the 8521 showcases a gold balance wheel and winding rotor. This also makes a lot of sense in a smaller movement like the 8521, as compared to steel the weight of gold is significantly higher.

Used for: Omega Ladymatic, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 37,5, Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 34, Omega Constellation 32

Previous comments (3)

  1. just bought a brand new Omega seamaster 300m diver 007 caliber 8806.. i believe this awesome timepiece will hold its value..

    June 27, 2020
  2. Love my 8500 PO

    July 15, 2020
  3. The Omega watches are somewhat overpriced;
    the Rolex watches are even more so.

    September 7, 2020