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80's Watch Buying Guide:

Omega Watches From The 1980s


Omega has a rich history of producing high-quality watches, and the 1980s were no exception. Here's a buying guide to help you find some of the best Omega watches from that era:


Key Models to Look For:


Omega Speedmaster Professional "Moonwatch" (Ref. ST 145.022)

Omega Speedmaster 145.022
  1. Description: The Speedmaster Professional, known as the "Moonwatch," continued its legacy through the 1980s. This model is highly regarded for its connection to NASA's space missions.
  2. Movement: Manual-wind Caliber 861.
  3. Features: Chronograph function, tachymeter bezel, and the iconic black dial with three subdials.
  4. Why It’s Special: The history and design make it a timeless piece, sought after by collectors. 
  5. Production years: 1968 – 1988 (145.022 becomes 145.0022 in 1981)


Omega Seamaster 120 Jacques Mayol Plongeur de Luxe Diving (Ref. 396.0900)

Factory Serviced Vintage Omega Seamaster 120 1337 Jacques Mayol Plongeur de Luxe - Experts Watches - Omega
  1. Description: A smaller diver with rich history.
  2. Movement: Omega Quartz 1337.
  3. Features: Rotating bezel, high water resistance, and very slick.
  4. Why It’s Special: Full Article below


The Constellation Manhattan and the Omega Seamaster 120 Plongeur de Luxe share a similar design. The watch gained notoriety thanks to French freediver Jacques Mayol, popularly known as "Dolphin Man." When he broke the record in 1981 by free diving to a depth of 101 meters off the shore of the Italian island of Elba, he had the watch on his wrist. In 1980, Omega introduced its first line of quartz diving watches with the Seamaster 120m Plongeur De Luxe model. There were three distinct sizes and materials available for the watch. Without a doubt, the 37mm "Maxi" variant (ref. 396.0900) in steel, bicolor, and full gold is the most intriguing. Though it doesn't happen, even after 40 years, I think all three versions still appear incredibly clear and sharp. Below is the different bezel insert.

Factory Serviced Omega Seamaster 120 1337 Jacques Mayol Plongeur de Luxe Diving - Experts Watches - Omega


In fact, the general case design is similar to that of the Constellation Manhattan, which was unveiled two years later. Thus, Carol Disdisheim may have drawn influence from it for the Constellation Manhattan's design. I adore how the dial, bezel, and case's lines combine to create a straightforward yet incredibly powerful design. You'll also notice that Genta's Royal Oak design served as a clear inspiration for the bracelet's design. You may critique it, but I really like that design and it's great to see it on a different watch. Furthermore, when examining the bracelet up close, it feels a little bit edgier and sharper than the Royal Oak bracelet. However, I think the style of the bracelet and case together works really well.


Vintage Omega Watch by


A thin Diving Timepiece and Slim Diving Watches

Omega fitted the ultra-thin quartz Calibre 1337 watch into the casing. The movement has a quickset date function that is set with the crown in addition to the hour hand. The mechanism must be unlocked using the push button located at the two o'clock position in order to move the minute hand. The watch is only 8mm thick, giving it a very tiny profile due to its thin movement. It made the watch very easy to wear in various situations despite being marketed as a diving watch. As you can see in the pictures and the version we have for sale on the site, the watch had a diver extension that allowed you to increase the length from an extra 5mm to 25mm. It made sure that divers like Mayol were able to wear the watch over their diving suits.


Omega Seamaster 120 Jacques Mayol Plongeur de Luxe Diving Watch


I had a few of these for sale for our customer and love the Omega Seamaster 120m Plongeur De Luxe because it is a different take on a diving watch. Usually, diving watches are known to be chunky tool watches. But not this Seamaster 120m. On top of that, the Jacques Mayol story connected to the watch makes remarkable and a rare watch to own. In 2003 Omega released the Omega Seamaster Apnea as a tribute to Mayol, who passed away in 2001. Mayol also played an active role in its design process, making it an extraordinary tribute to one of the world’s remarkable divers. The Seamaster 120 Plongeur De Luxe were in low production and very collectable watch to own. We have few great examples of this watch over the years, please check our store for availability. If you like Omega’s 1980s take on a diving watch, this could be a very nice addition to your collection. Contact Us for more information.


Here are few example of Omega Factory Service version that we that if they are not sold by now:

Click to see the one with Full New bracelet.

Click Here for a different version pictured above:



Omega Seamaster 120 "Baby Ploprof" (Ref. 166.0250)

Omega Seamaster “Baby PloProf” ref. 166.0250
  1. Description: A smaller, more wearable version of the original Ploprof designed for professional divers.
  2. Movement: Automatic Caliber 1012.
  3. Features: Rotating bezel, high water resistance, and a robust case design.
  4. Why It’s Special: Known for its durability and unique design, it's a great choice for diving enthusiasts.


Omega Seamaster “Baby PloProf” ref. 166.0250 advertising


Omega Constellation Manhattan (Ref. 368.1075)

Omega Constellation Manhattan (Ref. 368.1075)
  1. Description: Introduced in the early 1980s, the Constellation Manhattan brought a fresh, modern look to the Constellation line.
  2. Movement: Quartz Caliber 1332 or Automatic Caliber 1111.
  3. Features: Integrated bracelet, "griffes" or claws at 3 and 9 o'clock, and a slim, elegant profile.
  4. Why It’s Special: The design elements introduced with the Manhattan have become iconic in the Constellation series.


Omega  Seamaster Albatros CHRONO-QUARTZ (Ref. 196.0052)

Omega  Seamaster Albatros CHRONO-QUARTZ (Ref. 196.0052)
  1. Description: A quartz-powered Seamaster model that showcases the brand’s move towards quartz technology during the 1980s. It is not really designed for the Sea.
  2. Case: 47 mm, stainless steel, large two body, Seamaster logo on the case back.
  3. Dial: matte black with luminous indexes, chrono display apertures, white baton hands
  4. Movement: Quartz Caliber 1611, dual batteries.
  5. Features: Stainless steel case, sleek design, and high precision.
  6. Why It’s Special: Represents Omega’s innovation and adaptation to the quartz revolution of the time. Space Age ready.


Omega Dynamic III (Ref. 5250.50)


Omega Dynamic 5250.50
  1. Description: Part of the Dynamic series, this model combines sporty design with everyday wearability. It came with Time only and Chronograph.
  2. Movement: Automatic Caliber 1108. Above chronograph came with Caliber - 1138
  3. Features: Bold dial design, ergonomic case, Bracelet or strap.
  4. Why It’s Special: Known for its comfort and unique aesthetics, it's a favorite among vintage Omega collectors.


Factors to Consider:

  1. Condition
    1. Check for signs of wear, service history, and originality. Replacements of original parts can affect the value. You can view our Certified Authentic Pre-Owned Luxury Watches.
  2. Provenance
    1. Which is never an issue with us at Always deal with reputable watch dealers. These add to the watch's value and authenticity.
  3. Movement
    1. Ensure the movement is functioning correctly. A service history can provide insight into the watch's condition. Again, have a dealer with Certified Authentic Pre-Owned Luxury Watches.
  4. Rarity
    1. Some models or specific references were produced in limited quantities, making them more valuable to collectors.
  5. Authenticity
    1. Be wary of counterfeit watches. Purchase from reputable dealers and, if possible, have the watch authenticated by an expert like experts watches

Where to Buy

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    The 1980s were a fascinating decade for Omega, with a blend of traditional mechanical timepieces and innovative quartz models. Whether you're looking for a classic Omega Seamaster 120 Jacques Mayol Plongeur de Luxe Diving (Ref. 396.0900) or a distinctive Constellation, there’s an Omega watch from the 1980s to suit every collector’s taste. Make sure to do thorough research, verify authenticity, and consider the condition and provenance of the watch to make a well-informed purchase.

    Contact US and we can help you to find your perfect Omega Watch.


    We also have a Vintage Watch Guild.

    I hope you enjoy all the blogs we have, for the brief history of vintage diving watches Click Here!

    Check our Watch Collection Page.

    If you are inserted in Selling Watch, Trading Watch, or upgrading your Watch. Please Contact US.


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