Written on: 20/06/2012
I inherited my first Omega watch after my father's sudden death in 1983. It was a World War 2 military issue model which he had saved up for after the war had ended. I loved it from being a youngster and dreamed of one day owning it, which unfortunately came all too soon. So it was with a heavy heart that I wore the watch for a further 26 years but everyone who caught a glimpse of it thought it was a beautiful timepiece and was intrigued by its history. I had the Omega stolen when my home was burgled in February 2009 on a rare day that I wasn't wearing it. Heartache aside, the only consolation to this was I was awarded enough money (with a small top up from myself) to buy a James Bond Omega Seamaster – something I thought I could never afford. Needless to say, the replacement HAD to be an Omega, and again, a thing of outstanding beauty.
As you can imagine, I took great care of my Omega Seamaster, even narrowly escaping losing it when the bracelet broke after only a few weeks of wearing it. Thankfully, I was wearing a jacket with elasticated cuffs at the time and there was no damage. More worrying, however, was that the watch recently developed condensation under the glass and Omega slapped me with a repair bill of £607.94, despite never having used the watch for its much billed 'action man' activities.
I find it staggering that a luxury brand watch requires such a massive overhaul after only three years and with only sedentary use. Would you, for instance, expect to spend over £15,000 in repairs on a £30,000 three year old BMW car – I think not. Water resistant to 300M – surely this watch has one purpose in life – to keep water out! I am told by Omega that the seal has broken and this is not a manufacturing fault but wear and tear – in other words, it is down to me and my lifestyle. If I wanted a watch that would only last three years, why on earth would I pay nearly £1,200? If the seal is so easily broken, what constitutes the £1160 price tag on an Omega Seamaster? Obviously not the engineering. If I had used this for diving I could be dead.
If I were Omega (a world class brand) and I was presented with such a defective model after only three years, I would so embarrassed I would either replace the watch or repair it free of charge. If you do want to take a massive gamble and buy an Omega Seamaster, be prepared for costly annual bills to check and/or replace the seals. If I had been told by the Ernest Jones sales assistant this watch was going to be such a high maintenance hobby, I would have bought something much cheaper and more reliable.