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Collecting Vintage Omegas, A Conversation with Petros Protopapas, Head of Brand Heritage at Omega

Collecting Vintage Omegas, A Conversation with Petros Protopapas, Head of Brand Heritage at Omega

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The appetite for vintage watches has developed at a rapid pace in the course of recent years. Collecting vintage watches can be a fantastic pastime however there are pitfalls to avoid. The used and vintage watch market is a wilderness. The quality and authenticity of what you are purchasing are vital. Many watches have suffered very some action over their lifetime… and there are also many scams. The uprightness of watches should be maintained after some time. Take great care of your watches and make sure these are overhauled the correct way. Replacement parts should be original.

To assist individuals with navigating the vintage market, several brands supply extracts from their archives. These archives give creation details and the time of creation of a watch without having to send it to the brand. To enhance transparency in the used market, Omega presently issues “certificates of authenticity”. Basically, your watch experiences an inside and out review in Switzerland by Omega’s heritage team, which affirms whether or not your watch qualifies for a certificate. Petros Protopapas, Omega’s Head of Brand Heritage, talks to MONOCHROME about collecting vintage (Omega) watches.

Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – What is Omega’s goal with this new Certificate of Authenticity?

Petros Protopapas, OMEGA Watches – Simply, this certificate aims at carrying certainty to collectors and purchasers of Omega vintage watches. The vintage market can be a troublesome market. The last couple of years have demonstrated it. The more individuals get reliable information, the better it is for everyone. As with each market, individuals need assurances. We want to make sure that the watches that are out there can be controlled and to give purchasers peace of psyche. To put it plainly, it is about absolute transparency and official assurance.

For this certificate of authenticity, we are dealing with private watches. We just get and analyze them. We are straightforward with the outcomes. There are no special cases for our guidelines. The watches that get the certificate are in wonderful original condition.

What is the interaction to get a certificate?

First of all, watches require a personal investigation. Therefore, we need to collect the watches. We picked the safest way to collect the watches by working with our organization of stores. And in the event that you are in Switzerland, you can come straightforwardly to us at Omega’s HQ in Bienne.

The store staff is trained and have all that is necessary to introduce and explain the support of the customers. Customers are asked to sign a waiver to make sure they understand what the help entails. The watch is carefully packaged and shipped off Switzerland via secure transportation. There a dedicated department of our customer administration advises us of each watch got. We work with a team of intentionally trained master watchmakers – the crème de la crème of your watchmakers from our restoration department.

The watch is analyzed from A to Z. We check outside parts, we check the development. Each and every part of the watch is analyzed: the hands; the dial; the crown; the pushers; the bezel; the bracelet; the clasp; the development; and the movement’s parts.

So you need 100% of the parts to be original or are there some exceptions?

All the parts should be original – other than the leather strap. On the off chance that the leather strap isn’t Omega’s that’s not an issue. It is more a matter of personal taste. For the rest, we realize how the watch was originally created and we know the spare parts. All that should be in line, there are no special cases. In the event that it has been adjusted, it needs to have been overhauled the correct way with original parts. We would even make reference to when required that the watch is original and that the watch is fitted with an original replacement part. It is about total transparency. An outsider part may deliver your watch non-qualified to the Omega certificate of authenticity.

Any Omega watch can apply?

Any Omega watch until the year 2010. It is the same guideline as for the extract from the archive. Somehow, it doesn’t make sense to ask for a new watch that came with papers and a warranty. You cannot beat this. We would prefer not to re-confirm new watches.

The administration is by all accounts geared for watches that have either financial or emotional value?

Well, the help has a certain expense (Editor’s note: CHF 800) mirroring the work performed on your watch that experiences a top to bottom, manual investigation by specialists. So financially speaking, individuals shall send watches that mirror this value. In any case, as you referenced, watches are emotional things. For instance, when I was more youthful I got a 1964 Seamaster from my grandfather. On the off chance that I actually had it, because it was stolen, I’d love to have it ensured because I had a profound emotional attachment to that watch.

What would your advice be for collectors wanting to acquire vintage Omega watches?

The wellspring of the watch is somewhat of a thorny subject. I don’t think we, as a brand, should voice inclinations on where to purchase vintage watches. However, in general, the vintage market is a troublesome market. Omega is one of the brands that began to take the vintage market genuinely years ago. In 2008, we opened our first authorized Omega vintage store in London. (Editor’s note: OMEGA Vintage Store, 35-36 Burlington Arcade, London, UK)

Collectors or forthcoming purchasers ought to, above all else, be judicious and get their work done. Basis number one is quality. The better the quality of the watch you purchase, the higher its value. This is reflected at the auctions and this is a pattern. The greatest costs are achieved by watches when the vast majority of their parts are in mint condition. An intermediate quality watch, that has some unacceptable bezel, for instance, doesn’t have the same value.

Follow your heart, follow your brain. Take a gander at all the details. Without giving names, you need to confide in the merchant. You purchase the vender and then you purchase the item. Again, get your work done, take a gander at feedback ratings, ask companions, ask collectors. There are some great sources around, and the fun of collecting is also to locate your own sources. Simply be careful.

Also, asking for an extract from the archives is an easy answer for check your watch facts. You can go on the web, create a “My Omega” profile and get an extract. You will get it at first as a PDF and then via mail. At the extremely least, you will obtain the assurance that the watch matches, that the watch it claims to be. It is always sad to see individuals asking for an extract after purchasing a watch and discovering that it doesn’t match… Don’t accepting indiscriminately, do your background checks.

Then ultimately, the more watches which get certificates of authenticity, the clearer the market will be.

Which are probably the most collectable Omega models?

It seems like an easy inquiry however it isn’t… I could start by tossing only single word; set of three. The models from the 1957 set of three are presently the absolute generally pursued models within the Omega vintage catalog and also in the watch vintage catalog in general. The Speedmaster original, model CK 2915, has established various precedents within the brand’s vintage catalog. Some were sold for more than CHF 400,000. Obviously, it comes in waves like all that is being sold and offered on the market.

The Seamasters 300 are very valued by collectors because of their tool watch characteristics; I see an ascent of interest in the vintage PloProf. These have a genuinely intriguing story and individuals have really started to appreciate it.

And then, every once in a while, you see peaks for certain models. Chronographs are watches that individuals will in general adore. For instance, models fueled by the 33.3 CHRO development are exceptionally regarded. On a personal level, I would also go for the smaller size 28.9 CHRO chronographs. The fact that you don’t discover them in the market in great condition means that each time one appears it is snatched up. I absolutely love them. These are beautiful timepieces.

Vintage Omega Chronograph 33.3 CHRO – Image by Phillips Watches Vintage Omega Chronograph 28.9 CHRO – Image by Phillips Watches

Also, some 1930s oversize sector dial Omegas are starting to go up in value. About prototypes, on the off chance that we can affirm that they are real prototypes, they get extraordinary costs at auctions.

Some brands are creating CPO business? What is Omega’s take on growing such an activity?

I can’t reveal to you much as it isn’t really my domain. What I can tell is that we value the autonomy of that market. And it ought to remain autonomous. This is valued by collectors. In any case, autonomy needs safety. In the event that eventually, we as a brand can enhance safety within this market, this is the way to go.

Since 2008, we have a store in London that we have authorized to sell vintage Omegas. Each of their watches has a certificate. We were one of the absolute first brands to take the vintage market near heart.


For more information about the Omega “certificates of authenticity” and “extracts from the archives”, please visit www.omegawatches.com .