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How to check the authenticity of an Omega watch?

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    Introduction to our Omega watch authentication

    We hate fake watches. Just like you. Unfortunately authentication services are not widely offered at all. And finding a good watchmaker is like finding a needle in a haystack.  

    All watches sold on the Relleb marketplace are authenticated by hand. With this service we prevent online trading of fake Omega watches and other online fraud. And we assure buyers only receive correct and authentic watches. We also offer our Omega watch authentication service to customers who want to buy a watch on Chrono24 or eBay. It doesn't matter if you are buying an Omega Speedmaster, the Seamaster or other Omega models. Our watchmakers are experienced with vintage and new watches. 

    In order to educate watch enthusiasts on the steps to take when authenticating an Omega watch, we will share an example in this blog. It will also teach you about how to spot a fake Omega watch. But as we like to say: spotting a fake watch can be easy, knowing it is real is definitely not.

    In this blog we will explain in 5 steps how we authenticated an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M for a customer in Austria. Please note Seamaster watches are often faked and so called "super fakes" are flooding the online watch market.

    The Omega Seamster Diver 300M

    The watch carries the following specifics:

    • Reference number 210.30.42.20.04.001
    • Case size 42mm
    • Time and date function
    • Open case back
    • White ceramic dial
    • Stainless steel case and bracelet
    • Full set (box and papers included)
    • Issued in 2020

    Step 1: Making sure to have all correct documents and items

    This is a step that is overlooked quite easily. You might think "well that is a quite obvious one". And yes, that is true, but I remember when I bought my first watch online with box and papers and never thought of checking if all correct papers and boxes were delivered until I spoke to an Omega watch expert.

    The cards and boxes are easily and broadly faked by sellers at this moment. Main reason is because these items are easily faked and increase the value of a watch significantly. Although we always advise to buy a watch with box and papers if it is less than 5 years old. The cards and boxes give no guarantee on itself. You must understand that a card must be authenticated on itself as well. We explain how we did this next.

    Verifying the Omega boxes and cards

    We always verify to have the right boxes and papers by performing the following steps:

    • Check if we have the correct outer box which is obviously the box that carries the watch (in this example for a 2020 model a nice wooden box with white leather on the inside)
    • Validate we have an authentic Omega card pouch (a wallet that carries the cards)
    • Validate if we have the correct International Warranty card (most important card!)
    • Validate if we have the correct red Master Chronometer card
    • Validate if we have the correct red Pictograms card
    • Validate if we have the correct instructions booklet
    • Verify if the quality of the cards and stickers are correct, by observing the depth and gloss of the Omega logo on the cards. Fonts used. Gloss of the stickers (see for example golden sticker). If cards are fake, their "gloss" and finish is off. To validate this a person needs to have experience with Omega and their real cards and boxes.
    • [optional] sometimes a box even comes with a store price tag (for example in this case). Always nice to have!

    Omega cards delivered with Omega Seamaster 300M DiverImage of the card pouch (left) and price tag (left). On the right the three red cards (Master Chronometer, Pictograms and International warranty card)

    Step 2: Checking the Omega serial number

    Serial numbers are used for every genuine Omega watch and are unique numbers used to track all individual watches. In case of a full set we perform the following checks.

    • Observe the serial number on the case (in this case in the lug)
    • Check if the correct serial number is also included on the International warranty card 
    • Check if the correct serial number is also engraved on the balance bridge of the movement (watchmaker opens the case carefully to prevent damage to the movement and the case)
    • We make sure that the quality of the inscription is correct. This is basically shown by the quality and depth of the engraving that can only be concluded by an experienced Omega watchmaker or an Omega expert.

    Unfortunately many people think the Omega serial number check is sufficient to spot a fake Omega watch. But this is not the case. The serial numbers can be easily copied on replica watches. Therefore merely checking with the archives of Omega, or validating the serial numbers on the cards and the watch match, is not enough. An Omega watch expert really looks at the finishing of the serial number engraving. Exact positioning. And even the depth of the engraving to know if it is really an authentic serial number.

    Serial number on lug of a 2020 Omega Seamaster  Above you can see the serial number engraved on the lug of the watch.

    Serial number on balance bridge of 2020 Omega Seamster
    Serial number on movement (balance bridge)

    Step 3: Making sure the movement is correct and in good quality

    Spotting a fake Omega watch used to be fairly easy when observing the movement. If the watch contained a quartz movement or was really badly finished, you were almost certain the watch is a fake. This was sometimes even as easy as listening to the ticking sound of the movement. If it is was really rough or not present at all. You knew you'd have a fake Omega watch in your hands. But these days big bucks are earned through online scams with selling fake luxury watches. Almost every luxury watch brand model is replicated with high quality to the smallest details. And the quality of the movements have improved big time in last couple of years. 

    Many Omega watches have the co-axial movement. And when a watch does not have this movement -while it should- you know it is a fake Omega watch. But to know the movement is authentic, you must make sure it contains only genuine Omega parts. In order to do this, you need a close look through a loupe.

    During our assessment we make sure there are no fake, unauthentic or incorrect parts in the Omega movement. We only accept real Omega parts. Our experienced watchmakers observe the following:

    • Verify if all components are authentic Omega parts. By observing quality of finishing. Use of genuine Omega fonts. Use of correct materials.
    • Make sure the complications and build up of the movement is correct (e.g. in this case co-axial)
    • Validate if adjusting the time works correctly and is smooth
    • Observe the lubrication of parts is up to standards (like new in this case as it was sold as "new")
    • No dirt or damage to movement parts.

     

    Step 4: Checking the case and bracelet

    During this step we make sure there are no fake, unauthentic or incorrect parts in used in for the case, glass and bracelet. As said, we only accept real Omega parts. We have experienced watches that are pre-owned and fitted with a fake bracelet. Probably fitted by a watchmakers that is not Omega certified. If you want to buy an authentic bracelet, it will set you back at least €600. You don't want this obviously.

    Our experienced watchmakers observe the following:

    • Observing quality of case finishing. Including quality of brushing. Materials used. Crown position must be upright and watertight. The quality of the Omega branding applied, like the Omega logo on the lugs.
    • Observing the quality and finishing through a loupe on the dial. Including the material on the hands. The applied Omega logo. Material in the plots and the depth of engravings in the dial.
    • Observing the quality and finishing of the bracelet including quality of the bracelet pins. The material used. And the finishing applied on the bracelet.
    • Our watchmakers check if this Ceramic finishing is indeed correct and in accordance with Omega standards and procedures of applying this material. In this specific case the dial is made of Ceramic. To know if this is correct, one must have experience with new Omega watches that carry a Ceramic finishing. 

    Omega watch authentication the dial of the omega up close
    The dial up close. The ZrO2 stands for the material used in the dial. You can also see the date window up close with a crisp presentation of the date.

    How to check Omega watch authenticity the omega bezel
    The ceramic bezel up close with the indicator. Showing a high level of finishing quality.

    The Omega logo applied on the lug of the case (part of the quality and authenticity assessment)The logo engraved on the lug of the case.

    Step 5: Verifying water resistance and timekeeping

    Checking the timekeeping means more than to comparing the timekeeping accuracy of your watch with your telephone. Aspects such as beats per hour and daily deviations can only be checked with specialists material. It gives a rating to how good the movement is running and if it is up for service.

    During the final assessment after all the checks have been performed on the watch for authentication, our watch experts make some final checks.

    • Verifying timekeeping is within certificated (COSC in this case) with a Timegrapher machine. This machine detects the beats per second and daily deviation.
    • In addition there are multiple tools that can help with waterproofness testing. Making sure a watch is water resistant is very important as it is a dive watch.

    Although waterproofness and timekeeping on itself will say nothing about authenticity. It is important to understand the quality of the watch you are buying. And with Relleb, you will know exactly wat you buy. During our authentication we have encountered fake watches with cheaper but accurate ETA movements in super fakes. These watches were sometimes still waterproof and quite accurate, although they were not completely real Omega watches.

    In this case the watch has a helium escape valve. This is visible by the crown at 10 o clock on the case. Which bears the helium escape valve. This provides a higher depth rating to the watch. As the watch is able to resist more pressure. 

    The verdict

    Our Omega watch authentication is always complemented with the following attributes:

    • Detailed authentication report with photos and an explanation of our checks
    • Certificate of authenticity tag with a unique number

    In this case we concluded the watch is authentic and in accordance with the listing. The watch was sold as "new & unworn". And based on our testing we have clearly observed the watch is authentic and not worn by the previous owner.

    Here you can see the full set as it was shipped to our customer after authentication. Always insured and with protection to make sure all materials are protected appropriately.

    Omega Seamaster Diver300M full set after authentication by RellebFull set after authentication by Relleb with case protection. 

    Can you authenticate an Omega watch on your own?

    If you are a watch expert you certainly can. If you are not, you will not be able to perform certain steps. Such as verifying if the materials are correct. If Omega finishing is applied correctly. If the cards gloss and stickers are correct. Nor will you be able to open the case(back) to verify the movement and bracelet are authentic.

    So our advise would always be to have it authenticated by an experienced watchmaker.

    Where to find the Omega watch authentication service?

    If you think you can go to an Omega boutique. That is true. But for vintage Omega timepieces it will take them at least 2 months and you will have to pay CHF800 (€725,-). With a more recent model, one of our clients went to Omega to have his watch checked. He had to pay €1.300 and wait for 5 weeks. Did you know your protection period at Chrono24 and or other websites is 7-14 days? If you notify the seller after this period, it is very hard to get your money back. So even if you would consider this expensive option. If it is fake, you are already too late!

    We offer our online Omega watch authentication service to every buyer. Starting at €150 (USD $180 | GBP 130) per watch. Our authentication service is always performed within two business days after receipt. Whether you are buying on the Relleb marketplace or on Chrono24 or eBay. We got you covered. Even other luxury watch brands like Rolex, Breitling, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe are covered.

    What is the Omega Extract of the Archives?

    Omega has launched a service to help watch owners understand the heritage and story of their watch based on their serial number. You can request (online) an Extract from the Archives. It is a very nice feature and we love it when sellers add this to their watch offered for sale on the marketplace.

    But unfortunately this is also not waterproof. Replica Omega watches can still carry a correct serial number. Not to mention watches that have the correct case with the correct serial number, but a fake dial or other fake parts. You will never cover this with the Extract of the Archives. As this extract will only tell you when the watch was issued, the country of issuance, the model name, date of production and date of issuance. It doesn't tell you anything about the authenticity or quality of the watch. Which are the biggest risks when buying a watch online!

    But maybe the Omega Certificate of authenticity gives more certainty...

     

    What is the Certificate of authenticity by Omega?

    Omega has launched a watch authentication service. This service is only eligible for watches older than 30 years. Costs CHF800 (equal to €725,-) and this service will take 2 months to finalize. With the Relleb watch authentication service every watch is eligible, costs starts at €150 and the process is finalized within 2 business days after receipt of the watch.

    When you buy a watch online, you generally have 7-14 days to claim any issues with a watch. So when you opt-in for this Certificate of Authenticity service, you will for sure be too late if it is a fake.

    We offer our online Omega watch authentication service to every buyer. Starting at €150 (USD $180 | GBP 130) per watch. Our authentication service is always performed within two business days after receipt. If your watch is fake, we even take care of sending back the watch en you will be fully refunded. Thus no risks any more when buying a watch online.

    How do I authenticate my Omega?

    First check the Omega 8 digit serial number on the case back with the warranty card. Observe if the card is authentic by checking the Omega logo's on the card. Validate the movement is correct and has the right movement and serial number. Make sure the logo is applied correctly on the lugs. 

    From an overall perspective we follow the following steps:

    • Check the box and papers
    • Check the serial number
    • Check the (co-axial) movement
    • The case and strap or bracelet
    • Waterproofness and timekeeping tests

    Since you need tools to open the watch and need extensive experience with Omega watches. We always advise to have it authenticated by an experienced Omega watchmaker.

    Where is the serial number on an Omega watch?

    The Omega 8 digit serial number is found on the case back of new watches. In the past Omega issued also 5 to 7 digit serial numbers which could also be engraved on another place on the watch or inside the case and movement. Closely observe the case and movement in order to find the serial number.

    How do I know if my Omega watch is stolen?

    You can check if your watch is stolen with national registers. There are also international registers like TheWatchRegister.com where you can check if your watch is listed as stolen. We always check if a watch is stolen when you buy on the Relleb platform or with our authentication service on other marketplaces like Chrono24 or eBay.

    Written by

    Kenny Vaes, watch enthusiast, co-owner of Relleb

    Last updated December 22, 2021

    Want to check if a watch is real?

    • Zero risk purchase - сheck a watch before you buy it
    • Authentication by brand-certified watchmakers

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