Zenith and Omega are luxury brands that create fine chronograph watches with excellent reliability and impeccable craftsmanship.
Their prices don’t differ much either, which is why many compare these two brands, especially when it comes to chronograph complications.
So, which is the better option if you’re looking for a chronograph watch? What other advantages does each brand offer in their product line?
This comparison guide will help you decide which brand is better suited to your needs.
Omega was established in the early 1900s which means they have more than a century of experience in manufacturing high-quality timepieces. In 1917, they became the supplier of the British Flying Corps and the US Army, creating military-grade units that remained reliable even under strenuous situations because of the quality, reliability, and durability of
Omega watches, they’ve been chosen as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games and remains to be their partner up to this day.
The Moonwatch further propelled Omega’s reputation. As a result, celebrities and prominent figures appreciated Omega products more. George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Jacques Cousteau, and John F. Kennedy are some of the most notable people that love Omega watches.
- Durable build designed to last a lifetime
- A trustworthy and popular brand with high resell value
- Wide variety of watch collections with different styles
- Highly accurate movements
- Excellent lume brightness
- High water resistance ratings
- Some models are more expensive than they should be when compared to similar watches from other brands
- The brand’s popularity makes it less exclusive
- Some of their designs look repetitive
Zenith is an old watch manufacturer with a long history of watchmaking milestones. The company was founded in 1865 and is known for producing award-winning chronometers.
What put the brand in the radar of watch collectors is the introduction of the Zenith El Primero which has an in-house caliber movement of 5Hz and a 36,000 VpH. This is the same base movement found in the Daytona Chronograph 16520 which is a legend in the horological community.
After Zenith recovered from the Quartz Crisis, they resumed producing mechanical movements. They kept on winning awards for developing accurate complications and vintage models that are bound to become timeless classics.
- Precise movement of chronograph watches
- Skeleton watches give a different look from the usual solid dial
- Classic designs with excellent craftsmanship
- Elegant style that’s best used as dress wear accessories
- Relatively expensive compared to other high-end and luxury brands
- Lower water resistance rating compared to Omega watches
- Limited design variety
Comparing Omega vs Zenith
Here’s a brief comparison of the major points that Zenith and Omega offer.
Movements and Quality
Zenith is known for creating one of the best chronograph movements ever made in the form of Zenith El Primero. It’s a 5Hz caliber with a whopping 36,000 VpH. This means the heartbeat of the mechanical movement is so fast that you’ll barely see the balance wheel oscillating.
Omega manufactures one of the most precise mechanical movements in the world. Their Chronometer watches have an accuracy of +4/-6 seconds which is considered an excellent deviation for mechanical movements.
But Omega didn’t stop with this as they also have COSC-certified Master Chronometer watches. These have passed further testing and have an accuracy of -0/+5 seconds per day. Only a handful of brands beat Omega at this level.
So, in terms of chronograph accuracy, Zenith has the upper hand. But for general use, Omega watches have better precision.
Style and Variety
Zenith offers 4 main collections – Defy, Chronomaster, Elite, and Pilot – and 2 special editions – Chronomaster Revival and 50th El Primero Anniversary – to customers.
The Defy collection is made mainly of skeleton watches. Zenith takes its design and expert craftmanship with Chronomaster which mainly features skeleton watches with chronograph functions. The Elite focuses on simple but elegant designs best used as a dress watch. The
Pilot, on the other hand, is a throwback to classic pilot watches, complete with oversized crowns and large Arabic numeral hour markers.
Omega also has a wide selection of watches and each collection is crafted with a certain design that will appeal to specific customers.
The Speedmaster is one of the most popular collections and its sporty look is complemented by chronograph functions and a tachymeter bezel. The Seamaster has a design that emphasizes on legibility necessary for underwater watches. De Ville’s sophisticated and elegant look works well when worn with formal wear.
Omega became more popular because of its Seamaster model that was the first of its kind in terms of water resistance rating. But with the achievements of the Moonwatch as being the first watch that made to the moon and back, Omega made leaps and bounds by showing everyone what its products can do.
Because of this milestone, Omega has been hailed as one of the most innovative watch companies and continues to be one of the leading brands in the world.
Zenith may not have the same popularity as Omega, but they hold the record for being the only watch to survive a 27,000-foot free fall with speeds reaching up to the speed of sound. Though the feat didn’t grab as much attention as the Moonwatch’s first landing on the moon, Zenith positioned itself as a reliable manufacturer that designs timepieces for serious collectors.
In terms of ranking, Omega sits at the number 2 position as the most popular watch brand in the world. Zenith, on the other hand, ranks 14th among the list of Swiss watch manufacturers.
Omega provides a five-year warranty on all their watches.
Zenith, on the other hand, provides a two-year warranty on their products. You can extend this to three years when you register your watch with them upon purchase.
You can get an Omega for around $3,500 with the De Ville Prestige model. On the other hand, the cheapest Zenith watch you can buy is the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special which is priced at $5,400.
Zenith probably has more expensive models because they don’t manufacture as many watches as Omega does. Also, Zenith has a longer history than Omega, so it has a higher historical value compared to the latter.
Omega is a name that can be compared with Rolex in terms of popularity. But even though Zenith isn’t as prominent as other luxury brands, it has a massive following because of its long history in the watchmaking industry.
If you’re looking for precision chronometers, Zenith offers the best among luxury brands. But if you’re after a chronograph watch for general use, Omega products would be the more practical choice.