Which one of these chronograph watches is better for you?
When you’re in the market for a chronograph (a watch with a stopwatch/timer function) you most probably have already checked out the “Speedy” (as watch collectors call it), and the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. These are two of the most popular chronographs on the market from two very well respected Swiss watchmakers. Each has its own great history, merits, and unique features. While there is a significant price difference between these two watches, let’s put all the money aside and just compare the watches themselves. Let us guide you and provide answers that will let you decide which you should choose and which you think is better for your needs, the Speedmaster or the Daytona.
Both of these collections have evolved throughout the years. Today, the brand’s newer models have an updated mechanical caliber and ceramic bezels that are highly resistant to scratches, discoloration from ultraviolet rays, and corrosion. Oftentimes the newer bezels are designed in a way that uses a more advanced method for imprinting the tachymeter scale on the bezel rings. The dials on both have sub-dials for the chronograph feature and the Omega Speedmaster is designed with chronograph sub-registers that appear proportionately larger in proportion to the dial.
For your convenience, you can compare and examine any of these collections in a new window by clicking on the buttons below otherwise proceed with the full comparison.
One of the wonderful things about the Omega Speedmaster is the use of the new standard by Omega; the Co-Axial Escapement. This offers greater precision, stability, and durability. The Co-Axial escapement has less friction and reduces the need for lubricants which allows for a longer amount of time between routine service and maintenance. Another proprietary feature is the Si 14 balance spring, a silicon balance spring design. The Si14 shows higher resistance to outside influences from electromagnetic fields, and shock. As a result, it enhances the performance of the chronometer.
In terms of accuracy, the Omega Speedmaster falls short when compared to the Rolex Daytona with its Superlative Chronometer designation indicating the accuracy is at least -2/+2 seconds per day, impressively more accurate than the Speedmaster’s standard COSC certified chronometer designation which is only accurate to -4/+6 seconds per day. Then again, that’s what an extra $12,000 would get you.
However, there are certain Omega Speedmaster watches that featured a Master Chronometer designation which means that after passing the COSC certification they then go through another testing Institute called METAS. When completing the METAS testing the watch receives a designation of Master Chronometer which indicates an accuracy of -0 to +5 seconds per day.
At the moment, the Speedmasters with METAS certified Master Chronometer designations are limited to the Speedmaster Moonphase Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph 44.25mm series and the Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer Chronograph 44.25mm series. While at the time of writing this article, these two are the only series in the Speedmaster collection that received this prestigious horological designation, it may be a sign that in coming years, and hopefully not decades, we can expect more and more of them to have it as well. It’s also possible that either more modern METAS Certified Master Chronometer calibers will exclusively be taking their place, or, existing calibers will be modified and adjusted to offer this special 3rd party designation. Mind you, hiring a third party to provide an official certification on a movement is more expensive but well worth it for it would play a part in increase the brand’s overall watchmaking prestige.
The Speedmaster family of watches has many models that are entirely different in terms of their power source. Some run on an automatic (self-winding) watch caliber, some such as the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatches run on a hand-wound (aka manual-wind) movement, and then there are some such as the Skywalker X-33 run on a battery-powered movement. The brand’s crowning achievement, the Moonwatch, traditionally used a hand-wound caliber though and the company tried to keep things traditional. A long has passed since it was introduced so perhaps even this will one day change.
- More legible under dark conditions
- Style Options
- The Speedmaster is a large collection with many different style options
- You can buy a Speedmaster for about one-third of the price of a Rolex Daytona
- Brand Prestige
- The Omega brand is not as prestigious as Rolex
- Resale Value
- The Omega brand generally has a lower resale value
- Accuracy & Precision
- The movement is not as accurate as a Superlative Chronometer
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
In terms of prestige, the Rolex brand is, bar none, the most recognizable watch brand in the world, with almost 100% brand recognition worldwide, while Omega watches, is slightly behind at 70%. You probably also noticed a substantial price difference between these two watches but make sure to note that a Rolex will almost always have a higher resell value. Of course, the watch itself would really determine how much money you would get when selling it. In some cases, they may even appreciate in value. To some, resale value is a really important factor, to others, there are more important things than what their watch will sell for on the pre-owned market down the line. For example, some like iconic watches and value that the Omega Speedmaster (albeit not this particular model) is tied to the moon landing many years ago since the first watch on the moon was a “Speedy”. It became one of the most collectible watches in the industry and if you search for it, you can be seen on the wrist of many watch collectors as well as famous faces around the world. Omega soon became the go-to brand for NASA and their space missions.
In terms of accuracy, the Rolex’s Daytona takes the cake with its Superlative Chronometer designation indicating the accuracy of at least -2/+2 seconds per day, impressively more accurate than a standard COSC certified chronometer designation which is accurate to -4/+6 seconds per day.
- Resale Value
- Rolex watches generally has a higher resale value than Omega but it always depends on the watch
- Brand Prestige
- They also have a slightly more internationally recognizable brand than Omega
- Precision & Accuracy
- A Rolex Superlative Chronometer designation means you have a more accurate movement
- Style Options
- Not as many style options
- Price Tag
- Higher price tag