Jaeger-Lecoultre vs. Omega: Which Is The Better Luxury Watch Brand?
We will be comparing two big Swiss watch brands, Jaeger-Lecoultre and Omega. In the end, you will find out what makes them tick and which one is best for you. When we talk about watches in general, these two brands are among the major ones mentioned.
They are both respected among watchmakers and are highly coveted. Each one has its uniqueness and appeal. Further on in this post, we will look at many areas to consider when deciding on a watch brand as we compare these two.
To make a selection between these two, on which is better, one has to consider the aspect of a watch they are talking about first. Are you making a selection based on brand popularity, prestige, horology, craftsmanship, or second-hand value?
Let us now look at Jaeger-LeCoultre vs. Omega and their innovation, history, and technological advancement.
History of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Omega
Omega’s history boasts of some iconic moments. It is most famous for being the first watch on the moon. It made history in 1969 when the Apollo 11 space team landed on the moon.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, wore his Speedmaster as he set foot on the moon, making it the first watch on the lunar surface. Today, the Speedmaster is known as the Moonwatch.
The Omega Seamaster features in every James Bond movie since Pierce Brosnan starred in Goldeneye. Some special editions of the Omega Seamaster have had James Bond themes.
Jaeger-Lecoultre didn’t start as a watchmaker. They used to supply some of the best watch brands in the business with mechanical moving parts.
The list of the brands they provided parts for before they started making their watches include: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. It’s no secret how they now design some of the most sophisticated mechanical watches on the planet.
The Reverso watch is one of the innovations that has earned them their high ratings amongst the watchmaking industry. The piece has a reversible design and has caused lots of watchmakers to be more creative with their styles.
When it comes to Swiss watches, The Omega brand is the second most recognized brand, and its brand value estimate is at over $4 billion.
With a brand value estimated at over $700 million, Jaeger-Lecoultre stands at number 11 on the Swiss watch brand recognition chart, highly respected amongst watchmakers. In the Jaeger-LeCoultre vs. Omega brand recognition race, Omega wins.
Men’s Omega watch prices range from $3,500 to $30,000 and can go for as high as $50,000 for the more exquisite models that feature gold and diamond stones. For the ladies’ models, prices start at about $2,550 and sell for up to $40,000 for higher-end models.
Jaeger-Lecoultre men’s watches have prices starting from $5,300, and for the more complicated models which make them stand out, they can sell for well over $1,000,000. Jaeger-Lecoultre also makes high-quality bespoke models.
The $2.5 million Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie is a good example. Then there is the priceless Joaillerie 101 Manchette gifted to Queen Elizabeth II on her 60th anniversary as Queen of England.
Omega watches come with a warranty period of five years. Recently they matched Rolex, which started offering a five-year warranty in 2015 as opposed to the standard industry two-year warranty period.
In the case where your warranty period expires, and you send your watch to the factory for repairs, you will get an additional one-year warranty period, or in some cases, some companies give up to two years after factory repairs.
You get a warranty period of two years on a Jaeger-Lecoultre when you purchase a new timepiece. Jaeger-LeCoultre will extend the two-year warranty by another six years after registering your new watch with the Care Program online, making the warranty a total of eight years.
This addition only applies if the watch is still under their international limited warranty during the registration.
Very few brands can compete with the Jaeger-Lecoultre in this category. When it comes to watchmaking, Jaeger-Lecoultre is in a league of its own and has earned its status as the watchmaker’s watchmaker. At some time, they had created the mechanical watch with the most complex functionalities in the world.
An average man might not appreciate the Jaeger-Lecoultre, but you will get noticed and complimented by watch collectors and connoisseurs.
Omega doesn’t delve deep into high horology. They focus on making designs for everyday life and are one of the best at doing so. They don’t try to make very complicated designs like Jaeger-Lecoultre, because that is not their clientele.
They aim at creating the perfect watch that people would use daily for sports, office, and outings. Recently, they started using their co-axial escapements for the movements of all their mechanical watch designs, which allows people to use them much longer before needing service.
Amongst mechanical watchmakers, Omega makes some of the most accurate watches. The Omega Master Chronometers surpass the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) chronometer standard.
Omega uses new watch techniques and materials, such as silicon springs with magnetic resistance, to reduce electromagnetic frequencies acting on the mechanical caliber.
Omega makes some of the most reliable mechanical watches. In the 1960s, NASA had slated the Omega Speedmaster for all its space missions. Omega is the only brand with the METAS certification.
Jaeger-LeCoultre tests their watches for quality control more than any other mechanical watchmaker. That says a lot about the brand and their expectations for their product. Jaeger-Lecoultre is on top of the ladder when it comes to actual time spent in quality control.
They test their watches for 1,000 hours, and when they pass the test, they get stamped with the JL logo and “1000 HOURS CONTROL” seal of quality on the back of the case. Patek Philippe tests for only 216 hours before issuing their own Patek Philippe seal of quality.
An overview of Jaeger-LeCoultre watch testing:
- Testing everyday usage, they place the watch in a machine that works like the watch winder and then simulate the motion it would undergo in a real-life scenario on a regular day
- They place the watch in six alternate positions and test its amplitude and balance
- They test the power supply to make sure the watch can last for as long as they claim
- They expose the watch to environmental factors, such as various temperatures, to test the functionality
- They start testing at 22° C (71.6° F)
- Then test at 4° C (39.2° F)
- Finally, they test at 40° C (104° F)
- For approximately two weeks, the watch is subject to the Cyclotest inspection
During the inspection, the watches are placed in different angles and left in those positions for different time intervals, testing their accuracy in real-life scenarios.
- Finally, they test the watch to make sure it can withstand the water resistance capacity
- The test involves exposing the watches to varying air pressures ranging from 3 to 20 atmospheres depending on the watch model
Jaeger-Lecoultre doesn’t divulge too much information concerning the accuracy and tolerance to deviation for their watches.
The second-hand value for pre-owned watches depends on various factors. Omega and Jaeger-Lecoultre will, to some extent, hold their second-hand value. Some brands have better resale value, such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex.
Many watch brands don’t do as well on second-hand value as an Omega or a Jaeger-Lecoultre watch. So they are quite up there but not on top when it comes to second-hand value.
Typically, watches that appreciate are the ones with rare designs, limited editions, and numbered models. Most of the time, the value of a watch will drop once you begin to use it.
Popular Jaeger-Lecoultre Collections
Popular Omega Collections
- Trilogy 1957
- Aqua Terra Quartz
- Planet Ocean 600m
- Aqua Terra Co-Axial
- De Ville Prestige
- De Ville Tresor
- De Ville Automatic
- De Ville Ladymatic
- Constellation Automatic
- Constellation Quartz
In general, if you want to leave an impression on a watch collector or on people who know about watches, you should go for a Jaeger-Lecoultre model with high complications. Jaeger-Lecoultre is a more exclusive brand, and its watches are of a higher class.
On the other hand, if you want to impress the average layman, you’re better off with an Omega since a larger percentage of everyday people recognize the brand. In terms of design options, they both make great-looking watches that are worth buying.
But in the Jaeger-LeCoultre vs. Omega contest of quality, reliability, popularity, and technological advancement, Omega stands out. The best part is you can easily purchase Jaeger-LeCoultre and Omega luxury watches from Exquisite Timepieces.