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The Complete Guide To Understanding Omega Serial Numbers

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The various numbering systems used by luxury watch manufacturers to identify their models can get fairly confusing. Renowned Swiss brand Omega is no exception, and you can easily find yourself getting lost trying to figure out the difference between serial numbers, reference numbers, and in Omega’s case, PIC numbers.

So, we have put together this guide to help explain how serial numbers differ from the other systems, why having your serial number is important, how they have changed over time and where you can find it on your watch.

Omega Serial Numbers Blog-warranty cards

Serial Numbers, Reference Numbers And PIC Numbers: What’s the Difference?

The quick version is that PIC (or Product Identification Code) numbers are simply what Omega now calls their reference numbers. These are used to categorize the model, materials, functions and features of each individual watch, and the manufacture has used four different systems over the years.

Before 1962 it was a simple alphanumeric code of two letters followed by four digits.

PIC (XXXX.YY.ZZ)

  • XXXX: Product Line, Material Type and Product Variation
    • First X: Product line
      • 1: Constellation
      • 2: Seamaster
      • 3: Speedmaster
      • 4: Deville (Prestige and Symbol)
      • 5: Louis Brandt
      • 7: DeVille (Vasarelli)
    • Second X: Material Type
      • 1: Gold case on gold bracelet
      • 2: Steel/gold case on steel/gold bracelet
      • 3: Steel/gold case on partial steel/gold bracelet
      • 4: Steel/gold case on steel bracelet
      • 5: Steel case on steel bracelet
      • 6: Gold case on leather strap
      • 7: Steel/gold case on leather strap
      • 8: Steel case on leather strap
    • Third and Fourth Xs: Product Variation
      • Varies by product line
  • YY: Dial Color and Hour Markers
    • First Y: Dial color
      • 1: Champagne
      • 2: White
      • 3: Silver
      • 4: Gray
      • 5: Black
      • 6: Ivory
      • 8: Blue
    • Second Y: Hour markers
      • 0: Mixed
      • 1: Index
      • 2: Arabic
      • 3: Roman
      • 5: Diamonds
  • ZZ: Strap
    • 01: Black
    • 02: Brown
    • 03: Blue
    • 04: Green

Between 1962 and 2007 they used the Mapics system, consisting of two letters followed by either six or seven numbers.

Mapics (XXXXXX-YY ZZ)

  • First X: Bracelet Material Type
    • 1: Leather strap (men’s)
    • 2: Leather strap and diamond bezel (men’s)
    • 3: Bracelet (men’s)
    • 4: Bracelet and diamond bezel (men’s)
    • 5: Leather strap (ladies’)
    • 6: Leather strap and diamond bezel (ladies’)
  • Second X
    • 0: Manual winding chronograph
    • 4: Manual winding chronograph
    • 6: Non-chronograph
    • 7: Self-winding chronograph
    • 8: Quartz or tuning fork chronograph
  • Third X: Additional Features
    • 5: No date
    • 6: Date
    • 8: Chronometer
  • Last three Xs: Differentiation of Various Models
  • YY: Year of Manufacture
  • ZZ: Case Material (could come before or after the numbers)
    • BA: Yellow gold
    • BC: White gold
    • BG: Pink Gold
    • BT: Platinum
    • DA: Yellow gold combination
    • DD: Gold combination
    • DG: Pink gold combination
    • DL: Gold combination
    • MD: Gold plated
    • SP: Strap
    • ST: Stainless steel
    • TA: Titanium and yellow gold combination
    • TI: Titanium
    • TL Titanium and pink gold combination

The PIC system started in 1988, running concurrently with Mapics, and featured an arrangement of eight numbers in three groups (XXXX.XX.XX).

Finally, today we have the PIC14 structure, with 14 digits in six groups.

Omega Serial Numbers Blog-International Warranty Omega Serial Numbers Blog-Pictogram card

PIC14 (AAA.BB.CC.DD.EE.FFF)

  • AAA: Collection
    • 123: Constellation
    • 212: Seamaster Diver
    • 215/232: Seamaster Planet Ocean
    • 231: Seamaster Aqua Terra
    • 233: Seamaster 300
    • 311: Speedmaster
    • 331: Speedmaster ’57
    • 327: Speedmaster Mark II
    • 425: Ladymatic
    • 432: De Ville Trésor
  • BB: Housing Material and Strap Type
    • 10-13: Stainless steel
    • 15-18: Stainless steel and paved
    • 20-23: Stainless steel and gold
    • 25-28: Stainless steel and gold paved
    • 30-33: Stainless steel and other material
    • 35-38: Stainless steel and other material paved
    • 50-53: Gold
    • 55-58: Gold paved
    • 60-63: Gold and other material
    • 65-68: Gold and other material paved
    • 90-93: Other material
    • 95-98: Other material paved
  • CC: Watch diameter size in millimeters
  • DD: Type of Movement and Number of Complications
    • First D: Movement type
      • 0: Mechanical
      • 1: Mechanical chronometer
      • 2: Mechanical with Co-Axial
      • 3: Mechanical with Chronograph
      • 4: Mechanical Chrono Chronometre
      • 5: Mechanical Chrono with Co-Axial
      • 6: Quartz
      • 7: Quartz Chronograph
    • Second D: Number of complications (0-9)
  • EE: Dial Color
    • 01: Black
    • 02: Silver
    • 03: Blue
    • 04: White
    • 05: White MOP
    • 06: Grey
    • 07: Colored MOP
    • 08: Champagne
    • 09: Ivory
    • 10: Other Color
    • 11: Red
    • 12: Yellow
    • 13: Brown
    • 14-99: Dial color with other combinations such as precious stones
  • FFF: Model Number Sequence

So, like I said, it can get a little perplexing. Fortunately, the serial numbers are a bit more straightforward.

What Is a Serial Number?

Every watch in the Omega collection gets a unique serial number. Unlike the PIC numbers, which classify a certain group of watches, the serial number IDs the exact individual watch.

Because these serial numbers are issued more or less chronologically, they can be used to ball park the approximate date the watch was made by checking it against a production chart, such as the ones below. As well as that, they can be used to check if the watch has been stolen, or to authenticate whether it is genuine or counterfeit. For example, if a particular model was first released in the 1990s but has a serial number dating it to the 1970s, it is very likely a fake. Similarly, if there is no number at all, it would be a major red flag.

Omega Serial Numbers

Omega began using serial numbers from roughly 1894 onwards, starting with 1,000,000.

Every watch produced since then has been given a seven or eight digit number, following on sequentially (with some exceptions, which we will come to in a moment), until around 2019. That was when the brand hit 99,999,999.

After that, instead of issuing nine digit reference numbers, Omega went the same route as Rolex and started using randomized eight digit numbers. While Rolex Serial Number are straight forward, Omega’s history with identifying their watches usually need some additional clarity. The randomization means it will be more difficult, if at all possible, to work out the year the most recent models were made.

Where is My Serial Number?

So where can you find your watch’s serial number? The easiest and quickest way to find it is on some of the paperwork that came with the model when it was originally purchased. It will be written on the warranty card, the chronometer certificate, the certificate of authenticity or, if the watch has been serviced, on the official service records.

Of course, there is always a chance that you don’t have any of these documents—if the watch is vintage or even just preowned, they can easily go astray. In that case, you could order an ‘Extract from the Archives’ directly from Omega or, failing that, locate the number on the watch itself.The exact placement will change depending on the age of the model, but you should be able to find it on either:

  • The movement
  • The inside of the case back
  • The outside of the case back
  • The underside of the lugs

Typically with older models, Omega’s serial numbers are the caliber’s serial number, and so it will be engraved on one of the internal movement’s bridges (the bar which attaches to the mainplate and forms a framework for the various mechanisms) or else the inside of the case back. So if you can’t find the number on the watch’s exterior, it will be necessary to remove the back to locate it—we would recommend getting a professional jeweler to do this for you.

From about 1990 onwards, the brand also started including the serial number on the outside of the watch too, either on the lugs or else on the case back.

Omega Serial Number Blog-serial number on lug

The Exceptions

There are, however, a few anomalies to be aware of.

Firstly, some of Omega’s watches use non-chronometer rated calibers, or calibers made by a third party, e.g. ETA. These will not have movement serial numbers engraved on them, and so you will need to check one of the other locations.

Secondly, because of the way mass production works, even in an industry as fastidious as watchmaking, the movement may have been assembled (and been given its serial number) considerably earlier than the rest of the watch. So a newer model could well have a lower serial than an older one.

Thirdly, it is not unheard of for Omega to vary the position of their serial numbers on the same model type, for reasons known only to themselves. Not finding the number where you would expect it to be doesn’t automatically mean the watch is counterfeit, so be thorough in any type of inspection.

Finally, and most confusingly, the legendary Omega Speedmaster range has its own numbering system, separate from the rest of the collection. So if you are looking up your Speedy’s serial number, be sure you are using the dedicated chart below.

Omega Serial Numbers 1894-2008 (Excluding Speedmasters)

Year First Made Serial NumbersYear First Made Serial Numbers
18941,000,000-1,999,999197943,000,000-43,999,999
19022,000,000-2,999,999198044,000,000-44,999,999
19063,000,000-3,999,999198245,000,000-45,999,999
19104,000,000-4,999,999198446,000,000-46,999,999
19155,000,000-5,999,999198447,000,000-47,999,999
19236,000,000-6,999,999198548,000,000-48,999,999
19257,000,000-7,999,999198649,000,000-49,999,999
19348,000,000-8,999,999198650,000,000-50,999,999
19399,000,000-9,999,999198951,000,000-51,999,999
194410,000,000-10,999,999Not Used52,000,000-52,999,999
194711,000,000-11,999,999199153,000,000-53,999,999
195012,000,000-12,999,999199354,000,000-54,999,999
195213,000,000-13,999,999199555,000,000-55,999,999
195414,000,000-14,999,999199856,000,000-56,999,999
195615,000,000-15,999,999199857,000,000-57,999,999
195816,000,000-16,999,999199858,000,000-58,999,999
195917,000,000-17,999,999199859,000,000-59,999,999
196118,000,000-18,999,999199960,000,000-60,999,999
196219,000,000-19,999,999200061,000,000-61,999,999
196320,000,000-20,999,999200062,000,000-62,999,999
196421,000,000-21,999,999200063,000,000-63,999,999
196522,000,000-22,999,999200064,000,000-64,999,999
196623,000,000-23,999,999200165,000,000-65,999,999
196624,000,000-24,999,999200266,000,000-66,999,999
196725,000,000-25,999,999200267,000,000-67,999,999
196826,000,000-26,999,999200368,000,000-68,999,999
196827,000,000-27,999,999200369,000,000-69,999,999
196928,000,000-28,999,999200470,000,000-70,999,999
196929,000,000-29,999,999200471,000,000-71,999,999
196930,000,000-30,999,999200572,000,000-72,999,999
196931,000,000-31,999,999200573,000,000-73,999,999
197032,000,000-32,999,999200574,000,000-74,999,999
197133,000,000-33,999,999200575,000,000-75,999,999
197234,000,000-34,999,999200576,000,000-76,999,999
197235,000,000-35,999,999200577,000,000-77,999,999
197336,000,000-36,999,999200678,000,000-78,999,999
197337,000,000-37,999,999200679,000,000-78,999,999
197438,000,000-38,999,999200680,000,000-80,999,999
197539,000,000-39,999,999200781,000,000-81,999,999
197740,000,000-40,999,999200782,000,000-82,999,999
197841,000,000-41,999,999200783,000,000-83,999,999
197942,000,000-42,999,999200884,000,000-84,999,999

It is important to be aware that these charts are not compiled by the manufacture itself, but rather has been put together by enthusiasts. Therefore, they will not be 100% accurate and should only be used to give a rough idea of the age of your piece.*

Additionally, after 2008, we enter the more contemporary era of Omega watches and serial number data is sparse. To find out the date for a model with a serial number greater than 85,000,000, it is best to contact Omega directly.

Omega Speedmaster Serial Numbers

Year First Made Serial NumbersYear First Made Serial Numbers
195714,000,000-14,999,999197533,000,000-33,999,999
195815,000,000-15,999,999197634,000,000-34,999,999
1958/195916,000,000-16,999,999197735,000,000-35,999,999
196017,000,000-17,999,999197837,000,000-37,999,999
196118,000,000-18,999,999197938,000,000-38,999,999
196219,000,000-19,999,999198040,000,000-40,999,999
196320,000,000-20,999,999198142,000,000-42,999,999
1964/196522,000,000-22,999,999198243,000,000-43,999,999
196623,000,000-23,999,999198344,000,000-44,999,999
196724,000,000-24,999,999198445,000,000-45,999,999
196826,000,000-26,999,999198546,000,000-46,999,999
196927,000,000-27,999,9991986-198947,000,000-47,999,999
1970/197128,000,000-28,999,9991990-199948,000,000-48,999,999
197231,000,000-31,999,999New Numbering System Introduced49,000,000-76,999,999 skipped
197332,000,000-32,999,9991999+77,000,000+

A Final Word On Serial Numbers

If you happen to come upon an Omega watch without a serial number, it is most likely a fake—the brand assigns each of its watches with the number as an assurance to its validity.

The other side of that is not to take the presence of a serial number on its own as an absolute guarantee of authenticity. It is definitely worth doing a search for it on the internet, as counterfeiters will engrave the numbers on their replicas. However, they tend to use the same numbers for whole batches of copies. Many times, these will have been identified already as fakes by other watch enthusiasts and they will have reported them.

*Again, because of possible discrepancies in the manufacturing process, these dates should only be used as an approximation.

Two other, even better, options are to have the watch assessed by a professional jeweler or watchmaker, or simply get in contact with Omega themselves.

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