Buy Omega Railmaster watches – new, vintage or pre-owned
The Omega Railmaster
didn’t quite have the same career as its sister model, the Seamaster, for example. Its classic design and preference of being understated means that it hasn’t quite made it to the big screen or even on to the wrist of a superspy. Those who wear the Railmaster aren’t looking to make a statement but instead wear it mainly because of its historical and undervalued past. This model is the underdog in Omega's master trilogy, which only makes fans yearn for the watch even more.
In the Watchmaster range, there are several models of the Omega Railmaster
to choose from – new, vintage and certified pre-owned
. As soon as you have found your dream model, there are a wide range of payment options available. Would you rather pay in manageable instalments? Then you can choose to pay for your Omega Railmaster on finance
. Our customer service team is always available to advise you and are more than happy to answer your questions.
From crown to dial: the value of the Railmaster lies in the detail
As with many popular series, the value of Omega Railmaster watches
is in the detail. The anti-magnetic case has been kept across most models, with only the new edition of the Railmaster
from 2003 forgoing this feature. The dial, with its four Roman numerals and the characteristic triangles, went through various design cycles in the special edition models before going back to its roots for its 60th anniversary
. Another critical detail is the crown with the small symbol that is similar to the Mercedes star within the Omega logo. Like the original Seamaster, the Railmaster doesn’t have a screw-in crown. As an alternative, as water pressure increases, the crown applies more and more pressure against the seal. The 2003 model does, however, have a crown that can be screwed inwards.
Models and prices of the Omega Railmaster
Live your day-to-day life in a relaxed, casual and confident way with the Omega Railmaster (Ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001) on your wrist. This Railmaster has a retro feel and fabric strap in a trendy vintage look, but without actually being all that old. On the contrary: for €3,200 you won’t just get a watch with anti-magnetism properties some 15 times better than the Rolex Milgauss, but also an exquisite timepiece from 2018 in very good condition, including the original box and papers.
The Omega Railmaster (Ref. 2503.52.00) is the epitome of a classic. With this timepiece on your wrist you can do away with short-lived trends and prove that timeless style can in fact be purchased occasionally – for a price of just €2,800. A 39.2 mm stainless steel case with a black dial and transparent back with a view of the automatic movement is complemented by a brown leather strap with a folding clasp.
With an impressive 49.2 mm case, this watch is much larger than the previous models, but the Omega Railmaster (Ref. 2806.52.37) nestles neatly on the wrist. With a small seconds counter on the dial, red stitching on the inside of the black leather strap and a sapphire glass back cover over the hand-wound calibre, this 2009 model fetches a price of €3,150.
With a case diameter of 40 mm and a stainless steel case and bracelet, Omega offers a real all-rounder that can handle anything with the Railmaster (Ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001). The automatic calibre and retro look dial make it ideal for everyday use, even despite the absence of a date display on this model. Some second-hand models can be purchased for as little as €3,500.
Experience understatement par excellence with the Omega Railmaster (Ref. 2502.52.00). A truly stunning piece with its stainless-steel case and bracelet, automatic movement, black dial and luminous hands and indices. Pre-owned, this style is available now from €3,300.
The history of the Omega Railmaster – a watch for scientists and engineers
Like its sister models, the Seamaster and Speedmaster, the Railmaster
is part of Omega's Master trilogy
that set new standards back in 1957. While the Seamaster set new standards for diving watches and the Speedmaster established itself on the racetracks of the world, the Omega Railmaster
) was designed specifically for electrical engineers and scientists. Technically speaking, the Railmaster is in no way inferior to the other two series. The remarkable detail is the Faraday cage, which shields this model against magnetic fields of up to 1,000 Gauss
. A Faraday cage is formed by a coating on all sides, which is made of an electrical conductor and thus has a shielding effect. To craft this cage, Omega used a soft iron plate on the back of the case and made the dial thicker – taking the industry standard of 0.4 mm to 1 mm.
So, what’s the need for all this? Magnetic fields can be dangerous for watches. However, the actual damage they cause is usually exaggerated somewhat. Critical damage generally only occurs when the magnetic fields affect one of the most fragile and important parts of a watch: the balance spring. This damage to the spring can change the oscillation frequency of a watch, which leads to a loss of accuracy. This often causes significant losses in the value, especially for luxury watches.
When the Omega Railmaster
hit the market, other companies had already tried to solve the magnetic field problem. Rolex launched the Milgauss (Ref. 6541) in 1954, while IWC introduced the Ingenieur (Ref. 666). Omega developed its first prototypes in 1952 when the company produced an anti-magnetic watch
for the British Royal Air Force and built on this progress with a watch for the Canadian market afterwards (Ref. 2777-2). These models are considered the official predecessors of the Railmaster.
Limited editions of the Omega Railmaster
None of Omega's Master Series have as many interesting limited-edition models
as the Railmaster
. Omega trialled several models aimed at very specific professional groups
, each of which was produced for only a short period of time. Because as most collectors know, a watch with an interesting history and one that was released as a limited-edition piece is usually a very wise investment.
The first of these models is the Railmaster Railroad Official Standard, which was designed in the early 60s for train drivers of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The anti-magnetic properties were retained but the design was adapted to the needs of the profession. The dial of the ST 135.005 model is entirely white and the triangular hour markings customary to Omega have been replaced by black dots. However, Omega were actually sued for patent infringement by the watch manufacturer Ball, who specialized in railway watches, and eventually had to stop production. With this controversy, the first collector's item in the Railmaster series was born. Pre-owned, this watch will cost you approximately €2,300.
The Omega Seamaster Railmaster was manufactured exclusively for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The theory as to why is as follows: when the Rajas controlled British India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, everything connected via the railway was condemned, as the train drivers were considered servants of the British Empire. So, when Omega was commissioned to design watches for the PAF, they could not have a dial that was branded with “Railmaster”. So Omega took the Railmaster model but used the dial of a Seamaster. The models (Ref. 135004-63) are extremely rare and prices all start from €12,000.
Even more exclusive than this previous model is one that was produced for the Peruvian Air Force or Fuerza Aérea del Perú, which is known as the Omega Railmaster Flightmaster. The special thing about this model is that it was created before Omega even launched its Flightmaster series. The models (Ref. CK 2914 FAP) are sold for prices similar to the Omega Seamaster Railmaster, although prices are usually only provided on request.
In 1963 the production of the Railmaster was stopped for the first time. However, when Omega presented its co-axial escapement, the Railmaster was fitted with this part and reissued in 2003. The design largely remains unchanged with the exception of a transparent back cover, but the functions have expanded to include a chronometer. Surprisingly, the anti-magnetic case wasn’t included, which remains a novelty feature in the series. The series did not sell as well as expected, so Omega took it off the market again in 2012. Pre-owned models from this period like the Ref. 2802.52.37 or the Ref. 2512.52.00 are currently available for around €3,000.
In 2017 the Railmaster celebrated its second revival. With only 3,557 pieces made, Omega unveiled the limited edition Railmaster 60th Anniversary Trilogy 1957 Limited Edition 184.108.40.206.01.002 at Baselworld. Their size and design are exactly the same as the Railmaster from 1957. However, the new version is equipped with a new movement, the Omega Calibre 8806. The silicon used in the production of the escapement makes it up to 15 times more resistant to magnetic fields than the original. New watches cost around €5,500, while used models are available from €3,200.
Other interesting series
With the Seamaster, Omega offers a whole collection of outstanding diving watches. In particular, the Omega Seamaster 300M and its classic design and wave logo quickly gained popularity among the stars and established itself as a faithful sidekick of James Bond. It has since been reissued as a chronograph and in various other guises.
If classic understatement is more your thing, you should go for an Omega De Ville. The De Ville is available with cases in red gold, Sedna gold or stainless steel and can be purchased with various features such as a chronograph functionality, date display or annual calendar complications.
Less well known is that Omega also has a long-standing tradition in making ladies' watches. The appearance of the Omega Constellation Ladies is characterised by its four claws, with two of them 3 o’clock and another two at 9 o’clock, and the golden star at 6 o'clock. The cases made of stainless steel or luxurious gold alloys are crafted in a slim fashion, with 22.5 mm between the lugs. If you so desire, Constellation models are available with sparkling precious stones set in the bezel.