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Omega serial numbers

Luxury watch manufacturers use different reference systems to distinguish their models, and initially, interpreting these values can be intimidating. Omega is no exception to this challenge. It is very easy to become disoriented when attempting to understand the difference between serial numbers, reference numbers and Omega PIC numbers. This brief guide should help to clarify the distinctions. Note, that for antique watches, PIC numbers and reference numbers are currently not applicable as these terms are relatively recent.

Omega serial numbers

Each Omega watch comes with a unique serial number that identifies the year of production. Historically, the Omega serial number was engraved on the movement, at the time of production. For this reason, it is sometimes, incorrectly, called the movement number. The serial number can help verify the authenticity of the watch. If the watch has the original paperwork, which is a rarity with antique timepieces, the serial numbers should match between the movement and the documentation. The Omega serial number is not the same as the Reference number or the PIC (Product Identification Code), see section below.

Note: the Omega Speedmaster collection, best known for being the first watch on the moon and also the brand’s most iconic collection, follows a different Omega serial number system.

Where to find the serial number on an Omega watch

Dating back to 1894, every Omega watch has a unique 7 or 8 digit serial number, which is engraved onto the watch during production. The location of the number depends on the age of the watch, as Omega used various locations over the years.

The exact location of the serial number may vary depending on the age of the watch, but with antique Omega watches, the serial number is usually engraved on the movement. If opening the case proves difficult, it is best to consult a jeweller or watchmaker to avoid damaging the watch. The serial number is typically found in these locations:

On the watch movement.

The inside of the case back.

The outside of the case back.

On wristwatches, the underside of the lugs. This won’t be applicable to wire lugs.

Omega serial numbers by year of production

Omega serial numbers by year of production.
Omega serial numbers by year of production.

Reference numbers and PIC

The Omega Reference number and PIC (Product Identification Code) are essentially the same thing, under different names, the PIC being the latest iteration. Reference numbers were first introduced in 1957 for the Omega Seamaster 300 using a 6-digit code (CK 2913). It was further refined to an 8-digit code in 1962 and has evolved ever since. The PIC system was introduced in 1988 using an 8-digit code. Since 2007, each model of Omega watch has a unique PIC code, which consists of 14 digits. These do not currently apply to antique watches.

Do fake Omega watches have serial numbers?

An Omega watch that is missing its serial number, is almost certainly a fake. However, counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated all of the time and a fake antique Omega watch could include an invalid serial number. Short of cross-referencing a serial number with an Omega watch that is known to be authentic there is little that can be done. A mismatched font or poor-quality engraving might indicate that the serial number is fake. Buying from reputable sources is one way to minimise the risk of buying a fake.

Omega Watch Company

Omega has a long history dating back to 1848. It was founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Initially, Brandt assembled watches by hand using parts crafted by local artisans. Louis Brandt died in 1879 and his sons, Louis-Paul and Cesar, moved the company to Bienne in 1880. The factory remains there today. In 1903, the company officially adopted the name Omega. Over the years, Omega has become known for its quality, innovation, and iconic timepieces, such as the Omega Speedmaster.

Related content

Omega SA at Wikipedia.