Just like you, we love to browse watches. Yes, our daytime job is writing about them, but that doesn’t mean (at all) that we’re bored with watches when we get home in the evening. In a previous life, where I worked for an investment bank that sucked the life out of me during the day, I escaped by browsing (and buying) watches in the evenings. And although my daytime job today is a gift from heaven, I still like to search for nice watches in my spare time. In this column, Pre-Owned Spotlight, we share some of the watches that have recently caught our eye.

Despite ever-increasing prices, there are still some pretty awesome watches out there within reachable means. In that category, I picked a very nice vintage Omega Seamaster Cosmic from 1968. As for the modern watches and future classics, I selected a 39mm Rolex Explorer and a 39mm Omega Constellation Globemaster.

Pre-owned spotlight Rolex Explorer 214270

Rolex Explorer 214270. Image courtesy of Xupes.

Rolex Explorer 214270

I am aware that my colleague Nacho also showed you an Explorer in his Pre-Owned Spotlight article last week. His pick was an early one from 1957. Although that watch is still clearly related to the modern Explorer, many things have changed. Not all of them are for the best — I’ll be the first to admit that — but in general, you could say that in terms of technical aspects, a modern Rolex is better than its older counterparts. One of the things that makes this 2012 Rolex Explorer 214270 so interesting to me is that it is a 39mm watch.

The original Explorer was, as you know, 36mm, and the current Explorer has that same diameter as well (again). Rolex reintroduced the 36mm Explorer in 2021, simultaneously discontinuing the 39mm version. The latter only survived for 11 years, which, in Rolex terms, is a rather brief period. I am not very interested in the effect this might have on the value over time, but I like oddities. Whether they’re particular models (the Milgauss and Yacht-Master come to mind) or odd sizes, the less common Rolex watches are interesting to me.

Rolex Explorer 214270 pre-owned

Rolex Explorer 214270. Image courtesy of Xupes.

The 39mm Explorer looks better on my wrist than the 36mm Explorer (my wife has one, and I’ve tried it many times). On the first 39mm Explorers, the minute hand was too short and didn’t reach the minute markings on the dial. While Rolex corrected this later on with the”Mark II”, this is the earlier version with the short minute hand.

This Rolex Explorer 214270 is offered on Xupes for €8,699 and comes with the original Rolex box and papers. I realize that this price is higher than the retail price of a new Rolex Explorer (€7,000), but that’s today’s situation. If you prefer the current 36mm version, you might find some luck at the authorized Rolex dealer.

Omega Seamaster Cosmic pre-owned

Omega Seamaster Cosmic. Image courtesy of Brussels Vintage Watches.

Omega Seamaster Cosmic 166.026

There are still some nice pre-owned bargains to be found! I am not saying that €990 is cheap for a Seamaster Cosmic, but with vintage watches, the condition is everything, and this one looks amazing. When shopping vintage, you always need to be able to rely on the seller, and finding a trustworthy source is not always easy. I have had a very good experience with the company that is offering this Seamaster Cosmic 166.026. I bought my vintage 1952 Constellation from the folks at Brussels Vintage Watches, and they were an absolute pleasure to deal with. A bit of a missed opportunity that they didn’t include any Belgian waffles in the package, but given the condition and quick shipment, I can forgive that.

Omega Seamaster Cosmic

Omega Seamaster Cosmic. Image courtesy of Brussels Vintage Watches.

This Seamaster Cosmic dates back to 1968. It has a beautiful two-tone vertically brushed dial with an applied Omega logo and indices. One of the other cool aspects about this watch is the case back. It has a very flat central portion engraved with the Seamaster hippocampus logo and the reference number, and it’s flanked by polished, sloping edges. Inside, there’s the copper-colored Omega caliber 565 with a swan-neck regulator and a quick-set date. Collectors highly regard these 56x and 55x movements, and for good reason. They are incredibly accurate, serviceable, and a joy to look at. Brussels Vintage Watches had the movement fully serviced and gives a one-year warranty on the watch. It’s for sale here for €990.

pre-owned Omega Globemaster

Globemaster in two-tone. Image courtesy of Xupes.

Omega Constellation Globemaster

Another Omega, of course; what did you expect? I am highlighting this pre-owned Omega Globemaster because I think it is still one of the best modern watches out there and has been completely overlooked. The fluted bezel ticks a lot of people off because it reminds them too much of a Rolex Datejust or Day-Date, but the shape of the case is completely different. And on top of that, there’s only so much you can do with the shape of a bezel, and Omega was already making fluted bezels decades ago. Anyway, the Globemaster not only suffers from the association with Rolex models, but the name is also a bit confusing.

In the 1950s, Omega couldn’t export its Constellation watches to the USA due to problems with the name, so the brand temporarily used Globemaster for those watches instead. That’s the short version of that story, by the way. The Globemaster name hardly makes sense, although the modern Globemaster does have an hour hand you can set independently. This is useful if you travel to a different timezone. It would have been better if Omega had just called this watch either the Constellation or the Globemaster. But using two names for one watch is a bit, well, confusing.

Caliber 8900. Image courtesy of Xupes.

Aside from all that, it’s an amazing watch. The case is 39mm in diameter, which is perfect for many, and it uses the in-house caliber 8900. Omega’s Globemaster was the first collection to have the Master Chronometer certification in 2015.

My own Omega Globemaster

I have one of these models, and it’s one of the watches I cherish (you can read why here). Several versions are available, but this two-tone variant in steel and Sedna Gold with a blue dial is one of the nicest combinations to me. For €6,700 (with a retail price of €10,300), you’re buying a watch that is hard to beat when it comes to daily-wear specs (including a 100m water-resistance rating). But it’s also a real looker with its pie-pan dial and rose gold accents. The downside? It doesn’t seem thin on paper, but due to the shape of the case, it’s not disturbing in real life. UK-based dealer Xupes is offering this 2022 pre-owned watch with an Omega box and papers here.

Let us know what you think of these pre-owned picks in the comments. Feel free to clue us in on any watches that have caught your eye lately too!