My Top Three Omega Picks for Hipsters


Nearly all of the bearded virtuosi along my local cafĂ© strip who grind, percolate, froth, and faff behind their Gaggias and De Longhis wear vintage watches, some of which I’ve noticed are Omegas.    

Barista-ing, or if we choose to translate the Italian into English, bartending, seems to attract quite a few of those who fall under the loose heading of Hipster.  Perhaps that’s why ‘barista’ has been borrowed from the Italian argot, because it’s far cooler albeit a tad more pretentious to self-describe as a barista than as a coffee-maker or barman, and let’s face it, the quest for cool has been observed as a major Hipster aspiration.  

I don’t care how ‘woke’ hipsters are made out to be; I don’t care if the political sensitivities of some hipster baristas have stretched to the point of calling long black coffees ‘African Americanos’;  I don’t care if they wear their trousers just below the knee; I don’t even care that their ever-lengthening beard styles now resemble rat’s nests that are also able to offer emergency accommodation to populations of homeless insects on request; and I certainly don’t care that they have been called ‘cultural appropriationists’ by third-rate academics who have nothing better to do than make dense and often fatuous statements about cultural fads.  Nope, give me a hipster any day over a distracted boof-head with mobile phone permanently welded to his ear and digital watch grafted to his wrist.  As long as they’re wearing mechanical or vintage watches, hipsters are okay by me.

Hipsters seem to draw a lot of their inspiration from the later nineteen-sixties, hence the accusations of wholesale ‘theft’ of the fashion and culture of the time, but the fact that they are keen to recycle quite a bit of the manufactured output of the era earns my enduring respect, more so because of their fondness for wearing timepieces of the period.

I think it’s appropriate to aid and abet any segment of the population that has the good taste to choose vintage watches from the golden era of watchmaking over their big and brash contemporaries, and what better marques to choose than those from the stable of the premier production brand of the era, Omega? 

I have selected three of the best-suited Omegas from the beloved nineteen-sixties, all of which can be worn confidently with, or without, facial hair.   


Omega Chronostop Driver: Reference 145.010. 


This watch screams ‘alternative’ and ‘contrarian’ having been designed to wear under the wrist rather than on the wrist.  You’ll notice that twelve o’clock appears at three o’clock, which makes it a dodder to tell the time when both hands are placed on a car’s steering wheel or even the handle bars of an electric scooter.  Smack in the middle of the hipster time zone too, having been released through Omega outlets around the world in 1966.  Non-date calibre 865 versions of the Chronostop look cleaner and elevate the three-dimensional appearance of the dial.  


Omega Dynamic: Reference 166.0039

The ‘bullseye’ Dynamic is one of the most collectible of all first-generation models. Featuring a calibre 565 movement with quickset date feature, this model was released in 1969.  The elliptical case was especially designed to fit snugly on the wrist, and the case back contains a ring that allows owners to change rapidly from metal bracelet to leather strap and vice versa.  For a comprehensive survey of Dynamic models see this essay.


Omega Constellation: Reference 368.0845

Chunky, funky, and groovy is Omega’s first patented integrated bracelet model released in 1969, but patented in 1964.  Offering day and date and featuring the automatic calibre 751, one of a family of movements considered by many authorities to be amongst the best ever made, this Constellation is an officially certified chronometer. 

And so we have three iconic Omega models ready made to tickle a hispter's styloidus ulna; three watches that define one of the most creative periods in the history of watchmaking. Hipster or not, these models look great on the wrist and are the quintessence of 'cool'.