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1970s Omega Seamaster Cosmic ref. 166.022 “Turler Dial”

Despite being one of the world’s most famous luxury watch manufacturers, you can still find a surprising amount of value in Omega’s vintage catalog. Even the brand’s iconic model ranges, like the Seamaster, offer overlooked references, and the Seamaster Cosmic series is packed full of unusual gems that might well represent some of the best value in vintage Omega.

In the latest installment of our video series Under the Radar, Craft + Tailored’s very own oracle of overlooked obscurities, Tyler Vanes, digs into the details of a 1970s Omega Seamaster Cosmic ref. 166.022 with a Turler-signed dial and explains exactly why the Cosmic series represents an untapped source of funky and affordable vintage style.

The Seamaster Cosmic range served as Omega’s aesthetic playground, where the brand let loose and experimented with their designs, and a shockingly diverse assortment of models were produced as members of the greater Cosmic lineup. A big part of what makes the Seamaster Cosmic reference 166.022 so special is its unusual case profile which could best be described as an angular and geometric rendition of a tonneau/cushion shape. This case offers a similar overall profile to something like a Seiko Turtle but in a more compact 34mm form. When paired with the watch’s original brick-style bracelet, the unusual case profile and lugs almost gives the Seamaster Cosmic ref. 166.022 the appearance of having an integrated bracelet on-wrist.

The model’s core features make any example of the Omega Seamaster Cosmic reference 166.022 worth considering if you’re after something unique from a storied brand that won’t break the bank. However, what makes this particular one a true sleeper is the fact that it is fitted with a Turler co-signed dial. Just like Tiffany & Co. and other famous retailers that carried luxury watches and co-signed the dials of the watches they sold, Turler was a well-known retailer that sold Omega timepieces in Europe. Just like the Omega Seamaster Cosmic range itself, Turler is a lesser known name relative to some of the other major retailers, making this particular example of the ref. 166.022 a watch with multiple layers of intrigue and collectibility, yet one that probably wouldn’t be seen as unique by anyone except other serious watch enthusiasts. 

Omega is one of the major powerhouse names within the Swiss luxury watch industry, and due to the massive popularity of certain models like the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch or the Seamaster 300, others such as the Seamaster Cosmic series can sometimes get missed by collectors. That said, these often-overlooked models represent fantastic pockets of highly attainable value, along with also offering some of the more unusual designs from Omega’s vast archives. What this also means is that models like this 1970s Omega Seamaster Cosmic ref. 166.022 present opportunities to own some of the more unusual models from a blue-chip luxury manufacturer – and one fitted with a rare co-branded dial – all for what still firmly qualifies as an affordable price within the world of vintage watch collecting.

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