Return of the Jedi: The Story of the Omega Seamaster ‘Jedi’

Fair warning to Omega fans; this might get controversial. ‘Any Seamaster chronograph that isn’t a 145.024 is not a Jedi’ is an all-too-common refrain heard in certain corners of the vintage Omega community. I disagree. We shall be taking a deep dive into the watches known by the moniker ‘Jedi,’ rightly or wrongly.

Chuck’s Jedi: the 145.024 

The model that has come to be known as the ‘Jedi’ began its life simply as the Omega Seamaster, reference 145.024. It was released in the early 1970s and features the manual wind calibre 861. Also called the ‘flat case,’ it was not until the 90s that its association with Star Wars began. Chuck Maddox owned a reference 145.023 that he had nicknamed ‘Darth Vader’ due to its striking black case and dial. A variation of the 145.023 came to be known as ‘Anakin Skywalker’ and the 145.024 became the original ‘Jedi.’ These names became strongly attached to these models and they developed a cult following around them. Here is an example of this reference previously sold at one of our auctions.


Lot 119

Omega stainless steel manual wind gentleman’s Omega Seamaster 145.024 wrist watch.

Price Realised: £1,148.40

The Phantom Menace: the 176.005

In 2007 a new era of ‘Jedi’ watches was born. Antiquorum, a Swiss auction house, hosted ‘OmegaMania’, perhaps the largest ever sale of Omega watches at any one time with over 300 watches going under the hammer. In the catalogue for this sale the 176.005, also known as the ‘TV case,’ was dubbed the ‘so-called Jedi.’ Before this point, the watch had not been known by this name. Thus the watch was branded a ‘Jedi’ and the family grew from one to two.

The 176.005 is a wonderful watch and does not deserve disdain due to its ‘Jedi’ nickname. Some have gone to great lengths to critique it as not being a ‘true Jedi.’ The squarish ‘TV case’ gives it a unique vintage appeal and is reminiscent of older CRT televisions. It is powered by the automatic calibre 1040, Omega’s first automatic chronograph which filled the majority of the 176.XXX line. This movement has a strong cult following of its own. There was even a certified chronometer version dubbed the calibre 1041.

Rogue One: the 176.007

This model of the Seamaster is not the ‘Jedi,’ nor is it even the Jedi from 2007. It has ended up being known as a ‘Jedi,’ however. Antiquorum’s naming in 2007 opened the floodgates for other Omega watches to be branded as ‘Jedi’ by dealers and sellers. The nicknames were perpetuated and the name was attributed to other models, including this one.

While it may not be the original ‘Jedi,’ I would argue that this watch, specifically the model with blue hands, has more visually in common with Star Wars than the original ‘Jedi’ watch. The light blue centre-seconds hand looks so much like Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber that you can almost excuse anyone for assuming this model to be a ‘Jedi.’ The two subsidiary recorder dials are also reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker’s helmet from The Phantom Menace. Given the ‘007’ numbering of the reference number, it is somewhat surprising that this watch has not ended up with a James Bond association, despite how well the Star Wars name fits (a wasted opportunity?).

The Jedi Nickname

It could be thought that the ‘Jedi’ nickname has been given to watches other than the 145.024 after 2007 by unscrupulous dealers to leech off their fame and increase the value of other watches. Just like the TV-case Seamaster, this watch does not need to be a ‘Jedi’ to increase its value. It is a high-quality watch on its own. However, its aesthetics connect it so strongly to the name that the argument must be there. The ‘Jedi’ nickname, then, occurred naturally for this model, in much the same way that the original watch gained its own nickname.  

We at Fellows have an example of the Omega Jedi Seamaster 176.007 as Lot 74 in our upcoming Luxury Watch Sale. Our model comes with a box and features prominent light blue hands. It is estimated at £700-900 and falls under the hammer on the 13th July.

OMEGA Seamaster Jedi

Lot 74

OMEGA – a stainless steel Seamaster ‘Jedi’ chronograph wrist watch, 38mm.

Estimate £700 – £900

A New Hope: The Future of the ‘Jedi’

Two of these models are not the ‘original’ Jedi that Chuck Maddox gave the name, but they have undoubtedly become Jedis. These models and their relatives have ended up, in one way or another, being known as Jedis. Given that the original’s nickname is not contemporary to the model and only became the ‘Jedi’ in the 90s, any model could have become known as the Jedi – it just so happens that it was the 145.024 that Chuck Maddox owned.

Once something ends up with a nickname, it can be hard to shake it off, and some people have been trying to draw the lines of distinction between models. I will concede that the overlapping nicknames for the models could cause some confusion, particularly for less informed buyers (and would suggest, perhaps, nicknaming the model ‘Luke Skywalker’ or something similar). But, if we acknowledge that 145.024 was the original, and are aware of how the references 145.005 and 145.007 got their nicknames, we should be allowed to continue to give the ‘Jedi’ designation to any watch that suits it. Limiting the nickname to one model even defeats the purpose of the nickname in the first place.

The ‘Jedi’ nickname was chosen because the watch reminded Chuck Maddox of the movies of which he was a big fan. The 145.007 gaining the nickname continues this tradition. By allowing other models to gain the nickname we can bring in new members to the world of vintage watch collecting as they fall into the rabbit hole of the myriad of models and how they came to be.

145.007 at auction

OMEGA Seamaster Jedi

Lot 221 – 28/06/2016

OMEGA – a gentleman’s gold plated Seamaster chronograph wrist watch.

Price Realised: £1,173.92

Lot 147 – 31/01/2017

OMEGA – a gentleman’s gold plated Seamaster chronograph wrist watch.

Price Realised: £1,046.32

Omega seamaster

Auction Details

The Luxury Watch Sale | Thursday 13th July 2023



Tuesday 4th July 12pm – 7pm

Wednesday 5th July 10am – 5pm


Wednesday 12th July 10am – 4pm

Thursday 13th July 8:30am – 10am


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Nathan Boot | BA (Hons), MA (Hons)

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