Game On: Omega’s Top 5 Medal-Worthy Olympic Games Special Editions
As you may already know, Omega’s association with the Olympic Games dates back to 1932 and has produced many beautiful watches. So, with the Beijing Winter Olympics having wrapped up this past Sunday, we figured now was a good time to look back at some of our favorite Olympics watches from the brand.
Here at Watchonista, we have a great deal of affection for the athletes who have sledded, curled, and triple Salchowed into our hearts this past month. And while this year’s games have been a little different, what with empty stands due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were still other ways to connect with the competitors. Like, for instance, the purchase of merch.
As a bonus, and because we play for Team Watchonista, one of our favorite traditions is the release of the special edition Olympics watch from Omega. This year was no exception, with the brand presenting the elegant, ice-inspired Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m “Beijing 2022” Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41mm.
But now that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are over and with the Paralympics just around the corner (March 4th to 13th), we here at Watchonista thought we’d look back on five of the more memorable Omega x Olympics collaborations in the record books.
Speedmaster Olympic Edition “Los Angeles 1932”
As we’ve previously discussed, in its role of Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, Omega has played a huge role in shaping modern sports. However, the brand began its association with the games in 1932 with a suitcase full of stopwatches.
That is why, in 2004, Omega released a Speedmaster Olympics Edition (Ref. 3513.20.00) that paid homage to first Olympics timekeepers, with a clean white dial that recalled the enamel faces of early Omega x Olympics pocket watches. It was also marked with Omega’s vintage red signature on the dial and the five Olympic rings on the caseback.
The judges give this model tens across the board!
Seamaster Chronostop 1968 Mexico Olympics
Looking back all these decades later, everything about the 1968 Games in Mexico City – from the architecture to the typography of the posters and programs – represented a high watermark for the 1960s aesthetic. And this Seamaster Chronostop (Ref. 145.007) from Omega is no exception.
Presented in a 40.5mm stainless steel tonneau-shaped case with a matching bracelet, the winningest feature of this watch is the black reverse pie-pan dial with its inner white racing track chapter ring and bright orange chronograph seconds hand. In many ways, it resembles the brand’s Dynamic models of the same era.
Though, it is conspicuously not co-branded with Olympics imagery.
Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial “London 2012” Limited Edition
The Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial “London 2012” Limited Edition is the most formal of Omega’s Olympics watches. The brand’s goal was to honor the link between the London 1948 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Featuring a silver dial marked with a small seconds sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position, the bezel is mounted on a 39mm stainless steel case with the London 2012 Olympic Games medallion stamped in 18K yellow gold on the caseback. Other posh finishes include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and black leather strap.
It’s a refined, time-only alternative to the sportier chronographs that have dominated Omega’s Olympics collection.
Speedmaster Olympic Timeless Collection 44.25mm
As the 2022 Beijing Games conclude, we have witnessed new ways of marking speed and accuracy in traditional events as well as first-time programs, such as mixed-team snowboard cross and women’s monobob. But back in 2019, to commemorate its longstanding relationship with the games, Omega introduced the Olympic Timeless collection, a series of Olympics-themed watches meant to celebrate the Games as a whole and weren’t tied to any one specific host city.
For example, this Olympic Timeless Speedy signaled a fresh way to display its Olympics spirit by configuring the watch’s 30-minute and 12-hour recorders, a 7-day totalizer, a small seconds dial, and a day indicator into the form of the five Olympic rings.
This model also features a black dial with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Also notable is the bezel, with its tachymetric scale, mounted on a large 44.25mm stainless steel case with a matching bracelet. This chronograph is powered by the Co-Axial Calibre 3888.
Seamaster Bullhead Rio Limited Edition
The Speedmaster doesn’t have an exclusive hold on Omega’s Olympics-themed offerings. For the Rio 2016 Games, the watchmaker launched several colorful Seamasters. Moreover, the multi-hued aesthetic of the collection captured the lively spirit of Rio (and predated the rainbow watch trend by four years).
But our favorite watch in this collection is the funky Seamaster Bullhead Rio Limited Edition.
This 43mm chronograph makes excellent use of the five colors of the Olympic rings on the dial and the stitching of the leather strap. Plus, it’s a Bullhead, which automatically gives it full marks for presentation.
Seamaster Chrono-Quartz Montreal Olympics “Albatross”
Omega not only makes clocks for the games, but they are also involved with the electronic technology behind transponders, touchpads, and starting gates. Some of that electronic innovation has circled back into some of Omega’s Olympics offerings.
For example, the Seamaster Chrono-Quartz Montreal Olympics 1976 “Albatross.” This stainless steel digital/analog hybrid is huge (47mm). But it also keeps its Olympics affiliation on the down low, with the only Olympics logo appearing on the case back.
For information on Omega’s Olympic history, visit the brand’s Planet Omega Sport page.
(Images © OMEGA Watches)