Baselworld 2018: Our Favorite Introductions from OMEGA
OMEGA unveiled a range of new products at Baselworld 2018. Here’s a rundown of some of the top novelties.
For 2018, Omega made sure that there's a wristwatch for everyone. From executives in search of a quality timekeeper to sportsmen seeking a rugged instrument to accompany them on life's adventures. Watchmaking fans anxious to secure a timepiece that will accrue value in the future, and women wanting to own an exquisite item to reflect their dynamic, yet feminine image.
Seamaster Professional 330 M: going back to its roots
Since its launch in 1993, the Seamaster Professional Diver 300 M has been the pride and joy for a great many sportsmen and diving enthusiasts. Symbolic of a certain lifestyle, this timekeeper has lived part of its legend on the wrist of James Bond. This year, the reference is marking its 25th anniversary. On the occasion, Omega has decided to give the collection a bold new makeover, by presenting 14 new versions.
The new Seamaster measures a larger 42 mm in diameter and is available in steel (6 different types), or steel and gold (8 versions). The watch is powered by a Master Chronometer 8800 calibre, known for its ruggedness, precision and resistance to magnetic fields. The movement is viewable through the transparent case back. Notably, ceramic predominates in this piece. Not only present on the bezel, it is also found gracing the dial, which comes polished black or blue, or coated in PVD chrome, and engraved with the original wave pattern. The instrument is secured to the wrist with an ergonomically revised metal bracelet, or an integrated rubber strap fastened by a patented deployant buckle with extension.
Best of all, to mark the Seamaster's 25th anniversary, Omega is launching an edition limited to 2500 pieces that are bound to be snapped up by collectors. Like the new series, this reference also measures 42 mm in diameter. That said, the grade 2 titanium watch case housing the METAS-certified Master Chronometer 8806 calibre visible through the open back, is enhanced by the use of tantalum for the bezel and for the central links of the titanium bracelet, as well as subtle touches of 18K Sedna gold (numerals and crowns).
Seamaster 1948 Limited Editions
A successor to the timepieces supplied by Omega during the Second World War, the Seamaster 1948 was the first watch made by the manufacture that was directly descended from the run of 110,000 pieces produced and supplied to the UK Ministry of Defense for equipping soldiers in the RAF and other armed forces. Valued for its water-resistance and ruggedness, this reference was to serve as the basis for the brand's latest development aimed at youth in search of adventure. Using the advances in technology spurred by the conflict, Omega added to the 1948 model a crown, whose water-resistance was ensured by a vulcanized rubber O-ring. This highly unusual product turned out to be extremely popular with users requiring a tool built to cope with every situation.
Seventy years after the launch, Omega re-issued this historical model in two versions faithful to the original instrument. The first houses a small seconds at 6 o'clock and has a brown leather strap fastened with a deployant buckle, while the second opts for a central second hand and a grey-blue leather strap. Both are fitted with a clasp stamped with the original Omega logo and house the finest movements ever made by the manufacture: the automatic Master Chronometer 8804 (small seconds version) and the 8806 for the central second-hand version. Both are visible through the screen-printed sapphire crystal back (depicting a boat or a plane motif), which is now held in place by the famous Naiad Lock patented by Omega and engraved with the inscription Seamaster Limited Edition and the limited-edition number.
The new models, each produced in a run of 1948 pieces, come with a presentation box containing the watch itself, a spare NATO strap and leather strap, together with a handy quick-change tool.
Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon' Apollo 8: see the hidden face of the moon.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, which was the first manned flight around the moon, Omega decided to launch a commemorative chronograph. Unlike previous models, this piece sports a highly specific, skeletonized dial. Laser cutouts allow the viewer to admire the movement, on whose surface is a realistic depiction of the moon's surface. In fact, like the moon, this watch also displays two totally unique sides.
On the dial-side, Omega shows a portion of the visible face of the moon, while the back is embellished with a fragment of the hidden face (dark side), a sight known only to the astronauts who completed the orbit. Crafted in black ceramic, this watch also references another color code, likewise introduced into the Speedmaster collection in 1968. Touches of yellow can be seen on the hands and the leather strap, which, for this series, sports a colored rubber insert. A special model, powered by the 1861 mechanical calibre with manual winding (renamed cal. 1969 to mark the year of the first moon landing) and blackened for the occasion, this chronograph is engraved on the back with the inscription: "We’ll see you on the other side", the words uttered by the command module pilot, Jim Lovell, during the Apollo 8 mission. This extraordinary piece, with its unique history, will no doubt feature prominently in the collections of many enthusiasts.
Tresor collection: full-blown femininity
Among other important watchmaking developments to emanate from the Omega workshops are the ladies' timepieces. In this instance, the launch of the Tresor collection is nothing short of a mini-revolution, and yet totally in line with expectations. The line embodies a new style tinged with classicism, a trend that is usually popular with both feminine and masculine audiences.
Available in a diameter of 36 or 39 mm and crafted in steel or in 18K Sedna gold, these watchmaking gems are set apart from other classic watches due to the presence of two diamond settings, one curving either side of the bezel. This carefully considered detail helps to retain the watchmaking appeal of the piece, while addressing a new jewel-like dimension. The pieces come fitted with a leather or colorful fabric strap and the Omega 4061 calibre concealed behind a mirrored case back bearing the inscription "Her Time". They are embellished with delicate dials set or decorated with large Roman numerals and a diamond-studded winding crown accentuated by a liquid red ceramic flower formed from the recurring Omega logo.
(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)