As one of the most popular luxury watch brands in the world, anticipation is always high for the new models OMEGA will introduce at Baselworld each year. This year, the company has once again exceeded expectations, giving us multiple new options to lust after. Today, we’re focusing our attention on three timepieces unveiled by the brand that we think are destined to be a hit with collectors and watch enthusiasts alike. Read on to discover what they are and how you can add them to your collection.
See You On The Other Side
First on our list is the OMEGA Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” Apollo 8 Black Ceramic men’s watch, arguably one of the coolest releases from the Baselworld show. Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, which took place in 1968 and marked the first time NASA astronauts saw the far side of the moon – commonly referred to as the ‘dark side of the moon’ – it brings together a number of elements from previous Speedmaster models to create something truly special.
The Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster collection was first introduced by OMEGA five years ago and boasts an all-black, 44.25mm case crafted from a single-block of zirconium dioxide ceramic. This highly scratch resistant material is not only extremely strong, it is also very light, ensuring a comfortable fit on the wrist. This latest version, however, takes the design several incredible steps further.
For a start, it is the first model in the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ series to feature a manually-wound movement, calibre 1869, meaning a thinner case height (13.80mm). The movement has been partially skeletonised and engraved on both sides using a laser ablation process, creating an eye-catching finish that resembles the lunar surface. The dial side represents our view of the moon from earth, while the rear of the movement – visible through the sapphire caseback – displays a view of the dark side of the moon only a handful of astronauts have gotten to see. Yellow highlights on the bezel, dial and perforated leather strap add just the right touch of contrast. Truly an eye-catching piece with the brains to match.
View the OMEGA Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” Apollo 8 Black Ceramic Men’s Watch here.
Celebrating 70 Years Of The OMEGA Seamaster
Like many great watch brands (and models) of the 20th-Century, OMEGA’s early wristwatch history was shaped in large part by World War I and II. Between 1940 and 1945, OMEGA delivered more than 110,000 timepieces to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) for use within the Royal Air Force and its other branches. These watches earned a reputation for being reliable and precise, as well as water resistant, and so once the war was over, it seemed only logical that the company should continue to produce some variation of them for civilian use.
Taking the knowledge and expertise it developed during the war, OMEGA created its first family of watches in 1948, the Seamaster, laying the foundation for a collection that would become legendary. Now, 70 years later, the brand is celebrating the anniversary of these inaugural models with two limited edition timepieces: the OMEGA Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds Silver Dial and the OMEGA Seamaster 1948 Central Second Silver Dial.
Inspired by the design of the original models, both versions have a distinctly vintage aesthetic with some subtle modern touches. Presented in round steel cases measuring 38mm in diameter, the bold polished bezel, durable straight lugs with a chamfer on the edge and the polished and brushed surfaces on the central container all call to mind the look and feel of the early Seamasters. Both versions feature slightly grained dials, silvery white in colour, with the collection’s signature triangular polished hour indexes and Arabic numerals. On top, the hesalite glass has been replaced by a domed sapphire crystal, with the Omega logo engraved in the centre. On the back, we find OMEGA’s patented NAIAD LOCK case back, with sapphire crystal.
The Central Second Silver Dial version (reference 518.104.22.168.02.001) features a central seconds hand and 18k white gold polished dauphine hands. Both the triangular indexes and the hands have been treated with luminous paint to allow for easy reading in low-light conditions. Providing the power is OMEGA’s in-house, Master-Chronometer calibre 8806 and the watch is offered on a blue-grey leather strap.
View the OMEGA Seamaster 1948 Central Second Silver Dial Limited Edition Watch here.
The Small Seconds Silver Dial version (reference 522.214.171.124.02.001) meanwhile, is equipped with the in-house, Master-Chronometer calibre 8804. This movement shares the same base as the 8806 but has been modified for the placement of the small seconds, which is now shown on a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. If you look closely you will note that the dial also has different hands and indexes, all of which are non-luminous. This model is offered on a brown leather strap.
View the OMEGA Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds Silver Dial Limited Edition Watch here.
Both versions are limited to 1,948 pieces each and both feature a special sapphire caseback that has been laser-engraved and lacquered by hand with a 70th Anniversary logo, a Chris-Craft boat and a Gloster Meteor aircraft – representing the many aviators and mariners who have placed their trust in OMEGA’s watches over the years. Each is presented in their own special collector’s box, made of soft brown leather, and delivered with a spare NATO strap in the original Admiralty grey colour along with a strap changing tool.
All three anniversary models are available for pre-order from Berry’s now and are sure to be a hit with collector’s. To avoid disappointment, please contact us now to reserve your favourite model (or models).