With January’s SIHH in the rearview mirror, the watch world is now gearing up for the world’s biggest international watch fair, Baselworld, in March. As in recent years, many brands have already started releasing news and photos of new products launching there. One is Omega, which offers previews of new watches in its Seamaster, Speedmaster and Constellation collections.
The new Omega Speedmaster Mark II is based on a model released in 1969, the same year that astronauts wore Omega Speedmaster Professional watches on the surface of the moon, forever earning that model the nickname “Moonwatch.” The original Speedmaster Mark II contained the same hand-wound mechanical caliber that powered the Moonwatch, Omega’s Caliber 861. The modern version has been updated, with an automatic movement (Omega’s co-axial Caliber 3330, with silicon balance spring and column-wheel chronograph mechanism) and a cleverly executed tachymeter scale that glows in the dark.
The barrel-shaped case has brushed and polished finishes; the crown and chronograph pushers are polished. The tricompax dial features subdials at 3 o’clock (30-minute counter), 6 o’clock (12-hour counter), and 9 o’clock (small seconds). The tachymeter scale is printed on the flat, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and illuminated from beneath by an aluminum ring filled with Super-LumiNova. The version with a black dial has a varnished white central chronograph hand; the one with gray dial uses fluorescent orange for this hand, as well as for the minute track. The Speedmaster Mark II has a brushed stainless steel bracelet with Omega’s patented extendable fold-over rock-and-pusher clasp. The watch is water-resistant to 100 meters and comes with a four-year warranty.
For the ladies, there’s the Omega Constellation Pluma, distinguished by its mother-of-pearl dial, in natural white or blue, which features an engraved, wavy pattern that recalls the shapes of a feather (“Pluma” is Latin for “feather”). The blue dial is created using a technique that coats the underside of a white mother-of-pearl with a black paint. The stainless-steel case is 27 mm in diameter and features a diamond-set bezel in both versions of the watch. The white-dialed model has a bezel in 18k rose gold and 18k rose gold links in the steel bracelet; the blue-dialed version has a case, bezel, and bracelet all in stainless steel. The dials of the Constellation Pluma have 11 diamond indices and a date window at 3 o’clock; the hour, minute and seconds hands are in 18k gold and coated with Super-LumiNova. These ladies’ watches contain mechanical movements, Omega’s co-axial Caliber 8520.
Finally, Omega is releasing an extremely limited version of its Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean with a rotating GMT bezel made of patent-pending orange ceramic. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Orange Ceramic, limited to just eight pieces worldwide, has a 43-mm case made of 950-grade platinum; the inscription “World Premiere” is engraved on the caseback, along with the series number. The dial is also made of 950 platinum, with a sand-blasted finish and an engraved “Pt950″ above the center hole, identifying the material used for the dial. As it has in other watches, Omega used Liquidmetal for the numerals, divider lines, inner ring and triangle on the ceramic bezel. White gold is used for the central hour, minute and seconds hands, and orange aluminum for the “6,” “9,” and “12″ numerals and the central GMT hand.
The movement, Omega’s co-axial Caliber 8615 with silicon balance spring, is visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback. The watch comes on an integrated orange leather strap with platinum-thread stitching and a platinum fold-over clasp; an additional orange rubber strap is also included, along with a changing tool. This very rare Omega Seamaster watch is delivered in a special wooden presentation box.