Sixty years ago, in the seminal year of 1957, Omega released not one but three wristwatches that have become collectors’ classics — the Speedmaster, the Seamaster 300, and the Railmaster. At this year’s Baselworld, the brand pays tribute to all three with special, limited anniversary editions in its so-called 1957 Trilogy.
Omega used a special digital technology — which recorded cross-sections and dimensions of the vintage models, along with original drawings — to derive the design templates for the very period-accurate replicas created for this series. Only slight revisions have been made to ensure that the watches appeal to modern tastes while still staying true to the spirit of the 1957 originals.
All three watches have brushed and polished stainless steel cases and black “tropical” dials. Their stainless steel bracelets have been updated for strength and feature a retro-style Omega logo on their clasp. Each logo on the three dials is executed in a slightly different historical style — a reference to how suppliers in the 1950s all interpreted the Omega logo in their own way.
Each of the Trilogy models is limited to 3,557 pieces and packaged in a presentation box inspired by the original 1957 packaging, right down to the Seahorse on the lid, a retro logo and red corduroy lining. The presentation box contains two spare straps — a leather and a NATO — along with a tool to change them.
The Omega Seamaster 300 – 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 39 mm is a contemporary version of the very first Seamaster 300 divers’ watch, which was lauded for its extreme water resistance, stark black dial, broad-arrow hour hand, recessed triangular hour markers, and bidirectional (standard at the time) rotating bezel. Based on the highly collectible Omega Ref. CK2913, the new timepiece boasts a very modern black aluminum bezel (still bidirectional) and is outfitted with an Omega Master Chronometer movement, Caliber 8806. Among the model’s many stylistic nods to the past is the Naiad symbol on the crown — which denoted exceptional water resistance back in ’57 — and a faithful rendering of the original model’s Seahorse illustration on the caseback. The watch carries a four-year warranty.
“Simple, practical, yet subtly elegant,” and “made to be worn to work” is how Omega describes the original Railmaster watch. The Omega Railmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 38 mm is a modern take on an Omega model that never quite took off like the Seamaster and Speedmaster but is nevertheless beloved by vintage-watch enthusiasts. Whereas the original model — specially designed to be worn by scientists, technicians, and others who plied their trade in close proximity to magnetic fields — used a double-case design to ensure its antimagnetic properties, the new watch ensures them with is Master Chronometer movement, Caliber 8806, among whose many attributes is its resistance to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. The contemporary watch is more or less identical to its predecessor, except that the vintage-style indices have been slightly deepened to allow them to be filled with more Super-LumiNova, and hence make them brighter in low light. Omega also offers a four-year warranty on this model.
Last but certainly not least, 1957 gave the world the original Speedmaster “Broad Arrow,” the very first in that now-iconic collection, and the first chronograph wristwatch with a tachymeter scale printed on its bezel rather than directly on its dial. On the Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38.6 mm, the tachymeter scale is drawn in a different font than that of the current Speedmaster series to match the scale of the vintage model from 1957. The watch’s modestly sized, period-appropriate case contains Omega’s chronograph Caliber 1861. (For more new Speedmasters commemorating the model’s 60th anniversary, click here.)
Each of the watches in Omega’s 1957 Trilogy is available separately, but for those who wouldn’t settle for less than the whole set, Omega offers a special presentation box containing all three. The outer box, made of Swiss oak wood, has an engraving of the historical Seahorse emblem on the lid and a front-plate engraved with “Trilogy 60th Anniversary, 001/557.” Within is a smaller box containing all three watches; the watches in these collected sets differ slightly from the ones sold individually only in their dials (which are printed with TRILOGY and the Limited Edition number) and their casebacks (which are engraved with “LIMITED TO 557 TIMEPIECES.”) In the larger box, the proud owner of the Trilogy will also find a leather watch roll, with three spare leather and NATO straps, along with a wooden spring-bar changing tool and a tube with additional spring bars. Individually, the watches are priced thusly: $7,000 for the Seamaster 300; $6,800 for the Railmaster; and $7,250 for the Speedmaster. The Trilogy box set is priced at $21,600.