Timezone Features March 31, 2014 Timezone Feature
Live Photos: Omega at Baselworld 2014
The Omega highlights from Baselworld 2014 include the Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial, the Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary, the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Lunar Dust”, the Speedmaster Mark II, a sneak peek at the Seamaster Professional Chronograph GMT and the evolutionary Master Co-Axial calibres that resist magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. For those who prefer branded accessories, Omega will also offer NATO straps in its boutiques.
Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial
As we anticipated a few weeks ago, the original SM300 2913 from 1957 is making a comeback. Although inspired by the original, the new Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial is updated and entirely state-of-the-art.
The sandblasted, no-date sandwich dial looks substantially similar to the original SM300 dial, except for the seconds hand and the updated text. The dial is available in blue or black with a matching bezel. Looking at the watch straight on, the hue of the dial matches the bezel; however, since the dial is sandblasted and the bezel ring is ceramic, the dial surface results in colour variations under different light and angle. The result is a lively dial, since at times the overall colour looks uniform, and at others the dial takes on the characteristics of an aged dial.
The transferred dial elements are produced using a combination of gold and palladium. The white gold colour is enhanced by a patented process that involves a high temperature treatment; the curving contour of the indexes is created by the enamel under-layer. The 18K white gold central hour, minute and seconds hands are coated with “vintage” Super-LumiNova. The hour and seconds hands emit a blue light, as do the recessed hour markers. The minute hand is also coated with “vintage” Super-LumiNova, but emits a green light.
For the stainless steel and titanium models, the unidirectional rotating bezel has a polished black or blue ceramic bezel ring insert with a Liquidmetal diving scale. The process of making the ceramic insert is identical to the Planet Ocean, wherein the numbers and scaling are laser carved into the ceramic ring, then filled with Liquidmetal for a perfectly smooth bezel that is resistant to scratching and corrosion. For the 18K Sedna gold model, the diving scale is filled with Ceragold; and for the limited edition platinum model, the diving scale is filled with platinum. The dot on the bezel is coated with a “vintage” Super-LumiNova that emits a green light.
The symmetrical case measures 41mm x 14.65mm and is available in several variations, including stainless steel, grade 5 titanium, 18K Sedna gold and 950 platinum (LE of 357). The two-tone models are either a combination of grade 5 titanium and 18K Sedna gold, or stainless steel and 18K Sedna gold.
With the Seamaster 300, Omega introduces two important calibres in its evolutionary family of anti-magnetic mechanical movements. The Master Co-Axial calibre 8400/8401 has the same accuracy, precision, reliability and 60-hour power reserve as its Co-Axial predecessors, but adds Omega’s anti-magnetic technology to resist magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss (1.5 tesla). The staffs and pivots in these upgraded calibres are made of a non-ferrous material Omega calls, “Nivagauss”; the steel plates found in the Co-Axial movement have been replaced with non-magnetic plates; and the spring of the shock absorber has been crafted from an anamorphous material.
When asked why an anti-magnetic movement is important, Omega President Stephen Urquhart provides a pragmatic response,
Our customer service-professionals have reported that a large percentage of the watches sent in for servicing need to be demagnetised. Previous efforts to combat magnetism relied on protective inner cases, but these meant it was impractical to try to offer a date window and, of course, there was no transparent case back. By making a movement that is itself anti-magnetic, we’ve been able to create watches resistant to any fields they’re likely to be exposed to. And, of course, date windows and transparent case backs are no problem.
The caseback of each Seamaster 300 is engraved with “Si14”, “ANTI-MAGNETIC > 15’000 GAUSS” and, depending on what alloy the diving scale is made of, “Liquidmetal”, “Omega Ceragold” or “Platinum”. The case back is fitted with a domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal for an unobstructed view of the movement. The Master Co-Axial calibre 8400 is housed in the two-tone, stainless steel and titanium models, and the specially finished Master Co-Axial calibre 8401 is housed in the 18K Sedna gold and limited edition 950 platinum models. Curiously, however, and somewhat confusing to me is that the new anti-magnetic movements continue to be stamped “Co-Axial” as opposed to “Master Co-Axial”.
The Seamaster 300 is fitted with a patented rack-and-pusher fine adjustment clasp that is adjustable to six different positions, making versatile to wear with anything from a pair of jeans a diving suit. The bracelet is adjusted by releasing the clasp, pressing the “push” button and sliding the inner clasp to the desired fit.
Available in November 2014, pricing for the COSC-certified Seamaster 300 starts at $6,200 in stainless steel.
Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial with sandblasted black dial & stainless steel case
Master Co-Axial Calibre 8400 housed in the stainless steel, titanium and two-tone models
Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial with sandblasted blue dial & stainless steel case
Detail of the sandblasted blue sandwich dial
Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial in 18K Sedna Gold
Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial in 18K Sedna Gold
Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition
The new Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary commemorates the first lunar landing in July 1969, as well as the recent discovery that the moon is filled with large deposits of titanium ore. To commemorate this recent discovery, Omega crafted the 42mm case from brushed grade 2 titanium that takes on a patina over time. The bezel is made from 18K Sedna gold and has a matte black ceramic bezel ring with a tachymeter scale.
The gray-brown PVD dial has 30-minute and 12-hour recorders and a small seconds subdial. The unique dial is made by a laser that removes the material surrounding the name, subdial numerals and hour markers. The indexes and hour, minute, seconds and subdial hands are crafted from 18K red gold and the central chronograph hand is red gold-plated.
Super-LumiNova coating the hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands, as well as the hour markers and two dots at 12 o’clock, emits a green light. The dial is fitted with a sapphire crystal coated with anti-reflective treatment on both sides.
The screw-in caseback is embossed with the Seahorse emblem and the outer circle is engraved in black with “FLIGHT QUALIFIED BY NASA FOR ALL MANNED SPACE MISSIONS”, “THE FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON” and “APOLLO 11, 45TH ANNIVERSARY, LIMITED EDITION, 0000/1969”. The solid case back protects the calibre 1861, a manual-winding chronograph movement and is water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres / 167 feet). The timepiece is fitted with a brown NATO strap. Limited to 1,969 pieces, the Apollo 11 44th Anniversary LE retails for $7,700.
Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary LE
The grey grade 2 titanium case will take on a patina over time
The 18K Sedna gold bezel has a black ceramic bezel with tachymetre scale
Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Lunar Dust
The Dark Side of the Moon shows its lighter side with a new variant called, “Lunar Dust”. Lunar Dust describes the sleek ceramic case crafted from a solid block of white ceramic treated in a chemical bath to achieve its unique colour. The entire case is ceramic, including the pushers and crown. The platinum dial is fitted with applied indexes and hands in the same “lunar dust” hue. The central chronograph hand is tipped in red. The two dots at 12 o’clock are treated with Super-LumiNova, as well as the hour, minute and chronograph hands.
The ceramic caseback is engraved with “DARK SIDE OF THE MOON” and the sapphire crystal display back reveals the Co-Axial calibre 9300, a 54-jewel self-winding column-wheel chronograph movement with a silicon balance spring. The watch is fitted with a dark grey crocodile strap with platinum-coloured stitching.
The DSOTM Lunar Dust retails for $12,000.
Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Lunar Dust
Detail of the platinum dial, discreetly marked “PT950”
Brushed and polished ceramic case, polished ceramic crown and polished ceramic pushers
Co-Axial calibre 9300 automatic column-wheel chronograph movement with silicon balance spring
Speedmaster Mark II
Last month, Omega pre-announced the re-edition of the Speedmaster Mark XII that is updated with an automatic movement and a new tachymetric scale. The transparent tachymetric scale on the sapphire crystal is illuminated from beneath by an aluminium ring filled with Super-LumiNova. Our forum regular Ruckdee took some amazing photos of his original Mark II together with the re-edition, here.
Speedmaster Mark II
The transparent tachymetric scale is illuminated from beneath by an aluminium ring filled with Super-LumiNova
Co-Axial caliber 3330 is an automatic column-wheel chronograph movement with a silicon balance spring
Especially for TimeZone, Omega unveils the Speedmaster Mark II Rio that commemorates the Summer Olympics in 2016. This Olympic edition timepiece has silver, bronze and gold rings that frame the subdials. A silver ring frames the small seconds at 9 o’clock, a bronze ring frames the 12-hour register at 6 o’clock and a gold ring frames the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.
Both variations of the Mark XII retail for $6,250.
Speedmaster Mark II Rio
Silver, bronze and gold subdial rings are a nod to the Olympic gold medals
Seamaster Professional Chronograph GMT
Exclusive for TimeZone is a sneak peek at an upcoming Seamaster Professional Chronograph GMT.
The majority of watch service issues is related to magnetism. In response, the new Master Co-Axial anti-magnetic movements are being introduced into all the Omega collections, beginning with the Seamaster and De Ville collections. This new family of movements includes Master Co-Axial calibres 8400/8401, 8500, 8511 and 8520 – all of which are distinguished from their Co-Axial predecessors by their ability to resist magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. To achieve this level of anti-magnetism, the calibres feature a silicon balance spring; the staffs and pivots are made of a non-ferrous material Omega calls, “Nivagauss”; the steel plates in the Co-Axial escapement have now all been been replaced with non-magnetic plates; and the spring of the shock absorber has been crafted from an amorphous material.
Seamaster Aqua Terra Terra “Golf” Master Co-Axial
Master Co-Axial Calibre 8500 resists magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss (1.5 tesla)
Omega NATO straps
Finally, for the those who prefer a branded strap, Omega will offer NATO straps in its boutiques. The straps retail for CHF 200 in leather and CHF 150 in fabric.
A new Omega NATO strap that retails for CHF 150
See also Omega Forum – Live Photos: Omega at Baselworld 2014
Photos: Paul Boutros