Emirates Team New Zealand has made sailing history by winning the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. As a proud sponsor and Official Timekeeper for the crew, OMEGA is celebrating the victory and congratulating the team on claiming sport’s oldest trophy!
Raynald Aeschlimann, the President and CEO of OMEGA, was particularly enthusiastic about the outcome and said, “Everyone at OMEGA is thrilled with this incredible result. We’ve followed ETNZ’s America’s Cup journey from the start and always believed they could win. They came to Bermuda with an inspiring team spirit as well as the best innovation possible and it was my personal pleasure to spend time with them and cheer them on. It’s a privilege for our brand to have played a part.”
As well as providing its support, OMEGA also equipped the crew with a specially-made watch for racing. The stainless steel case OMEGA Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ copy watches included an ingenious Regatta function allowing the team to keep track of the critical five-minute countdown to the start of each race. Once racing was underway, the X-33 enabled the crew to measure progress.
Emirates Team New Zealand performed magnificently throughout every stage of the competition on water. By taking a 5-2 win in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Finals, the kiwis advanced to the America’s Cup Match against Oracle Team USA. Once again, ETNZ proved to be too powerful and they sailed confidently to victory, lifting the “Auld Mug” once again. While the black ceramic bezel OMEGA fake watches are together with them to reach a higher peak in the future.
OMEGA’s partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand began in 1995 alongside the legendary round-the-world skipper and America’s Cup legend Sir Peter Blake. Since then, OMEGA’s support has only grown stronger. The brand continues to admire the strength and ability of the team and was particularly proud to have its brand name on the boat this year. These excellent replica wacthes will be the best accompanies along with the sailing process.
Omega is among the best-known luxury watch brands on the planet, and certainly the best known off the planet. From NASA to the Olympics to James Bond, not to mention names like Speedmaster, Seamaster and Constellation, the brand has achieved well-deserved rock-star status among watch enthusiasts everywhere. Here are 10 things you should know about Omega.
1. What’s In a Name?
In 1848, Louis Brandt founded the company that would become Omega in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. In 1877, his sons Louis-Paul and César joined him, and the company name was changed to Louis Brandt & Fils. In 1894, the company produced a new movement that proved to be a global success, thanks to its timekeeping accuracy and ease of repair. The movement was known as the Omega caliber, and its success was such that in 1903, the company name was changed to Louis Brandt & Frére – Omega Watch Co., and the Omega brand name was born.
2. Precision Timing
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, before quartz and GPS, nations and industries depended on precise mechanical timepieces. To encourage improvements in this field, Observatory trials were held. These chronometric marathons tested timepieces of various types for extended periods, and the winners earned substantial publicity and bragging rights. Top manufacturers competed against each other head to head to win these Superbowls of watchmaking. Omega enjoyed tremendous success at these trials, setting numerous world records. At the 1931 Geneva Observatory trials, Omega won First Prize in all six categories. That same year, the company adopted the advertising slogan “Omega – Exact time for life.” That was not hyperbole, but a claim backed up by decades of Observatory trial results.
3. Exploring the Ends of the Earth
Who led the first surface expedition to reach the North Pole? Was it Robert Peary? Perhaps Frederick Cook? How about Ralph Plaisted? Chances are you’re not familiar with the last name, but you should be, because the story of who actually reached the North Pole first via an overland route is a fascinating one. You can read more about it here.
Of the three candidates, Plaisted seems the least likely to claim the title. He was an insurance salesman from Minnesota who was also an avid outdoorsman and snowmobiler. Friends said that if he liked the newly-invented snowmobile so much, he should drive one to the North Pole. And in what sounds like a modern made-for-GoPro story, he did. His party set out on the 412-mile trek from Canada’s Ward Hunt Island, not far from Peary’s start on Ellesmere Island. Riding snowmobiles and armed with Omega Speedmasters and sextants to track their location, they reached their final camp on April 19, 1968, after a 43-day trek. Plaisted’s team was the first to receive independent confirmation that it had actually reached the North Pole, when a U.S. Air Force C-135 flew overhead and confirmed their location. Today, many historians of polar exploration agree that Plaisted’s party was the first to reach the North Pole by an overland route.
At the other end of the planet, in February, 1990, Arved Fuchs and Reinhold Messner completed what some called the “last possible land journey on earth.” The pair crossed Antarctica on foot. The 1,740-mile journey took 92 days. Enduring temperatures of -40° F and winds exceeding 90 mph, they crossed the Thiel mountains to the South Pole, then continued on to McMurdo Sound on the Ross Sea. Messner’s timekeeper on this journey was an Omega Speedmaster.
4. Speedy in Space
In the autumn of 1962, a group of astronauts including Walter Schirra and Leroy “Gordo” Cooper walked into a watch shop in Houston looking for watches to use on their upcoming Mercury program flights. They left with Omega Speedmasters, and so began Omega’s history with space exploration.
At the end of the Mercury program the following year, astronauts approached NASA Operations Director Deke Slayton and asked to be issued with watches for use during training and flight. Their timing was perfect, because NASA had just hired a group of engineers to evaluate, test and certify equipment for use by astronauts. NASA eventually tested watches provided by Omega, Rolex, and Longines-Wittnauer. The tests were brutal, designed to test watches to destruction. On March 1, 1965, NASA selected the winner, certifying the Speedmaster reference ST105.003 “Flight Qualified for all Manned Space Missions”.
Fast forward to July 21, 1969.Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle to become the first human to stand on another world. However he was not wearing his watch. He left it on the Eagle, because the on-board clock was not working. A few minutes later, Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon’s surface, wearing his watch, and the black dial Omega Speedmaster Professional copy watches became the first watch to be worn on the Moon.
5. Master of the Sea
Omega launched the Seamaster line in 1948 to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary. That makes it the oldest line in the current collection, which also includes the Speedmaster, Constellation and De Ville. The Seamaster was loosely based on the watches Omega made for the British military at the end of World War II.
In 1957, Omega launched the Professional range of Seamaster watches with the debut of the Omega Seamaster 300. Jacques Cousteau’s team used the Seamaster 300 during its “Precontinent II” experiments in the Red Sea in the summer of 1963 to prove that divers could live in a submerged saturated gas environment for long periods without adverse effects. Military units, including the British Special Boat Service, chose the Seamaster 300 as their official watch.
As divers lived and worked at ever-greater depths, Omega began work on the famous “Ploprof” (PLOngeur PROFessionel, or “professional diver” in English) Seamaster 600, launched to the public in 1970 after four years of research and testing. During the R&D process, Omega tested the PloProf to 600 meters at the factory, and to 1,000 meters off the coast of Marseilles. In September, 1970, three COMEX divers wore the PloProf for eight days, working in the water four hours per day, at a depth of 250 meters. Cousteau’s divers also used the watches off the coast of Marseille during a set of experiments to test the effects on divers working at depths up to 500 meters. To this day, the Omega Seamaster name is synonymous with professional diving. (For our test of the modern Omega Ploprof, click here.)
6. Olympic Timing
Omega manufactured its first chronograph in 1898, and within 10 years, the timepieces had been used to measure time at more than 16 sporting competitions. After winning 1st place in all six categories at the 1931 Geneva Observatory trials, Omega’s reputation for accuracy led the International Olympic Committee to appoint Omega as the official timekeeper of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. This was the first time in Olympic history that one brand had been given the responsibility to time all events. The brand supplied 30 high-precision chronographs capable of measuring 1/10th of a second (an Olympics first), all of which had been certified as chronometers by the Observatory at Neuchâtel as well as the National Physics Laboratory in the United States. (The timekeepers at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam used their personal stopwatches.)
Even Omega’s advanced stopwatches did not eliminate Olympic controversy. In five different races, the winner and runner-up were recorded as having the same time. The most famous controversy involved the 100-meter dash and the duel between Ralph Metcalfe and Thomas Edward “Eddie“ Tolan. To the spectators, it appeared that Metcalfe won the race, and the timekeepers’ hand-held stopwatches recorded three times of 10.3 seconds for Metcalfe and two times of 10.3 and one of 10.4 seconds for Tolan. Yet Tolan was declared the winner, in an early Olympic “photo finish.”
A “Chronocinema“ camera filmed the end of each race, and it was used to record times to the nearest 1/100th of a second. The rules at that time stated that the winner was the first runner whose torso completely crossed the finish line, not the one whose torso reached the line first. After reviewing the film, the judges ruled that Tolan had won, fully crossing the line 5/100ths of a second ahead of Metcalfe.
This controversy presaged the need for ever more accurate timers, and methods of determining winners. Omega says that today, timing an Olympics requires several hundred professional timekeepers and data handlers, supported by up to a thousand specially trained local volunteers, all using some 400 tons of equipment, including scoreboards, miles of cables and optical fiber, and state-of-the-art timekeeping and data-handling technology, developed by Omega and adapted to the requirements of each sport.
7. James Bond and Film
Over the years, James Bond has worn a couple of watch brands, but today, none is more closely associated with the storied franchise than Omega. The year 1995 marked two firsts for the famous agent: GoldenEye featured a new James Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, and the Omega Seamaster debuted on his wrist. Since then, 007 has worn Omega in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace,Skyfall, and SPECTRE (in which Bond donned a new Omega Seamaster 300).
When it comes to James Bond wristwatch auction results, black textile straps Omega Seamaster Planet Oceans fake watches hold the top two places. The top watch, used in the filming of Casino Royale, sold at the 2007 Antiquorum OmegaMania auction for CHF 250,250. A Seamaster Planet Ocean used in the filming of Skyfall sold at Christies’ “50 Years of James Bond” sale in 2012 for CHF 236,473.
Omega timepieces have appeared in many other films, including Up in the Air, Salt, War of the Worlds, The Bounty Hunter, The Right Stuff, Event Horizon, Millennium, Jack Reacher, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ronin, Seven Years in Tibet, The Omega Man, and My Fellow Americans.
Of course, one of Omega’s most famous starring roles came in Apollo 13. The film documented the mission with the unlucky number that was cut short by an explosion that deprived the spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power. The film accurately portrays the astronauts wearing Omega Speedmasters, and the key role the Speedmaster played in getting the crew safely back to Earth. Due to the failure of an onboard electric timer, the astronauts relied on their Speedmasters to time critical burns (powering engines on and off). These burns had to be precisely the right duration to get the spacecraft pointed in exactly the right direction so that it could enter the atmosphere without bouncing off or burning up. The Speedmasters performed flawlessly, and the astronauts made it home safely.
8. The Kennedy Connection
Official brand ambassadors aside, Omega has proven a favorite of many world leaders and celebrities. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was often photographed wearing his gold Constellation Manhattan. In the aforementioned 1995 film My Fellow Americans, Jack Lemmon plays a former American President. At one point, Lemmon comments on his watch, saying “That’s a Constellation. It was given to me by Gorbachev!”
Pope John Paul II wore an Omega De Ville “Classic.” Elvis Presley was photographed wearing an Omega while in the service, stationed in Germany. Buddy Holly was wearing his white gold ultra-thin Omega when his plane crashed in February, 1959. Ringo Starr wore an Omega Constellation performing on stage with The Beatles.
One of the most famous owners was John F. Kennedy, who wore an Omega at his inauguration as America’s 35th president in January, 1961. The watch had been presented to Kennedy by a friend before the election. The back of the watch bears the inscription “President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant.” Today, the watch is housed at the Omega Museum.
9. The Co-Axial Escapement
As we have seen, from its early days, Omega has pursued precision timekeeping. One of the holy grails in this area is a very low-friction escapement. So it is no surprise that when renowned English watchmaker George Daniels developed his now-famous co-axial escapement, Omega would take up the challenge of putting it into large-scale production. Those efforts culminated with the 1999 launch of the Omega Co-Axial Caliber 2500. Omega touted the mechanism as the first practical new watch escapement to be invented in 250 years.
In 2007, Omega launched its proprietary Co-Axial Caliber 8500, citing the escapement’s low friction, mechanical efficiency, and timekeeping performance. The escapement is used in conjunction with a free-sprung balance, the preferred approach for fine watch movements. Omega’s confidence in the Co-Axial is such that every watch delivered with it is a COSC-certified chronometer, and it comes with a four-year warranty.
10. Conquering Magnetism
In 2013, Omega announced the creation of the world’s first movement that is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss, far exceeding the levels of magnetic resistance achieved by any previous movement. Most anti-magnetic watches utilize a soft iron inner case which distributes electromagnetism in such a way that it cancels the effect on the movement. Omega’s approach was to design a movement in which the critical components are fashioned from non-ferrous materials, eliminating the need for an inner case and providing a far greater resistance to magnetic fields. Omega’s approach has the added benefits of allowing a date window on the dial, and a display back. Watches with inner cases can’t offer these attributes because each requires an opening in the inner case. At Baselworld 2015, Omega introduced its own “Master Chronometer” movement, which incorporated its pioneering antimagnetic technology, inside an all-new watch model, the Omega Globemaster. The brand has since gone on to outfit many other models with Master Chronometer movements, including an entirely new line of Seamaster Planet Ocean models in 2016. above all, the wonderful fake watches are really the most charming watchs for people to try.
The relationship between Omega and space is special. Central to this relationship, of course, is the Speedmaster Professional, a phenomenally popular watch thanks in no small part to the cool-by-association links with NASA and the American space program. Naturally it’s something that black dial Omega Speedmaster Apollo XVII copy watches hasn’t been shy about capitalising on (even though former President Stephen Urquhart had his reservations), with countless space-themed ad campaigns and limited editions throughout the years.
Limited edition Speedmasters are a funny thing: you can guarantee that every year or so Omega will celebrate a mission anniversary, or something similar, and this regularity sometimes makes it hard to get excited about the original premise – this watch helped man land on the moon.
The black ceramic bezel Speedmaster Apollo XVII fkae watches, a 42mm model available in gold or steel and celebrating the 45th anniversary of that mission (Omega’s third LE celebrating the Apollo XVII) is a little different. Partially, this is because Apollo XVII was the last mission where a man walked on the moon, but more significantly it’s because that man, Captain Eugene ‘Gene’ Cernan, passed away on the 16th of January this year, aged 82. This legacy adds an incredible nostalgia to the watch. This Speedy, with its mission patch inspired dial and custom caseback, was made by the same company as the watch worn by the man himself as he left his footprints and daughter’s initials in the lunar dust.
Eugene Cernan. Image: nasa.gov
As he returned to the lunar module, Cernan said: “Bob, this is Gene, and I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record: that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
He said these words at 5:34 GMT, as he made his last steps on this moon. This time is noted on the dial. It’s the history and achievements that this Speedmaster represents, as well as the man it honours, that makes this limited edition one of the special replica watches.
This week, just in time for last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas for the dads in your life, we are showcasing notable watches in five categories that debuted at Baselworld 2017. Today, we turn our focus to five new divers’ watches that particularly caught our eye.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Thor Heyerdahl’s historic KonTiki expedition — which inspired the watch of the same name — Eterna has introduced the KonTiki Bronze Manufacture, the brand’s first bronze-cased timepiece. Limited to 300 pieces, the watch’s 44-mm case is made of brushed bronze, a metal alloy that has long played a role in nautical history due to its extreme resistance to rust and corrosion, and has become prized by watch lovers for its ability to develop a distinct patina over time, making each watch unique to its owner. (Dive-watch producers such as Panerai and Tudor have previously released models with bronze cases.) The unidirectional bezel, made of black ceramic, is different than most: rather than the traditional 60-minute dive-time scale, it features a “no decompression limits” scale that indicates the amount of time a diver can spend at a particular depth before he or she will need to decompress. The matte black dial has a granite-pattern finish and features the triangular, luminescent hour indices typical of Eterna KonTiki models. A durable, dark brown, water-resistant leather strap fastens the watch to the wrist with a bronze pin buckle. The Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture (it gets the manufacture designation because of its in-house movement, Eterna’s self-winding Caliber 3902A, with 65-hour power reserve) is priced at $2,950.
Seiko’s Grand Seiko family debuted as its own independent brand at Baselworld 2017, where it also introduced the first-ever mechanical Grand Seiko timepiece for divers, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 3600 Divers. The watch’s high-intensity titanium case measures 46.9 mm in diameter and 17 mm thick. Designed with saturation diving in mind, it features the valve-free helium-resistance technology pioneered by Seiko in some of its earliest divers’ watches, which uses a heavy-duty case construction and an L-shaped gasket. The extended grooves on the unidirectional rotating bezel make them easy to use, even by a diver wearing thick gloves. The case and bracelet boast clean, mirrored edges thanks to Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing technique. The dial is made of a type of iron that protects the movement, Seiko’s Hi-Beat Caliber 9585 — with a 36,600-vph frequency and 55-hour power reserve — from the effects of magnetism. The bracelet adds an extra level of underwater functionality with its secure-locking, sliding extension that can change the bracelet size with the pressure changes. For more info including pricing, click here.
Inspired by the success its Planet Ocean “Deep Black” editions, the first ceramic-cased divers’ watches built to be water-resistant to 600 meters. The blue dial Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Deep Blue” copy watches is a GMT-equipped divers’ watch with a case milled from a single block of blue ceramic, and the first Omega watch with a case, and a dial, made entirely of blue ceramic. The 45.5-mm ceramic case is pressed into shape from a special zirconium-based powder, with the blue pigmentation added at this early stage.
Afterward it is heated to temperatures reaching 1,400º Celsius in a sintering process, making it extra hard and scratch-resistant, then subjected to a three-hour plasma treatment in a 20,000º C furnace that prepares it for the final laser engraving. The resulting case is six times harder than steel and never scratches, discolors, or fades. A contrasting orange highlight color is used for the GMT scale and hand, and on the edges and stitching on the blue rubber strap, and LiquidMetal is used for the diving scale numerals. The movement is Omega’s Master Chronometer Caliber 8906, with automatic winding and a 60-hour power reserve. Click here for more info, photos, and pricing. Small calendar Omega fake watches just like the shining stars.
Rolex celebrated 50 years of its its extreme divers’ watch, the Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, by launching an all-new model, with a larger case and modern caliber, at Baselworld 2017. The steel case, which is water-resistant to 1,220 meters, is 43 mm in diameter, 3 mm larger than its 40-mm predecessor. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the deep black dial is equipped, for the first time on this model, with a Cyclops lens over the date window at 3 o’clock, enhancing its legibility. The text “Sea-Dweller” appears on the dial in red, echoing the look of the original 1967 model. Finally, the watch is equipped with the new Rolex Caliber 3235, a self-winding movement boasting a number of innovative technical details, some of them patented. Its unidirectional, rotating divers’ bezel is fitted with a patented black Cerachrom bezel insert, in a virtually scratchproof ceramic whose color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The dial’s large hour markers are filled with Chromalight, a Rolex-developed luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in low-light conditions. The screw-down crown uses Rolex’s Triplock triple waterproofness system, which ensures secure waterproofness for the watch’s interior in the same manner as a submarine’s hatch. The movement powering the watch is in-house Caliber 3235, with Rolex’s new Chronenergy escapement and a 70-hour power reserve. Like all modern Rolex watches, this Sea-Dweller carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, instituted by Rolex in 2015, which ensures a high level of precision and timekeeping performance (-2/+2 seconds per day). Read our full report on the new Sea-Dweller for additional info, details, pictures and prices.
If you’re a regular reader, you already know how much I like Omega’s 2012 re-edition of the historically important ref. 2998, a model that Walter Schirra wore in 1962 during his Sigma 7 flight. I bought one of my own just a couple of days after publishing the story because I couldn’t find it in me to give it back to Omega. It quickly established itself in my collection as the go-to watch and took home the annual “Most Worn” title in 2016. At almost the halfway point in 2017, it looks like it will retain that title and the more time it spends on my wrist, the more I appreciate it. I enjoy it not just as a pure re-edition of the ref. 2998, but as a Speedmaster with all of the line’s best attributes.
The Omega Speedmaster First Omega In Space in Sedna Gold.
It’s precisely because of these reasons that I’ve always had a bit of an uneasy relationship with another beloved “FOIS” edition – the “First Omega In Space” in Sedna Gold. It is a gorgeous watch, no doubt, a deluxe version of my own, but I’ve also always thought of it as a big departure from the Speedmaster and one that I wasn’t sure I felt comfortable with. Speedy enthusiasts mostly welcomed the watch when it was launched in 2015, and some have tried their hardest to convince me of its appeal, but for several reasons I have been unable to hear them.
First of all, the very best and most defining attribute of the stainless steel case Omega Speedmaster copy watches versus almost every other chronograph of the 1960s is its uniform black dial. The panda scheme is attractive, and the opaline dial and brown sub-dials of the Sedna Gold edition works particularly well, but it felt like Omega was encroaching into enemy territory – what I’ve learned since going hands on with the Sedna Gold edition is that another model set this precedent 20 years ago.
My own Omega FOIS.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I’ve always found that putting the Speedmaster in a precious metal was a bit of a bourgeois move. The Speedmaster was (and I consider it to still be) an affordable sports watch, and definitely an everyday watch. At $18,000, this Sedna Gold edition remains affordable to a sub-section of Omega’s clientele, but it doesn’t really feel in keeping with the spirit of the Speedmaster.
But recently I got to spend some quality time with one of these watches, and I’ve got to say, it has challenged some of my viewpoints.
It’s a Speedmaster with a panda dial. What could you possibly have against it?
Right away, I was struck with how gorgeous the Sedna Gold FOIS is in person. It looks nothing like my watch, but it looks fine as hell. One thing I’ve noticed taking photos of watches for a few years is that the better looking the watch, the easier it is to photograph, and here the photos speak for themselves. If ever there was a looker, this watch is it.
If you ignore the Speedmaster’s reason for being, you have to admit this is pretty terrific looking.
This being one of the FOIS editions (Omega introduced another panda dial last year, this one blue and white and cased in stainless steel), but one that looks nothing like my own, the watch feels very familiar but it offers a completely new sensory experience for the eyes and to the touch.
It’s hard to see past the new dial, but everything you see here you see in the original FOIS (but this time with more gold).
Because they look so different, it’s easy to forgot how much the two watches have in common. The size of the case (39.7mm), the external tachymeter scale with dot over 90, the alpha hour and minute hands, the alpha and baton hands on the subdials, all of that Omega has kept intact, and there’s nothing new to signal on the mechanical side either. Both watches are powered by the manually-wound Lemania-based caliber 1861, which incidentally isn’t the caliber which powered Walter Schirra’s watch, but it is based on a movement that Omega has been using since 1968.
What has changed is pretty significant though. brown or black alligator straps Omega fake watches have decided to work with gold, and not just any kind, preferring a unique and property combination of gold, copper, and palladium to achieve a warm tone that lies somewhere between red and pink gold. To complement it, Omega has created a brown ceramic bezel, which again offers a little more nuance then going with straight black ceramic.
And because it is gold, one of the most unsettling features of the watch, besides its distinct look, is it heft. As expected, the Sedna Gold version feels heavy on the wrist, and this isn’t something most Speedmaster owners will be used to. The great majority of these chronographs (and there are many variations) are made in stainless steel, and if you’ve worn one of the classics before, well, you’ve pretty much worn them all (there are slight differences when you compare pre-moon and moonwatch cases, but generally, all reasonably sized Speedmasters provide a similar wearing experience).
My wedding ring is a good point of reference to show the difference between traditional yellow gold and Omega’s proprietary Sedna Gold alloy.
It’s impossible to make a straight comparison between the original FOIS and this gold edition, but I will say that one feature I miss in this present version is the distinction between the time-telling functions and the chronograph, which I thought was brilliantly done by using polished steel for the first, and painted batons for the second. For the Sedna Gold version, all of the hands (and the applied logo) are gold. Of course, the contrast between gold hands and white batons would have been too stark.
The Golden Panda, a limited edition for the Japanese market. (Photo: Kirill Yuzh and Omega Forums. )
What’s interesting about the original FOIS and the Sedna Gold edition is that while the first tries very hard to replicate the features of Walter Schirra’s ref. 2998, the second takes a confident step into the opposite direction. But this isn’t Omega’s first crack at a gold panda dial Speedmaster. Japanese collectors might remember the legendary Golden Panda, a 40-piece limited edition of the Moonwatch in yellow gold with a traditional black-and-white panda dial that was released in 1997. I have to say I much prefer this edition, with the softer Sedna Gold alloy, and the brown bezel and sub-dials to the Golden Panda, but it’s important to understand where this watch sits in Speedmaster history.
The watch features a solid caseback with the Seahorse medallion and the words ‘The First Omega In Space’ and ‘October 3, 1962.’
So, who is the Sedna Gold FOIS for? Is it the Speedmaster enthusiast, who has a couple of the heritage luxury replica watches and wants something with a bit of pizzazz (and this watch delivers on that front), or is it someone who doesn’t really care about the Speedmaster story and just wants a good looking watch, whether it’s design is new or not? I don’t know, truly, but after spending some time with it, I definitely want to be that person who dishes out $18,000 on a gold Speedmaster that doesn’t really look like one.
In this feature from the WatchTime archives, we test the stainless steel case Omega Seamaster Ploprof copy watches, a re-edition of a classic divers’ watch from 1970 with double the original’s water-resistance and a manufacture caliber. Scroll down for the results, along with a gallery of original photos by Nik Schölzel.
It was 1970, in the midst of an era that delighted in unusual shapes and bright colors, when Omega first released the attention-getting Seamaster Professional 600m, nicknamed the Ploprof. The watch, designed in collaboration with the French industrial diving company Comex, was conceived for professional use: the name “Ploprof” stands for plongeurs professionels, or professional divers. While Omega emphasized its functions, the model perfectly suited the styles of the 1970s, with a gigantic and unusually shaped case, a red button to unlock the divers’ bezel, a bright orange strap and a minute hand of the same color.
The Ploprof achieved fame in the wake of the spectacular underwater missions in which it participated. The most important of these was the Janus Program, with which Comex tested saturation diving for the Elf petroleum company. Three divers manned a pressured chamber 200 meters below the surface of the Gulf of Ajaccio, off Corsica, for eight consecutive days, during which they worked on the seafloor at 250 meters’ depth for up to six hours each day, setting a new depth record. Rolex at this time was experimenting with the helium valve, which it used for the first time in the Sea-Dweller in 1971, but Omega pursued a different strategy with its Ploprof: the case was constructed and insulated so that helium atoms couldn’t penetrate it during the saturation dive, preventing the danger of explosion during the subsequent decompression.
The Ploprof’s pioneering role in the exploration of the underwater world and its water resistance of up to 600 meters, an extraordinarily high degree for its day, made it a cult watch, but its high price — twice that of a Rolex Submariner — made it unaffordable for many.
The new Ploprof, which debuted in 2009, looks very similar to its predecessor, but several differences become apparent at a second glance. The original had a one-piece case with a crystal applied under extremely high pressure and secured by a screwed ring, while the new model’s case has a separate caseback. An applied, pressure-fit cover is affixed to the case by a screwed-on ring. The old caseback was adorned only with a striped pattern, but the new one has both stripes and the Seamaster line’s seahorse icon in raised relief. (Click on photos for larger images.)
A nearly 0.5-cm-thick sapphire crystal ensures adequate resistance to pressure on the front of the case, enabling the Ploprof to withstand pressures equivalent to those found 1,200 meters underwater. Thanks to the case’s new construction, with its removable back, the Ploprof now also has an automatic helium valve so professional divers can wear it during saturation dives. The valve is positioned on the underside of the orange button’s outrigger and marked with the chemical abbreviation “He” (for helium) beneath a coating of clear lacquer. The case is very well crafted; the beveled and polished edges contrast beautifully with the other surfaces, which have a matte-brushed finish.
Minor changes have also been made on the dial. The date is no longer located at the 3 o’clock position but has been shifted to 4:30. A luminous index now occupies that space at 3 o’clock, adding to the dial’s very symmetrical appearance. The luminous indices on the new model are applied and polished, which makes the dial look much more valuable than it had looked with the old lacquered indices. The same is true for the stainless-steel button that unlocks the bezel. It is surrounded by an orange, anodized aluminum ring, which replaces the old model’s rubber ring. The combination not only looks better, but it’s also significantly harder.
The new rotatable bezel is considerably sturdier, too. Its predecessor had been made of Bakelite, which easily developed hairline cracks; now the rotatable divers’ ring is covered by a calibrated scale made of scratch-resistant sapphire printed with a luminous minute-circle and a black background. Nonreflective coating on its outer surface ensures that it remains easy to read under all lighting conditions.
The result is very attractive, indeed. The time display and the divers’ bezel are both legible day and night. The dive scale, with numerals and a triangle, glows just as brightly as the hour hand, the minute hand and the indices on the dial. Even the seconds hand has a luminous rectangle so that its motion can be seen underwater to confirm that the watch is still running. Because of this combination of features, the Ploprof satisfies industrial diver’s watch standards DIN 8306 and ISO 6425, which many other so-called divers’ watches do not.
Another alteration simplifies the operation. The rectangular crown on the original Ploprof had been set flush with its protector; the wearer had to turn a screw in front of the protector to operate the crown. Also, the crown’s shape made it somewhat difficult to turn when resetting the hands. The modern system is much more user-friendly: when screwed outward, the front part of the closed protector moves along with the crown, which is easy to grasp and to turn.
A special feature distinguishes this construction: when the crown is in its second extracted position, it can be used in the usual way to adjust the hour hand and minute hand and to stop the balance, activating the stop-seconds function. In its first position, it can be turned to reposition the hour hand in single-hour increments while the seconds hand keeps running, which also resets the date display either forward or backward. Thus, the date can be quickly reset even though the watch doesn’t include a quick-reset function for the date display. (However, when the hour hand is reset backwards, the date display doesn’t switch to the previous date until the hour hand has reached the 8 o’clock position.) This independently adjustable hour hand is particularly practical when the wearer travels to a new time zone or needs to synchronize his watch with daylight savings or standard time.
Setting the diver’s bezel is a bit more complex. First, with your middle finger, you have to forcefully press the orange button and keep it pressed down while your thumb and forefinger turn the bezel in whichever direction you require. This sounds more complicated than it actually is, but it can be difficult if you’re wearing gloves or if your bare hands are wet. The complexity is nonetheless worthwhile because it guarantees that the bezel cannot be inadvertently repositioned.
Omega also revives the Milanese (what it calls “sharkproof”) bracelet, a woven-steel type that was popular in the 1970s. This one has individual links on the clasp, like a conventional steel bracelet, so it can be conveniently shortened and lengthened. The bracelet is very well crafted — very supple and entirely without sharp edges or corners.
The folding clasp on the Milanese bracelet is pleasantly user-friendly. Two large buttons make it easy to open the clasp; just apply pressure gently with your thumb to slide out the built-in extension mechanism to a maximum length of 26 millimeters. Afterward, and also after having reclosed the clasp, the bracelet can be shortened in single-millimeter increments until it fits snugly but comfortably around its wearer’s wrist. If an even longer bracelet is needed to wear outside the sleeve of a diving suit, the added 22-mm extension piece can be folded out of the clasp. The entire system is very well thought out, extremely sturdy, and very simple to operate. Furthermore, the massive clasp with its beveled and polished edges perfectly matches the Ploprof’s case.
The redesigned bracelet increases the wearing comfort of the new Ploprof, despite the watch’s heavy weight of 279 grams and brawny overall width of 55 millimeters. However, the raised relief of the seahorse emblem and stripes on the caseback presses somewhat uncomfortably against the wrist. The new model, like its 1970s predecessor, is also available with either an orange or a black strap. The modern strap is made of rubber and goes well with the watch’s styling, but it offers very little counterweight to the heavy case and makes the watch look top-heavy on the wrist.
All in all, charming small calendar Omega fake watches has succeeded in adapting a charming 1970s design for contemporary audiences without making the watch look old-fashioned or inappropriate. Many small details were taken into consideration for this update: the raised bars on the flanks of the crown and bezel are polished while the lower-lying interstitial spaces are matte. Other fine details, such as the applied indices, also contribute to the watch’s luxurious look. In a nutshell: good retro design that satisfies modern demands.
The Ploprof’s interior is decidedly modern, as well. Inside its big case is automatic Caliber 8500, Omega’s first manufacture-developed base caliber from 2007, which has now been equipped with the improved co-axial escapement. The movement was constructed around the co-axial escapement and leaves sufficient space for its escape wheel to work with greater efficiency on three levels rather than only two. The balance is held in place not by a cock affixed on one side, but by a bridge that’s firmly screwed on two sides. This not only provides better protection against impacts, but also makes it possible to adjust the vertical play with greater precision, which in turn improves the accuracy of the rate. The balance spring breathes freely thanks to fine adjustment via weight screws on the rim of the balance, which swings at the unconventional frequency of 25,200 semi-oscillations per hour (3.5 hertz). The new Nivachoc shock absorption improves the centering of the balance pinion, which is also especially thin at the pivots to reduce positional error in the bearings. The movement holds a lengthy power reserve of 60 hours. The bidirectional winding rotor runs in a sliding bearing and winds two serially switched barrels. Thirty-nine jewels (out of a total 202 total components in Caliber 8500) minimize friction.
The decorations suit the movement’s modern architecture: the balance is coated with a layer of black chrome, the two barrels are coated with black DLC, and several screws are also blackened. Geneva waves, expanding outward in a spiral pattern, are the sole decorative engraving.
The movement is not merely built for sturdiness, but also for outstandingly precise timekeeping. COSC, the official Swiss chronometer-testing authority, has confirmed this accuracy by conferring its chronometer certificate. Thus, our expectations were high when we tested the Ploprof on our timing machine. The measured performance was even better than we expected: the greatest deviation among the several positions was satisfyingly small (just three seconds), as was the calculated average daily deviation (a gain of 1.5 seconds). Furthermore, the amplitude didn’t decline in the hanging positions, which we attributed to the balance’s intelligently conceived bearing.
With its large dimensions and martial exterior, the Ploprof is certainly not the right wristwatch for every occasion, and even with the nearly perfect rate results, the cost-benefit ratio could still be better. Its price of $9,700 is high, but is at least partially justified by the impressive water resistance, successful 1970s styling, outstanding craftsmanship, clever extension system for the bracelet, and, above all, the top-quality manufacture movement that’s both well designed and very precise. all these delciate fake watches are ready for you chose.
+ Well-designed manufacture movement
+ Highly accurate rate
+ Clasp with built-in extension pieces to lengthen the bracelet
– Heavy weight
– Engravings on caseback press on the wrist
SPECS Manufacturer: Omega S.A., Rue Stämpfli 96, CH-2504 Biel, Switzerland Reference number: 18.104.22.168.01.001 Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date; rotatable bezel secured by a button; helium valve Movement: Omega 8500, automatic, chronometer; 25,200 vph; 39 jewels; two barrels; Nivachoc shock absorption; Glucydur balance; fine adjustment via weight screws on the balance; co-axial escapement; 60-hour power reserve; diameter = 29 mm, height = 5.5 mm Case: Stainless steel; the 4.9-mm-thick sapphire crystal has nonreflective treatment on both its surfaces; fully threaded screw-in back; screwed crown, water- resistant to 1,200 meters Bracelet and clasp: Stainless-steel Milanese bracelet, stainless-steel folding clasp with fold-out 26-mm extension piece and additional finely gradated 22-mm extension piece Rate results (Deviations in seconds per 24 hours):
Dial up +1
Dial down +2
Crown up +1
Crown down 0
Crown left +3
Crown right +2
Greatest deviation of rate: 3
Average deviation: +1.5
Flat positions 275°
Hanging positions 276° Dimensions: Diameter = 55 x 48 mm, height = 5 mm, weight = 279 grams Variations: With black or orange rubber strap ($8,800)
SCORES Bracelet and clasp (max. 10 points): Both are exceptionally well crafted and very sturdy. The quick-extension system is cleverly designed and practical. 10 Operation (5): Nearly everything can be quickly set and easily adjusted by the large and easy-to-grip crown; only the date needs to be reset by the independently movable hour hand. The diver’s bezel is somewhat cumbersome to operate. 4 Case (10): The outstandingly well-crafted and extremely pressure-resistant case has a scratch-resistant sapphire bezel and an automatic helium valve. 10 Design (15): The 1970s styling of the original model has been skillfully adapted to suit contemporary tastes without losing any of its retro charm. This uncommonly large watch might not be the most flattering choice for a person with a smaller physique. 14 Legibility (5): Luminous material, combined with large hands and indices, ensures that the time is perfectly legible day and night. 5 Wearing comfort (10): Despite its large size and enormous weight, the Ploprof is surprisingly wearable, but the engraving on the caseback presses a bit uncomfortably into the back of the wrist. 6 Movement (20): The Omega manufacture caliber is equipped with an improved co-axial escapement, a balance bridge, two barrels, an index-free fine adjustment system and an improved bearing for the balance, which is designed for a high level of precision. 18 Rate results (10): As good as it gets: three seconds’ deviation among the positions and +1.5 seconds’ average gain, with no decline in amplitude between hanging and flat positions. 10 Overall value (15): The high price is justified by the excellent quality of the craftsmanship and by the high precision of the movement. 13 TOTAL: 90 points
Omega collectors rejoice! This year, Omega decided to make a special 60th anniversary edition for each of these three watches releasing them as a Trilogy box set. However, each model can also be acquired separately. We had the chance to study these watches at Baselworld. Here is our analytical review.
The Trilogy begins
Three highly collectible items brought together in the same box to celebrate 60 years from their first release. The Seamaster, The Speedmaster and the Railmaster.
What does James Bond and NASA, the Moon and the Olympic Games, Britain’s Royal Flying Corps and George Clooney or Buzz Aldrin have in common with Prince William? The answer is Omega, the brand used by James Bond since 1995, the first watch on the Moon, worn by Buzz Aldrin on the Apollo 11 mission, the official timekeeping device of the Olympic Games since 1932; official timekeepers for the combat units of Britain’s Royal Flying Corps since 1917 and American Army in 1918. Even Amelia Earhart had an Omega 28.9 chronograph on the wrist and her navigator, Fred Noonan, wore an Omega Marine on the day they disappeared. Not to forget the famous Concorde plane was equipped with Omega’s instrument panel clocks.
The story of Omega begins in 1848, when a 23 years old gentleman, Louis Brandt sets up an assembly shop in his family’s villa on 51, Rue de la Promenade, La Chaux-de-Fonds, assembling key-wound precision pocket watches with parts supplied by La Chaux-de-Fonds watchmakers. In 1880, the Louis Brandt & Fils moves to Bienne, Switzerland and in 1885 to a workshop still in use by Omega today. The workshop releases “Labrador” – the first mass production calibre. Louis-Paul and César, the two sons of Louis Brandt, develop from 1895 an in-house movement, which they named the Omega 19 lines calibre. This movement had interchangeable watch parts and was produced under a rigorous production control. The Omega 19 lines caliber was so successful that in 1903 it was decided for the brand to wear the Omega name – in this way the Omega Watch Co was officially founded.
The first Omega Seamaster was released at the 100th brand anniversary and is the oldest timepiece in the current collection, but not a newcomer in the world of divers’ watches. In 1932, the Omega “Marine” accompanied Yves Le Prieur – the father of modern diving and Charles William Beebe – explorer and marine biologist on their explorations.
The Seamaster was designed to be an elegant watch with self-winding movements, robust, to fit in on “town, sea and country” and it was based on the waterproof wristwatches made for the British military at the end of the Second World War, in both standard and chronometer versions. In 1955, Gordon McLean reached a depth of 62.5 meters wearing a Seamaster in a dive off the coast of Australia – the first of many diving records for the Seamaster. Two years later, the Seamaster 300 in 1957 was released. This was the first so called “Professional” range of Seamaster watches, appreciated for their robustness, accuracy and reliability. It was hence the choice of famous explorers, military divers around the world, including the British Special Boat Service, among others. In 1963, during the “Precontinent II” experiments in the Red Sea, Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s team used Seamaster 300 to prove that divers could live, for long periods and without adverse effects, in a submerged saturated gas environment.
Read also: Pre Baselworld 2015: black dial Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Limited Edition James Bond replica watches
The classic Seahorse medallion from the back of the Omega Trilogy watches – this case-back belongs to the Seamaster 300 – 60th Anniversary Limited.
The Speedmaster Reference 2915, was introduced to the public in 1957 as part of the Seamaster collection, being a project between Omega and Lemania (back Lemania was one of Omega’s subsidiaries). The design team had the task to create a high precision, easy to read, sturdy and waterproof watch. It was the first to have tachymeter scale on the bezel as opposed to printed on the dial and the first watch with now standard layout of the three counters. The reference 2915, the “Broad Arrow” – as it is known today by collectors, had a clean dial with luminous hours on a black background, a matt finish stainless steel bezel engraved with a tachymeter scale. It had a chronograph seconds hand at the same level as the bezel so as to have the best legibility possible. The case was 200 feet / 60m water resistant – quite a performance for a chronograph of those days.
The Omega Speedmaster on the glove worn by astronaut Richard Gordon to the moon on Apollo 12. He remained in lunar orbit while his colleagues Peter Conrad and Alan Bean landed on the Ocean of Storms.
But the most known achievement of the Omega with the Speedmaster was to come later when it became the choice of NASA for use in space missions. And, in 1969 – the first watch to be worn on the moon on the wrist of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. To celebrate this, Omega released the all-gold Speedmaster Professional Deluxe and gave all the astronauts active in the US space program the first series. President Nixon, also on the list of people to receive one, refused the watch due to its high value, of course in the most polite way.
The Railmaster watches were, till 1957, pocket watches. For the frequent train traveler the importance of these watches’ precision were well known. Rail watches started after a tragic train accident in 1891,when wrong timing caused two trains to collide. The Official Railroad Office then imposed a standard for their chronometers a precision of 30 seconds per week in 1900 . The Omega Railmaster arose from this need for high precision, and became successful worldwide.
The OMEGA 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of these three famous watches, Omega issues all three as a homage series, true to the originals. The watches are available as a set of three, comprising a Seamaster, a Speedmaster and a Railmaster. And also individually.
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Of special interest, especially to purist collectors, Arabic numerals Omega fake watches decided that these watches were true to the originals made in 1957 that they used digital scanning techniques together with the original drawings to bring the spirit of those years in the modern age.
The case, dial and hands
Each of these three models used a brushed and polished stainless steel case. The cases each have a different diameter, as it were during the day. But each case used slender and beveled lugs which are polished. Each watch is fitted with an updated steel bracelet featuring a retro-style Omega logo clasp. The tropical dial is present on all watches, having hour indexes, the broad arrow hour’s hand and Dauphine minutes’ hand with painted and specially aged Super-LumiNova to have the vintage look of those years. The look and the feel of these watches are meant to transpose you into another era, and they do a good job. The feel on the wrist is nice, with a warm, familiar look.
The Seamaster 300 – 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 39 mm
The bi-directional diving black aluminum bezel is set with a raised indication. It moves easily, in clicks, and makes one feel like wanting to play with it all the time. The bi-directional bezel was common in the 1950s, even for dive watches, although the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms already had a uni-directional bezels in 1952.
The bezel can be useful as a GMT function. The dial is matt black and oxidized. It comes with a recessed triangular hour markers and painted Omega logo. The crown is embossed with the original’s Naïad sign and the case back features a Seahorse engraving. These details were accurate to the ’57 model, and is a great plus for the vintage look. This is the only watch from the Anniversary Trilogy with 30 bars / 300m / 1000 feet water resistance.
The combination of brushed and polished surfaces, the vintage look and the modern technologies make the Seamaster an easy choice for a collector. Shown here is the Seamaster.
The Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38.6 mm
The chronograph‘s tachymeter scale on the bezel was a bold move at the time, being the first of its kind. The 2017 model has the tachymeter font which matches the ’57 model original Speedmaster and the traditional “Broad Arrow” hand. On the upper side of the dial is placed the 3-dimensional vintage logo which together with the baton Super-LumiNova hours’ indexes and concave sub-dials create a beautiful depth effect. The chronograph remains highly legible (one of the key reasons it was selected for NASA’s space use). The case-back features the beautiful sea-horse engraved medallion specific to the Seamaster collection of that time, completes the nostalgic look.
The Speedmaster. Could be something sweeter than this? Gentlemen, prepare your wallets..
The Railmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 38 mm
The original background of the Railmaster was kept in the anniversary model: the antimagnetic double case can withstand magnetic fields up to 15 thousand Gauss as the Railmaster is designed for people who, by their daily work, need to be close to electrical fields. This watch is perhaps aestetically the simplest looking from the Trilogy. But only by look: it is practical and elegant. The engraved vintage logo and triangular indexes filled with the same aged Super-LumiNova gives it the vintage look of its brethen. The water resistance of this watch is limited to the 200 feet / 60m, the same as the Speedmaster.
Read also: BaselWorld2014: Belles of the Fair: Return of the Classics- Omega Seamaster 300
The Railmaster. Refinement in simplicity, powerful through features – 15000 Gauss means three time more as the necessary to kill any normal watch
The Seamaster and the Railmaster share the same movement – the Master Chronometer calibre 8806. This beautiful calibre is based on the in-house Omega 8800 calibre: automatic winding in both directions with a co-axial escapement and free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring. The movement is rhodium plated and finished with Côtes de Genève. The movement is also tested according to the Master Chronometer certification process as approved by METAS. The watches do not feature a display case back, so we were not able to examine the movement.
The wrist presence and aesthetic that will make the Omega enthusiast turn green with envy.
The Anniversary Speedmaster is powered by the Omega’s 1861 calibre: a hand wound movement with a 3Hz balance based on the Lemania 1873 (this is the same movement which serve as base for the Patek Philippe 5070 Chronograph and the TAG Heuer Carrera 1964).
Each of the timepieces of the Trilogy Collection can be acquired separately. A total of 3,557 pieces from each series will be offered. 3,000 pieces indivicually, and the rest as part of the Trilogy set. We think the logical choice for the collector will be the special Tilogy presentation box. The box is crafted in Swiss oak wood and engraved with the 1957 Seahorse on the lid. The front-plate reads “Trilogy 60th Anniversary, xxx/557”. The watches will also feature an engraving on the case back saying “LIMITED TO 557 TIMEPIECES”. To make everything even more interesting, the package includes a leather watch roll prepared for any situation: three extra leather and NATO straps, a useful wooden spring bar changing tool and a tube with additional spring bars, in case you lose or ruin any.
This Trilogy collection could be your only daily wear collection for work, free time or vacation. It could be your precious possession to leave as inheritance or just be a guilty pleasure. In any case, the watches of this 60 Years Anniversary Collection are not just beautiful toys, but powerful tools.
The OMEGA 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions Specifications and Price
The special Trilogy Limited Edition Box, Ref. L.E. 557, has a price tag of S$30,000 inclusive of GST; the individual prices for the watches are S$9,750 for the Ref. 22.214.171.124.01.001 – Seamaster 300 – 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer, S$10,050 for the Ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.001 – Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition and S$9,450 for the Ref. 188.8.131.52.01.002 – Railmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer are most brilliant copy watches for men to wear with.
Omega has produced numerous iconic timepieces over the years, including perhaps the world’s most famous chronograph, known around the world as the Omega Moonwatch. Here are five models that are in stores now at accessible prices* for both new and seasoned collectors.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
Launched in 1957, the Speedmaster is synonymous with spaceflight and adventure. Like most great icons, the design has changed little across the decades, meaning that today, the Moonwatch is recognized the world over. It features a distinctive black dial covered by a hesalite crystal with trademark thin hour and minute hands, a small seconds subdial, 30-minute and 12-hour recorders, and a characteristic central chronograph seconds hand. The black bezel, with its tachymeter scale, is mounted on a 42-mm stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 50 meters.
At the heart of this chronograph is Omega’s mechanical caliber 1861. Though this hand-wound movement has been upgraded several times over the years, it remains essentially the same as the one that powered the timepieces that accompanied NASA astronauts on six trips to the moon.
The Moonwatch is available on a strap or a bracelet. Each watch is offered with a special presentation box that includes two additional straps – a “NATO” strap and a black Velcro strap. Also included are a tool to change the straps, a Speedmaster loupe, and a book highlighting the adventures of the Speedmaster.
The black dial Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional fake watch is priced from $4,500, making it a very good value among new chronographs.
Omega Constellation Co-Axial
Omega launched the Constellation family in 1952, though in the United States, the collection was originally known by the name Globemaster, due to a trademark conflict that was resolved in 1956.
The dome of the Geneva Observatory served as the family crest, as Omega had just broken its own precision timekeeping record there the prior year. The cupola was surrounded by eight stars representing Omega’s greatest chronometric achievements at the world’s observatories, including the 1931 “clean sweep” at the Observatory of Geneva in which Omega broke the record for precision in every category.
In 1982, Omega launched the Constellation “Manhattan.” This watch introduced the four now-familiar “griffes,” or claws at 3 and 9 o’clock, which originally held the sapphire crystal in place and helped ensure the watch remained waterproof.
In 2007, Omega introduced its proprietary Co-Axial calibers with new and unique escapements offering less friction, greater mechanical efficiency, and excellent chronometric performance over time. The performance of the new escapement is such that each Omega timepiece fitted with a Co-Axial caliber is a COSC-certified chronometer delivered with a full four-year warranty, which is one of the best in the business for a mechanical timepiece. The exclusive movement is housed in a 38 mm case with a sapphire caseback and 100-meter water resistance.
The Constellation Co-Axial is priced from $4,400.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Master Co-Axial
The Seamaster Aqua Terra is a robust timepiece with clean, distinctive lines. The dials of the Aqua Terra 150 M collection recall the beautiful wooden decks found on the finest luxury sailboats. The example shown below features a lacquered silver dial decorated with the Teak Concept pattern. The 18k gold seconds hand is complimented by deep blue, faceted hour and minute hands.
The stainless steel 41.5-mm case holds the best feature: an Omega Master Co-Axial caliber 8500 COSC-certified chronometer movement which is specially manufactured to resistant magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. Unlike most antimagnetic watches, the Aqua Terra’s movement can be viewed through a transparent caseback.
Several brands offer mechanical watches with movements protected by antimagnetic inner cases. Omega improves on that design by fashioning key movement components from non-ferrous materials, making the movement itself impervious to magnetic fields. This feature is especially important today, as we encounter magnets more than ever, from smartphone and tablet cases to briefcase closures and refrigerator doors.
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Master Co-Axial is priced at $6,000.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M Co-Axial 42 mm
Omega is at least as well known for performance under the seas as it is for performance in space, and indeed, the brand was a pioneer in both realms. In 1932, Omega launched the Marine, recognized by many as the first watch designed from the ground up (or from the surface down) to be used on deep dives. Since those early days, Omega timepieces have accompanied many explorers on their journeys into the deep. Marine biologist and explorer William Beebe wore an Omega Marine during his record-breaking bathysphere dives, as did Commander Yves Le Prieur, the inventor of Scuba. Jacques Cousteau famously wore an Omega Seamaster PloProf, and Jacques Mayol – the renowned freediver known as The Dolphin Man – also sported an Omega Seamaster on his record-setting dives.
In 2005, Omega expanded its maritime legacy with the launch of the Planet Ocean line. The stylish Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M pays homage to Omega’s dive watch heritage. This model features a black ceramic unidirectional rotating dive bezel mounted on a 42-mm stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 600 meters or 2,000 feet. The helium-escape valve is the mark of a true professional dive instrument.
Inside the case, yet visible through the sapphire caseback, beats the self-winding Omega Co-Axial caliber 8500 COSC-certified chronometer movement. The free-sprung balance and twin mainspring barrels contribute to the chronometric precision and distinguish this caliber from those found in many other dive watches.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M Co-Axial 42 mm is priced from $6,200.
Omega De Ville Prestige
Even hardened adventurers must occasionally don a dress watch, and here again, Omega offers a time-honored selection. The De Ville Prestige collection is characterized by pure, classic styling and a luxurious appearance that is never out of fashion. The model shown below features a 39.5-mm stainless steel case with a striking two-zone, sun-brushed blue dial protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The case offers 30-meter water resistance.
At the heart of this timepiece is the automatic-winding Co-Axial caliber 2500. This is the movement in which the Co-Axial escapement debuted on the world stage in 1999, conferring upon the caliber enduring historical significance.
This blue dial Omega De Ville Prestige copy watch in stainless steel is priced at $3,600.
One of Omega’s many sponsorships and partnerships is as Official Timekeeper of the Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) sailing team. For the 35th America’s Cup yacht race taking place this month, June 2017, the Swiss watch maker has announced a couple of limited edition watches including this Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ that the team members wear while actually racing. Compared to other collections from Omega, it’s been a while since we’ve talked about this interesting but rare family of digital, quartz-powered Omega watches.
The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 was released in the ’90s, helping show that Omega wasn’t stuck in 1969 with the manually wound mechanical Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” as their cutting-edge astronaut gear. But much like Breitling’s Professional line of watches, also with hybrid analog-digital displays, the black ceramic bezel Omega Speedmaster X-33 fake watches was also convincingly meant for professional aviation purposes. It remains a peripheral branch of the Speedmaster collection that particularly dedicated watch enthusiasts and brand enthusiasts can also enjoy. There’s no reason, however, that it needs to be exclusively for aviation and aerospace, as the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ Limited Edition watch shows. I felt it was worth mentioning that the sailing team members wear the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ while on board as it does add some credibility to the watches’ intended practical use and durability (water-resistance aside). If you don’t follow regatta racing and aren’t clear on some of the physical rigors involved for people or watches on board one of these vessels in a race, see Ariel’s report (and video) after being strapped to a catamaran and splashed a lot with Bremont Watches and Oracle Team USA here.
On a nylon fabric strap, the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ Limited Edition is 45mm wide in Grade 2 titanium and water-resistant to 30m. This might cause some watchnerds to blink, as that is basically the minimum water-resistance rating for any modern watch, and this one designed to be involved with watersports. Boats ideally stay on top of the water, yes, but 30m of water resistance refers to the water pressure below 30m of perfectly still water. We generally recommend that you don’t do anything wetter than washing your hands with a 30m-water-resistant watch – mostly dress watches. Granted, there are a bunch of buttons and spots where water ingress becomes a concern on the stainless steel case Omega copy watches, and it seems like they are intended to actually be used – but even most G-Shocks come with 200m water-resistance.
The quartz 5620 movement inside powers the analog three-hand time telling with the addition of a countdown timer for regatta racing, along with a host of digital displays. If you didn’t know, the reason countdown timers are important to yacht racing and so often found on such watches is that boats get a running start (five minutes) before crossing the starting line that they need to time very carefully. The digital functions can show three time zones, chronograph, timer, (perpetual) calendar information, and two alarms. I will continue to say that negative LCD displays are just inferior to positive ones and can only be seen as a sacrifice of legibility for aesthetics. The regatta countdown timer is activated by the red button at 9 o’clock and triggers a series of alarms with recognizable ringing sequences (sounds stressful to me).
Some differences from the Skywalker X-33 (hands-on here) in the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ Limited Edition watch include design cues for ETNZ, the specific functions meant for boat racing mentioned above, and of course, the omission of Skywalker from the name. The colors are of the New Zealand flag, and the blue ring at 9 o’clock that seems to reference an analog subdial is new and cool-looking. I happen to think that a more colorful approach to the X-33, as we also saw here with the Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse watch, makes it look a lot more modern and fun.
We don’t have caseback images for the moment, but Omega tells us that it is “stamped with an EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND logo and engraved with ‘CHALLENGER FOR THE 35TH AMERICA’S CUP,’ ‘X-33 REGATTA,’ and the limited edition number.” The bi-directional rotating bezel, made of a ceramic-titanium mix (must be very light), includes litle stars at the “compass points” in place of the aviation (stylized spaceship? K rail?) symbols of the Skywalker. Omega says the stars represent the Southern Cross on New Zealand’s flag. We can assume that there will be lume on the hands and indices, as well as the 12 o’clock star on the bezel, in addition to a back light for the digital displays.
There are certainly a lot of potential luxury watch customers involved with the yachting world, so every year we see a range of sponsorships and limited editions from different watch brands. This is one of the cooler ones, in my opinion, and that’s because of the watch itself. Limited to 2,017 pieces (naturally), the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ Limited Edition watch. all these charming copy watches are really the best watches for men to wear in all kinds of situations.
Every Tuesday on my website, www.fratellowatches.com, we tackle a topic related to Omega Speedmaster watches. This article comes to us from the “Speedy Tuesday” archives, and focuses on my opportunity to review, compare and contrast the modern stainless steel case Omega Speedmaster Mark II fake watches with its vintage predecessor from 1969.
After the Omega Speedmaster Professional won the race to the Moon in 1969, Omega thought it was time to come up with a watch that was perhaps a bit more up-to-date and ready for the 1970s — design-wise, that is, as the watch would still need to handle the same abuse as the Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” could. Sometime in 1969, Omega introduced the first Speedmaster Mark II, which was actually a Speedmaster Professional Mark II. (For non-native-English-speaking readers: the “Mark” in the name stands for a new or revised/improved version; it is similar to calling something a “2.0 version” these days.) The Speedmaster Mark II came with the same Lemania-based movement as the Moonwatch, Reference 145.022. This movement is Omega’s Caliber 861 and was in production from 1968 through about 1996, when it was succeeded by the Caliber 1861 movement. The Speedmaster Mark II had a barrel-shaped case that looked totally different from the asymmetrical Speedmaster Professional case. The regular Speedmaster, which was issued to NASA astronauts, was still in production, however. Throughout all the Speedmaster Mark series, the regular Speedmaster Pro remained available (and, of course, remains so today).
When Omega ceased production of the Speedmaster Mark II in 1972, the Mark III already had been introduced. The Speedmaster Mark III was succeeded by the Mark IV in 1973. Then there is the Mark 4.5 (which is a Mark IV with a different movement, an Omega Caliber 1045), which came on the market in 1974. The last one of the Speedmaster Mark series is the Mark V, introduced around 1984. Confusing, right? There are even more models in between and some slight variations on the above. In any case, Omega decided to do a Speedmaster Mark II reissue in 2014, and we noticed that the watches were already in the Omega boutiques before their official introduction at Baselworld 2014. Just like the original Speedmaster (Professional) Mark II watches, there are a few variations available of the Omega Speedmaster Mark II Co-Axial 2014 models. There is a black-dial version and a racing-dial version as well as a Speedmaster Mark II “Rio 2016” Olympic Games edition (pictured below) that we saw during our appointment with Omega.
As you can see on the photo of the Speedmaster Mark II Racing (below), the barrel-shaped case and bracelet are very similar to those on the original version. We will come to that comparison later on. If you take a closer look, you will notice that the dial is somewhat different from the original. The racing track is a bit different from the original, which had a red outer track and an orange Omega logo at 12 o’clock. However, the biggest differences are perhaps in the text on the dial and the fact that the new Speedmaster Mark II 2014 model has a date aperture. Instead of a no-date, hand-wound chronograph movement – like the one that is still being used in the Speedmaster Professional 357x.xx series – Omega decided to use its Caliber 3330 movement. This movement has a column-wheel mechanism, a co-axial escapement, an Si14 silicon balance spring and a power reserve of 52 hours. It has little similarity with the original movement, except for the tri-compax layout of the dial, of course.
People have asked us about the base movement for Omega Caliber 3330, as it is not one of Omega’s in-house-developed chronograph movements (the Caliber 93xx series). We tend to think that it is based on some ETA caliber that has been tailored for exclusive use by Omega only, hence the Si14 balance spring and co-axial escapement. It is understandable that Omega decided to use this movement. It is probably not a watch for the purist – although it is an awesome timepiece – but more for someone who loves vintage watches but wants to wear something new. There also may be some collectors who just feel that they need a piece like this in their Speedmaster collection. We believe that the target audience, though, is the guy who loved seeing the vintage Speedmaster Mark II on the wrist of his father or grandfather and has decided to go with a similar timepiece with all the modern technology inside. For the purists, there are still some great pre-owned vintage Speedmaster Mark II models out there that are priced attractively.
So, would you opt for the old, original Omega Speedmaster (Professional) Mark II or would you rather have one of the modern versions? We’ve put the old Speedmaster Mark II Ref. 145.014 next to the new Ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.001 and show you the optical differences between the two. (We’ve already discussed the movements a bit so need to compare those.) The dimensions of the contemporary Speedmaster Mark II are 42.4 mm x 46.2 mm, whereas the vintage model measured 41.75 mm x 45 mm. This means that the newer model is slightly bigger, which is evident in the photos below.
On the dial, you will notice that – besides the date window, obviously – there are other differences between these two. It seems that the new black dial Omega Speedmaster Mark II fake watches with the matte black dial has the same graphics printed on it as the racing version, with the exception of the use of orange for some of its accents. The minute track and hour markers are quite different from the Speedmaster Mark II 145.014 model. It is clear that the old model has a dial that is more similar to the Speedmaster Pro “Moonwatch” than to its 45-years-younger successor. The hands have also changed a bit, and are now a mixture between the original Speedmaster hands and the Speedmaster Mark III hands. Although the vintage Mark II in the photos is a bit roughed up, you can clearly see the similarities between the style of finish on the case and bracelet. The polished edges on the case give a superb contrast to the sunburst brushed finish of the upper side of the case. Keep in mind that the Speedmaster Mark II’s sunburst brushed finish is a magnet to scratches – this doesn’t have anything to do with the material, only with the type of finishing – and it will require a pretty good watchmaker to deal with this. In any case, we’d advise you to have this finish redone by Omega, which has the proper machines and knowledge.
The bracelet clasp is also something that you will immediately notice when comparing these two. The old steel clasp is just a straightforward folding buckle whereas the new clasp is in line with all the other modern Omega clasps — two release buttons and easy to resize. Again, the one you’d choose depends on your personal preferences and whether buying a vintage watch is in your comfort zone. Buying a nice vintage watch of any kind will require a bit of research. For the modern guy who merely wants a modern watch with a cool, vintage look, today’s Omega Speedmaster Mark II Co-Axial might be the right choice. The black dial version is Reference 3220.127.116.11.01.001 and has a price tag of approx 4,600 euros (including VAT). The orange Speedmaster Mark II racing is Reference 318.104.22.168.06.001 and has an (approx.) 4,600-euro price tag. A vintage Omega Speedmaster Mark II 145.014 in good condition can be found for below 1,800 euros. For now, that is.
The official presentation on this Speedmaster Mark II watch can be found on the Omega website, where you can switch off the light to see the illumination of the dial and where you can resize the bracelet. What model do you prefer? The charming fake watches are very beautiful which can be your best friends.