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Bond gets his newest watch
IT'S the year of another new James Bond movie, No Time to Die. This means the Seamaster collection is in the spotlight again as Omega rolls out its new watches for 2020. Apart from the James Bond anniversary timepiece, there are also new releases from the Seamaster Diver's and the Seamaster Aqua Terra lines.
But in case anyone gets the wrong idea, the De Ville collection has sprung a surprise with a new complication timepiece launched, reminding us that Omega is not just all about making "commercial" watches that appeal to fans of 007, divers or even astronauts; it's also a serious player in the world of horology and making big contributions to its advancement.
At the same time, Omega continues to churn out new women's timepieces, reflecting the brand's belief in diversity and its market savviness.
Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond Numbered Edition
It's no secret that secret agent James Bond's latest watch supplied by Omega comes in a 42 millimetres-wide case crafted in platinum-gold. Yet this has gone largely unnoticed, even though the shine of the precious metal case is there for all to see.
And the catalogue as well as the publicity materials for the watch have also made a big deal about it having gone platinum, because it's the first time that Omega has presented 007 with a watch in precious metal.
The brand has been equipping the master spy with steel timepieces from its Seamaster line since 1995. Why is it different this time?
The answer is hidden within the Super-LumiNova of the 10 o'clock index of the new James Bond dive timepiece, which is water-resistant up to 300 metres. There, you will find the number "50". It's a reference to the 50th anniversary of the Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
At 7 o'clock on the white enamel minute track running around the black enamel dial - which sports a spiralling gun barrel design in 18K white gold - is the 007 logo. Mr Bond's family coat-of-arms is located at 12 o'clock. The number of the Numbered Edition is engraved on the platinum-gold plate found on the side of the case.
Platinum-gold material is also used to make the polished-brushed buckle of the watch's black leather strap.
Flipping the timepiece over reveals a second Bond family coat-of-arms, which has been laser-engraved and filled with platinum on the sapphire crystal caseback.
Through the glass, you can spy the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8807 - which is certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) as the highest standards of precision, chronometric performance and magnetic resistance movement.
Priced at US$51,900, the watch comes in a Globe-Trotter suitcase bound by NATO-inspired straps. A black rubber strap is also included in the box.
Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph
This diving chronograph watch is all about materials, especially tantalum. A lustrous blue-grey metal that's rarer than gold, harder than steel and highly corrosion-resistant, tantalum is especially tough to work with and therefore hardly used in the watch industry.
The material first appeared in an Omega watch in 1993 and had quickly earned a place in the Seamaster's design history. The distinctive blue/grey tones of the tantalum offers a subtle contrast to the precious metals - a blend of gold, titanium and tantalum - featured in this new 44 mm dive watch, which is water-resistant up to 300 metres.
The bezel ring in Omega's 18K Sedna fiery rose-gold has a laser-ablated diving scale, while the polished blue ceramic dial features laser-engraved waves, a date window at 6 o'clock and subdial rings with touches of 18K Sedna gold.
The watch's unique number is found engraved on a gold plate on the side of the case. An Omega Seahorse is laser-engraved and white lacquered on the sapphire crystal caseback, through which the Omega's METAS certified Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 9900 is visible.
Retailing at 18,100 Swiss francs, the chronograph's bracelet includes Omega's patented "extendable foldover rack-and-pusher with extra diver extension".
Seamaster Aqua Terra
The Aqua Terra is the first watch to be powered by Omega's Co-Axial 8508 movement, which is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss - far exceeding the levels of magnetic resistance achieved by any watch movement in the market. Seven years after the watch was fitted with Calibre 8508, the Aqua Terra remains the strongest anti-magnetic timepiece in the market today. In fact, it's been reinforced by Omega's latest Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8900, which is certified to have attained the highest standard of precision and performance in the industry.
The Aqua Terra first appeared in 2002. It draws much of its inspiration from earlier Seamaster models which have been in production since 1948. The defining characteristic of the Aqua Terra collection is the unique "teak concept" dial that features a vertical line pattern inspired by the wooden decks on luxury yachts.
This "classic collection" has now also become more colourful with new dials in blue and green. The addition comes on top of its diverse selection of dials, bracelets and straps. Both the new colour dials, in keeping with the Aqua Terra's well-established aesthetic, are sun-brushed and distinguished by its horizontal teak pattern.
There's also the choice of steel bracelet or matching-coloured leather strap to go with the 41mm stainless steel watches.
Price: US$5,400 in leather strap and US$5,700 in steel bracelet.
De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition
Omega is famous for making timepieces for spies and astronauts. Few know it's among the pioneer developers of the tourbillon wristwatch.
Perhaps it's because Omega's early development efforts in this gravity-defying timepiece, in the 1940s and 1950s, were devoted to the cause of horological advancement.
When it created the first-ever wristwatch tourbillon movement in 1947, Omega's first thought was not to start selling tourbillon watches; instead, it submitted the movements it created for precision competitions. They produced "excellent results", even setting a record in Geneva in 1950.
It was only in 1994 - 50 years later - that Omega's first commercial tourbillon made its debut, largely to celebrate the brand's 100th anniversary.
There were already tourbillon watches in the market, but these largely had the floating tourbillon cage located at six o'clock, which set the convention for most of today's tourbillon timepieces.
The Omega tourbillon introduced in 1994 was the first self-winding central tourbillon wristwatch, which has the tourbillon carriage positioned in the middle of the watch.
A decade later, in 2004, it would produce the first tourbillon wristwatch to be Chronometer certified.
The new De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition is Omega's first Master Chronometer certified manual-winding central tourbillon - the certification is an assurance of the Swiss industry's highest standard of precision and performance. It's also a testament to Omega's expert watchmakers, who have crafted a tourbillon cage that can keep rotating even under a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss.
The tourbillon's speed is set to one revolution per minute to allow the display of seconds, which is essential for achieving the certification.
The handcrafted watch comes in a 43mm central casebody made of 18K Canopus gold - an exclusive white-gold alloy, distinctive for its high brilliance, whiteness and longevity. The buckle logo of the black leather strap and crown logo are also made from the same metal. The lugs, bezel and caseback are formed in 18K Sedna gold - Omega's own fiery rose-gold alloy. The tourbillon cage is at the centre of the sub-brushed dial, its Sedna gold material gives a dark shade, and features hand-polished bevels in black ceramised titanium. Priced at US$168,000, the new central tourbillon comes with Omega's five-year warranty and a certificate that indicates the specific number of each watch.
The watch is delivered in a special box with a travel pouch and watch crown winder.
Speedmaster 38MM Collection
A blend of the classic Moonwatch design and a refined feminine style, the downsized Speedmaster collection for women has gone gold, with two new models.
The first, set on a taupe-brown leather strap, is in the fiery red tones of Omega's 18K Sedna gold.
The gold case frames a creamy silvery dial that follows the "cappuccino" style of previous models. But instead of contrasting brown subdials, the entire dial of the new watch is kept in the same colour, enhancing the pure simplicity of the design. The hands and indexes are also in Sedna gold.
The second new model features an 18K yellow gold case with an opaline silvery dial and a green leather strap. The hands are mix of yellow gold and green varnished, while the arrowhead indexes are in yellow gold.
Customer for the two modes can choose the famous tachymeter scale set on an aluminium bezel, or an innovative dual bezel split between aluminium and an outer circle of 90 full-cut diamonds. Stamped on the caseback of both timepieces is the Omega Seahorse medallion.
The watches, priced at US$15,600 for the standard bezel and US$18,900 for the diamond-set bezel, are powered by the Omega Co-Axial Calibre 3330 and comes with a five-year warranty.