The Omega Trilogy 1957 Limited Editions watches hands-on
Number three is the symbol of perfection. Musicians call triple time "perfect" and relegate the C semicircle – the sign of imperfection, and, by definition, incompleteness – to quaternary time. The perfect trilogy shows up in Basel in the form of a single work by Omega and three historical names: the Speedmaster, the Seamaster, and the Railmaster. I decided to call it a “single work” because if the maison had come up with a single re-edition of each one of these timepieces, the circle wouldn’t have fully closed and everything would have been seen as a “classic limited edition”, but things didn’t go that way.
1957-2017; 60 years have passed by for the three collections that were presented, at the same time, in 1957. The design remained faithful to that of the original models, but it now sports a technological and innovative spirit too (it only resisted temptation on one single instance) that Omega has made us used to and that we can no longer do without. Three models that, almost perfectly, copy the history of three big icons from the 60s. As per Omega’s declaration, the original drawings from the past were used and so were the optical scans of the original models so that, technically speaking, the result is the “skin” of the CAD sample that formed the base of this trilogy.
The very real icon of this brand, the Speedmaster, makes its come back following the pencil drawn lines of its famous designer; Claude Baillod. The symmetric case of the Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition measures 38,6mm, the “Broad Arrow” counters are covered with SuperLuminova® that gives them a vintage effect, the Omega logo is applied and the dial features a tropical black colour. The tachy scale stays faithful to the original scale from 1957, although an editing of the font was required so that the writings and their positioning could match. The caliber hosted within is the evergreen manual 1861 caliber – based on the Lemania 861 – a simplified version of the original and famous 321 caliber that, we hope, Omega will bring back in a super-edition for collectors.
From the main character in space, we move on to the historic main character in the sea; the Seamaster 300 that stays faithful to model CK2913 (in the Omega lingo, the CK acronym indicated those timepieces with a stainless steel case), the diameter of the case measures 39mm, the watch features “Broad Arrow” counters and a bi-directional ring made of black aluminum and featuring a “knight” at 12 o’clock.
On the case-back lies the sea horse that was drawn using the approach from the past. We are all well aware that details are fundamental features at Omega’s – just take a look at the Naïad indication on the crown – a symbol of high waterproofing that confirms our thoughts. The most innovative part of the “Master of the sea” is its in-house built 8806 caliber and Master Chronometer certified that allows it to enter – anti-magnetic-wise – a territory that, back in the days, belonged to the Railmaster.
The Omega Railmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38mm is the arch that closes the full circle of this trilogy and in my opinion – I am a big Speedmaster’s fan – it is also the most interesting one, keeping in mind that there is no other watch in the Omega catalog that can match it. There is the Aqua Terra and I own its very first anti-magnetic version, but, let me tell you that it is not the same thing; it is as if it were a cousin that has slowly gone its own way and has left a void in the spot that used to belong to the Railmaster.
The timepiece was originally created as a time measuring tool for professionals that were constantly dealing with anti-magnetic fields (i.e. railway workers, big plants workers) and is now equipped with the in-house built Master Chronometer certified 8806 caliber; the state of the art in watch-making when it comes to this type of performance and, historically, the best timepiece to be equipped with this modern mechanic movement. It is as if you were suddenly equipping a flying machine designed by Leonardo da Vinci with some modern technology and the machine would start taking off the ground.
The three timepieces come in a limited version; 3557 pieces sold separately and equipped with a NATO strap and a leather strap too. The whole set comes in a box inspired to the original 1957 one. Omega also crafted 557 pieces of the “Trilogy” box that contains the three versions – with the same numbering – and six NATO straps, six leather straps, a tool to replace the strap, a leather travel case and, of course, the box that is faithful to the original one. This is an object for aficionados and a collectible item too.
In a nutshell, Omega leaves Baselworld 2017 as the real winner thanks to its trilogy, its attention to detail both when it comes to presentation and packaging. The elongated and straight lugs of the Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38,6mm coupled with the hesalite glass are one of the nicest gifts Omega could ever give to hardcore and historic collectors who are in love with the very first Speedmaster. The only note that left me slightly perplexed is the decision to have the 8806 caliber inside the Seamaster 300; a very thoughtful choice from a technical point of view but slightly off rails for what the original version is concerned.
It was as if you had a waterproof Seamaster that could go down up to a 300 metre depth; something that makes no sense and that’s why the waterproofing limits of this timepiece stop at 60 metres. After many limited editions presented in the last few years, the Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38,6mm goes back to its roots with no compromises. Let me end this article with a thought; I wonder what it could have been like visiting the Baselworld in 1957 and witness the presentation of three new releases like these ones!
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Matteo Bulla @Horbiter®