On this exact day next year, the 2016 Olympics will officially kick off in Rio, Brazil. Omega is the official timekeeper and sponsoring partner of this event and - as it traditionally does - has customized its most iconic timepieces in advance of the event. The Omega Speedmaster Mark 2 Rio 2016 has already been launched and it is a beautiful and original customization of the original Mark II's re-edition. For a full review on this model, follow the linkhere. Now, Omega has also decided to upgrade another one of its iconic timepieces – a model that it revamped only a couple of years ago: the Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016. Just before the brand lifted the press embargo for this watch, I had the chance to take some live pictures of it - something that I have always preferred over official press images, and something that has always done justice to any watch.
For those who are not acquainted with Omega and this particular timepiece, the modern Bullhead is, aesthetically at least, an almost faithful re-edition of the 1969 model that, generally speaking, is one of the most sought after watches by collectors. Its unusual shape stems from the chrono pushers placed on top of the stainless steel case, something which used to help timing races during the ‘old school’ days of rally racing.
The Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016 is the third limited edition of the Bullhead released in a row by the brand (keep in mind that the first two releases were produced in limited numbers and simply to fulfill requests made by collectors from around the globe) and it is the most exclusive one too, with just 316 pieces set to be produced. The figure 3 represents the third time in history that golf will be officially played at the Olympic Games, while the figure 16 represents the last two digits of the year 2016.
Technically speaking, no major changes exist between this watch and its older brothers: this timepiece features a caliber 3313 with a column-wheel mechanism, co-axial escapement on three levels and a free-sprung balance. The inner rotating bezel is a 60 seconds counter, which replaces the 12h and 24h scales respectively. Style-wise, this timepiece has a fresher and less retro look and feel than the previous editions, mainly thanks to its blue leather strap that boast four different coloured stitchings and represent the four Olympic rings, that are reproduced on the dial too.
Its heritage, limited availability and its so-called ‘coolness factor’ all definitely play a part when it comes to the watch's retail price: €8,100. Clearly a flagship price, I still consider this figure a bit too high, keeping in mind that for a similar amount, I could get my hands on, for instance, a Speedmaster 57 Vintage SuperLuminova. You might argue that the latter is a completely different timepiece than the Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016 but, on paper, it has a technical package - including an in-house movement – that is actually more appealing than the Bullhead Rio 2016. However, if you are a collector and crazy for the Bullhead, then this is actually the ultimate choice for such addicts and so, that price is probably justifiable.