The idea of limited edition will always trigger a heightened sense of desirability of an item. Whether it is to celebrate an important company anniversary, a historical event or the debut of something in particular, scarcity of an item will always lead to one giving it a greater value and hence, an increase in demand. In this case of the Omega limited edition wrist-chronograph, it is an extremely rare practice of inheriting the materials and difficulty in craft from the previous model.
The Omega wrist-chronograph is a highly collectible series of 18 timepieces that house original chronograph movements from circa 1913. To reiterate, these are not reproductions of the vintage 18‴ CHRO calibre but rather actual archival movements that had been in Omega’s museum vaults for 105 years, offering a unique piece of history on the wrist.
Constructed to modern norms for hardiness, the case is 47.5mm, just like its vintage inspiration, but this time, made in 18k white gold, a Grand Feu enamel dial and its crown and mono-pusher in 18k Sedna red gold. While the new wrist-chronograph stays true to the original (a dead ringer to the vintage 18‴ CHRO), it is beset with the heft and solidity of a modern watch.
The Art of a Magnificent Movement
The highlight of the watch is (of course) the refinished 18”’CHRO movement, built at the workshop typically specialising in the Omega Central Tourbillon. Each movement was restored meticulously to honour the calibre’s historical significance. The process of refurbishment marries modern analytical and machining methods with tradition hand assembly, adjustment, and finishing techniques in order to produce the finished wristwatch.
Most of the larger components, including the base plate, bridges, chronograph levers, and balance wheel of the original movements were retained, though they were refinished to a higher degree than the originally produced. The base plate and bridges were given a new coat of gilding, with their top surfaces frosted and edges chamfered and bevelled. Even the tiniest of detail such as the original pallet fork was given the same treatment and precision.
As where necessary, all the new parts that had to be created were made by the hand of a skilled artisan. The result is a movement that shines like one that is produced by an artisanal independent watchmaker, and not a mass-producing company. In a market where Omegas (particularly vintage ones) are highly valued, these limited edition timepieces are crafted in a way that is unrivalled by other watch brands seeking to capitalize on the current retro frenzy watch world.
The First Omega Wrist-Chronograph is a limited edition collection of 18 watches, slated to be available end July 2018.