Pre-BaselWorld 2017: Omega releases the Speedmaster Speedmaster Moonwatch Master Co-Axial 304.32.44.51.01.001 with vintage-inspired ‘Racing’ dial!
In an early BaselWorld 2017 release, Omega just introduced the latest version of its 44.25mm co-axial Speedmaster, featuring a stainless steel case, a ceramic bezel insert with LiquidMetal tachymeter scale, and a bold ‘Racing’ dial inspired by the 1969-1975 Speedmaster Mark II Racing. It is the first Speedmaster to be equipped with caliber 9900, the Master Chronometer-certified version of caliber 9300. Attached to it is a leather strap with orange rubber mid layer – the latter shining subtly visible through the racing-style perforations.
Compared to the earlier models like the 3220.127.116.11.01.001, the profile is said to be slightly slimmer due to a redesign of the sapphire crystals. The size of the sub-dials is increased, enhancing readability – and perhaps even offering a more balanced look.
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of one of my favorite watches: the Omega Speedmaster – and its Railmaster & Seamaster siblings. After yesterday’s release of the wonderful #SpeedyTuesday limited edition, this now has me wondering what’s left in store for BaselWorld…
During recent research I came across an interesting and unusual project Omega seems to be working on: a wristwatch with luminous indexes illuminated through the dial by a light source powered by an electrical energy source. And it’s activated by the bezel!
Geeking out is fun. And when I have exhausted all my usual resources, at times I browse through patent databases to try and find that one bit of information that can tip off what the manufacturers are working on. Many of these patents are hardly worth reporting on. They cover only mildly interesting bits like clasp designs, they are too technical or they are backdated. But earlier I came across this interesting bit of innovation that I thought is worth sharing. And while I’m not at all sure that we’ll see anything like this at BaselWorld 2017, I hope at least a few of you will enjoy getting in on this tech at this early stage, only to find out later how it will be incorporated in real world watches.
The original patent can be found by clicking HERE.
So, what are we looking at in these images? In the abstract, Omega defines it:
Wristwatch comprising a watch case (1), a bezel (4) mounted rotatably on the watch case (1) and a dial (8) fitted with at least one luminous index (12a-12e), said luminous index (12a-12e) being illuminated through the dial (8) by at least one light source (28) arranged under the dial (8) and supplied by an electrical energy source (54), an activation component (72) of the light source (28) being housed in the rotating bezel (4) and engaging with a detection component (76) housed in the watch casing (1), the activation component (72) being arranged such that, in a determined position of the rotating bezel (4), the presence of same is detected by the detection component (76), the detection component (76) then transmitting an electrical signal which is addressed to a microprocessor circuit (46) housed in the watch case (1), the microprocessor circuit (46) transmitting, in response to reception of the electrical signal sent by the detection component (76), an electrical signal which orders the switching on of the light source (28) for a determined period of time.
So basically what we’re looking at is a Omega Seamaster 300, whose ‘sandwich’ style dial is illuminated using a light source located below the top layer – in the present construction specifically the markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9. The light is activated by some kind of action involving the bezel; most likely rotating it. It is my understanding that the bezel is ‘connected’ to the electrical part through special magnets and magnetic sensors. And this is probably the most interesting part, as it opens up a whole new range of possible functions for which to use the bezel – for instance, Omega itself imagines us turning off an alarm or opening a car using a combination of NFC and this bezel tech. How 007.
It’s a brave new world!
Again, the original patent can be found by clicking HERE. If anyone being either more technical or better in French than me has additional insights / corrections, I’d love to hear it!
Hodinkee recently posted an article on Michael Phelps and Omega’s timing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. To my surprise, the added promotional picture showed Phelps wearing a previously unknown variation of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph, sporting a black dial with lighter subdials.
A jump over to the Omega website didn’t reveal anything – not a single word on this mysterious new Planet Ocean. Omega has a history of honoring its ambassadors’ achievements (remember the Speedmaster The Legend?) – could this be something similar? I hope we’ll find out soon, but for now the finer details are still in the dark,. Nonetheless, here’s our provisional image and corresponding database entry. I will edit these as soon as more information comes in and as always: don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any details!
Last night Omega added four new models to its popular Planet Ocean line of watches. Including these four ceramic-cased ‘Deep Black’ versions, the total of 2016 Planet Ocean watches now stands at 36 – and I have just updated our database to feature every single one of them.
Omega introduced the third generation of the Seamaster Planet Ocean at BaselWorld 2016, but somehow only today managed to update its website to reflect the changes made to the collection, allowing me to finally fill in some gaps and add a few that escaped my attention earlier.
OK, don’t worry. If my own social media feed is any hint, I fully understand if by now you can’t read another word on the new Planet Ocean – so I’ll try and keep it short.
While perhaps a bit underwhelming at first sight, Omega went over the collection quite thoroughly with a gentle update of the design, a reconsideration of the case sizes and -of course- a METAS-certified movement in every single one of them. The addition of the ceramic-cased ‘Deep Black’ versions is a nice touch, though hardly unexpected considering the fact that the Dark Side of the Moon has been a hit for years.
Our full Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean database now stands at 145 separate watches. I’m missing a handful I guess – mainly the jeweled-versions of the early years. CLICK!
Edit – we now have the prices in EUR for the Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black’s added;
As indicated in my earlier updates, I’ve been keeping busy with updating existing entries with the latest pricing info, images and newer, more accurate descriptions. After the Speedmasters, I have gone through all our Planet Oceans and you might note that even discontinued models such as the awesome 2201.52.00 now feature larger images – a welcome change.
I have also decided to do away with the dedicated Olympic family and place the watches in the category of the watches that they’re based on. As such, one of my favorite collections -the Museum Collection- now has the ‘Olympic Official Timekeeper’ models right nexst to the original Museum Collection pieces that they’re based on. I’ve also put the stunning Seamaster 1948 here, as I feel that this is where it rightfully belongs. I’ve always thought that this watch did not quite need the London 2012 connection anyway…
Today I’m updating our Speedmaster Professional database with new, hi-resolution images, the latest prices and whatever additional information I can find. To kick things off, you’ll find a few of my favorite limited editions of recent years above. What’s your favorite LE Speedmaster?
Our Omega Watches database will soon be fully updated with better information, better text and -where needed- pricing updates.
Last Saturday I started with an update of our Omega database. I’ve started to replace the somewhat small images with larger ones. While in our first round of Omega editing, many of them featured identical texts, I’ve now also begun with editing the bulk so their distinguishing features will be properly highlighted.
Launched at BaselWorld 2016, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean reference 18.104.22.168.99.001 features a titanium case and bracelet. The first 15 minutes of its revolving bezel are inlaid with orange rubber, while the matte grey dial sports matching accents.