While the festivities were under way in Biel, Switzerland at Omega’s “Museum Night”, the brand took the opportunity to announce what it is calling: “A real piece of technology from its past”. Introducing the First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition, in just 18 examples with each watch containing a chronograph movement of Omega’s, from 1913.
More on the movement in a while, first let’s get the basics done. So, the watch is 47.5mm, in 18K white gold, with 18K Sedna™ gold used for the crown and pusher. The large size of the watch quite clearly has more to do with the movement used, rather than anything else. Thereafter, wire lugs have been incorporated into the case, much like they would’ve been worked onto the cases of pocket watches, in the early 20th century, in order to wear them over the wrist with leather straps.
Next, the dial is in in “Grand Feu” enamel with transfer stamped “Petit Feu” enameling used for the Arabic numerals and scales. To create the recessed sub dials, a high-pressure water jet is used to create the holes on the main dial. Then on a secondary dial four of the sub dials are created using the same enameling process, as above — two 15-minute counters and two running second counters — and cut out, again, using the high-pressure water jet before fitting them into the holes on the main dial.
Turning the timepiece over, you have a hunter caseback, which opens to reveal the movement within, which is unabashedly, all that this watch is about. Essentially, Omega’s reached into its own museum vaults and retrieved 18 instances of a caliber from 1913, the 18’’’ CHRO caliber to fit into the First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition.
Entrusted into the capable hands of the watchmakers at Omega’s Atelier Tourbillon, the movements have been put through a thorough process of refreshment, addressing the unique needs of each example — 105 years on — to reinstate their chronometric integrity. To name a few of the steps taken in this regard: Wheels were assessed and refinished, the jewels were replaced with fresh 21st century ones with their setting bores adjusted and refinished, etc.
A great deal of attention has also been paid to appropriately decorate the 18 18’’’ CHRO movements, to turn them into the trophies they are meant to represent. Finally, Omega even put the movements through the paces to ensure these more than a century old would keep accurate time.
Each First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition is to be delivered inside of a handcrafted leather trunk, which comes with two extra leather straps, along with the appropriate strap-changing tools, a loupe and a travel pouch. Price at the time of announcement stands at CHF 120,000.