Behind The Scenes - OMEGA

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Behind The Scenes - OMEGA

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 12:26
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We have just updated the watch database: you will now be able to browse more than 1'400 watches of the impressive OMEGA collection and can contact official retailers who will show (and sell) the watches to you.

OMEGA is (together with Rolex and Cartier) one of the top 3 Swiss watch brands. I admire OMEGA for bringing new movement technologies to the mainstream mechanical watch market. For instance the co-axial escapement or the silicon hairspring which offers resistance against magnetic fields without having to hide the movement in a soft iron casing.

I always had a special relationship with Ω. When I was young, I loved to tinker with electronics. One of the basic concepts of electronics accessible to a junior is the electrical resistance. And Ω happens to be its unit of measurement. Then came the first TV sets and I was allowed to watch the Olympic games where I discovered another OMEGA - at least from a distance.

I admire OMEGA's ability to bring a new technical dimension to the mainstream mechanical watch market. What am I talking about? For example, I am thinking co-axial escapement, silicon hairspring and a resistance against magnetic fields which is due to the design of the regulating organ and not because of some soft iron shielding in the casing.These features stand out in the METAS*) certified Co-Axial Master Chronometers that can withstand a magnetic flux density of 15'000 Gauss.

If you take the point of view of a dispassionate, performance driven mechanical engineer, mechanical watches are old-timers and outdated. Cute, but a thing of a past long gone and replaced by electronic and sub-atomic quantum time keeping hosted on our mobile phones. You would also say that there has been nothing new since old Abraham-Louis Breguet and John Arnold conceived their first watches and that watch brands are just wrapping the same old mechanism in new clothes.

But that would disregard the many improvements that have been made over the past years, especially in the fields of new materials and manufacturing processes. And I also think this engineer's point of view is wrong to start with. We are not kidding ourselves. Nobody needs a mechanical watch these days. After all, that's why they are considered a luxury.

Even though we are talking about a bit of indulgance and luxury, some of us like the idea that we are not spending our money to sponsor the marketing dude's end of year party. We are more aligned with the craftsmen, the watchmakers, and the R&D engineers. Here is where - in my point of view - OMEGA can score: their mechanical watches offer a fresh perspective and something to admire and talk about.

But that is just my personal opinion. Here are the facts and figures.

Looking at a collection of currently just about 1'400 references, we learned something new when we updated the data:

  • OMEGA's portfolio currently breaks down into 4 collections: "Constellation"  (almost 500 references), "De Ville" (400 references), "Seamaster"  (some 380 references), and "Speedmaster" (almost 120 references). If you dig deep enough, you also find some 20 "Specialities".
  • our machine characterizes about half of the collection as "designed for the lady"
  • the watches are powered by quartz (some 320 references) or mechanical (almost 1'100 references) movements. Of the mechanical movements, less than 50 references use a manual winding movement. 
  • the collection is based on more than 60 movements. The most prominent movements are the quartz caliber 1376 (more than 250 references) and the self-winding mechanical calibers 2500 (180 references) and 8520 (with more than 150 references). 
  • not surprisingly, the dominant materials are stainless steel (66% of the collection) and red or yellow gold (20-25% each). If you are looking for a bit of bling bling, there are more than 200 references featuring diamonds.
  • the prices we found for OMEGA's watches range from CHF 2'150 to CHF 650'000 for the Tourbillon Co-Axial Limited Edition. In Platinum. Paved with 170 baguette diamonds. I bet this is just the Christmas treat you are looking for ... by the way, the oscillating weight comes in platinum as well. Did I mention there will be diamonds?

Let me know which watches and brands you are missing on the platform… we will go looking for them behind the scenes.

Enjoy the watches!
 
Olaf Eichstädt 

Co-founder and WatchAdvisor's Chief Data Scientist

*) METAS stands for "Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology METAS". In Switzerland, it serves as the federal center of competence for all issues related to measurement and for measuring equipment and measuring procedures. It is so to speak the guardian of measurement units in Switzerland. 

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