Watchmakers old and young will find any excuse to create limited edition timepieces, them often feeling nothing more than marketing gimmicks as a result. But Omega has just revealed a piece that will send ripples through the horological world and have real watch buffs chomping at the bit to own.
In 1913, Omega produced one of the first wrist-mounted chronographs. Fast-forward 105 years and the Swiss watchmaker has taken a small batch of original 18’’’ CHRO movements from its vaults and expertly and authentically refurbished them over several hundred hours. Due to the nature of the original manufacturing process, each movement was ever so slightly different, which meant Omega had to manufacturer unique components for each piece.
There are 18 movements in total, which have been fitted inside 47.5mm white gold cases, with opening casebacks just like the original watches. The special enamel dial recalls an easy-to-read vintage design popular with aviators during World War 1 and features hollowed Arabic numerals, blue ‘Empire’ hands, and a 15-minute counter activated by the Sedna gold pusher at six o’clock.
At 120,000 CHF, The First Omega Wrist-Chronograph is not a cheap watch. But given the provenance of its genuine 105-year-old movement, the craftsmanship that went into its refurbishment, and the beautifully cohesive vintage-inspired watch it lives inside, it’s hard to deny that the price is warranted. What’s more, it’s rarity (just 18 pieces form the entire collection) will be music to serious watch collectors’ ears.