Omega celebrates its rich heritage of 125 years with the remix of not one, but two limited edition timepieces.
Quasquicentennial – that’s the term for an anniversary that’s 125 years old.
Omega – that’s the more important name to think about when it involves tricky 5-syllable words like the former.
Also – 19-ligne Caliber – another important name to note here. Why? Because with just 19 movements set in 19 timepieces, uttering its name is probably the closest one would get to the truly limited edition release. This invention by the Brandt brothers – the 19-ligne calibre would be known as the movement that altered the course of Swiss watchmaking and propelled the business from humble craftsmanship to rockstar status.
The Omega Calibre, as named by the brothers in 1894, trailblazed through such heights of glory that the watchmakers changed their brand name to reflect the success of the watch. The last letter of the Greek alphabet and the ultimate innovation, this calibre not only started patents but also became the first watch to be precisely manufactured on a production line. The first serialised movement also meant 125 years of precious waiting time saved by loving owners whenever their timepieces needed a tweak or service. But more importantly, it allowed watchmakers around the world to actualise greater production of exquisite and complex timepieces in larger quantities.
In order to commemorate the moment, Omega released two timepieces. The first, as mentioned, a half-hunter pocket watch with its winding crown at three o’clock. One can just wonder who will be the lucky 19 that will take ownership of these original 19-ligne remixes – the original components like the bridges, mainplates, escapements and bimetallic balance springs will now share room with modern additions like ruby stones, chatons and the barrel and mainspring.
The second celebratory release may be less exclusive but no less stunning – the Omega De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Special edition is a 40mm bordeaux rouge piece lush with red enamel and burgundy leather; coupled to a special 18k yellow gold along with domed indexes and simple but elegant hands. Just like fine wine. This head turner also sports a solid caseback (no peekaboo here) engraved with damaskeening around the anniversary shout out. A brand new Master Chronometer Caliber 8929 sits within and as a tribute to its 19-ligne brethren, it will also be the first Master Chronometer sporting a manually wound feature.
Wearing this red beating heart of Omega on his sleeve is ambassador Eddie Redmayne, who talks about the genesis of the brand and more light hearted matters like how to properly rock a pocket watch. With NASA testing the Speedmaster on the moon and these anniversary releases, 2019 is shaping up to be Omega’s year to take the name far and wide.
Images courtesy of Omega.