Not just a fresh face (read as new dial design), this Omega brings unusual features and revives
an important name from its past.
It is interesting that the latest chronograph from Omega has decided to get into the semantics of its name. Chronoscope is arguably the more accurate way to describe the function of a chronometer or tachymeter-equipped timepiece. The word Chronoscope blends two traditional Greek expressions. “Chronos” means time and “Scope” means to observe. This typically measures the duration between two points or events. In a nutshell, chronographs are more like stopwatches while chronoscopes – like this latest Speedmaster with its new trio of timing scales – do a lot more by calculating speed (tachymeter), distance (telemeter) and even your heart rate (pulsometer). Historically, Omega was the first to place a tachymeter scale on the bezel; also there were a few models that boasted a telemeter or pulsometer. This latest Speedy is the first to have all three.
Aside from being handy for swift and precise calculations, the new case comes larger at 43 mm in diameter but reworked to be thinner at 12.8 mm, thus keeping it very wearable. Design-wise, Omega has revived some of the best bits from its 1940s heritage – the concentric ‘Snail’ rings to its dial, the thin leaf-shaped hands as well as a subtle grain of spiral circles on which the Arabic numerals sit.
For those who want to amp up the vintage vibe, there is the exclusive Bronze Gold version. In this case, the material is an alloy that is 50% copper, 37.5% gold, silver for colour and paired to palladium, making its resistance to corrosion, as Omega puts it, “incomparable”. One thing’s for sure, this model has all the bearings of an ultra-modern watch yet with an old-school type of dashing good looks – its oxidised bronze dial with a special patina finish and opaline silvery sub dials, a chocolate brown polished ceramic bezel in ‘vintage’ enamel complete with a brown leather strap.
The rest of the range is a little more subtle on the retro-vibes with 6 variants in polished-brush stainless steel, silvery or blue dials, rhodium-plated and blued hands, including two futuristic ‘Panda’ versions with silvery dials, black sub dials and a dash of red accents.
Also new is the hand wound Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 9908 set behind the boxy sapphire crystal, beating at 4 Hz or 28,800 bph with 60 hours in its power reserve on a full wind. It is essentially an iteration of the 9900 minus a rotor and presenting a new ¾ plate. Twin barrels of 44 jewels – anti-wear diamond-like carbon coatings– ensure the column wheel runs with as little friction as possible and with utmost precision for the functions. A nice and new touch is the design of the bridge which features an Arabesque wave motif that flows out from the balance wheel at the lower side instead of dead centre.
Like all of its mechanical watches, Omega put this Speedy through 8 rigorous tests set by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) to garner its Master Chronometer status. By serving up fresh features with a vintage flair, this Speedmaster Chronoscope sacrifices neither brains nor brawn, for beauty.
Images courtesy of Omega, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.