While better known for its famous sports watches, its emblematic Speedmaster chronograph from the Apollo space missions, or its movie-famous James Bond Seamaster, Omega is also famed for its history full of landmark, complicated timepieces. A know-how which the company has always maintained up to the highest standard–even if it has perhaps remained more in the shadow of media spotlight in recent decades–and which is being perpetuated today with the development of the first watch with a central tourbillon and manual winding certified as a Master Chronometer. Crafted in gold Sedna™ and Canopus™ Gold, this timepiece of very high watchmaking quality is a serialized, non-limited edition, which adds to already strong selling points like its visual attractivity and its insensitivity to the influence of magnetic fields.
The Tourbillon, Omega’s Historical Complication
Although one does not think immediately of the tourbillon when asked about Omega watches, the brand can nevertheless pride itself on having made more than one head turn with this complication this last century. It was in 1947 that Omega unveiled one of the very first tourbillon wristwatches, taking up the challenge of miniaturizing the highly complex mechanism which, it should be remembered, makes it even possible to compensate for the effects of the Earth’s gravity on the calibre’s regulating organ and maintain optimal chronometric performance. A challenge made all the more difficult by the fact that, at the time, and out of concern for technical constraints, this device was only present on pocket watches–which were much larger—which is why this tourbillon of a new kind would go on to win numerous prizes. A few decades later, in 1994, Omega was yet again at the forefront of the watchmaking world with its launch of the first automatic watch with a central tourbillon, the cage of which is located on the front side, in the very centre of the dial. In 2004, the first COSC-certified tourbillon model came out, and in 2010 it was the Co-Axial Platinum Skeleton Edition Limited Edition Central Tourbillon’s turn to illustrate the expertise of the company’s watchmakers. Ten years later, this journey on the path of innovation has reached a whole new level of excellence with the De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition watch.
At the Centre of the Dial, at the Heart of the Movement
To accommodate the first Master Chronometer-certified hand-wound tourbillon, the choice of elegance naturally fell on the De Ville collection—a sober and refined line created by the Maison in 1967.
Fascinating in more ways than one, the new De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition has a 43 mm-diameter case in gold Sedna™–a new special alloy of gold, copper and palladium — and in Canopus™ Gold–white gold of great brilliance and whiteness–which is also found on the hands, hour-markers and crown. These two alloys created in the workshops of the Biel manufactory contrast with the black colour of the satin-finished sunray dial, at the centre of which radiates a hypnotic one-minute tourbillon whose black ceramic titanium cage acts as a small seconds hand–an critical element in obtaining the chronometry certificate.
The face of the watch is made all the more captivating by the two hour and minute hands, which move around the gyratory device as if they were partly hidden–in the spirit of a mysterious display.
Each and every one of Omega’s Tourbillon Workshop was handcrafted by master watchmakers, and requires a full month’s work. On the back, a sapphire crystal case back reveals the workings of the hand-wound Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 2640 calibre (3-day power reserve, indication on the back), whose plate and bridges are in Sedna™ gold and hand bevelled. As its name suggests, this high-performance mechanical tourbillon movement is certified Master Chronometer. It is equipped with non-magnetic elements, such as a silicon balance-spring, and is thus capable of passing all of the eight tests established by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), including exposure to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss–all the while continuing to comply with the demanding criteria of the ever so serious COSC. An incredible achievement for a tourbillon.
The new De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition is presented in a special case, comes with OMEGA’s 5-year warranty, and its price of 158,000 euros perfectly matches its astounding performance.