For Omega, 1957 was a golden year, marked by the introduction of three important sport watches: the Speedmaster, Railmaster, and Seamaster 300. This year, Omega celebrates the 60th anniversary of these historic models by faithfully recreating them in limited editions, which you can purchase separately or in a boxed set.
"Today we are surrounded with the most incredible technology; sometimes we need to go back to inner values," says Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO of Omega. "Not every old watch is a classic," he adds, noting that while the vintage aesthetic may be popular, there are certain watches that made history and have stories to tell.
The Speedmaster, for example, was not only the first chronograph to feature a tachymeter scale on the bezel instead of the dial, it also famously was the first watch worn on the moon when Buzz Aldrin strapped his on to take a moonwalk in 1969. (Neil Armstrong had left his Omega behind in the module when he made his giant leap for mankind.)
Limited to 3,557 pieces, the 60th Anniversary Speedmaster ($7,250) is faithful to the aforementioned original, which was dubbed Broad Arrow for the style of its hands. The new Speedmaster is powered by a cutting-edge, manual-winding Caliber 1861 chronograph movement.
The first Railmaster was intended for those regularly exposed to electrical fields that magnetize watch movements and diminish timekeeping performance. Its modern incarnation ($6,800) is endowed with Omega's latest antimagnetic Master Chronometer 8806 movement that resists magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. It's also limited to 3,557 pieces.
The automatic 8806 caliber also powers the revived Seamaster 300 ($7,000), which pays tribute to the 1957 CK2913, Omega's answer to popular '50s-era dive watches from Rolex and Blancpain. The new version remains true to its ancestor, from the dial design to its 39 mm size. Updates include a black aluminum, rather than acrylic, bezel and the use of SuperLuminova instead of radium to illuminate the dial in the dark. In a nod to the first Seamaster, the crown is marked with the Naiad sign, and the case back is embossed with Omega's historic sea horse motif, symbolizing the watch's extreme water resistance down to 300 meters.
All three models in brushed and polished stainless steel feature faux tropical dials, a term referring to certain black dials produced in the late 1950s and early '60s that faded to brownish hues due to a manufacturing flaw. The vintage pieces are now considered rare and are subsequently coveted in the collector market. The beige SuperLuminova used to illuminate the indexes and other dial markings further enhances that patinated vintage aesthetic.
For those retro fanatics who can't choose, Omega is offering the trilogy ($21,600) in a special presentation box inspired by 1957 packaging, complete with the company's sea horse motif embellishing the lid. Each set includes a leather pouch containing two additional leather straps and two NATO straps, plus a tool for switching them.
"NATO straps were always linked with the vintage trend," says Aeschlimann, who stresses the importance of NATO straps at Omega. The company frequently pairs retro designs with its high-quality versions of the now-trendy textile straps that trace back to British military watches in the 1970s.
NATO straps allow one to personalize their timepiece and add a little flair. "The trend is so important—it's about a fantastic look and the roots of the brand," he says.
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