OMEGA Re-Introduces its Iconic Speedmaster Mark II Chronograph

OMEGA re-introduced its iconic Speedmaster Mark II chronograph, an evolutionary timepiece for a new generation of watch collectors.

The OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II chronograph made its original debut in 1969 sharing a special historical first – man’s flight to and walk on the moon. The new Speedmaster Mark II chronograph celebrates its triumphant return for a new generation.

OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II chronograph invite a new generation of watch collectors to experience a timepiece that marked man’s first historical flight to the moon aboard the Apollo 11 and his first steps on the lunar surface while wearing an OMEGA Speedmaster Professional chronograph (worn by famous astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin).

OMEGA introduced the iconic Speedmaster Professional Mark II chronograph in 1969 which housed a hand-wound caliber 1861, the same movement found inside the Moonwatch. Nearly 45 years later OMEGA re-introduces its innovatively re-designed Speedmaster Mark II chronograph with a streamlined case, an evolved automated movement and for the first time in the history of the Speedmaster collection, an illuminated tachymetric scale for easy readability in dim light.

OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II - dark backgrd

OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II chronograph is presented in a polished and brushed stainless steel barrel-shaped case with polished crown and pushers and matching stainless steel bracelet. The matt black dial (Ref. 327.10.43.50.01.001) showcases three sub-dials: a 30-minute recorder at 3 o’clock, 12-hour recorder at 6 o’clock and small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock. The tachymetre scale is transparent and is on the sapphire crystal, which is illuminated below by an aluminum ring filled with Super-LumiNova.

 

OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II

 

Speedmaster Mark II chronograph is also available in a grey dial version (Ref. 327.10.43.50.06.001) and is accentuated with fluorescent orange central chronograph, seconds hand and matching minute.

The new OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II houses a Co-Axial caliber 3330, a self-winding movement which is equipped with a Si14 silicon balance spring as well as a column-wheel chronograph mechanism. It is water resistant up to 330 feet and comes with a full four year warranty.

A selection of OMEGA watches are available on watchesonnet.com.

Baselworld 2014 Opens its Massive Halls to Worldwide Guests

Baselworld 2014, Basel, Switzerland, opened its massive halls March 27 filled with the world’s leading luxury watchmakers and jewelry designers, welcoming a host of journalists and visitors from around the world.

Baselworld ceremony was opened by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, Christoph Brutschin, Member of the Cantonal Council of Basel-Stadt, and distinguished representatives from the jewelry and watchmaking industry whom welcomed guests to an amazing site of constructed pavilions showcasing some of the most elaborate watches and jewelry designs to grace the halls of Baselworld.

Baselworld has become the world’s largest open forum where industry watchmakers and jewelry designers come to present their latest products and innovations anticipating worldwide market sales and lucrative profit margins. It is also where many independent watchmakers have launched their brand identity and where new hopefuls anticipate gaining recognition and interest in their unique watch creations for an opportunity to launch their brand identity and/or acquire financial backing to launch their brand.

Among the over 1400 exhibitors with pavilions or booths at Baselworld, the Hong Kong Pavilion, organized by HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade Development Council ), has the largest national pavilion at Baselword this year. HKTDC promotes goods and services worldwide having a global network of more than 40 offices, of which 13 are on mainland China. Despite news of declining sales for luxury goods in Asia, the demand for luxury watches increased by +5.7 percent according to a World Watch Report released March 26th. Chinese consumers are highly interested in acquiring luxury watches from brands Omega, Cartier and Rolex, a fact based on data shared by Baidu (China’s leading search engine) of mobile phone searches. The watch models that Chinese consumers performed searches for and are also available for viewing at Baselworld are:

Omega Constellation Pluma

Omega Constellation (depending on model variant)

Omega DeVille

Omega De Ville (depending on model variant)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon

Cartier Ballon Bleu Tourbillon

Baselworld runs from March 27 to April 3, 2014 and anticipates a host of celebrities, fashion designers, architects, along with watch collectors and aficionados from around the world to take in the trend of lifestyle watches, jewelry and architected pavilions of the over 30 kilometers of walkways within the great halls of Baselworld.

Luxury Watchmakers Maneuver to the Emerging Market of Brazil

Luxury watchmakers are piloting their financial sights towards South America to target one of the largest emerging markets – Brazil.

According to a report released February 2008 by Citigroup Analyst Geoffrey Dennis, he predicted Brazil was gaining headway as one of the world’s largest emerging markets per a measured leading index of its state-run oil companies. So what exactly is drawing watchmakers to setup marketplaces in Brazil, while the country steadily pole vaults into emerging market status? The 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Hublot Big Bang FIFA - Dial View

Hublot Big Bang FIFA - Caseback View

The FIFA World Cup is a major soccer sporting event scheduled to be hosted by Brazil from June 12 to July 13, it is expected to attract television advertisers and billions of viewers from around the world. Another drawing factor for watchmakers is the 2016 Olympic Games slated to be in Rio de Janeiro. These highly publicized events are expected to heighten Brazil’s local economy as well as attract a plethora of worldwide visitors and sport fans, raising the stakes for watchmakers to capitalize on watch sales.

Major watch brands have been announcing new store openings or expansion projects in the country, which is known for its shopping enthusiasts. At the forefront of this inbound migration of watchmakers is Hublot, who is also the Official Timekeeper of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Hublot is opening a new store in Rio de Janeiro and just announced its release of the Official Watch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – Big Bang UNICO Bi-Retrograde Chrono watch. It is Hublot’s first production of a bi-retrograde function watch with a central chrono and a movement with patent pending. Hublot also just welcomed Brazilian native Gustavo Kuerten, aka Guga, to their family of brand ambassadors last year.

Luxury watchmakers IWC, Omega, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin are brands that have opened or are moving to open new stores in Brazil, all of whom are banking on the prospect that local consumers and event visitors will help increase their profit margins, provided that the country’s rising taxes takes a downward spiral over the next few years. Despite the country’s high taxes Stephen Urquhart, Omega CEO, views a store opening as a profitable opportunity that it plans to carefully gauge while anticipating lower than usual sales margins. Juan-Carlos, head of Vacheron Constantin Geneva Manufacture, chimes in on the same note indicating that its Sao Paulo store’s goal is to offer first-class after-sales service that leads to loyal established customers.

Jean-Marc Jacot CEO Parmigiani Fleurier and Ricardo Teixeira Pres of Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol

Watchmakers with vested partnerships contributing to Brazilian heritage and culture include Parmigiani Fleurier, who introduced a Fine Watch creation just last year, partnered with the Confederaçao Brasileira de Futebol (the Brazilian football federation) organization. Jaeger-LeCoultre also partnered last year with UNESCO and the International Herald Tribune to help manage the country’s Fernando de Noronha Nature Reserve with a generous donation of $20,000.

Fernando de Noronha Nature Reserve

For the moment it appears that the stakes are high with major watchmakers wagering an “all in” approach for the gradual promise of profit margins, margins that will ultimately contribute to the rise of Brazil’s emerging market status.

Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M 224.32.55.21.01.002

Written by: Krystal Esquillo

From its original release in 1970 to its relaunch in 2009, the Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M 224.32.55.21.01.002 has captured attention as an amazingly functional professional divers watch. But you don’t have to be a diver to appreciate the high-tech of this legendary timepiece.

Professional divers across the globe were using the original version of this watch, the Seamaster Professional 600M, an entire year before it was released to the public. Eventually, the watch was renamed the “Ploprof,” an abbreviation of “plongeur professionnel,” a French term for “professional diver.” This seaworthy creation became a true underwater force with the integration of Omega’s Co-Axial technology in 2009. With every feature of the watch serving a vital diving purpose, this watch is a creation of truly professional quality.

One of the most noticeable features of this timepiece is its strong geometric shape. The intriguing steel case isn’t only for visual appeal; it serves a function as well. The crown’s location at the 9 o’clock position allows for unrestricted wrist movement and avoids accidental rotation. When unscrewed and released from the protective buffer, the crown can adjust date and time. The hour hand can be adjusted separately to allow for daylight savings and time zone adjustments. A locking system prevents the bidirectional rotating bezel from being inadvertently moved, allowing a more accurate measurement. To release the bezel, an orange anodized aluminum pusher is located at the 2 o’clock position. At the opposite end in the 4 o’clock position is an automatic helium escape valve which aids in decompression.

A polished, lacquered black dial and matching bezel are boldly contrasted with the rest of the watch. Divers frequently rely on the bezel and minute hand during their excursions, and the Ploprof designers have taken this into special consideration. The bezel is uncluttered and easily read, while the minute hand is oversized and outlined in orange for easier visibility. For additional visibility needed in the ocean’s depths, the hands and dial indexes are coated in phosphorescent Super-LumiNova.

What most sets the Ploprof 1200 M apart from the original 600 M is its water resistance and addition of the Co-Axial technology. While 600 meters was already an incredible water resistance, the new Ploprof’s 1200 meter water resistance ensures that this watch can withstand the extreme pressure that accumulates below the ocean’s surface. The Co-Axial Escapement within the self-winding movement is acclaimed for its stability, precision and durability. Another robust addition is the orange rubber strap which adds a vibrant touch to the timepiece as well as a more comfortable fit on your wrist or wetsuit.

Specifications
– 55 x 48 mm case dimensions
– COSC Certified chronometer
– Helium escape valve
– Bi-directional rotating bezel
– Screw-in crown
– Steel case with orange rubber strap
– Polished, lacquered black dial
– Anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
– Omega Caliber 8500 self-winding movement
– Water resistant to 1200 meters
– 60 hours power reserve

The Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M is clearly designed for a certain purpose, and though each feature has been admirably designed, the watch as a whole may not be a necessary item for the casual purchaser. But it still makes for a visually striking, sturdy wristwatch for the non-diving population.

Even if you’re not a diver you can appreciate the technicality of this watch and how every detail serves a unique purpose. The Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M 224.32.55.21.01.002, available here, is an all-encompassing, truly professional watch.

 

 

Omega De Ville Tourbillon 513.53.39.21.99.001

Written by: Krystal Esquillo

Watchmaking is truly a craft, and no timepiece is a better representation and product of pure expertise than the Omega De Ville Tourbillon 513.53.39.21.99.001.

The excellence of this Omega creation is evident on many levels. First, the tourbillon feature is an achievement on its own, enabling greater precision in timekeeping. A central tourbillon is an even greater accomplishment, one that Omega can claim as its own. The De Ville is the first watch to employ this technology in which a centrally-placed cage rotates every minute to counteract gravity’s hindering effect on accuracy.

Further indicators of precision and quality are the Co-Axial Escapement and COSC certification. These are essentially guarantees of a watch’s superior performance, stability and accuracy.

A quick glance at the Omega De Ville Tourbillon will easily show you the most extraordinary display of artistry in this watch. The beautiful machinery shown through the dial is the product of over 500 hours of craftsmanship. A single watchmaker skeletonizes the bridges, sawing away at unnecessary material and bevelling the edges to maximize visibility of the Central Tourbillon. A PVD coating is added for durability, also giving the movement its color and spiral pattern. Bridges and other mechanisms within the watch are hand polished. Such care is bestowed into each masterpiece that the watchmaker engraves his or her initials on the underside of the main tourbillon plate. If the watch needs to be repaired, Omega will place it in the care of its creator.

Specifications
– 38.7 mm case diameter
– COSC certified chronometer
– Red gold case on brown leather strap
– Skeletonized and beveled bridges
– Anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
– Numbered edition
– Omega Caliber 2635
– Mechanical movement with Co-Axial Escapement
– Water resistant to 30 meters
– 45 hours power reserve

Pros
Omega has clearly made a stunning timepiece of unparalleled quality. In the unlikely even of needing repair, you assuredly know your watch will be returned to expert hands. This watch was the first of its kind and impacted the future of mechanical watch technology, and that is surely something to celebrate.

Cons
This is definitely not a timepiece to casually consider. You have to pay a premium for the comprehensive work placed into each central tourbillon. The meticulous handcrafting may be worth it for some, but most people won’t even consider a watch in this price range.

If you’re financially able to own this watch, it is a great investment. The revolutionary technology of the Omega De Ville Tourbillon 513.53.39.21.99.001 can last through generations—every new owner will marvel at the magnificent creation resplendently resting on his wrist.