“In all my years at this company, I’ve never seen a project quite like this one,” says Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega. He is referring to the ‘First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition,’ an ambitious new collection comprising of just 18 watches; each one housing an original ’18’’’ CHRO’ calibre from 1913.
Omega is a company world-renowned for its pioneering history of exquisite craftsmanship, and for its latest creation, the brand has chosen to reintroduce a significant piece of that pioneering history. In 1913, Omega became one of the world’s earliest producers of wrist-chronographs, and the acclaimed 18”’ CHRO calibre was integral to that achievement.
For this project, the Omega Museum played a significant role by supplying the 18 original 18”’ CHRO calibres, which were retrieved from heritage timepieces within their vaults. Through a special and dedicated process, the prized calibres have been delicately refurbished by the experts at Omega’s Atelier Tourbillon and given a new lease of life for use inside these new Limited-Edition models.
The limited-edition was launched at the brand’s “Museum Night” in Biel, Switzerland on July 2, where guests were treated to the first glimpse of the new watch.
“The movements are 105 years old, but now their story is set to continue. The skill involved in the refurbishment and craftsmanship is remarkable, and we’re very proud to now share the results.” – Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega.
For the outside design of the 47.5 mm timepieces, Omega has followed the look of an Omega wrist-chronograph from 1913, with classic details such as the riveted leather strap and the white enamel dial with blued “Empire” hands and hollow Arabic numerals. This design was a favourite amongst military personnel during the First World War. Aviators, especially, were drawn to the easy-to-read dial design and 15-minute counters which were ideal for the most challenging missions. Numerous models were delivered to the Royal Flying Corps and used by some of the most famous wartime pilots and soldiers in history.
Modern materials have also been included, such as 18K white gold for the case, and 18K Sedna gold for the crown and pusher. The classic design also features a hatched caseback, which can be flipped open to reveal the refurbished movement positioned behind sapphire-crystal.