Omega’s 2021 watches, a large tranche of which are unveiled today, show a focus on incremental improvements and subtle design changes rather than wholesale reinvention.
An introduction to the class of 2021 by Omega president and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann suggests that the onus is on timeless classics that will not age.
“Recently, time has never felt more important,” he begins.
“We’ve all learned to cherish and appreciate the hours we have, and really make each one count. That’s why the values of quality, authenticity and craftsmanship really matter. More and more, people are embracing the idea of well-made products that not only feel meaningful, but also have a genuine human touch,” he continues.
“We are continuing to tell the story of our rich heritage, yet updated through the lens of modern innovation and pioneering technology. Our watchmakers are truly pushing the standards of excellence to give customers the most inspiring timepieces possible,” Mr Aeschlimann adds.
The headline act is a fresh range of 41mm Seamaster 300s, a watch that has been around since 1957 in various guises, and arrives this year with subtle design changes.
The dial is where the action is, and Omega has introduced a sandwich concept normally associated with Panerai where a base layer with Super-LumiNova sits below a top plate with hour markers and numerals cut out.
A lollipop central seconds hand has been reintroduced and the face has been de-cluttered with the movement’s name — Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8912 — moved to the back of the watch.
A slimmer inner frame has given the dial a larger display, with an opening of 30.4mm, as opposed to the previous 29.5 mm.
The whole watch is also slightly slimmer thanks to a new domed sapphire crystal on the face of the watch. This thinner look is enhanced by the addition of a new conical crown at the side of the case.
A steel on steel piece with a blue dial will be the banker for Omega and its retail partners, but a brown dial and bezel model in bronze gold, a new allow used by Omega for the first time, is the most eye-catching and rides an already popular trend for watches that pick up the colour of early diving equipment.
The alloy is made of 37.5% 9ct gold with palladium and silver which, like bronze, will age over time, but much more slowly, Omega promises.
The Seamaster 300 models will be priced at $6,500 for steel on steel ($6,1500 on leather strap) and $11,200 for the bronze gold piece.
Seamaster Diver 300M Black Black
The Seamaster Diver 300M is a punchier reference first seen in 1993, and this year Omega has made an all-black model said to signify the darkest corners of the ocean.
Its 43.5 mm black ceramic case has a brushed effect to take the shine off and comes with crown and helium escape valve in the same coloured ceramic. It is worn on an integrated black rubber strap.
The black dial has Omega’s laser-ablated details including the iconic waves and logo.
It is said to be easier to read the time than the black on black dial suggests because anthracite Super-LumiNova is used on the diving scale, the black PVD indexes and skeleton hands, and dot at 12H.
An exhibition case back gives a view into the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806.
It will go on sale for $8,650.