Most anyone would agree that Omega is one of the world’s most well known – and respected – watch brands. With their colorful and varied ad campaigns over the years, Omega has stayed firmly within the consciousness of the public, both general (who want a watch to tell time, and convey a certain prestige), and the dedicated watch consumer (the folks who spend hours online salivating over every watch imaginable), who recognize that Omega offers a tremendous combination of rich history, horological achievement, and value. In everything from Omega’s prominent place in the history of the prestigious chronometer competitions, to their creation of legendary watches such as the Speedmaster Moonwatch or the Constellation Chronometer, to innovative complications such as a centrally mounted tourbillon, the company has proven themselves to have the stuff of true brand greatness. As of the last several years, Omega has really taken off; we have seen them make the revolutionary George Daniels Co-Axial escapement a production reality, and increasingly integrate this impressive horological technology into a rapidly expanding breadth of their product line.
With the increasing emphasis on important watch companies being Manufactures, and offering new, exclusive mechanisms, Omega has upped the ante as well, and has introduced a new family of completely Omega-designed and produced movements that look to be very exciting. The new 8500 Caliber has just been announced by Omega, who held a conference with the watch press to offer details of the construction. The new movement will have two mainspring barrels operating in series, for a power reserve of 60 hours. The balance wheel is made of a new, advanced (yet undisclosed) material, and ticks beneath a full balance bridge, which incidentally, is made from solid gold, as is the massive central winding rotor; naturally, the Other interesting details include the exclusive use of a striking new cotes de Geneve decorative pattern, called “Arabesque”, which adorns all the movement bridges and the rotor, as well as the choice to put the movement inside a “case within a case” – a sapphire crystal cage encases the movement, which is then slipped into the main watchcase. Omega will first offer the 8500 Cal. movement in the De Ville watch collection, in both stainless steel and 18K gold models.
We can probably assume that Omega will maintain a very competitive price structure for watches with this luxurious new movement, compared to other movements of this horological class by other prestigious watchmaking houses. This positive value/quality ratio has been one of Omega’s strengths for a long time, and one very much appreciated by watch collectors. If their current activities are any indication, I don’t think Omega will have any difficulty maintaining their excellent worldwide reputation and renown; if anything, it’s just going to get better and brighter.