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Omega Introduces the De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary

A brilliant red enamel dial.

In addition to reviving its historical 19-ligne pocket watch movement, Omega has also introduced the De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Edition to celebrate the 125 years since the adoption of its brand name.

Based on the elegant De Ville Trésor that was launched in 2014 but is modelled on a 1949 timepiece, the anniversary model is simple yet striking. It’s dressed in the impossibly regal combination of yellow gold with a deep red, fired enamel dial with gold indices and hands.

Omega De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Edition 5

Like the stock version of the Tresor model, the case is 40mm wide with a thin bezel and a box-type sapphire crystal. Inside is Omega’s first hand-wound METAS-certified Master Chronometer Co-Axial movement; most of the other movements in this class are self-winding. While the original De Ville Tresor was equipped with a hand-wound movement, earlier versions weren’t Master Chronometer certified, which promises additional reliability and exceptional magnetism resistance.

The 125th Anniversary Edition features the new cal. 8929, a double-barrel movement that boasts all the latest technology of Omega, including a free-sprung balance with a Si14 silicon hairspring and escapement parts made from proprietary alloys that boost magnetism resistance to over 15,000 Gauss.

Omega De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Edition 2

Omega De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Edition 4

The movement is hidden behind a solid case back, but one that is elaborately decorated with a gold medallion filled with red enamel. Framing the medallion is an engraved pattern inspired by the damaskeening, the decorative pattern found on 19th century pocket watch movements, including Omega’s own 19-ligne movements exported to America.

Price and Availability 

While it is an anniversary model, it is not a limited edition. The Omega De Ville Trésor 125th Anniversary Edition (ref. 435.53.40.21.11.001) is priced at SFr16,500.


 

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Omega Revives Historical 19-Ligne Pocket Watch Movement

For its 125th anniversary.

Apart from being the 50th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster touching down on the Moon on the wrists of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, 2019 also marks 125 years since the adoption of the “Omega” brand name. Omega was once known as Louis Brandt & Frère, named after its founder, who established the firm in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1848. But a bigger milestone came in 1894, a watershed year for the company as the Brandt brothers began producing the revolutionary 19-ligne movement, named after its diameter (equivalent to about 43mm). It was named the Omega calibre, intended to be the be the last word in accuracy and reliability.

The movement represented a giant leap forward in industrial production techniques. It was amongst the first Swiss movements to be serially produced, and more crucially, it was designed with interchangeable components, which meant more efficient assembly because every component could be installed without manual modification. The Omega calibre was also fitted with a patented mechanism, the modern day keyless works, allowing both hand-winding and time-setting via the crown.

So successful was the 19-ligne family of movements that the company eventually adopted the name of its bestselling product, and Omega Watch Co. was established in 1903.

Omega 19-Ligne Caliber 125th Anniversary Edition 3

Pocket Watch with a 19-ligne OMEGA Calibre_02

A pocket watch with a 19-ligne caliber.

The calibre enjoyed a 29-year production run, from 1894 to 1923 and now celebrates its 125th anniversary by coming back to life. Omega has revived  its namesake movement, in very limited quantities, with just 19 movements that will go into 19 pocket watches. The movements will be assembled with parts that were hidden away in the Omega Museum in Bienne ever since production came to a halt almost a century ago. And like last year’s 18”’CHRO chronograph, assembly of the Omega calibres will be carried out at the brand’s Atelier Tourbillon that’s usually responsible for building the Omega Central Tourbillon.

A 19-ligne caliber with damaskeening decoration.

Omega 19-Ligne Caliber 125th Anniversary Edition 2

The modern day Omega calibres are almost entirely original, with vintage components being used for the bridges, main plates, escapements and bimetallic balance springs. But to elevate the movement to modern standards of precision and reliability, components such as the barrel, mainspring, gear train, certain screws, ruby chatons and pallet stones are being reproduced. The very innovation that distinguished the 19-ligne calibre – the system for hand-setting and hand-winding – will also be updated in this second coming.

Omega 19-Ligne Caliber 125th Anniversary Edition 4

And to remain historically consistent, the movement will be adorned with damaskeening, an intricate, engine-applied pattern that resembles the swirling patterns of Damascus steel and often found on early 20th century movements.

These 19 movements will be placed in half-hunter pocket watches, with a crown at three o’clock, that will be available some time in 2019.


 

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Introducing the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph

Hairspring in carbon composite.

After Zenith’s introduction of the Defy 21 equipped with a hairspring made of “carbon-matrix carbon nanotube composite”, its sister company TAG Heuer has also unveiled a proprietary carbon composite hairspring at the heart of the new Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon. The watch is likely just a trial run for the material, which boasts properties that make it appealing for other movement components, especially those in high-frequency, fraction of a second chronographs that are a specialty of TAG Heuer (and also Zenith).

The new hairspring was produced at TAG Heuer’s own laboratory in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Much like silicon, the favoured hairspring material of the 21stcentury, carbon composite is a lightweight, low-density material that’s non-magnetic, and shock-resistant.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph 3

And like silicon, carbon composite can be produced with high precision, resulting in a geometry that offers perfectly concentric oscillation. That also reduces the need for further assembly, as the collet axis attachment is integrated into the balance spring itself. But what sets crystalline carbon apart is its robustness, which means it has most of the qualities of silicon while doing away with its brittleness, a weakness that explains why silicon is still shunned by some quarters of the watch industry.

The Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph features the same 45mm case with a modular construction that’s used across the Carrera line. It is made from black-coated titanium with a carbon composite tachymeter bezel. The black semi-skeletonised dial reveals a movement plate that has been decorated with a hexagon motif, a reference to the nanoscopic hexagonal structure of carbon.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph 5

Typical of a racing inspired watch, the Nanograph is mostly clad in black with several yellow accents, including the aluminum cage of the tourbillon. Notably, the aluminum balance wheel features Super-Luminova markings that highlight its novelty.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph 2

Apart from the carbon composite hairspring, the flying tourbillon movement inside remains identical to that in other Carrera Heuer 02T models. It’s an in-house, COSC-certified calibre that is based on the CH-80 chronograph movement, and self-winding with a 65-hour power reserve. Visible through the sapphire case back, the movement also features a yellow-painted column wheel while its winding rotor repeats the hexagon motif of the dial.

Price and Availability

The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph (ref. CAR5A8K.FT6172) is priced at US$25,500.


 

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