The vintage-styled Omega Number 9 Milestone 1941 is a breath of fresh air in –let’s face it– a long line of elegant but dull and not particularly inspiring products sold under the Omega brand.
The Omega Number 9 Milestone 1941 is based on a 1938 Omega CK 2080 reference model that was especially popular among high-ranking officers of the pre-war time.
Therefore, it is coming in a small (but comfortable) 38-mm round case made of polished 18-karat white gold.
I must admit that this is a great pleasure for me to see that Omega decided to offer the “homage” limited edition in an authentic 38 mm case without “scaling” it up to more modern megalomaniac proportions when a watch starts to look like a can of tuna on your wrist.
Still, as you can see on the picture below this paragraph, it is NOT a re-issue, but rather a sort of homage that takes some basic styling cues of the original model but goes in a different direction.
Comparing the photos above, I would say that the person who designed this (otherwise beautiful and attractive) object, was aiming to recreate the way the strap is attached to the body with those extraordinary movable lugs. All the rest, including the push-pieces and flat setting crown with the traditional “Omega” insignia stamped on it, came as a consequence of that decision.
Something tells me that even the timekeeper’s modest size stems from the determination to resurrect those beautiful lugs: make the white gold case any larger and it simply won’t fit a normal wrist.
Frankly, I am not sure whether the dial with its conglomeration of all sorts of scales and sub-dials refers to any actual chronograph manufactured by Omega during the two decades between World Wars, but this sort of layout was common among timekeepers of the period.
As for the messy layout, it is, too, a sign of the time when short-range ballistic missile systems and supersonic jet fighters were still things of not so brilliant future and a normal officer had plenty of time checking, um, the time before making a critical decision.
Presumably referring to analogue cockpit gauges of the era, the Number 9 features rather broad “Rolex-style” hour hand with enough SuperLuminova on it to light a small bedroom.
Being a part of the Swatch Group, Omega doesn’t need to buy “vintage” or “historic” movements from the early 1960s. Instead, the Swiss watchmaker equips the Milestone 1941 with a modern COSC-certified Caliber 3203 with co-axial escapement.
The hand-wound column-wheel chronograph movement also features a free-sprung balance wheel and is reserved exclusively for this very model.
As far as I understand, the Caliber 3203 is based on the well-known Omega Caliber 3200 hand-wound movement, which, in its own turn, is based on the Piguet 1285 ebauche. The only difference between the Cal. 3200 and Cal. 3203 is, to my knowledge, an introduction of a more efficient co-axial escapement.
Omega plans to limit production of the Number 9 at mere 1941 units. Considering the model’s estimated retail price of just below $20,000, I can only wish them good luck in selling the whole lot.
Omega Number 9 Milestone 1941 Museum Collection specification
Movement: Caliber 3203, hand-wound, co-axial escapement, free-sprung balance wheel, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 55 hours
Case: Polished white gold, 18-karat
Size: 38.00 mm
Dial: Black with two sub-dials and a telemetric scale
Water resistance: 30 meters