This week Swiss watch brand has presented their new Omega DeVille Skeletonized Tourbillon Co-Axial Platinum Limited Edition (ref. 518.104.22.168.99.001) watch with a central tourbillon complication. Delivered in a deliciously compact platinum case, the new wristwatch features a rather unusual way of displaying time: instead of the usual “physical” hour and minute hands, it has a pair of rotating sapphire disks!
Although mostly known for their mainstream chronographs and diving watches, like the Speedmaster and Seamaster (James Bond’s favorite, right) series, Omega also produces a number of more high-tech models, including those that come with central tourbillon escapement. Like FoMoCo has created (and recently resurrected) their GT supercar as a sort of halo model in order to show what they are really capable of when it comes to all things on four wheels, the Swiss watchmaker decided to make this amazing ultra-limited timekeeper that would be so limited and (hopefully) desirable that future customers would have to actually stand in line in order to get one of these expensive beauties.
First introduced 16 years ago, these true haute horlogerie timepieces are usually presented in cases crafted from gold and thus retail at around $100,000, which is not that expensive if you take into account the fact that that each of this models is a huge jewel in the crown of the Swiss brand’s DeVille collection. This particular specimen however is to be delivered in an even more expensive case, which is crafted from Pt950 platinum. Measuring below 39 mm in diameter, the case is compact enough for the watch to be relatively inconspicuous and is also quite comfortable to be worn with formal attire.
Like the earlier models in the series, the Omega Skeletonized Tourbillon Co-Axial Platinum Limited Edition watch lacks traditional hour and minute hands because it is technically impossible to mount the hands on the central tourbillon. Instead, the hands are etched on to a pair of sapphire crystals. The disks are motivated by gearing moved to the outer parts of the platinum case, which is an integral part of the movement.
The mechanism itself derives from the 2002 Omega Caliber 2600B movement. Like it predecessor, the Caliber 2636 is built totally in-house by one of company’s master horologists and then sent to COSC laboratories in Bienne, Switzerland for further testing. It then receives an official COSC chronometer certificate. When time comes, the movement is serviced by the same person that initially assembled the watch. So, now you understand why Omega plans to limit the watch’s production to only 18 numbered pieces.
The watch will be officially unveiled in metal later this year during Baselworld 2010 trade show and will be delivered to a precious few customers around the world soon after that event.
Omega Skeletonized Tourbillon Co-Axial Platinum Limited Edition (ref. 522.214.171.124.99.001) watch specification
Price range: Approximately €300,000
Movement: Omega Calibre 2636, automatic, in-house, skeletonized and assembled by hand, COSC-certified, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Black Sunray finish, platinum oscillating weight, polished screws
Complications: Central tourbillon
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case material: Platinum
Bezel material: Platinum
Case shape: Round
Case size: 38.70 mm
Case height: No data
Dial: Black, transparent, skeletonized
Hands: Etched on sapphire disks
Strap: Black leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire caseback
Water resistance: 30 meters