In 1948, when London happened to host its first Olympic Games, the Swiss watchmaker has also presented its very first Omega Seamaster hand-wound timekeeper. Now, 63 years later, as the British capital is making the final preparations to host the 2012 Olympic Games, Omega reintroduces the model as the Omega Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial “London 2012” Limited Edition Automatic.
Predictably limited to only 1948 individually numbered pieces, the new Omega Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial “London 2012” follows the path paved by the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 44 London automatic chronograph watch that was officially introduced just three months ago, in May 2011.
The dressy timekeeper is presented in a modest stainless steel case only 39 millimeters in diameter and offers a dial layout that looks very much like the design of the original 1948 model.
The four applied Arabic numerals are still at their normal places at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock of the opaline silver dial and the eight arrowhead-shaped hour markers are also there. Ditto the small seconds indicator at 6 hours.
Even the modern Omega logo is replaced with its vintage counterpart.
Oh, did I mention that all these elements are made of 18-karat white gold? Well, they are.
There are, of course, some minor differences that make the watch look more modern, but, on the other hand, make it more similar in appearance to the beautiful 1966 collection from Girard-Perregaux. Like, for example, the diamond-polished leaf-shaped hour and minute hands and the railway minute track that was transferred from the inner to the outer part of the dial.
Luckily, the only thing that reminds us of the London Olympic Games 2012 is the yellow gold medallion on the timepiece’s back, but you won’t see it often.
Sporting the traditional stamped LOG 2012 logo, the medallion denies us the entertaining view at the relatively new Omega 2202 co-axial self-winding caliber, which is based on the well-known Omega 2500C engine.
Although officially called (and technically being) an in-house movement, it shares its design with the good old ETA 2895 blank caliber but introduces a new co-axial escapement and a free-sprung balance that increases the accuracy of the mechanism.
Nevertheless, the movement is brilliantly designed and assembled, which is confirmed by the official paper from the Swiss COSC institute confirming that it is indeed accurate enough to be called a chronometer.
Frankly speaking, I truly hope that this gorgeous watch, which is most certainly based on the current Omega De Ville Prestige Small Seconds model, will be reintroduced next year without any connotations to the Olympic Games: the Seamaster line certainly needs a classic dress watch with good water resistance rating.
UPDATE ON AVAILABILITY: Due to its relatively low production number, the Seamaster 1948 London 2012 has already been sold out in most locations, but I can still see some of these online sold by private sellers in mint conditions and with all paperwork at an average price of $5000 USD. Not that bad of a price taking into account that this limited edition watch will probably only appreciate with time or, at a minimum, will hold its value in the foreseeable future.
Omega Seamaster 1948 London 2012 Limited Edition specification
Price: $6800 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Omega caliber 2202, co-axial, based on ETA 2895 ebauche, 28,800 vph, 33 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 39.00 mm
Dial: Opaline silver
Numerals: Arabic, 18-karat white gold
Hour markers: Applied, 18-karat white gold
Water resistance: 120 meters
Strap: Black natural leather strap
Back: Solid, 18-karat yellow gold medallion with 2012 London Olympic Games logo