In 1913, OMEGA produced one of the world’s first wrist-chronographs and helped to change watchmaking forever. Now, the brand has journeyed back to that significant moment, taking 18 original movements from the era and refurbishing them for a truly special collection.
History is reborn
While the outside design closely follows a popular OMEGA wrist-chronograph from 1913 – a real piece of history is found within. Each of the 18 Limited Edition models houses an original 18’’’ CHRO calibre from 1913. Retrieved from the vaults at the OMEGA Museum, the prized calibres have been beautifully refurbished by the experts at OMEGA’s Atelier Tourbillon.
"The famous 18’’’ CHRO calibre was used in OMEGA’s earliest wrist-chronographs."
Several hundred hours of handcrafted work went into transforming each of the 18’’’ CHRO movements. The refurbishment was a skilled process undertaken inside OMEGA’s Atelier Tourbillon and all machines used were original, ensuring that the watchmaking remained true to history.
Refurbishing the movement
Each of the 18 movements were different in their own way, so the watchmakers began with a separate analysis for each one. New components and plans were then prepared.
The decoration was undertaken with fastidious quality. After sandblasting the mainplate and bridges, the surfaces were then smoothed with a brass brush
A special silicon tool was used to create circular graining on various parts of the movement, while all the individual steel components were neatly perfected and then decorated to a striking mirror finish.
Adjustments and Assembly
Checks and adjustments were made for the wheels to ensure that the gear systems worked perfectly. New jewels were also added and the original holes were re-bored.
The functions of the chronograph parts were adjusted where necessary and also tested to guarantee that everything was working as it should.
"A movement that is 105 years old has now been given a second life."
The Enamel Dial
This easy-to-read design was popular with aviators during World War I – especially thanks to its 15-minute counter. OMEGA has recreated the look for this Limited Edition model using incredible techniques, attention to detail and commitment.
Creating the Dial
Enameling: "Grand Feu"
The dialmaker began by sifting powdered white enamel onto an exclusive metal plate.
Enameling: "Grand Feu"
The “Grand Feu” process then heated the dusted plate in a furnace to bond the enamel. This process was repeated numerous times to achieve the required height.
The Display: “Petit Feu”
The red and black markings for the dial were transferred from an engraved plate onto the enamel dial using a special silicone stamp. The dial was then baked again.
A high-pressure jet of water was used to slice perfect holes. The subdial counters themselves were then created in the same way as the main enamel dial.
"OMEGA used true vintage logos throughout the design of this timepiece."
18K white gold was used to create the shining case, which can be opened from the back to reveal the movement inside. Touches of 18K Sedna™ gold were also used for the crown, pusher and central seconds hand.
Each chronograph is delivered inside a handcrafted leather trunk. This artisan box includes two additional leather straps in novonappa gold leather and burgundy leather, as well as unique strap-changing tools, loupe and a travel pouch.
The Overall Result
This extremely special timepiece is 47.5 mm and comes presented on a brown leather strap with white gold rivets. The white enamel dial features hollowed Arabic numerals, blued “Empire” hands and the same “military-favourite” design from 1913.