An extract from OMEGA Lifetime - The Pioneer Edition
18K SEDNA™ GOLD
The standard formula (5N) for 18K red gold is an alloy of gold, copper and silver. But when Omega succeeded in developing 18K Sedna™ gold using the rare and more precious metal palladium rather than silver, the result was not only a unique and stunning rose gold hue, the alloy also possesses an incredible resistance to discolouration far superior to that of standard 18K red gold, which tends to lose its reddish lustre over time as the red copper atoms are released from the alloy.
One of the hottest trends of the 1980s was wearing chunky diver watches on big rubber straps. Now, the rubber strap is back in fashion, but this time the inspiration is taken from the very first and more elegant straps of the 60s, such as basket-weave patterned Tropic straps or the Deep Black Planet Ocean strap of this image inspired by nylon braided-weave Perlon straps. New rubber compositions and colours, such as the anti-bacterial coating integrated into the rubber formulation shown here, now make it possible to create super strong, flexible, lightweight, colour-dense and highly detailed straps for both diving and formal wear.
One of the most eye-catching design innovations in Omega’s watch collections in recent times is the addition of ceramic watches. A zirconium oxide powder is subjected to heat and serious pressure to form the ultra-resilient, scratch-resistant machined casebody, which is subsequently polished and then satin-brushed by diamond-encrusted bands. The etching in the bezel of this Speedmaster Moonwatch Dark Side of the Moon is then performed using a very high-powered laser. The result is not only stunningly beautiful, it also creates a solid watchcase six times harder than steel, one which will not fade or oxidise and is destined for a long, pristine life.
Omega was among the first watchmakers to introduce the phosphorescent pigment Super-LumiNova on the hands, indexes and bezels of their watches the late 1990s. The phosphor particles in the white pigment are energised on contact with UV light, whether sunlight or artificial light, which makes the pigment glow and allows the coated parts to become visible under dark conditions. The inlayed Super-LumiNova in the rhodium-plated arrows of the hands on the Seamaster Planet Ocean emits a blue afterglow in the dark.
18K MOONSHINE™ GOLD
For the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11, Omega has developed a new 18K gold alloy entirely in-house. Bringing together metallurgists, manufacturing experts and scientists from different companies within the Swatch Group, Omega has created a soft golden hue as pale as moonlight by mixing the perfect balance of gold, copper, silver and palladium. And not only is the shade of the gold beautiful, this modern-day alchemy has also resulted in an alloy much more colour resistant than ordinary 18K gold alloy.
In 2008, Omega launched the first Co-Axial movements with a balance spring (the wristwatch’s miniature equivalent of a clock’s pendulum) manufactured from Silicon Si14. While steel springs suffer with variable results during manufacturing and finite life, creating these delicate parts from Silicon Si14 ensures the exact geometry is reproduced every time and remains in specification indefinitely. This space age material uses precise computer-assisted manufacturing processes to perfectly form springs directly from silicon wafer in a single step. The result is a component three times finer than a human hair that resists sharp shocks and is completely unaffected by magnetic fields.
NIP ALLOY AND NIVAGAUSS™
Another important part of the Co-Axial escapement is the 3.9mm large impulse wheel. Made of non-ferromagnetic materials and coated in NiP (nickel phosphorus) and then gold-plated, to ensure the antimagnetic ability. The small impulse pinion and the black balance wheel have been made with Nivagauss™, an in-house developed alloy made from amorphous metal.