Shop Manager Christophe Debon had more than a Globemaster up his sleeve when he welcomed us to the Omega Boutique on the rue de Sèvres in Paris last week.
With historic pieces on loan from the Omega museum in Bienne, Monsieur Debon had more than fifty years of pie-pan dials, fluted bezels and precision instruments “to make the link between the brand’s history, the Constellation, and the Globemaster Master Chronometer” he told us. “Not everyone goes to Bienne, and in addition to bringing the pieces to customers here, they actually get to try them on, something they would not be able to do in the Museum” he added.
With a name inspired by the fastest, highest-flying, most efficient and best performing commercial aircraft at the time, the Constellation watch was launched in 1952 with: the pie-pan dial that has since become iconic, and a reputation of horological expertise based upon Omega’s legacy of precision and outstanding performance.
Admiring the ‘Synchrobeat’ – a dead-beat seconds movement made between 1952 and 1954 in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, and the Constellation ‘Ultima’ from 1958 with special hooded lugs, we learn that due to a copyright conflict, the ‘Constellation’ was renamed ‘Globemaster’ in the USA until 1957 when the issue was resolved.
Omega was a supplier to railroad companies in China, the USA, Canada and much of Europe, and also provided Ministries of Defense with vitally accurate and reliable timepieces — for the New Zealand Navy in 1944 or in 1956, the Royal Air Force. During the Second World War, Omega supplied 110,000 watches to the Commonwealth countries; 50% of navigational timepieces worn by the Royal Air Force were made by Omega, recognizable by a special arrow marking on the dial.
The image of the observatory and 8 stars that we see through the sapphire crystal case back on today’s Globemaster was originally designed in 1952 for window displays, representing: the Observatory Trials of chronometry competitions held before the establishment of COSC certification, and 8 precision records set by the brand. These stars now symbolize the 8 revolutionary precision criteria, including anti-magnetic, announced in December 2014 by METAS and met for the first time ever by the Globemaster, making it the world’s first Master Chronometer.
Today, the pie-pan dial of the 39 mm Globemaster wears a rhodium-plated star to show its Constellation heritage. Indexes and central hour and minute hands coated in Super LumiNova share the dial with a central seconds hand and date at 6 o’clock, surrounded by the famous fluted bezel. With its 8900 and 8901 calibers, tested and approved by both COSC and METAS, it has earned the title of the first Master Chronometer ever.
Prices for the Globemaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer range from 6,300 EUR in stainless steel with a leather bracelet to 18,000 EUR in 18K yellow or 18K Sedna™ gold, to 37,000 EUR for the Globemaster Platinum.