Omega’s lineup of new watches at Baselworld reflects the brand’s dedication both to technical innovation and environmental awareness. Technically, the brand displayed its new anti-magnetic Seamaster Aqua Terra 15,000 Gauss, which was given a soft launch in the fall. The watch, with the Co-Axial caliber 8508, takes magnetic resistance to levels far beyond those previously achieved by any other movement. Developed by Swatch in partnership with Nivarox, it doesn’t rely on a protective container inside the case, as most anti-magnetic watches do, but on the use of non-ferrous materials in the movement itself. This is crucial, as normally an inner case blocks any view of the movement, but with this one, a date window and a transparent sapphire caseback are possible. What does 15,000 Gauss mean? It means you could wear this watch through an MRI with no effect on the performance of the movement.
The new Omega Constellation Sedna showcases the brand’s new proprietary 18k rose gold alloy, a blend of gold, copper and palladium. The palladium preserves the color of the gold, which apparently fades over time.
Omega is also helping to save the planet, by donating some of the proceeds from the sale of its Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M to theGoodPlanet Foundation. Specifically, the funds are being committed to fully funding a project to preserve mangroves and seagrasses in Southeast Asia, and to educating the local population about their conservation. It contains the Co-Axial Caliber 8605.
A favorite of the show among lovers of the iconic Speedmaster was the striking “Dark Side of the Moon” version (pictured at the top of this post), featuring a black zirconium oxide ceramic dial and case. It contains the Co-Axial caliber 9300 and is engraved “Dark Side of the Moon,” on the caseback, a tribute to the Speedy’s heritage – this is the watch that astronauts wore to the moon on six lunar missions (nothing to do with moonphases, as I originally surmised from the name).
Obviously, Omega is a full participant in the watch industry’s race to launch new technologies and materials, judging from the patents and patents pending in this lineup alone, but the brand has also been quietly but steadily increasing its penetration of the ladies’ watch market with some extraordinary models introduced this year. The brand’s production of ladies’ watches has gone from 20% of overall production in 1995 to 46% in 2012. That’s nearly half of all Omega’s output. Does anyone still doubt the power of the ladies’ watch market? Check out the De Ville Ladymatic Jewelry piece here, studded with pearls and diamonds, with a Co-Axial caliber. My new favorite watch.