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First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18”’ CHRO Movement

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

Omega just launched a new limited edition collection of 18 pieces with the “First Omega Wrist-Chronograph” reference 516.52.48.30.04.001. Unlike previous Omega watches that are totally new with a “vintage-inspired” aesthetic, the First Omega Wrist-Chronograph combines new and old parts including a very attractively restored Omega calibre 3018 (name given to these newly restored movements) that was originally produced in 1913. The movements are also known by their original name as the 18”’ CHRO calibers and by virtue of their age and condition will each look slightly different in each of the 18 pieces of the set.

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

Upon debut at an event taking place in Omega’s own museum in Biel, Switzerland, the First Omega Wrist-Chronograph launch demonstrated the painstaking effort Omega undertook to bring each of the movements back to life in a case inspired by the very first wrist-worn chronograph produced by the brand. The 105 year old movements need replacement parts as well as copious amounts of refinishing and cleaning – as well as decoration, of course. Omega points out that in its opinion “each of the movements is unique” as a function of the refurbishment process. Omega actually refurbished the movements in their esteemed Omega Atelier Tourbillon department. This is a special area of Omega where a few master watchmakers are trained to make Omega’s tourbillon timepieces. The same team, as I understand it, is responsible for the 18”’ CHRO restoration project.

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

The 18”’ CHRO movement is manually-wound featuring the time and a 15-minute monopusher chronograph (pusher is located at 6 o’clock on the case). I believe the movement operates at 2.5Hz and has a power reserve of about 40 hours. In most all ways, these movements in their refurbished form are more attractive and probably better looking than they were originally over 100 years ago. Originally such a watch would have likely been used by a pilot, which makes sense given its aviator-style design. Similar dials have been seen on military pilot watches that became popular during World War I.

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

Each of the First Omega Wrist-Chronograph watches has a specially made grand-feu enamel dial inspired by the original model from the early 20th century. Blued-steel hands on a vintage sport-style dial make for a very attractive face for this piece. The case is 47.5mm wide (water-resistant to 30m) in 18k white gold with 18k Sedna (rose) gold for the crown and chronograph pusher. I found the “three porthole” style 20mm wide brown leather strap to be an eye-pleasing compliment to the design. Despite the large case size, the relatively minimized historic-style lugs allow for the watch to be quite wearable. Note the hunter-style caseback that opens to reveal a view of the movement inside of the case protected behind a sapphire crystal.

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition With Vintage 1913 Restored Calibre 18''' CHRO Movement Watch Releases

As is often the case, Omega went overboard with the presentation and packaging. Vintage era-appropriate Omega branding was used as well as a leather presentation box complete with tools and extra straps. Omega certainly knows how to present its limited edition models in a lovely and compelling manner. Price for the First Omega Wrist-Chronograph Limited Edition 18”’ CHRO reference 516.52.48.30.04.001 is 120,000 CHF and the watch is part of a limited set of 18 pieces. omegawatches.com

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  • Spangles

    Haute horology.

  • palettj

    No need to pay attention as I will be buying the entire lot.

  • SuperStrapper

    Wow that is a big ask. Everything else I was going to mention got an immediate override by what appears to be a one hundred and thirty thousand dollar pricetag.

  • Travis Cannata

    Quite a Haute-y offering and an immensely attractive watch. A little taken aback by the pricing, but all things considered I can see where it’s merited.

  • If you can live without a chronograph (and fancy packaging) but still want a 100 year old movement and an enamel dial in a new case, you can get an Rpaige watch from $2400 to under $5000 (depending on the movement). As Superstraper said, this is a “big ask” for these Omegas.

    As to these Omega watches, I’d like to see the original dial for comparison. I don’t care for the execution of the 24 hours (13 – 24) on this dial, but I have to wonder if that is an original layout or not. The original finishing/decoration on an American pocket watch movement of similar vintage (Elgin, Waltham, Illinois) is superior to this Omega piece when it was originally produced. And I suspect that Omega made the finishing nicer now than it originally was. When I first glanced at these watches I though they would be from Zenith.

    Nice to see antique movements restored and given new life but the price is pretty mind blowing.

  • egznyc

    The watch is not unattractive, but it leaves me feeling a bit cold. If you really must wear a clock strapped to your wrist, you could probably get one even more attractive than this for 1/100th the price (well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration given the precious metal), which would be nearly as period correct. Lovely movements but jeez, why not just go all-in vintage and save yourself the huge mark-up. It’s not like you’re getting a modern movement, naturally, and it’s only minimally water resistant.

  • Tõnis Leissoo

    No shock protection. It must come with a long manual about what you should not do with this 130k watch. Since it’s also not water proof as addition to the missing Incablock, I don’t recommend wearing it.

    • If they use a modern tube, winding stem and water proof crown it could easily have 50M of water resistance. But you are right there is nothing they can do about the lack of shock resistance.

      • Tõnis Leissoo

        I’m a bit surprised actually. They added many jewels. I’d hoped they add an Incabloc as well for this kind of money.

        • I don’t see that they added to the jewel count (but they may have), however the new jewels are certainly a lot larger.

      • Gokart Mozart

        It’s avintage movement, what’s wrong with having the foibles.

        All the stuff we take for granted at one point did not exist. I don’t see that as a problem with this watch.

    • Bozzor

      I keep thinking how this is not unlike what Aston Martin does here: http://www.astonbespoke.com/.

      Iconic vintage designs, built by Aston, using updated materials and techniques but still almost all original designs…hmmm. It’s technically better than the original, but is it cheating? You can justify adding modern crumple zone thinking, but is that taking things too far? Probably similar thinking with this watch…

  • Pete L

    Mighty expensive and surely more of a ‘safe queen’ than a regular wearer but I like it.

  • Marius

    OK, so it is vastly expensive and of questionable practicality, but if I had heaps of spare cash, I’d buy one.

  • Sam Soul

    Expensive, large… I like it though.

  • Horum Positivium

    Looks like a more elegant and way more expensive version of Zenith’s Cafe Pilot Motorbike Pilot Cafe Special (or whatever they’re calling it this week). One for the safe, not for the wrist. No doubt these are already all sold to those types for whom tax is something unpleasant that happens to other people.

  • ???

    Even regardless of the price, this watch is still not as attractive as the Lang & Heyne Albert to me.

    • Mikita

      Agreed.

  • cluedog12

    Despite the 120,000 CHF price tag, Omega says the 18 piece limited edition is already close to sold out.*

    *The Omega Museum placed an order for 15 pieces.

    (Independent of the price, this is nice work.)

  • alex ioancio

    This is a ridiculous price tag. I cannot live without watch on my hand but I better tell the sun time

  • Marceau Ratard

    It’s a good looking watch, the price is crazy but that really doesn’t matter when you only have 18 pieces. I’d be interested in getting a production version of with watch if the price were reasonable. A 44mm version with a similar look, modern chronograph movement with a power reserve indicator, a hunter caseback with a cool engraving, shock protection, 100 meters resistance, would be cool in my book.

  • Keep the watch, how much is the case?

  • Gokart Mozart

    Whichever will give them the most money

  • Michael Peñate

    Totally my fault. Thank you.

  • Truthteller

    I appreciate the execution, but it’s just a goofy looking watch.

  • Ulysses31

    I appreciate their efforts and dedication, but this watch has a flat, soulless dial with no depth at all. It’s depressing to look at.

  • Mikita

    Over $120,000.00 for Omegah marriage watch is kinda steep. Urban Jurgensen Alfred for 1/10 looks better IMO:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/946026fd59d18ea687f797bf11e490a29d67cb884732027f76f779ae8375b541.jpg