May 5, 2017
by David Bredan
Out of the blue, Omega today debuted the Omega Seamaster Edizione Venezia, a stylish, retro-inspired take on the Seamaster, offered in a highly elegant 39.5mm case, crafted from either Omega’s proprietary 18k Sedna gold or… yes, stainless steel.
On a personal note, the 40mm-wide De Ville Trésor has been probably my favorite modern Omega: it’s classical, restrained, and under-the-radar, but, with its curvy case and dial, it’s plenty interesting for a dress watch. Plus, its Master Co-Axial Chronometer movement delivers all the goodies Omega can engineer into a movement today… So what exactly is the matter with the Trésor? It’s not available in steel but exclusively in – very pricey – gold of different types…
…Which leads us to the Omega Seamaster Edizione Venezia, a new Seamaster that offers comparably beautiful and restrained styling in a classical 39.5mm case, a METAS-certified Master Co-Axial Chronometer movement (now an automatic over the Trésor’s hand-wound), and refreshingly, it does come in Sedna gold and steel. And, if you hadn’t guessed already, there is, of course, a story to go with it as well.
Omega says the idea for the Seamaster’s sea horse logo came when one of Omega’s designers visited Venice and saw the gondolas adorned with this fascinating animal – he liked the possible connection with it and the Seamaster and, since 1957, the Seahorse emblem has been associated with this collection.
While self-proclaimed Omega historians will certainly know of a few vintage Seamasters from the mid-1900s, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most Omega fans and buyers today think not of a vintage dress watch when they hear the word Seamaster. Yet, this new-for-2017 piece shares numerous design elements with Seamasters of old, reminding everyone that the Seamaster has not always been about chunky, sporty, and colorful. It goes to show that, if you think about it, not only is Omega itself a very versatile and complex brand, but even its collections can be a bit all over the place sometimes.
While you could consider this another 60th-anniversary tribute, I think the new Omega Seamaster Edizione Venezia should really just be left alone to be what it actually is: a heavily vintage-inspired, retro-looking dress watch, something that’s been missing from Omega’s stable for some time now. The Globemaster is available in steel but is more modern in its design, even if it is not without its own vintage-tribute details.
The Omega Seamaster Edizione Venezia has a domed, silvery, off-white dial with applied indices, Omega logo and text, and a pair of thin, polished leaf-style hands – all of this is in 18k Sedna gold on both model variants. Legibility, because the dials appear to be more satin than shiny, should be alright – it would have been sad to see this piece ruined by the horribly illegible combination of a shiny dial and shiny, skinny hands. Love it or hate it, there is also a subtle date aperture at six, maintaining the symmetry of the dial.
Over the dial is a domed sapphire crystal that should add more depth to the skinny-looking watch – no official figures on thickness but considering the basic functionality of the movement and the small diameter of the case, we’d be surprised if this was a burger. Water resistance is an ample 60 meters or 200 feet, not bad for a gold dress watch and just enough that you never have to worry about it.
Exposed via the laser-engraved sapphire case-back is the Omega Caliber 8801, an automatic Co-Axial movement boasting METAS-approved quality control and a resistance to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. The gold version will come with an 18k Sedna gold balance bridge and oscillating weight. Power reserve is 55 hours which isn’t bad considering the relatively small size of the case and, therefore, movement.
Pricing for the Omega Seamaster Edizione Venezia is a marketable €5,900 in steel (reference 5184.108.40.206.02.001) and €13,200 in 18k Sedna gold (reference 5220.127.116.11.02.001). As you might have guessed by now, both pieces will only be available for purchase in Venice, Italy. omegawatches.com