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Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Since 1932, Omega has functioned as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic games a grand total of 27 times and are expected to continue until at least 2032 – marking the partnership as 100 years old. Over those 27 times, there have been some pretty colorful designs that have taken cues from stopwatches with the Seamaster Olympic Official Timekeeper, to the sidewalks of Copacabana Beach with the Seamaster Diver 300M Rio 2016, to this year's Seamaster Planet Ocean PyeongChang 2018, which takes the colors from South Korea's flag. Needless to say, bold and colorful models dominate many of the limited editions that Omega releases around the Olympic Games. Dressier than the subtle Olympic Games watches we saw recently, the Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection watches come in yellow gold, Omega's Sedna (pink) gold, and a brand new "Canopus" (we will get to that later) white gold to channel the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals that winning Olympians receive on the podium.

The pared-down, vintage-minimalist enamel dial shows wise restraint from Omega, who are clearly confident about the in-house METAS-certified movement within. Design that looks back in time successfully while subtly celebrating the brand's association with the Olympics? Check. A movement that is arguably years ahead of those by comparable brands? Check. Please make one in steel?

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

All hands-on images by Ariel Adams

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

These watches measure in at 39.5mm (same as the Olympic Games watches) making them conservatively sized dress watches. The slightly domed eggshell enamel dial with simple gold indices channels the Seamasters of the '50s and '60s beautifully. Omega has done a fantastic job of bringing some modern life into a lot of their vintage models (1957 'Trilogy' anyone?) and while there isn't a direct reference to a specific model with these Seamasters, the Olympic Gold Collection watches look like they've walked right out of a James Dean movie.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

On a more petty note, the only thing I may have done without is the enamel minute track on the inside tips of the indices. I feel it breaks up the dial and takes away from the overall continuity and simplicity of the watch. I think they would have served much better aesthetically around the perimeter of the dial so they didn't break up the beautifully finished leaf handset – though I understand where it could be argued that it would take away from the domed dial. That being said, looking at some vintage Omega Seamaster Olympics ads (inserted above and throughout this article), it's clear that this minute track is firmly rooted in the brand's specific history with both this watch and event.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

The handset is the perfect length for the dial and overall legibility of the watch. The hour hand almost microscopically reaches the end of the indices, and the minute hand overlaps them just enough to create a slight gap between the tip and the edge of the dial, which I feel would benefit from the minute track instead of the blank space. The seconds hand extends a few millimeters longer than the minute hand and comes just about to the edge of the dial. As ridiculous as it may seem to linger on the handset, it's one of the factors that can make or break a simple three-hand watch for a lot of potential buyers, myself included. Succumbing to a handset that's too long or too short (as I've seen with a number of Aqua Terra models) is easy to do in this segment and I'm always impressed by a well finished, and well-measured dress watch handset.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Prominently on the dial, and printed in enamel, is the Omega logo in red which has been used only on Olympic watches like the pocket watch. I love that this subtle, yet immediately clear nod is the only thing on the dial that gives the true DNA of the watch away. As mentioned earlier, the case will come in three gold alloys – Omega's Sedna (pink) gold, yellow gold, and a new Canopus Gold. The case itself is polished and the small onion crown is a perfect size for the collection. One of the coolest features (and unfortunately, we didn't get to see it) is Omega's Canopus gold. Aptly named (I assume) after the brightest star in the constellation of Carina (you're absolutely right, I don't get out much), Omega claims this alloy is exclusive to the brand, brighter, and doesn't get discolored nearly as fast as traditional white gold. We've seen the same claims and chemical wizardry with Omega's Senda gold pictured here. I don't currently have the information about what material compounds are added to support these claims, but I imagine it'll be released in the near future.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Flipping the watch over, you get a glimpse of what makes this a quintessential Olympic watch but also a contemporary Omega timepiece. Fitted to the perimeter of the exhibition caseback is an 18k gold ring stamped with all of the known Olympic host cities since 1932, on up to Los Angeles 2028 – perhaps jumping the gun a little bit. While I will admit that it requires a magnifying glass for me to read them all, the Olympic nod is refined and not too loud, giving the watch a more universal appeal – especially for buyers who aren't in the market for an Olympic watch.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Through the Olympic ring, you will see the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8807, Omega's time only, METAS-certified Co-Axial movement. Based on the 8800 (which features a date at 6 o'clock), the 29mm movement was mostly found in the 34mm ladies' Aqua Terra 150M line. Because the movement is so small and doesn't include the date module, it is a perfect contender for the Olympic Gold Collection. Unlike its 8800 base, the 8807 features a Sedna gold rotor and bridge tying in the Sedna model beautifully. The 35 jewel self-winding movement features a 55 hour power reserve and the standard Omega "Geneva Waves" in a circular pattern.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

The concept of utilizing different hues of gold alloy to channel the Olympic medals is really cool, however, and to be completely honest, this is simply a well executed and superbly crafted dress watch – Olympic themed or not. Even outside of the Olympic Collection's umbrella, I feel these watches would do well among collectors and enthusiasts with (very) deep pockets for a dress watch. And the addition of the Canopus gold alloy is going to add an additional level of appeal for those collectors who may not otherwise be looking to add another dress watch to their collection. If the Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Edition released a few weeks ago will age more gracefully than previous collections, the Omega Seamaster Olympic Gold Collection (whew) will be around for a lot longer.

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Olympic Games Gold Collection Hands-On Hands-On Seamaster

The design restraint shown on the dial here is a success conceptually and in execution. I'd love to see a steel non-limited version that still retains the Olympics-associated red logo (so, basically only changing caseback text and leaving the dial as-is). It's not like the watch enthusiast community has ever gone totally bonkers over something as seemingly banal and mundane as introducing red text on a dial.

Price for the Omega Seamaster Olympic Gold collection is 17,500 CHF for the Canopus gold model, and 16,000 CHF for the Yellow and Sedna gold models. While that may seem a bit steep, it's on par with Omega's Constellation collection in Sedna or White Gold. omegawatches.com

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  • James

    Omega FINALLY does away with the date wheel and realizes a proper dress watch. Hallelujah! But alas, no stainless steel version. Guess I won’t be adding this to my collection of 11 Omegas after all. Will probably end up buying the new Glashutte Original Senator Excellence instead.

  • A_watches

    why would i get this when I can get holy trinity or lange with proper finishing. this is garbage

  • SuperStrapper

    These are not good. Except for the yellow gold one which is just awful.

  • “…the Olympic Gold Collection watches look like they’ve walked right out of a James Dean movie.”

    Maybe on the wrist of the 67 year old retiree that had nothing better to do with his day than take in a matinee.

    • Hey, I’m only 64 (’till the end of next month) and I still work more or less. And the matinee price is not much different from the senior ticket I already buy, ha ha.

      • Lash LaRue de Bayou

        Will we still like you?
        Will we upvote you?
        When you’re no longer
        64

        • IG

          I can’t get no upvotes, I can’t get no upvotes
          ‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
          I can’t get no, I can’t get no

          • Lash LaRue de Bayou

            Well you just got one, Mister!

    • Raymond Wilkie

      How very ageist.

      • You’re right, Ray, mea culpa. Bad taste knows no age.

  • Marius

    In view, these are very decent-looking watches. The design is elegant without being overly formal, and the almost 40mm case size is very appropriate for today’s market. However, this watch is also an eloquent example for why Omega watches are usually offered with huge discounts.

    Firstly, while I like the design, I also find it a bit cheap-looking, especially if you look at the dial. To me, these watches have a slight Orient-esque and Seiko 5-esque vibe to them. I can’t quite explain why, but I really don’t get the impression that this is an $18,000 watch.

    Secondly, the caliber used in this watch has no connection whatsoever with an $18,000 timepiece. Sure, Omega uses a gold rotor, but apart from that, this is essentially a standard mass-produced, machine-made, and machine-decorated Omega movement. For $18,000 I would expect much more. Of course, it’s true that the average Omega punter couldn’t care less about watch calibers, but it’s also true that the average Omega punter isn’t going to blow $18,000 on a watch. At these prices, buyers are starting to do a bit of research regarding their purchases, and more importantly, they usually look at more prestigious & exclusive brands such as Lange, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron, etc.

    Lastly and most importantly, who in his right mind would spend $18,000 for this? If you do a minimum amount of research, you will find out that for $15,000 (i.e. almost $3,000 LESS than this Omega) you could purchase a Lange Saxonia Ultra Thin 37, or a Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin 1907 featuring the great 849 caliber. For slightly more, at around $20,000, you could look at the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionelle (using the Geneva Seal 4400 caliber), or a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196. Not to mention that at the $17,000-$19,000 price range, one could buy an AP Royal Oak/Vacheron Overseas/Patek Aquanaut, which are all infinitely cooler than this Omega. And, at around $22,000, one could buy an FP Journe Chronometre Bleu. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de3a21342ce84033901fd4fd116fe36a1fa54b9df2969015540c72c619d73f32.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3dab01183cac0794e93257163b546932d393a81e548a44088387edd194ec6ed4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d11fbde8c6627ad1cfc2768dfde1c94812066eeda9e4d9029f8f0324fcd0bc23.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b25a9836aea7caed4591240163ccab9ea09e7ec25d1683558761cd8e7b960f46.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2fa51db812273e3cb9a93c2ee2a38a65ce5bb15dee9c24beb4731aa2fbbf781b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1cb956744c39fe56b8e7576e27829d6631b5653d8229b66e053f6294188a4b59.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/15d360a523b4f864004a2d2a3e1b119b9c4910a5ce1bb969f2ae9427f66a8f37.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/756415d90b2324a699362c410cd3f95327493973fa294de29d5a1929e65fe391.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d4931cf5392298b0bbe7e8742a50e828c1dbaa9180c86efd27f1f2c8820f59c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e364331ec261967e984c17fd7c63055d5eeba4e0591ae5698f2e360953b09f3d.jpg

    • Chaz

      These watches won’t be bought by anyone.

      They’ll be gifted to the likes of Jacques Rogge (former corrupt head of IOC and enabler of murderous regimes bribing him to get the Olympic games), Putin’s inner kleptocrat circle, Chinese Communist Party hacks and the table cloth wearing crowd in Dubai or Saudi Arabia that’ll surely be trying to buy a future winter games…

      • Lindsay

        A winter games when and where it’s 50°C outside would be something to see!

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I always appeachiate your comments, dare I say, look forward to them. Your exaustive research into what is out there in comparison to what is on offer is always very interesting and informative…..but. If I was a baker and a loaf of bread in my store as $1.50 and you said ” I’m not paying That, i”‘ll give you a dollar for it ” to use a local colloquialism I would say ” Sling yer hook ya chancer “

  • Federico Mengoli

    Beautiful all three watches! But really out of range price. I would never spend more then 10k for one of them

  • As everyone notes, full retail is too high for what you are getting. But price aside, these are nice looking dress watches. Outside of the quirky (but historically correct for an Omega olympics watch) minute/second makers, these are just well composed and executed dress watches. Nothing really to complain about except the price.

  • Chaz

    I have a serious problem with any organization that continually brown noses and enables what to me is one of THE top corrupt and filthy organizations on Earth: the IOC.

    IOC taught FIFA everything it knows…

    I guess the saving grace of these watches is the fact they have no silly O-limp-dicks rings at the end of the seconds hand and no “OLYMPICS” on the dial.

  • Dakota Dennison

    At 50% off would these sell? Joma offers 30% off constellations all day, sometimes 40.

    These are not as nice as the pie pan constellations.

  • Beautiful, classic, and elegant. Bravo to Omega for keeping the Olympic tie-in subtle, and not doing something tacky like making the rings a counterweight for the second hand.

    If I may mix my sports metaphors, home run.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Slam dunk?

  • 8807? the 7 looks nothing like a 7 but 1…

  • Yanko

    Pay a bit more and get a Calatrava by Patek Philippe. Leave these for the clinically insane.

  • Joseph Gelfand

    Why is the “movement … arguably years ahead of those by comparable brands?” Maybe I missed it in the review, but honestly don’t understand why this is the case.

  • Rupert Muller

    Does anybody know why on the backside of the watch with the engraved Olympic cities the ones between 1992 Barcelona and 2004 Athens are missing? I wondered already when the first five color collection came out…

    • eRZé

      Other companies were commissioned with timekeeping, including Seiko and Swatch. (Note to ABTW editors: I couldn’t find a complete list of timekeepers for the Olympic Games. You could do a feature on this.)

  • Mikita

    Over $18,000 for Omega with machine finished automatic movement and tacky collaboration? No, thanks. I would better take a look at Lang & Heyne / Moritz Grossman / etc.

  • Afenestra

    All this bashing and I’m over here just impressed Omega managed to make a watch that isn’t as tall as the Empire State Building.

  • David Rolls

    15-17.5 thousand Swiss francs. Hilarious.

  • ProJ

    You probably can get this watch online in a few months for no more than $10k.