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In the metal: the Omega 1957 Trilogy
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Connoisseur of watches

In the metal: the Omega 1957 Trilogy

Tuesday, 05 September 2017
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Alex Ballmer
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“The passing of time is forever lost. ”

Quino

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Baselworld 2017 gave Omega fans cause to rejoice with 60th anniversary editions of three seminal watches – a Holy Trinity descended from horological heaven in suitably vintage attire. Comprising the Seamaster 300, the Railmaster and the Speedmaster, the 1957 Trilogy is a pure delight.

Before turning our attention to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, let’s take a moment to study the impressive presentation box, a reliquary that is worthy of containing this Holy Grail. Crafted from Swiss oak wood, it features a gold front plate indicating the limited-edition number, while the lid is engraved with the famous Seahorse logo. In addition to the watches, inside a smaller box, it contains a calfskin roll that holds six spare straps (three leather and three NATO) and a wooden tool for swapping between them. It’s also thanks to little extras such as this that Omega has won such a legion of fans, always ready to sing the praises of “their” brand on social media.

Several features can be found across all three watches that contribute to the decidedly vintage feel, namely the famous “broad arrow” hand, a “tropical” black dial, and the beige colour that gives hands and markers a gently patinated aspect, even fresh from the box. For more on these three iconic watches, all launched in 1957, follow the links to these two articles (https://journal.hautehorlogerie.org/en/la-sainte-trinite-domega-i/ and https://journal.hautehorlogerie.org/en/la-sainte-trinite-domega-ii/).

Omega Seamaster 300, the Railmaster and the Speedmaster
Omega Seamaster 300, Railmaster and Speedmaster
Sea and land

We’ll begin our discovery beneath the sea, in the company of the Seamaster 300, which takes its cue from the original reference CK2913. This dive watch proudly bears the Naïade symbol on its crown, a reminder of the water nymphs of Ancient Greek mythology, and for Omega the sign of exceptional water-resistance. It retains numerous original design features, such as the bidirectional bezel (in aluminium), the triangular markers and the 39-mm case diameter. While there is plenty to link this reissue to its past, it certainly doesn’t shun modernity. The satin and polished stainless steel case houses the new Master Chronometer calibre 8806 (certified by METAS, find out more here) for precision that would have been impossible sixty years ago.

Omega Seamaster 300
Omega Seamaster 300

Let’s stay on track with the Railmaster, perhaps the least well-known of the three. Designed specifically for people whose work brought them into contact with electrical fields, the original Railmaster was built to resist magnetic fields of up to 1,000 Gauss (a unit of measure, defined here). The modern-day 8806 calibre inside the Trilogy Railmaster ups the ante by no small margin to 15,000 Gauss. Such technical prowess by no means takes away from the sober aesthetic. The 38-mm stainless steel case makes for an easy to wear watch that’s unpretentious in style, and lives up to its promise of simplicity and robustness for daily use.

Omega Railmaster
Omega Railmaster
Say a little prayer

Lastly, we hit the road with the Speedmaster. Everyone knows that this is the astronaut’s watch. What a lot of people don’t know is that when it was first launched, in 1957, Omega was targeting motor-racing fans by issuing what was the first wrist chronograph whose tachymeter scale for calculating speed was on the bezel rather than the dial. Visually, there’s little to distinguish the 1957 original, reference CK2915, from this 60th anniversary edition. Both have the same hesalite glass with the Omega logo in the centre, a 38.6-mm case, straight lugs and no crown-guard. The big difference is inside. Omega hasn’t gone as far as to fit the reissue with the famous 321 calibre, a must in 1957, but has opted for calibre 1861, a good, reliable movement that is derived from the 861 that has equipped Speedmasters since 1968. Omega, on its website, sums up its trilogy in a single, aposite sentence: “The spirit of ’57 meets 21st century technology”.

Omega Speedmaster
Omega Speedmaster

If you have an eye for vintage style, on condition it includes the latest in movement technology, then this Trilogy is for you. But given that Omega is issuing just 557 of its Holy Trinity, you may need some divine intervention to get your hands on one!

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