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Timothy Barber 3 minute read
omega speedmaster chronoscope goldsmiths

How do you make a heavyweight legacy seem light as a feather, and a commitment both to traditional watchmaking and innovation seem tailor-made for the dynamics of the digital age? It surely isn’t easy, but it’s a trick that Omega has pulled off with its 2022 collection, which ripples with buzzy colours, novel materials and versatile concepts, while keeping all the pillars of Omega watchmaking firmly in place. Po-faced this is not; classic Omega it most assuredly is.

Take the latest version of the legendary Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, presented this time in 18k ‘Moonshine Gold’, Omega’s proprietary yellow gold alloy, that’s both slightly paler than traditional yellow gold and designed to retain its colour and lustre over time. Omega has produced all-gold Speedies before, but few if any that pop with such clarity and verve as this example, with its dial and ceramic bezel in modish racing green. Powering the watch (and visible through the case-back) is the upgraded, Master Chronometer version of the classic Calibre 3861 hand-wound movement; it means that, like all Omega’s modern watches, the highest possible levels of accuracy, reliability and magnetic resistance are met. You’d expect nothing less.

Also bringing rich dial colours to the Speedmaster category, along with a brand new hand-wound movement, is the new generation Omega Speedmaster ’57, the watch inspired by the original Speedmaster introduced in 1957. That means two sub-dials instead of three, a steel-engraved bezel and the distinctive “Broad Arrow” hands. It may be a 65-year-old design, but this is no exercise in whimsy or nostalgia, as evidenced by that charismatic blue/black dial and a barnstorming new movement, Calibre 9906, dominated by a lavishly decorated mainplate. If the blue/black dial doesn’t take you, try instead the gorgeous claret option or racing green.

Omega’s history is as rich in the dive watch category as it is in space-bound chronographs, and with the new Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, it plunges deeper than any of its predecessors. Cased in lightweight sandblasted titanium, this 45.5mm powerhouse will be operational to a depth of 6,000 metres (almost 20,000 feet), and meets the ISO 6425:2018 for saturation divers’ watches. Adapted from the experimental watch Omega made in 2019 to accompany the explorer Victor Vescovo to the deepest parts of the world’s oceans, the Ultra Deep packs in a bundle of patents for its technical innovations.

omega aqua terra goldsmiths

If you’re after something a little less hardcore, but still handsomely appointed for life in and out of the water, there’s the latest version of the Diver 300M, Omega’s classic modern tool watch (as worn, of course, by Daniel Craig’s James Bond in last year’s No Time To Die). Once again, green is the key colour: in this case a subtle shade of olive green that brings a suave new energy to the famous design, in which bold circular hour markers – coated in bright white SuperLuminova which glows blue in low light – play off against the wave pattern of the dial. Equipped with a helium escape valve, screw0in crown and Omega’s bullet-proof Master Chronometer automatic movement Calibre 8800, it’s a watch that wears its technical distinctions lightly.

The same can be said of Omega’s ultimate all-rounder watch, the Seamaster Aqua Terra, for which a host of breezy new dial colours have been announced in both the 38mm and 34mm versions. Omega used vapor deposition technology to create the vibrant sheen of the new colourways, which range from Bay Green and Terracotta to Sandstone, Atlantic Blue and Saffron in the larger version, while Sea Blue, Shell Pink, Lagoon Green, Sandstone and Lavender make up the smaller quintet. Who needs trad grey or blue when you can have the full pastel box to dip into?

With beautifully polished stainless steel cases and bracelets, 150m water resistance and Master Chronometer certification across the board, these watches stand out as much for their build quality as they do for their lively, notably unisex colours and their sheer sense of joie de vivre.

CREDIT: Timothy Barber is a freelance writer and editor specialised in watches, luxury and technology. Formerly the Telegraph's Watch Editor and before that editor of the luxury watch magazine QP, his writing appears regularly in Wired, the Daily Telegraph, Mr Porter, WatchPro and many others.

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