Omega's Co-axial movement is about to become the movement of choice for ALL new Omega watches. Omega has finally shaken the co-axial skepticism from the watch world that accompanied the introduction of this movement 12 years ago.
"The co-axial movement was launched 12 years ago and people were laughing at us then, " recollects Omega's president Stephen Urquhart.
Omega has researched and refined its original co-axial movement, and has unveiled an improved co-axial 9300/9301 calibre. Omega is confident with the co-axial 9300/9301 calibre movement, and plans to install a co-axial movement in every new Omega timepiece with an ultra precise and low maintenance co-axial movement.
One of the first co-axial recipients is the Speedmaster Chronograph: The Omega Co-axial Chronograph, which will house either a caliber 9300 or caliber 9301.
So what is the difference between the two?
As you can see (right image), the 9301 calibre is the higher end movement based on the types of metal used such as an 18k gold rotor, balance bridge and attractive blackened screws, balance wheel and barrels. The 9300 caliber is as efficient and low maintenance, but is be crafted predominantly from steel. Although the longevity of the calibre 9300 or 9301 has not yet been proven, the co-axial success as been proven by the calibre 8500.
So what makes a co-axial movement more efficient and less prone to wear and tear then other mechanical movement? Why is this movement gaining the reputation as one of the most influential watch technological advancements of our day?
The Omega Co-axial movements incorporate George Daniels’ Co-Axial escapement, and was designed from scratch. Leaping from the reliance of decades-old movement bases, escapements and winding mechanisms. The innovative twin barrels are covered by a diamond-like carbon coating, which increases longevity. Omega has created milestones in metallurgy in order to reduce friction, increase longevity, improve accuracy and heighten resilience. Other innovations include: Automatic winding system reversers equipped with ceramic bearings; a unique gearing system which enhances efficiency along the entire gear train; tri-level co-axial system (right inset) and a Si14 silicon balance. All these unique innovative ingredients serve to create a watch with excellent performance.
Another Co-axial recipient is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, and this new diving watch has given the movement quite a pad. This new model is a whopping 45.50 mm in diameter and colorful too. The bright orange bezel stands out like an ocean buoy, accentuated by orange ringed pushers. Handy two register subdials and a chronograph subdial (3 'o'clock), and accentuated bold hands and hour markers are placed to ensure maximum visibility when most needed.
The 45.5mm Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Titanium Liquid Metal sports a stunning a blue dial and equipped with a Calibre 8500, which is housed in a titanium case. This has got to be one of the most handsome watches I have seen in a long time. The blue liquidmetal bezel surrounds a perfectly simple dial with hour markers coated in white super-LumiNova which emits a blue light. The minute hand glows green, as well as the diving dot on the bezel. I love the use of two different luminescent colors, which enhances read out clarity in murky conditions. The blue rubber strap compliments the dial and bezel color. This model is also available with a titanium bracelet. I have a feeling this watch will very fast become a coveted collectors item.
Drum Roll Please .............. Presenting the Omega De Ville Hour Vision Skeleton Platinum Limited Edition... and what a vision it is. Where shall I begin?
Only 88 timepieces will be available for $48,000. The Hour Vision Skeleton is powered by a co-axial calibre 8404 with silicon balance springs. Omega has a achieved an alluring modern look by keeping the skeletonization simple with clean lines. Hour markers divide rings which encircle the dial without detracting from the continuity. The Omega symbol seems to be suspended above movement, taking rightful credit for the alluring silicon spring balance, 18k carat gold skeletonized rotor, and the redness of the rubies add dashes of color to the metals of the movement. The 41mm Hour Vision case is crafted from platinum, and allows for one to view the movement from the sides as well as the back and front.
All of Omega's mechanical watches will now be synonymous with a co-axial movement. Although the newer co-axial versions ,Caliber 9300 and 9301, have not had the time to test for longevity, the Omega co-axial movements have proven themselves again and again.