Omega might best be known for its sporty timepieces that have traveled to the moon and the depths of the ocean — not to mention gracing the wrist of 007. However, its two new releases showcase its technical watchmaking capabilities and its heritage. They honor two historic Omega timepieces: the world’s first minute repeater from 1892 and the pocket chronographs used in the 1932 Olympic Games.
The Olympic 1932 Chrono Chime has an unusual design. The case is reminiscent of a pocket watch, and the crown is located at 12 o’clock instead of the usual 3 o’clock position. It has two pushers at 11 and 5 o’clock. The dial showcases the hammers that strike the time at 6 o’clock. They are fixed to the case to amplify the sound. The watch case and gongs are crafted from Omega’s proprietary 18K Sedna Gold, which the brand says has a melodious sound perfectly suited to a minute repeater.
In addition to being a minute repeater, the watch is a split-seconds chronograph capable of timing two races that begin together but end at different times. It has a unique layout with running seconds at 6 o’clock and a 15-minute counter at 12 o’clock. The two chronograph hands are different colors for easy legibility. The main one is blued to match the hour and minute hands, and the split-seconds hand is bright red.
The dial has a vintage feel, stylized Arabic numerals, and a discreet enamel minute track. The bezel is polished instead of featuring a tachymeter scale, as many modern Omega chronographs do. The chronograph is activated by the pusher at 11 o’clock.
The more everyday Speedmaster Chrono Chime looks like a modern wristwatch but echoes some of the unique design elements of the Olympic 1932 Chrono Chime. It, too, has offset pushers: split seconds at 2 o’clock and minute repeater at 7 o’clock. The dial has a traditional bicompax layout instead of a vertical display, and the tachymeter scale appears on the black bezel. The gongs surround the running seconds at 9 o’clock. The dial is crafted from an unusual blue aventurine Grand Feu enamel.
Both watches feature the new Caliber 1932 movement, which took six years for Omega to design with Blancpain (both are part of Swatch Group). The movement has 17 patents. The case back of the watch is open so you can admire the movement, which is satin-brushed and mirror polished.