The Speedmaster is a truly magnificent watch with one of the most timeless and versatile designs of all time; however Omega has produced a number of remarkably interesting and unique watches throughout their long and illustrious history that may not be very well known (yet), but are certainly worth knowing.
The Chronostop made its debut in 1966 as a more affordable (and less capable) chronograph alternative within the Omega catalog. Aimed at a more youthful and up-and-coming audience, the Chronostop was priced significantly below Omega’s Speedmaster and various Seamaster chronographs; however calling the Chronostop a chronograph is a somewhat charitable statement.
Omega Chronostop watches have a single pusher to operate their stopwatch function, and do not have any hour or minute sub-dials. Consequently, Chronostop watches are only capable of timing events up to one minute in length. Omega produced the Chronostop in a number of different designs and configurations, including one with a sideways-mounted dial that was intended to be worn while driving, and was aimed at the automobile-racing crowd.
Although Omega has released an impossibly wide range of different watches under the Seamaster name, it is dive watches that most accurately represent Omega’s longest running collection of watches. The Seamaster 60 is a watch that epitomizes Omega’s golden era of dive watch design; however it is almost entirely overshadowed by other, more prominent vintage Omega divers, such as the original Seamaster 300.
The Seamaster 60 has a relatively modest depth rating; however it checks all the design boxes for those in the market for a classically styled, vintage diver. With a 37mm case diameter, oversized winding crown (without crown guards), Bakelite bezel insert, and a vintage-styled dial with a checkered minute track, the Seamaster 60 is one of the lesser known, but truly excellently-styled divers from Omega’s past catalog that rarely receives the attention that it deserves.
By the end of the 1960s, the Speedmaster had already established itself as the watch for astronauts; however in 1969, Omega released another chronograph specifically designed for pilots: the Flightmaster. With three crowns, two chronograph pushers, an inner rotating bezel, and seven hands, the Flightmaster was capable of simultaneously displaying two separate time zones with its two independently adjustable, centrally mounted hour hands.
The hands, crowns, and chronograph pushers on the Flightmaster are color-coded for facilitated operation, and provide the watch with a vibrant and highly unique appearance. The large and chunky case of the Flightmaster, along with its brightly colored components, make for a bold, love-it-or-hate-it aesthetic that perfectly embodies the funky-styled and purpose-built tool watches that Omega produced throughout most of the 1970s.
During the late 1960s and 1970s, Omega produced a series of timepieces under the “Seamaster Cosmic” name, which sought to capitalize on Omega’s NASA/space travel heritage, and breathe new life into their Seamaster collection with casual and dress watches that embraced a more modern and futuristic design.
Omega produced the Seamaster Cosmic in a number of different styles and configurations, including a dive watch with an integrated bracelet; however the general design language of the Cosmic revolves around cushion-shaped cases, and dials that either have “crosshair” markings or checkered minute tracks. Additionally, many Seamaster Cosmic watches used front-loading, single-piece cases, or a double case design with an integrated bracelet (like the Seamaster Cosmic 200 diver).
Also known as the watch that actor Al Pacino wore in the movie Scarface, the Omega La Magique is an ultra-thin (2.6mm), quartz-powered, dress watch that forgoes the normal setup of hands and a dial, in favor of a system of stacked, clear sapphire discs. The “hands” are painted on the clear sapphire discs with gold dust, giving them the appearance that they are floating within a clear circular cut out in the center of the watch.
Manufactured for only about one year between 1981 and 1982, Omega produced just 261 examples of the La Magique, all of which were made in 18k gold. At first glance, the La Magique may appear to be just another quartz dress watch from when much of the Swiss watch industry was floundering during the early 1980s; however it should not be overlooked, as it is seriously rare and represents an incredibly interesting point in Omega’s history.
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