Friday, March 25, 2011

Baselworld 2011 - Thoughts so far...

Basel 2011 - The biggest watch fair of them all.

It's only been a couple of days, but thanks to the speed of the interweb, those of us who weren't fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to attend, can keep up to date with the latest and greatest.

And my pick so far?

Let's rewind a little. For me, Omega has lost its way in terms of design in the last few years. They were producing some of the weirdest, strangest, overstyled watches in the market. There's no style or sense to these designs. This is coming from someone who has owned more than 20 Omegas (on and off) so I do speak as a great appreciator of the brand. I didn't like where they were headed and I hoped they would one day return to their glory days.

That day was to be today. Or, to be precise, whichever day they released the new Planet Ocean with the in house chronograph.

We won't dive (pun intended) into details about what constitutes "in house". There's enough debate on this subject on the various fora. But this chronograph has been a long time coming. They mentioned, at the launch of their in house caliber 8500, that they planned to do a chronograph based on this movement and 5 years on, here it is.

What really took my breath away is just how good the design is. Yes, there are hints to other dive watches from other companies, but the Planet Ocean look is based on their dive watch from back in the '70s. This new chrono has 2 subdials, yet still shows the chrono seconds, minutes and hours. The subdial at 9 is the constant running seconds, and the subdial at 3 features both the hour and minute chrono counters, so you can see the elapsed time in hour and minutes in one glance. IWC did the same thing when they introduced their own in house chrono a few years back. You know what they say about the most sincere form of flattery...

Seamaster 300 from the 70s

I really like this. The size of it might turn some people off, but other than that, the perfect symmetry of the watch dial, with the date at 6, the balance and size of the subdials, everything just oozes class. And using the new "liquid metal", (I'm still not sure exactly what that means) it'll look stunning in real life, I'm sure of it.


There is, of course, the time-only version also, but I think the chrono is the beez kneez.

One thing though.

Omega - if you're reading this - DON'T price this watch out of the market. CHF 10K for a chrono is Panerai/ Cartier territory. Yes, the Rolex Daytona is a bit more, but let's not kid ourselves. You're not quite there yet. Price it right and watch this watch will fly off the shelves.


1 comment:

initial.jh said...

I wonder if the chronograph of this PO is fully integrated or just a module on top of the cal8500??