Sunday, March 17, 2013

Omega Museum collection ‘The pilots watch’ - Japanese Edition

In 2001 Omega launched an initiative to resuscitate examples of great design from their extensive back catalogue. These new timepieces took the form of recreations using modern materials. They were lovingly produced in limited numbers to great fanfare. The watches sold worldwide and collectors snapped them up as they offered something different, exciting, and of course ‘rare’.

What many collectors are not aware of is the pull of the certain markets for the Swiss brands. For example you may have seen us list watches that are ‘Japanese market only’ over the years. This is because the watch market in Japan is something that mere mortals like us simply cannot comprehend. It seems that everyone in Japan is a watch collector, and the appetite for new watches there is veracious. A limited edition that is sold worldwide is ‘interesting’, but to really excite Japanese buyers takes a ‘Japan only’ edition. Of course these models are rarer so are more of a challenge for us to locate but you can be sure you will not see another one anytime soon in Australia, as they are rarely seen outside of Japan.

The Pilots watch we are listing today is a Japan Only Edition and was not sold elsewhere. While not a numbered limited edition it is more rarely seen than the Museum Collection Pilot watches.

Being based on the Museum Collection 1938 Pilots watch this model was launched in the mid to late 2000’s with the same three-body solid stainless steel case sized at 40mm. This case has amazing lugs that follow the contour of the wrist making it very comfortable to wear. The case back is precision engraved in bas-relief with the ‘The Pilots Watch’.

It is fitted with a polished, bi-directional bezel that turns the inner graduated disc to move the luminous pointer for aircraft navigation timing (and works equally well for timing your parking meter!). The bezel is almost hidden and most people would not know that it was there compared to something like a divers watch. Only the engraved reeded grip round the edges of the case gives the game away. The luminous pointer moves with the inner scale and the fantastic domed sapphire crystal, so it is amazing that Omega managed to include 50m water resistance; Great engineering!

Rather than the hand wind movement fitted to the original models in the 1930’s this watch is fitted with an Omega automatic chronometer calibre 2200 enjoying a power reserve of 44 Hours

The biggest change for this special version, compared to the Museum Collection 1938 model, is the dial design; most notably with the use of Roman numerals.

Want a cool watch that you won’t see on anyone else’s wrist?

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