At Baselworld 2017, when arriving on the Omega Watches booth, there was the 1957 Trilogy (Speedmaster, Seamaster, Railmaster). Believe us, these watches are insanely desirable, perfectly executed, highly faithful, and… sold out. We’ll have a closer look at them in a few days. Still there was another watch full of interest, a watch that truly represent what Omega was, is and should be, the new Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection: affordable, toolish, greatly powered, well proportioned and overall, just cool. A discreet star of the show, that we’re about to look closer.
With this new Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection, don’t expect the vintage feel of the new 1957 Trilogy, nor the insane aura of a Moonwatch or the massive technical solutions of a Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black. The new Railmaster (the normal one, not the 1957 reissue) is just about the essence of Omega: a sporty 3-hander with an accessible price, a toolish look and a great movement. Just like the 1960s / 1970s Seamasters, this watch is nothing fancy but still an extremely serious package, mixed with this je-ne-sais-quoi of Omega, a specific sense of design that is just about cool.
Surprisingly, this new Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection is not included in the Baselworld 2017 press release neither it is showed on the Omega Watches website. But to us, it deserve a stronger place. No ceramic case, no Cousteau-like water resistance, no complication neither unique technical solutions. The Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer is a simple watch, but an essential one. First of all, it comes in steel, entirely brushed for a understated, rather tool look (and we all love Omega tool watches…), with a great 40mm diameter. Lyra lugs, flat bezel, large dial opening, a possibility to have a fabric strap or a brushed steel bracelet… Great package, with screw-down crown and 150m water resistance. As a sort of “entry-level” watch, one thing is possibly a bit sad; a closed caseback (the movement deserves to be seen). On the other hand, as a dubbed “Railmaster”, this watch is anti-magnetic, but not because of its case, but because of its Master Chronometer movement (yes, for less than CHF 5,000…)
This new Omega Raimaster 2017 is not just a pretty face. It’s also a great engine. Inside the case is the Calibre 8806, meaning a 15,000 Gauss automatic movement with co-axial escapement, single barrel (55h power reserve), silicon parts and usual Omega finishing. It is Master Chronometer certified (more details to be seen here) and comes with a 4-year warranty. For the price, that’s quite a movement.
And there’s the dial of this new Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection. No applied indexes, no fancy details again. It is just the good-old Omega design that we love. It features a combination of pointy painted markers for the hours with a bunch of Arabic numerals just where it should (3-6-9-12), a cross-hair in the center, baton hands with luminous paint, well placed logos and inscription and an overall subtle, yet slight rough finish. The dial is indeed steel (and not the usual brass or bronze) and has been decorated with a deep vertical brushing (nothing really historically relevant but the result is visually appealing). Two colors are available: anthracite or silver. The indexes and hands are filled with a rather vintage-like paint (maybe a bit too much, but it fits the idea).
Now comes the best news: the price. While most of the master Chronometer watches at Omega are now close to CHF 6,000, this new Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection makes the great movement with anti-magnetic properties accessible for less the CHF 5,000, and to be exact CHF 4,500 on strap and CHF 4,600 on steel bracelet. And now, this makes this watch quite a killer. www.omegawatches.com.
We received several comments about this watch, asking for some precisions (remember that this watch is not on the website of the brand and it was not part of the press kit delivered to journalists at Baselworld 2017). We now have confirmation by Omega on the following points:
- The watch indeed features a screw-in crown (and not a pull-out crown like said elsewhere)
- The water resistance is 150m / 500ft
- The thickness is 12.65mm
- The watch features a caseback with NAIAD LOCK design to keep the wording upright
- The exact name of the model is “Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Railmaster”