First Look – Ultra-Cool, Affordable and Very Omega – The New Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 minute read |
Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection - Baselworld 2017 - Review Price

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.

Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection - Baselworld 2017 - Review Price

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.

Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection - Baselworld 2017 - Review Price

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.

Omega Railmaster Master Chronometer Collection - Baselworld 2017 - Review Price

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.


Update

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”

24 responses

  1. Nice watch but for my money the painted markers are too low rent for the price. Something matching the hands would be spot on. Love the closed back. Just how it should be.

  2. This watch is very nicely done. A good update of the first Aqua Terra Railmaster from a few years ago combined with the all brushed look of the 2009 Aqua Terra with the Cal.8500 movement. Along with the Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial and the Speedmaster 57 Vintage Dial it could be the third of an “Unofficial 1957 Trilogy”. Having said that there are a couple of points with the article – the Cal.8806 is based on the Cal.8800 which appeared in the ladies/unisex Planet Ocean 39.5mm Master Chronometer from Baselworld 2016. It is essentially the no date version of the Cal.8800. As such it does not have two barrels like the larger Cal.8900. It has a single barrel hence the 55 hour power reserve instead of 60 hours for the Cal.8900. It is usefully slightly thinner and smaller in diameter than the Cal.8900 which is probably why it is being used in the Railmaster and Seamaster 300 Limited Editions and why this new Railmaster is thinner than the usual Aqua Terra range. Second this watch does have a screw down crown whereas the Limited Edition 1957 Trilogy version does not. This watch therefore has 150m of water resistance as opposed to 60m for its Limited Edition cousin.

  3. Almost forgot to say – great write up by Monochrome Watches with brilliant photos of the brushed dial. None of the other watch sites seem to have covered this new model in any detail before so thanks to the team.

  4. Dear Simon,
    Thanks for your comment! And indeed, you’re right about the movement and the crown… Omega does not advert about this watch, strangely. But you found the right specs.
    And thank you for the comments about the photos. Indeed, the dials are brilliant and deserve to be seen in the metal.

  5. Any information about the clasp used in the bracelet version? Micro-adjustment or butterfly clasp?
    I really like this watch, it will be a perfect companion to my explorer.

  6. Hi,

    Great photos a article but a quick clarifications is needed. Some of you competitor (Hodinkee not to name it) mentioned that the crown is not screwed but pop-up. Is there conformation about the screw-down crown?

  7. Dear Olivier,
    Thank you for your comment. There is indeed quite a debate around this watch and its crown, but for the moment, Omega does not even have an official specification sheet.
    One thing is the 150m water resistance, which might imply a screw-down crown.
    We just sent the question to Omega. Soon, the question will be clarified.
    Thank you.

  8. Thank you for telling us about this watch.
    Love the dial and the textured strap.
    Perhaps this is a case of less being more more.

  9. Many thanks for the article, indeed one of the few models of this year’s Basel which I consider to be a potential acquisition. Just one question (alas, very frequently the piece of information is not mentioned): would you happen to know how thick the watch is? I am hoping for a max of 13mm… 🙂

  10. To all, we just had confirmation from Omega:
    – 150m / 500ft water resistance
    – screw-down crown
    – NAIAD LOCK design caseback

  11. Thank you for the confirmation of the full specification for this watch Mr Goulard. I do agree with your assessment of this watch when one looks at the specification – METAS/COSC certified Master Chronometer movement, Naiad lock case back, magnetic resistance to greater than 15000 Gauss it is a terrific amount of watchmaking for the price. Add in the details – no date, water resistance greater than most sports watches (and the odd dive watch), fully brushed finish and a 40mm case with a closed case back it appeals to watch aficionados too. The size is just about perfect as (having owned and sold within short periods) several Aqua Terra watches I have always found the 38.5mm cases a little too delicate and the 41.5mm cases just a little too large. The pricing of this watch seems to suggest Omega may be about to retire the Aqua Terra 38.5mm quartz models as the entry point into this range. If so this will be the final stage in establishing an all mechanical arch range for at least the so-called men’s ranges with the exception of the X-33 and Z-33 niche pilot/astronaut ranges. As an aside Omega have also released a world timer Aqua Terra in platinum and a 43mm case as well as Americas Cup limited edition Deep Black Planet Ocean an Speedmaster X-33 models.

  12. Would anyone advice when it would be ready in the market? Cheers!!!

  13. I heard it will be in the shops in september, after all the Railmaster LE are sold.

  14. Really gorgeous and classic watch but the price just isn’t right with painted indexes and logo. Still a great review on a handsome watch that I didn’t know about before this article.

  15. The painted indices are very nicely done! Reminds me of the Rolex Milsub. Classic!

  16. Hi everyone. I just became a proud owner of this watch last week. For my taste it is awesome. So far the accuracy is around +2 sec/day. Happy to answer questions if anyone has any.

  17. Pawel,
    Congrats. How do you like it so far? Can you please share your experience with us? thanks

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