Usually, when a brand launches one or more new models, or perhaps even an entire collection, they want to generate a bit of buzz. Get the news out with a big bang, creating a splash upon launch that ripples through for a couple of days or even weeks. I sometimes wonder then, why from time to time a novelty is quietly and unexpectedly released. Case in point, the incredibly gorgeous Omega CK 859 Re-edition. No press release, no big campaign, just a devilishly good-looking watch no one saw coming. And to me, it’s hands-down the best new Omega we will be seeing this year.
I have several reasons why I genuinely believe this is the hottest watch coming from Omega in 2022 and I will happily explain. The backstory of this watch and its release is funny, and a-typical of the industry. It wasn’t announced by Omega itself or an affiliated PR agency. It was just… there… out of the blue. Spotted on social media, we reached out to Omega to find out more and it tested our patience a little. What was going on? Why was this released without any fanfare? No one really had a clear answer.
Regardless, this watch stuck with me in a big way from the get-go, sort of like the M.A.D. Editions project and the eventual 1 Red did. I have been racking my brain if it was just the design, or if there was something else too. And after pondering on this for a little while, I realized there are three basic reasons, the notion this is not a Speedmaster or Seamaster being the trivial one.
Don’t get me wrong, both the Seamaster and Speedmaster are amazingly fascinating watches in their own right but they just don’t grab my attention as some other watches do. I like them, but I do not necessarily lust after them, that’s the idea. From the moment I saw the CK 859, I knew this would be something I’d be perfectly content with for a LONG time though. It’s not some hyped-up, ridiculously overpriced, unobtainable watch. It’s a simple, handsome time-only watch that’s numbered(in chronological production order) and best of all: readily available!
And then there are those devilishly good looks. I mean, just look at it. It’s close to perfection, right? From the gorgeous solid silver dial (which possibly gets some patina over time), blued indices, tracks and hands to the compact stainless steel Calatrava-style case. Size-wise you’re looking at 39mm in diameter, 11.7mm in height and 46.2mm from lug to lug. It’s all perfectly balanced and there’s no unnecessary clutter or pedantic frills anywhere. So on paper and in real life, I’d again say bang on the nose!
The third element that makes this such an amazing watch? Its movement. Sure, it’s not an ultra-thin calibre but it’s no illogically thick movement either. And, perfectly in line with the overall vintage appeal, it’s hand-wound! You’d expect a watch that’s based on a 1930s model to use a manually wound movement, at least I do. Even if it’s every bit a modern-day Omega movement like the Master Chronometer certified Calibre 8926 that’s inside the CK 859, in essence, it’s a movement fit for the era this style originated from.
So, in retrospect, is it a bad thing Omega didn’t push this at all? Does it need all the fanfare we’re used to seeing created over and over again? In all honesty, I don’t think it needs it. Yes, it would have been nice if Omega had released some details of it but it also goes to show that we can still be taken by surprise and get genuinely excited by such a simple and classical looking watch. In the midst of all the run-of-the-mill and overly pushed stuff being shoved in our faces every day, this was a much-needed refreshment. I sincerely applaud Omega for releasing this and hope they will follow up on this delightful slice of watchmaking the right way and not milk it into oblivion. But they should also not forget about it, that would be a right shame!
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